Since the Great Recession started in 2008 seniors just aren’t retiring of their own accord. This has prolonged the depression for the nearly 15% chronically under- and unemployed in this country. Those who are employed can’t get those long earned promotions that come with better paychecks either.
The headwinds from partisans about; getting rid of social security, cutting benefits, stopping proper cost of living adjustments (COLA) with chained CPI, have seniors correctly spooked. Meanwhile, many seniors are living healthier lifestyles and now need to stretch their savings and earnings well into their early nineties. Given that prospect, they just aren’t retiring.
This stops the normal ebb and flow of promotions for younger workers that open up job opportunities throughout the organizational pyramid. Let’s look at the scope of the problem:
- Half the population has no savings.
- The upper 40% of the population controls 93% of the wealth.
- There are more people living in poverty today than in the 1960’s.
- The average college graduate is carrying a currently crippling student loan debt burden.
While in my opinion, most of these issues would be partially resolved if GDP were growing at a 6% pace, and the long bond was paying 6%—they are not—but that’s an issue for a different column.
If laws were put into place to protect the job on any senior over 55 years of age, if they chose to go halftime, then half their salary would be available to workers who would immediately spend the money for goods and services and household creation. Instead of being immediately drained from the economy because it was being saved for an older worker’s retirement. In other words, the long yearned for GDP growth.
Arguably, there is no salient cost to the public or private sector. No administrative structure would have to be put in place to force its compliance. Perhaps there would be an incremental employee head count rise in healthcare costs depending on each employer’s stand on Obamacare.
Maybe this is only for public corporations doing interstate business, and main street intrastate business might be exempt. A case can be made that public corporations have an unfair advantage over main street businesses because of favors curried from the obscene amounts of money they contribute to the (re)election campaigns of the duopoly parties.
OpenSecrets.org has the top seven industries giving over $2.5 billion to candidates in the last election cycle as opposed to the measly, by comparison, $141 million donated by organized labor. Workers represented by organized labor aren’t exactly competing on a level playing field with industry.
In a poll on aGREATER.US where conservatives, liberals, and independents opinions are given equal weight, the Halftime Worker Protection Act has a whopping 89% positive approval rating. Since this is an original idea, I couldn’t find any other polling data to confirm whether this poll is reflective of societal views.
Many seniors would love to have a great part-time job in retirement, and many young folks would love to get onto and start climbing the ladder of success. This idea was taken from a similar one by Sir Richard Bransom.
What do you think about the Halftime Worker Protection Act?