As Digby noted, this is the same scheme we saw from Walmart that Michael Moore featured in his movie, Capitalism: A Love Story. Apparently Texas Gov. Rick Perry thought selling "dead peasants insurance" was something he could con the states retired teachers into as well so Wall Street could profit from their deaths.
Here's more from the HuffPo -- Rick Perry Sought State Profits From Teacher Life Insurance Scheme:
Two weeks before Thanksgiving in 2003, top officials from Texas Governor Rick Perry's office pitched an unusual offer to the state's retired teachers: Let's get into the death business.
Perry's budget director, Mike Morrissey, laid out a pitch that was both ambitious and risky, according to notes summarizing the meeting provided to The Huffington Post.
According to the notes, which were authenticated by a meeting participant, the Perry administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on how long retired Texas teachers would live. Perry was promising the state big money in exchange for helping Swiss banking giant UBS set up a business of teacher death speculation.
All they had to do was convince retirees to let UBS buy life insurance policies on them. When the retirees died, those policies would pay out benefits to Wall Street speculators, and the state, supposedly, would get paid for arranging the bets. The families of the deceased former teachers would get nothing.
The meeting notes offer the most direct evidence that the Perry administration was not only intimately involved with the insurance scheme, but a leading driver of the plan.
It was a back-room deal at odds with Perry's public persona as a career politician who had successfully sold Texans on his vision of minimal government intrusion. And it still is. Nearly eight years after the meeting, when Perry formally announced his run for the presidency in Charleston, S.C., he honed that vision into the perfect applause line: "I'll promise you this," he had said in his West Texas drawl. "I'll work every day to try to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can." Read on...
I guess Perry doesn't mind that "big government" interfering in your life if it means they can make a profit from your death.