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August 08, 1978 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-08-08

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Page 12-Tuesday, August 8, 1978-The Michigan Daily
FTC says life insurance lacks competition

WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers
often pay more than they have to for life
insurance because of a lack of price
competition among insurers, according
to a Federal Trade Commission in-
"Cost variations of over 100 per cent
for essentially identical coverage are
not uncommon," Albert Kramer, direc-
tor of the FTC's bureau of consumer
protection, said yesterday.
"... without meaning-
ful cost disclosure, price
competition in the life
insurance industry is
imposstie .. ."
-Albert Kramer,
director of the
bureau of consum-
er protection.
The FTC staff is preparing a report
on life insurance pricing for the five-
member commission to act on around
the end of the year. The staff feels the
FTC should cooperate with state in-
surance regulators in requiring price
disclosure, rather than enact a federal
regulation, Kramer said.
THE PRIME need is for consumers
to be told the rate of return on the

savings part of their whole life insuran-
ce policies, Kramer testified. In whole
life policies, the premium money pays
for savings as well as death protection.
The less-popular term insurance has
little or no savings value but the
premiums are far less.
"Consumers do not know the rate of
return they will earn on the savings
element of their whole life policies. This
prevents comparison shopping with
other types of investments," Kramer
"The potential for loss can be
staggering. A person who invests $1,000
each year at three per cent will have, at
the end of 30 years, approximately
$48,000. One who invests the same
amount at six per cent will have $84,000
at the end of 30 years," he testified.
INSURANCE industry spokesmen
are scheduled to testify later in the
three days of hearings before the sub-
committee, whose chairman is Rep.
John Moss, (D-Calif.).
"The industry competes in many
areas - for agents and in designing
unique policies that are often little
more than sales tools. But the industry
rarely competes on the basis of price
because it doesn't have to," Kramer
"We submit that without meaningful
cost disclosure, price competition in the
life insurance industry is im-
possible ... There are tremendous
price fluctuations in the industry, with
some high-priced companies having
only a small share of the market," he
KRAMER SAID consumers should be

given information that will enable them force. Kramer said the estimated total
to choose between whole life and term losses due to lapsed policies in the first
insurance. In addition to the rate of year is more than $200 million a year.
return, he said, they should be told how He said the total cost of uninformed
much of their premiums will go for purchasing decisions for life insurance
death benefits and how much for may be in the billions of dollars an-
savings. And they should be warned of nually.
the consequences of early cancellation
of whole life policies, he said. Life insurance is a major spending
He said about one in every five new item for consumers. According to FTC
policy holders drop their policies within figures, Americans spent $32 billion in
the first 13 months, losing virtually all 1976 for the premiums, or about three
they have paid while the policy was in per cent of disposable personal income.
Tax evader ja led for
claimring 5th0 on forms

Everyone knows that as the politicians of the Democratic and Republican
parties promise more and deliver less people are getting fed up with both of
More and more of us realize that our own interests and those of the
corporations and banks which control the two parties are not the same. We
are open to alternatives.
They know it too, and they're scored. So in Michigan, two years ago,
they got together to pass a new election law (P. A. 94) to insure that only
their two parties can run candidates for partisan offices.
Proven working class fighters like Juan Torres from Saginaw and other
candidates from the Communist Labor Party are kept off the ballot-even
though earlier this year, nearly 30,000 people signed petitions to support
the Communist Labor Party's right to be on the ballot.
Under this new law, if you want some REAL choices in November, you've
got to make one on August 8 in the primary election.
For the first time anywhere in American history, the primary ballot in
Michigan now includes a Party Qualification Section of the ballot. Only if
enough people vote in that section of the ballot for the right of the CLP to
present candidates will we be able to do so. If you choose to vote for the
Communist Labor Party in the Party Qualification Section, be forewarned that
you are disenfranchised from voting for candidates in either the Democratic
or Republican section of the ballot.
We think it's more than worth it. Your vote for the CLP is not only a vote
to uphold the right of Juan Torres and others to run for office. Here are a few
other good reasons why a vote for the Communist Labor Party is the most
powerful vote you con cast on August 8:
-A vote for the CLP is a vote against the anti-labor Taft-Hartley law.
The CLP has been in the forefront of the struggle against Taft-Hartley and for
organizing the workers in the South. Among other things, Toft-Hartley makes
possible the anti-union so-called "right to work" laws which encourage jobs
to leave Michigan. Both the Democratic and Republican parties support Taft-
Hartley. In fact, they wouldn't even pass a mild "Labor Reform" law.
-A vote for the CLP is a vote for socialism. It is a vote that shows you
know that whichever of the capitalist parties is in power, we still have unem-
ployment, inequality and the constant danger of war.
-A vote for the CLP is a votefor outlawing the Nazi's, KKK and other
right-wing gangs that exist for the sole purpose of attacking minorities and
ultimately the whole working class.
-A vote for the CLIP is a vote for independent political action. We know
we cannot vote our way to socialism. But we con have a voice in government
that speaks ONLY for the nees, aspirations and interest of poor and working

SPRINGFIELD, I.. (AP) - Robert
Awerkamp has been sentenced to a
year in prison for taking the Fifth
Amendment on his federal income tax
returns. He says answering questions
about them would prove he had broken
the law.
"I have engaged in activities that
were illegal but not immoral,"
Awerkamp, 38, said in an interview.
"That's what I'm trying to prevent
telling about."
AWERKAMP'S TAX returns are
splashed with references to the amen-
dment, which provides a constitutional
guarantee against self-incrimination.
The tax form asks him to name his
dependent children. Awerkamp replies,
"Unable to answer and protect the
rights guaranteed to me by the Fifth
Amendmend . . . '
Gross income? "Fifth," he writes.
BALANCE due the IRS? "Fifth."
Taxes overpaid? "Fifth."
In addition to the year in prison,
Awerkamp was sentenced last week to
five years' probation for failing to file
proper income tax returns for 1971
through 1974.
U.S. DISTRICT Judge Waldo Acker-
man, who sentenced Awerkamp, said
"government depends on voluntary
contribution of taxes.. Something
has to happen as a deterrent to other

Awerkamp, meanwhile, says 'he is
taking his case to the federal appeals
court at Chicago.
Awerkamp is arguing that if he
provided all the information required
on the income tax form, "then I'd be
testifying against myself." He calls the
return form "a confession sheet."
prosecuted the case for the U.S. attor-
ney's office, said federal appeals courst
previously have refused to allow tax-
payers to refuse to answer questions on
the form because of the Fifth Amen-
James Meyers, an Internal Revenue
Service official here said: "It's just one
of the positions some of these tax
resisters have taken."
Awerkamp, who now lives in La
Grange, Mo., says he began answering
questions with the Fifth Amendment on
his 1970 tax return. In addition to 1971
through 1974, the years covered by the
federal prosecution, he said he has filed
similar forms for 1975 and 1976.
The government charged that bet-
ween 1971 and 1974, Awerkamp's gross
income totaled more than $51,000.
Prosecutors argued that if Awerkamp's
returns did not state "items of gross in-
come and deductions and credits, he
has not filed a return."
The jury last week took more than
three hours to reach a verdict. In a let-
ter to the judge, one juror said, "Most
of the jury could understand some of
Awerkamp's points and at times we all
feel the tax load is heavy. But the main
thought of the jury involved the fact
that he did not file his tax returns."

Ann Arbor
Insurance Center
Agent for Traveler's Moss Marketing
Program of Auto and Homeowners Insurance
through U-M Employees Credit Union
U-M Hospital Employees Credit Union
ias moved to
215 fEst Libery Plaza
Open Monday-Friday, 9-5

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