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Tough Times For Older Workers

Tough times for older workers. Many can’t retire or find a job. We’ll look at boomers and more in the bust.

In this Jan. 18, 2011 file photo, John Pham, right, a program officer with Reserve Inc., reviews the resume of Bob Drake, 63, at an AARP Career event aimed at helping older workers improve their job search, in New York. (AP)

In this Jan. 18, 2011 file photo, John Pham, right, a program officer with Reserve Inc., reviews the resume of Bob Drake, 63, at an AARP Career event aimed at helping older workers improve their job search, in New York. (AP)

Our economic bad times have been bad for lots of people.  For the young, trying to get started.  For families, trying to pay the rent.  And for older Americans.

For boomers and above there have been some particularly trying dynamics here.  Just when they’re trying to batten down their finances for old age, their finances have widely been blown up.

Jobs lost.  Homes lost.  Savings ransacked.  Retirement dreams made laughable.  And when it comes time to find a job instead of goin’ fishin’, they may be bagging groceries.

This hour, On Point:  tough times for older workers.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Carl Van Horn, professor of public policy and director of the Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. Author of “Working Scared (Or Not At All): The Lost Decade, Great Recession, and Restoring the Shattered American Dream.”

Marci Alboher, vice president of Encore.org, a non-profit group that promotes finding new careers after middle age. Author of “The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life.” (@heymarci)

From Tom’s Reading List

Florida Today “Steven Smith started searching for a job as soon as he lost his administrative role with a Space Coast nonprofit agency in June 2012. He keeps track of the numbers. Applications: 270. Interviews: 10. Job offers: zero, though two prospects look promising. And like many older job-seekers, sometimes, Smith worries about his age: 58. Yet, eight months into his quest for work, the Indian Harbour Beach resident plugs away.”

The Wall Street Journal “Whether it’s for personal satisfaction or financial need, many retirees and future retirees want to work in retirement. In a poll of over 3,000 business professionals conducted by RetiredBrains.com in 2010, more than 86% said they plan to continue working once they are retired.”

USA Today “There are a number of reasons why Americans workers may decide to put off retirement. Some may just love their jobs; others may need more money. But even those who have socked away plenty of cash are often terrified about rising medical bills and want to keep earning, Hannon says.”

 Excerpt From “The Encore Career Handbook”

Excerpt From “Working Scared (Or Not at All)”

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  • Michiganjf

    Yeah, this is what I LOVE about people who say the retirement age will need to be moved up to 70-75 years soon…

    LOOK AROUND!

    … just how many employers do you see giving 70 year olds a job?

    … and on the rare occasion when you do see someone employing a 70 year old, is it ever more than one, maybe two?

    Get real! 

    70 year olds will be starving to death on every park bench in America if SS eligibility is ever upped to 70+ years… it will be bad enough at even 67!

    Just stop legislators from raiding the SS fund instead… the ultra-wealthy and corporations just don’t need that extra tax cut at the expense of America’s seniors!

    … and let’s keep pushing for a single-payer healthcare system!
    That’s the only way REALLY get the cost of old age under control!
    The cost of health care in America is absurd, and Obamacare only puts a small dent in the rising costs of health care… not nearly enough to get the ridiculous cost under control.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      I am with you, my good fellow !

      However, it is probably true that the USA could not afford a Single Payer Plan that paid the full cost of health care. We could probably cover about 60 percent, though ! The rest could be provided, as it is now by employers or by individuals. Cost IS the real issue. I see no reason why the computer industry could not develop smart medical, diagnosing “ Expert Systems” that consumers could run right off their laptops and smart phones. There is no reason that we could not possess our own medical equipment, or rent it. Plug and play, so to speak.

      My father passed away last year, finally giving into all the complications caused by the stroke he had last year. As I watched him fade away in hospitals and nursing homes, I came to realize that his condition could have been much improved or even reversed, had he had something like an Exoskeleton, that would allow him to achieve movement, thereby, exercise and self respect that comes with independence. Doctors and medicine are about “disease management”, they are not about healing. This IS the fundamental problem, as I see it. Tens of humans were involved in his stays at the above institutions, at great cost. ( It cost him everything he had and then some. ) We will have to find and create completely new ways of looking at things if we are to solve such problems.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      I would like to add that, if we as a nation are going to create a way of life that is “people positive”, we must begin to think in terms of shifting the equilibrium point on the Supple and Demand Curve for labor’s wages and increase personal income by various means . We should be seeking to create something like, a 10 percent SHORTAGE of labor instead of accepting our current eight percent unemployment rate. So many Economist assume, that the best you could ever achieve, as an unemployment rate, is about four percent. This is an extremely defeatist attitude. Don’t believe them. They have hypnotized themselves with their own rhetoric and imperfect theories.
      Again, I would like try to convince readers to support a law that would force companies to pay dividends to stockholders, when earnings are positive. This increases personal income for the nation and increase the so called “ Velocity of Money”. Of course, I also believe that, these dividends should be taxed as ordinary income.

    • Gregg Smith

      The most recent CBO estimate claims 7 million people will be pushed out of employer based health care into Obamacare. That number has risen dramatically now that Obama is more flexible

      Starting next year the IRS will determine what kind of insurance you require to meet the minimum guidelines and avoid being fined. It starts at $20K for a family of 4.  People will flock to Obamacare or pay the small fine.

      Obamacare is designed to put private insurance out of business. Obama is a proponent of single-payer and it is coming. There is no turning back. It’s all part of the dastardly agenda.

      • Acnestes

        Health insurers should be put out of business.  They’re nothing but parasites who add no value to the healthcare system.  They do nothing but skim money out of the system for their own profit.  Single payer is long overdue.

        • Gregg Smith

          Often times when I illustrate our move towards socialism I am not rebutted with the argument that it’s not true. I hear, “Socialism ain’t that bad”.

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            Gregg – maybe you should actually live in a “socialist” country for awhile.  Some of your answers might be questioned.

          • Gregg Smith

            I know, it’s great, right?

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            No system is perfect – but in some important ways some of the “socialist” countries have moved into the 21st century. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Europe is imploding.

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            Some of Europe is facing hard times yes – emphasis on some. But how about Canada?

          • Gregg Smith

            Canada has moved back right. Spain is doing alright. Canada has Canada has moved back right. Spain is doing alright.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000184595128 Elaine Dunn

            Me thinks Gregg is imploding. too much FOX TV

          • Gregg Smith

            Oooo the Fox monster.

          • Acnestes

            Why rebut it?  It ain’t that bad.  I like socialist institutions like public schools, public libraries, police and fire departments, etc..  Scandinavian style social democracy seems to work very nicely.  Socialism does not equal Stalinism.

          • Gregg Smith

            You are on record. We are moving towards socialism and that’s good. Alrighty then.

          • Acnestes

            Yeah, so go report me to the John Birch Society.

          • Gregg Smith

            No need for that, I’ll just put your comment in my back pocket for when others tell me I’m blowing smoke about our lurch left.

          • Acnestes

            You know who the real “left” is?  It’s the tea bags and the rest of the right wing lunatic fringe.  Superficially, they look like reactionaries – like they want to go back to some idealized Golden Age.  But the place they want to “return” to never existed in the first place, except in 1950′s TV shows,  Where they want to go is somewhere wholly new, and that’s by definition radicalism.  And that’s left wing.

          • geraldfnord

             ‘Socialist’ works a lot better as an adjective than as an epithet.  Adjectives can easily be modified and compared, as in ‘Bertolt Brecht was more socialist than I, I am more socialist than Gregg; Gregg is _probably_ more socialist than Ayn Rand, who was more socialist than Ragnar Redbeard.’

            If the Market is so incredibly robust, it should be able to stand a little interference—if it’s not, and represents a laudable but unstable equilibrium, we won’t see it around for long, by definition…I think it’s useful and strong enough a social technology that it belongs in our toolbox, along with government and completely voluntary (modulo social pressures) associations.

          • Gregg Smith

            I agree whole heartedly with your first paragraph. I’ve been trying to make that point for a long time. If I say we are moving towards socialism I am accused of calling Obama a socialist.

            The market is not robust if we keep propping it up and not letting it correct itself.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            Totalitarian capitalism- with no sharing, union protections or fairness allowed for workers- has been in place since Reagan took office in 1981. When other nations have mingled heavy-handed politics with enforced economic doctrines we have been taught to call them “Evil Empires”. Since then, people from all over the world have flocked here to grab as much as they can while they can, to the detriment of national security & cultural stability. America has gone money-mad yet there are no other practical options for people or businesses anymore. Why are you so scared of a slight correction towards sanity & stability? We’re a LONG way from the definition of socialism, sir.

          • Gregg Smith

            We are much closer to Socialism than we are to the world you describe.

          • Acnestes

             Only on Planet Gregg.

          • Gregg Smith

            Do you believe we have no sharing, union protections or fairness allowed for workers? I don’t.

          • Acnestes

            It’s being systematically ground out of existence by corporations crushing workers in their ruthess pursuit of the bottom line.  You evidently don’t get off the farm much.

          • Gregg Smith

            We could not serve our communityif we did not make a profit.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            We have no move toward socialism, we have class warfare redistributing wealth to the top and a growing plutocracy. How can you have the direction of change in the USA backwards? Maybe a little less talk radio? The USA is “entitled” white boy paradise, while SS and medicare are under constant attack and we have the greatest income inequality in the developed world. That doesn’t sound very socialistic to me.

          • Gregg Smith

            Money is not distributed up. If you are not happy with your income, don’t be jealous just go make more.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            LOL, the official talking point that anyone who thinks our plutocracy is a problem is “jealous” or has “envy”. I have more than I know what to do with, my friend, but the USA I love is a middle class society and I don’t like our evolving plutocracy.

            If you don’t think money is being redistributed upward, just look at the changes in the distribution of wealth and income since the 50s. I know there are other official talking points to explain away all that wealth and income at the top and the sinking middle class, but I don’t think any honest person can really believe them.

          • Gregg Smith

            Wealth is not distributed. Did the poor write you a check?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Spare me the silly remarks.The redistribution is done by the system.

          • geraldfnord

            ‘System’?  I’m sorry, but I get the impression that Mr Smith believes that our system is (modulo some Evil Gummint Interference) the only natural and possible system, and so to criticise this Best of All Possible Systems is fruitless, as there’s no way to improve it, and any apparent defects are actually defects in some of the participants, who get what they deserve.  ‘System’ implies that there might a problem  that weren’t the immediate and total responsibility of people who don’t do well….

          • Gregg Smith

            I’lltakethat asa “no”.

          • geraldfnord

             So true! All the judgements of God (also known as ‘The Market’) are perfectly just, and never to be questioned.  Everybody gets precisely what they deserve, because it’s a Just World.

          • Gregg Smith

            I wouldn’t say that but you’re entitled to your opinion.

          • geraldfnord

            I’m sure you wouldn’t say it, but I don’t see you opining as if the Market ever needed any sort of external correction—for example, ‘just make more’ implies that anyone who can’t so do were unworthy  of having more income, that the Market’s verdict were in effect perfect and just.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            This comment is way out in left field, even when compared to your usual posts.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000184595128 Elaine Dunn

            Really Gregg?  Why your a genius!!!  Hey everyone we got a real Rocket Scientist among the group!!

          • Gregg Smith

            Thank you but it’s my nephew who is the rocket scientist.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000184595128 Elaine Dunn

            Muffled giggle…

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000184595128 Elaine Dunn

            Like the sound of that TK!!!!

          • Ayn Marx 666`

            Since twenty aspirin will quite possibly kill you, obviously two or three are very dangerous, and probably useless against that headache anyway.

          • geraldfnord

            .

        • anamaria23

          The average pay of Health Insurance CEO
          is $10,000,000 including bonus’ and other perks. Lesser level execs do quite well, also.
          Medical equipment companies CEO are the same or higher.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000184595128 Elaine Dunn

          Yeah I like dealing with my health insurance guy about as much as volunteering to work in a Leper Colony.  Every year my ins. gets more pricey and covers less and less.  He says things like “Well you have to be a little more creative”.  Right the guy lives in a “high end suburb”.  I live in an extremely modest  
          condo…….sigh…….

      • http://twitter.com/paulzink Paul Zink

        A dastardly agenda to come up to the healthcare quality of the rest of the western industrialized world? A dastardly agenda to sidestep parasites (health coverage insurers) who as middlemen add no value to actual healthcare services provided by doctors and hospitals? Clearly you must work for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna or one of the other insurers.  

        • Gregg Smith

          That’s funny!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000184595128 Elaine Dunn

          Dastardly???  Hmmm  He must be watching old Dudly Do Right cartoons in his basement.

          • Gregg Smith

            I laid out the case why single-payer was coming. I think the word fits. I don’t have a basement but I do like the word and love Dudley.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        My private health insurance is already doing what the anti UHC people fear: Someone other than the doctor and patient deciding what treatments are needed. At least UHC would cut the administrative costs for providers who now have to deal with dozens of companies and scores of ‘plans’.

        • Gregg Smith

          Fortunately (I guess) you will not be able to keep your healthcare plan as promised.

  • Gregg Smith

    “Tough times for older workers” and younger ones, and minorities, and everybody else… and their brother.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Gregg//over here.  Two things you should know about Canada. 1) Here “Conservative” is center – and in many ways to the left of many Democrats.  Harper isn’t going to roll back Canadian “socialism” – the three center pillars of which are universal health care, near-free post-secondary education, and the pension plan.
      2) While many Canadians complain about the health system (and will even take money from US media, anti ACA org’s that pay them to voice these complaints) you’d be hard-pressed to find any who’ll trade their system for yours.

      Now, back on topic. 

      • Gregg Smith

        I understand but compare Harper to Chretien. I don’t want to be Canada.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Any politician who seriously speaks of requiring the elderly to continue their careers to 70 until SSI benefits, and then everything will be fine is either stark raving mad (it’s hard enough for 50 somethings to get a job) or disingenuous: they are just pandering to the deluded telling them lies that they want to hear. They’re not in Washington to solve problems, they are in Washington to firm up their retirement plans. In reality, they don’t care about anything other than themselves and don’t want to solve other people’s problems.

  • pauly2468

    We are the only industrialized country in the world that does not have old age security.(although Greece has gotton onto the Austerity train to disaster.)
    We should not be relying on the stock market for retirement security.
    Multi-billion dollar companies have decided that they won’t hire or pay well for people of any age,much less seniors(many of whom are unable to work.)
    Social Security is NOT part of the defecit and should not be part of US Debt discussions.

  • Gregg Smith

    They’re hiring greeters at Walmart.

    • Mike_Card

      My nearby Walmart hasn’t had greeters for several years.

      • Gregg Smith

        Really? My friend’s, wife’s mother is 83 and lives alone. She works as a greeter and refuses help from her children.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          You’ve used this single example before, many times. “My friend’s wife’s mother”, huh? Somebody you don’t know, will likely never meet & have no relation to. I suspect that this one anecdotal example of the rugged old lady on her own- ( in law it’s called “hearsay evidence”)- is ficticious. Show us a picture of this elderly woman laboring away while shunning all assistance from others. Until then, I’ll have serious doubts regarding your credibility. BTW: Have you ever considered the poor QUALITY of life experienced by a lonely old person still struggling to get by in this messed up economy? Thought not.  

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t recall bringing her up before, maybe I did. I do know her and I admire her. Why is it so hard to believe? 

            Why do you ask a question and then answer it? I have elderly friends I check on from time to time and help when I can. I paid off my owner-financed land in 2000. I used to visit the elderly woman I bought it from in the rest home. They have a piano in the lobby so I played it for them. She is no longer with us but I still pop in from time to time to play a tune or two. They love it. I do what I can.

            I find the liberal tactic of turning opposing views into vicious discompassion to be quite shallow.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            Mighty white of you to look in on the old folks. Generally, your tone is cutting & sharp when rebutting another’s educated perspective here. Hence, my knee-jerk discomfort when you throw in the kitchen sink when all one needs is a polite, respectful, “I don’t agree.” Have good cheer. Fox viewers must LOVE you.

          • Gregg Smith

            I started this thread, was I supposed to disagree with myself?

            “Mighty white”? “Fox”?

            I have no idea what you are ragging me about but have at it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000184595128 Elaine Dunn

            What????????  I think your spinning this discussion into something it isn’t.  With all due respect of course.

          • Gregg Smith

            That happens to me a lot. All I did was post 5 little (and relevant) words. Now I’m playing clean up. But point taken, I should quit playing and take some blame.

          • anamaria23

            That’s nice for the residents.

          • Gregg Smith

            They seem to like it but I haven’t been in quite some time. This is a reminder.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          USA, the middle class paradise, where older citizens can aspire to be greeters at WMT. Yee-hah!

        • Mike_Card

          Not since 08 or 09.

        • Acnestes

           That is extremely sad.

          • Gregg Smith

            Why? It’s what she wants. She’ll probably live forever.

          • Acnestes

            It’s even more sad that you don’t understand why it’s extremely sad.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s not about me. It was a simple question.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000184595128 Elaine Dunn

        They do way up here at the Walmart in Amherst NH.  They are usually over 60 and generally disabled in some way.   Not a swipe only what I have observed.  In this economy EVERYONE working is just happy to be in the workplace.  But how can you be “Happy” when the job WILL NEVER PAY THE BILLS.

    • JGC

      Ouch.   At least you didn’t say “they may be hiring greeter/snipers at your local elementary school”. 

      • Gregg Smith

        Not sure what you mean.

    • Ray in VT

      It’s too bad that they won’t pay many of their employees enough to not be able to qualify for state health care and foodstamps.

      • Gregg Smith

        No one is forced to work there.

        • Ray in VT

          No one is saying that anyone is.  I’m just pointing out what I see as the irony of you suggesting Walmart as an employer, when they are pretty notorious for squeezing out profits for their investors and big salaries for top executives while, at the same time, paying many of their employees so little that they qualify for some of the government benefits that you often deride.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Not exactly a job that pays enough to live on.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    The job market is brutal for older workers. They don’t fit in the Ebenezer Scrooge corporate model. The only bright spot is startups which aren’t being run by MBAs yet. If you need a job and you’re over 50, starting your own business or going to work for a startup is the best option, if you can. Unfortunately this requires a spouse with health insurance.

    • mumtothree

      My husband and I are both 56.  I was squeezed out at age 50, and he was laid off at age 52.  We are both self-employed, continuing in our chosen fields as “free agents.”  We can take as much sick time, vacation time, family leave time, etc. as we want – we just don’t get paid for it.  And of course, in Massachusetts we are required to purchase our own health insurance.  A middling plan through the Mass Connector costs us over $20,000 a year, and we do not qualify for a subsidy because we are just above the cut-off (which is shockingly low).  According to their on-line tools, there is no affordable insurance available for us, so we would not be penalized for “going without,” which we are unwilling to do.  So that is an additional expense – on which we are required to pay FICA taxes, both employer and employee, adding another $3000 to the cost.  You just gotta make do.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I feel your pain, mum. My wife was laid off similarly but after a period of turmoil ended up extremely happy in a biotech startup. The best thing is no corporate management! The greater Boston area is a real hotbed of biotech and internet startups, if you have those skills.

  • JGC

    On the race to the bottom: There was an analysis that, briefly, went like this…The post WWII industrials were desperate to hire workers, and instead of higher wages, offered sweeteners of healthcare and pension benefits that became the basis of the U.S. employee model. Later on, the temporary agencies came in (Kelly Girls, et.) to fill gaps in the employment situation, and because these jobs were viewed as pin money for women workers, were justified to be offered at lower wages with no benefits. The final evolution of the temporary job was a “just in time” solution for employers, to increasingly be used on all workers,  with no benefits and no stability of employment.   

    • Mike_Card

      It has been a relentless drive to make everything a variable cost–to eliminate fixed costs altogether.  View the rise in work-at-home temps, all corporate services such as HR, logistics, accounting, etc. outsourced to contractors.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Actually, the employer provided health care started DURING the war. With all the young men going into the military, it was a way to entice people to hire on in an era where there were too few workers available.

      • Mike_Card

        If I remember correctly, there was a wage freeze during WWII, which gave rise to company benefits as a way to skirt the wartime wage regulations.

        • anamaria23

          How unfortunate that health care ever became tied to employer. So many options became unavailable. My  friend, a gifted craftsperson, worked in office  work for need of health insurance, instead of building up a clientale in her area of talent.  Now, on Medicare, she is able to offer her services and eke out a small living for herself with work more suited to her expertise.
                While other countries are experiencing high  rates of unemployment, workers do not have the added stress of  losing access to health care, though austerity measures may be limiting that also.

          • Letty Horan

            I read a statistic that the rate of entrepreneurship in Canada was 13% higher than in US because they don’t provide basic healthcare through employers.  

          • notafeminista

            Healthcare became tied to employment when FDR instituted wage and price control in 1943. It was a way to offer benefits without offering a payraise.  God bless the leftists.

        • JGC

          That definitely makes sense as to the nonsensical evolution of our healthcare system.

      • JGC

        Thanks for that correction.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The golden age is over – pensions are gone, retirement health  care benefits are gone (except for Congress of course, they still have them). We get to try to get to retirement on 401k’s that get reset every downturn. And SS and Medicare are sounding more and more “temporary”.

    It’s a global economy now – why should us older folks be any better off than those living in other places?

  • Coastghost

    Quite obviously: send them all into the teaching profession you just spent an hour wringing hands over. (Of course, weeding out all of the under-50 incompetents already in the teaching profession must come first.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Valerie-Powell/100000615506877 Valerie Powell

      I’m a laid-off 50-year old school teacher who was about to be tenured. I was told that we were “going in a different direction” and was replaced by a 22 year-old fresh out of school. Re-tooling to become a teacher is not the answer.

  • Trudie

    My husband is 63 lost job due to plant closing April of 2011..has not been able to find any work although is a skilled worker, welder and electrician. Has no pension and no one will even interview him..he cannot even get a “bagger in a grocery store” position..living on 12,000.00 is not going to cut it..I have taken a part time job and am working 70 hours a week. We have cut all our expenses..and to top it off have a  daughter who is a freshman in college..and in rural VT  there is not much opportunity.

    • Gregg Smith

      I’m afraid it’s not going to get better.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    It’s not just work – the big issue is income – and benefits. Spending your last 15 years in the workforce in a job that doesn’t pay or have benefits is not going to get you ready for retirement.

  • http://twitter.com/paulzink Paul Zink

    “If you were 25 years old, we could hire you tomorrow”– ?? No employer in his or her right mind would say that aloud to a job candidate or they’d get hit with an EEO lawsuit. What the employer will do instead is either say “you’re over-qualified” or “you’re not a good match”. But most commonly, the employer will take a look at a resume (or a Linkedin profile), deduce from the previous experience and jobs that the candidate is older, and simply not respond to the job application. 

  • ThirdWayForward

    Age-discrimination is ubiquitous and blatant, and it is NOMINALLY ILLEGAL. It is rampant and obvious in academia — everyone recognizes that you are toast if you are applying for academic positions and you are over 40. But unlike other kinds of discrimination that are based on factors over which the individual has no control (race, gender, native language), age-discrimination is not being prosecuted by our legal guardians.

    We think age discrimination has much less to do with what an applicant can do and much more to do with the pliability of younger workers — older workers know too much.

    I shudder whenever I hear the lame excuse that someone is “overqualified” for a job — this whole evil rationalization means that older workers cannot even get menial jobs unless they lie about their past work experience.

    Our society has a big wealth distribution problem, but it also has a huge work distribution problem. Those lucky to have full time jobs are run ragged and scared of losing those jobs, while those without full time employment get no benefits and a fraction of the wages.

    We need to have full (100%) employment as our goal. Everyone who wants to work full-time should be able to do so. The work week should be shortened until we achieve this.

  • Coastghost

    WHAT!?! No David Bowie “Golden Years” clip to lead into the break?!?

  • glorkohl

    Permit me a brief anecdote: A  current image of my block in an upscale neighborhood 12 miles west of NYC. 7 houses: First: an audio engineeer and an urban public school teacher. Second: A worker with the local public utility company. Third: An adjunct professor. Fourth house: The IT director for one of Manhattan’s  major hospitals and his spouse an airline services worker. 5th:  A nurse. 6th house: An attorney for an insurance companyand a courtroom worker. 7th house: Mine, schoolteacher, widowed with teens.
     All unemployed.  All wtihout health care. ALL largely living off of savings and part time work ( grocery stores, big box stores, no benefits, 20 or fewer hours per week, etc). All over 50 but none yet 60.
    We will never “work” again.
    Most of us realize it and most are coming to terms with accepting this fate.
     Two have pulled the children back from second tier colleges not for expense only but with strong questions as to the merit of the diploma.
    This is more the reality than not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      This trend is widespread, sadly. When folks start commonly referring to this crisis as a 21st Century Depression, we’ll start to come to grips with it. Until then, shame & emotional depression are preventing us from uniting to better our plight. At least you KNOW your neighbors. Many downwardly mobile middle-class Americans do not. Good luck, quite sincerely. 

      • glorkohl

        Thank you for reading and for your kind good wishes.  I have never heard of anyone from any of these famous Washington/ Boston/ NY “think tanks” even acknowledge this issue, let alone offer solutions; it is treated with such disdain. I appreciate the fact that OnPoint at least brought this out for discussion and thank you for joining in !!  

  • Coastghost

    So in other words: the youth culture that the Boomers gave rise to has survived their adolescence, their young adult years, and their middle age careers. “Don’t trust anyone over thirty,” they advised, as recently as forty years ago.
    Karma bites.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Those people are already retired, many with Golden Parachutes. We are talking about people who are now 40 to 60, specifically. From the generation of Reagan’s young neo-cons, in fact, not the Hippies & Beatnicks who preceded us.

      • Coastghost

        If ageism can today afflict someone as young and only as old as 40, then the dread persistence of the youth culture the Boomers gave birth to needs to be examined critically.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

        You’re right. I was born in 1960, and technically am a baby-boomer, but culturally and practically am not one. Friends of mine just 4 or 5 years older managed to slide under the wire and collect old-school benefits, but people my age are sort of  screwed. At least I HAD a good job for a good chunk of my life, something many younger people today may never be able to say.

      • Coastghost

        People now between 40 and 60 were born from 1953 to 1973: even though the sentiment “don’t trust anyone over 30″ emerged in the mid-1960s, the notion carried over into the 1970s, otherwise the film “Logan’s Run” would not have been released as late as 1976. The movie itself did next to nothing to disarm the fatuous notion for the middle- and late-Boomer cohort, a cohort neither famous nor infamous for its steady practice of intellectual rigor. Also, arguably, Boomers comprised most of the class of geniuses who helped engineer and implement our present predicament. (I’d give much more credit to 1980s cocaine consumption than I’d give to Reagan.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

    After making job decisions based on a job protection pledge, in place until I was 50, I was laid off at age 52 after 27 years with my company. My job is essentially obsolete, so I’m starting over and I’m scared. I’ve applied for jobs paying 35% less than I was making, to be told that I’m overqualified. Why hire someone my age when 25-year-olds who have never earned a good wage are scrambling for work? Especially when the market locally is flooded by layoffs.

    I’m trying to decide whether to look for a roommate or to sell my house.

    • jefe68

      If it was me I would try the roommate avenue first. If that did not pan out I would sell the house.
      If you have some equity in the property you could walk away with a nice little nest egg or enough to get you through this rough patch.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

        No, although I’m above water, I don’t have enough equity to really profit from sale of the house. I would sell because I can rent for less than the amount of my note, and would no longer have maintenance expenses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000184595128 Elaine Dunn

    Seriously Mr. Ashbrook,

    I take issue with your comment.  DREAM, really?  Older workers are trying to stay in doors and out of foreclosure.  We aren’t DREAMING Tom.  WE are desperately trying to eat and live in doors.  

  • homebuilding

    The USA health care system (which takes twice as much cash out of the economic system as does such a benefit in the rest of the developed world) is a very costly fear of every employer or potential employer.

    All employers know that potentially the cheapest to insure (or to whom to extend health care benefits) are the professional white single woman. (I’ll let you guess why I mention race–for whatever reason, it’s a very real factor)

    They probably aren’t going to have a pregancy very soon, they are less likely to be injured in a fall, a gun fight, hurt themselves in an extreme sport, or become disabled from a motorcycle crash.

    Older workers, in addition to the assumption that they aren’t tech saavy, are really, a lot more difficult to ‘push around.’  Add that to the assumption that they’ll develop cancer, cardiac symptoms, or need joint surgery(that, and they are seen as likely to self terminate from a position that pays less than half of what they got at the last position–and now, with no benefits, as well) –well, there are many reasons to NOT hire older workers.

    I’d vote for USA health care as THE BIGGEST IMPEDIMENT, here.

    Perhaps a parallel story on older workers in Canada and the UK (or the rest of Europe) ?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      I’d vote for USA health care as THE BIGGEST IMPEDIMENT, here.

      I agree. Give me Universal Health Care and I’ll retire in a couple of years freeing up a job for a new college grad. Otherwise I’ll retire when the undertaker shows up at my office door.

      • Steve_the_Repoman

        knock, knock…land shark

  • Michiganjf

    The idea that entrepreneurship is the answer is pretty silly.

     One can assume that the success rate would be that of the typical entrepreneur, or less… that means ONLY a few percent of the people who even manage to raise the capital and try will actually succeed.

    I’d say it’s a viable alternative for less than FIVE PERCENT of the populace… and probably closer to TWO PERCENT.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      The latter is probably dead on. Two Percent = Pipe Dream.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       That was Romney’s solution to joblessness. Borrow money from your parents and start a company.

    • homebuilding

      Entrepreneurship is silly for many, but it surely makes more sense that the ‘college for all’ message that is trumpeted from every treetop.

      How many kids EVER get the idea that they could build their own skills and invent their own service or product?

      In the USA, where there is a lot of talk about the possibility of ‘freedom to create your own living,’ this resource is left on the table, by schools, by parents, and by a dearth of governmental policies. 

      The idea of “Junior Achievement” should be far more prominent–instead, we will entertain ourselves to death with movies, sports, and video games (the older and younger, alike).

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    << I'm building this electric car you see in my avatar.  I'm 52 and have worked in architecture and some IT work.  Luckily my spouse is securely employed, and we have health insurance through her job, but I need financing to continue building the first prototype.  It is under way – the car seats 5 people and should have a range of 300-400 miles.

    I hope On Point can do a show on crowd funding!

    Neil

    • Gregg Smith

      Good luck.

  • http://www.thisoneisbroken.blogspot.com |k|

    It’s also difficult for young people. Teenagers used to work as cashiers or baggers, but now those positions are filled by college graduates and above.

    I applied for jobs for 5 years after college before landing one. The only reason I got it is because I decided to go to grad school, and I got the job through my school adviser. It’s all about who you know.

    Older folks are now planning to work until they “drop.” Well, at 28, I also plan to work until I drop. I no longer think “retirement” is attainable. It’s no longer an expectation.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    No ROI in retraining ‘older workers’?

    Older workers are more likely to want to stay where they are.

    What about the ROI on training ‘younger workers’ who expect to have many jobs during their working life and will job hop to make more money? Saw one recently at my office. 3rd job in 2 years, each change was to get more money. Lasted less than a year and jumped, again for more money. 4 jobs at 4 companies in 4 states in 3 years.

    The company I have worked for for over 30 years keeps hacking away at benefits, including the retirement program to the point that there is NO reason to stick with the company if you are young. The company has no loyalty to the employees and vice verse. Downward spiral in the chase for quarterly profits and high executive compensation.

    • jefe68

      It’s called dumb management. But it works out great for those on the top. They get the golden parachute after they bleed the company dry.

  • Trudie

    sorry but Marci is whacked…how the hell are you going to pay $ to go back to school when you have no money..when you can’t even take care of basic needs..she may be understand LA life but this is not reality for most people and more so for the rural areas of the country that have been the hardest hit…I would love for her to come visit my area of the country and then hear her give real advise…

    • jefe68

      If you’re 50 or older going back to school is not a good option for a new career. That’s not saying one can’t do that but the stats for being over 50 and jobs are pretty grim.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      Probably the biggest problem of all is that folks in moneyed areas seem to think the rest of the country is in a similar state or can be “rescued” with feel-good legislation … The United States is a hodgepodge of regionally specific cultures that have little to do with one another and because of this, centralized gov’t has never gotten a handle on how to unite all areas to a cohesive whole … what works for one part may not work in others. It’s the same disconnection that has caused the multitude of failed relief and financial aid initiatives we’ve imparted on other parts of the world when we try to inject “The American Way” to impoverished states, Haiti being just one example.

  • jim_thompson

    Great program today.  A major part of the problem is the fact that in this country we do not value older folks.  Unless you are out there ready to go eighty hours a week the so called Protestant work ethic looks down on older people and workers.  Rather than seek out their experience and insigts from all the years of service-like so many other cultures do-we simply would prefer not to hear from, see or deal with older folk.

    Jim in Fort Mill,SC

    • Pamela Curtis

      Actually I think the problem is that we don’t value any one old OR young. Companies of all sizes and foci are focused on profits and I am afraid we have become a discount culture that only values the bottom line.

  • cattfrancisco

    After 43 years of continuous work was laid off from my job of 13 years as a graphic designer for a major university the day I returned from a one-month medical leave of absence.  After 6 months of networking, sending out resumes finally had my first interview.  I’m waiting on pins and needles for the call . . . I’m 60 years old and have had to cash in one of my 403bs and am taking advantage of a program of Unemployment Bridge Loan from my lending company to stay in my house.  Never thought I’d find myself in this situation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.langerman Jessica Pearce Langerman

    I would be grateful to hire a responsible older worker – is there a “job clearinghouse” where potential employers could go to find seniors looking for work?

  • carl_christian

    Our version of corporate capitalism is the real problem and the only way to solve the multiple individual horror stories is to do the impossible work of changing it from a system of exploitation to one that includes a great deal more cooperation and compassion — since sooner or later we all do get old!. And if you think this is a little too much idealism at the wrong time and place, I ask that you all consider whether you want to look forward to your next two or three decades going along as they are now. It simply isn’t physically or emotionally possible for many of us, never mind the immorality of putting decent people out to pasture while a smaller and smaller percentage of the population steals an ever-increasing portion of the commonwealth.
      I urge everyone to spend just a few minutes of every day working toward a better politics and a more just economic system — be an active citizen in a democracy which is way too broken and needs fixing in order to engage a more just America. And by cultivating the skills of an informed and active citizen, you’ll be sprucing up a few job skills as well.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      Others have tried and failed:

      1) Hire people to enforce the law and regulation

      2) Campaign finance reform

      3) Break up Big Finance

      4) Big Finance regulation

      Some things still to try:

      1) Invoke capital ceilings on existing and future corporations

      2) Legislation reform, for example, no coattail acts attached to bills

      3) Disinvest in Wall Street by redesignating companies back to private entities as Dell just did

      Well, it’s the act that counts, right?

  • pattiinvt

    I am approaching 60.  My nearly 40 year career, one of a statewide State office, came under pressure from a new leader shortly before the recession.  Hired young people for next to nothing, began to move career folks (very hard working industry by the way, where historical memory helps alot) around the state without notice, put everyone on edge, and this has gone on for years.  We are now feeling the costs in other sectors with increases in the more expensive sectors of the state, not to mention employees who are demoralized and fearful, with all the psychological issues that can stem from that: distractability, less focus, etc. Many of us love our work and are fulfilled by it, and/ or can’t afford to retire.

    • donniethebrasco

       “statewide State office”

      What does that mean?  Do you have a pension?

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Are you from Wisconsin?

  • donniethebrasco

    Obama is getting us from one side, Romney from the other.

    Obama is ruining private industry through onerous taxation.  Romney is gutting companies to grow earnings, but not revenue.

    Companies need to start thinking like Henry Ford.  If they cut to the bone, no one can buy their stuff.

  • anonymousW

    I’m in my  mid 40′s. I  was told several times I’m over qualified for jobs I have applied for. In other case I was told I’m too old.  Most of the time you never hear back from HR. This takes a very heavy toll on your mental health. 
    I could not get training funds since I was laid off from a job that left me without UIB. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      You might want to perform a background check on yourself. Repeated non-response from HR departments is something to pay attention to. You may not be the applicant you think you are.

      • http://arieldagan.blogspot.com/ Ariel Dagaan

        Thanks DrewInGeogia. I know exactly what’s online.

  • Pamela Curtis

    Regarding the comment updating skills.

    I am a now underemployed sixty-two year old with leadership experience in the non profit world. I have pursued new skills with an eye to expanding my portfolio of skills. I have also made  serious efforts to be current with new media and new technology. However, I go into interviews for jobs that look like they were written with me   in mind- and find I lose our to a young person with fewer skills. It is maddening.
    I am not quite making ends meet with two minimum wage jobs. I have a child in college and a husband who is unable to work.  I work to be positive and forward thinking but I not sure if there is a future out there for me and my family.

    The one bright (?) note is our income is so low that my son is now attending a pricey college for $0.

  • lmhughes

    Depending on what field you’re in, age-ism sets in as early as 35!  In digital and especially social media–even if you have decades of experience managing marketing campaigns and have been doing social media for clients since it became a marketing thing to do–some companies won’t even consider you for a MANAGEMENT position if you’re not in your 20s.  Seems to be mentality you can’t possibly know anything about twitter and how businesses can use it if you aren’t a millenial.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    I pray for all underemployed and unemployed older workers. 

    for the people who are in their 30s or 40s, consider planning for your retirement before you reach your 50s. Our economy is fast and inefficient. 

    in the financial industry companies especially public accounting firms are mimicking each other to squeeze every last drop of cost from their fellow employees by forcing people to work well over 40 hours per week. Currently, newly hired college graduates are required to work more than 60 hours per week. These firms run sweat shop and do it successfully since our labour laws are loosely enforced. People can consider suing however at a cost of possibly never reenter back to this industry again. you see why older people never get a chance for an interview?

    in the high tech sector companies put too much emphasis on onsite interview to prove candidates can programme. However, what they do not understand is many good programming candidates cannot adequately show their skills under this stressful interviewing environment.

    these are some of the many symptoms of an economy going amok, running in an inefficient and fast pace. this structural unemployment problem does not help when many employers are either stealing time and labour from younger workers or simply do not know how to evaluate talent. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1526951734 Elena Perito

    Five years ago,at the age of 46, after years of teaching at a college part time, I attempted to find full time employment. I am a licensed attorney but chose to complete a state teacher certification program and was certified to teach in English, a high needs area at the time. For two years I searched for a teaching job and often did not ever receive notice that I was not given the post despite having made it through to the final interview stages. More often than not, the person selected was younger with less degrees and less life experience. I suspect I not only experienced discrimination based on age, but was also turned away because I was deemed “too expensive.”  

  • ThirdWayForward

    EDUCATION IS NOT THE SOLUTION IF THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH GOOD JOBS OUT THERE.

    Our economy is actively destroying sustainable good, skilled jobs and replacing them with jobs that require much less skill and pay much worse.

    This is the culmination of decades of favoring the wealthy, those at the top of the pyramid, and encouraging them to ship skilled jobs overseas. The Republicans are the worst offenders (they are minions of the wealthy), but nationally the Democrats have not been much better. The undermining of the US Postal Service by Republicans is a case in point — stable, long term employment is systematically being replaced by contingent employment. Republicans like this process — it makes workers more scared and more pliable.

    Both Republicans and Democrats support immigration for foreign technical workers (computer scientists, engineers, professionals of all sorts) that depress job prospects and salaries for middle-aged un- and under-employed professionals.

    Our culture is part of the problem. We need to reverse the psychology of “the disposable worker” and the all-against-all, selfish, me-first Survivor mentality (how I deeply hate that show, because it is a metaphor for employment as a less-than-zero-sum game of musical chairs). Donald Trump’s Apprentice show, which makes a spectacle of humiliating people by firing them should be seen as the obscenity it is (and Trump should be seen as the despicable excuse for a human being that he is).

    Nobody is disposable and expendable, each of us has value to contribute, and the society that learns to effectively utilize the talents of all its citizens will be the society that prospers furthest into the future.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      Confirmed. My wife is a nurse who’s having a hard time, and despite the throngs of folks who’ve tried to escape to a “sure thing” in healthcare, companies are STILL importing nurses from abroad! How can you beat that? You can’t.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Actually there’s a good amount of people looking to emigrate as a retirement solution.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I have a friend that’s been talking about ditching to Ecuador for about a year now. More power to them, it’s not for me.

      • Gregg Smith

        I have a friend building a house in Costa Rica, he’s outta here when he retires.

        • Mike_Card

          If you weren’t in Carolina, I’d think you know my brother.  It’s a Jimmy Buffett world now, I guess.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Pity the poor ‘locals’ in all the places rich (by local standards) probably mono-lingual Americans choose to emigrate. All that “new” money will jack the price of everything from land to food.

  • Jim_Paw

    I missed a lot of hour two, but settling in at home heard the words over-qualified in the background. In today’s world is it possible that “over-qualified” is a legal way of saying “older”?

    • ThirdWayForward

      It’s HR doublespeak……..you just have to wonder what is going on in their little minds when they say these things aloud or try to give them as reasons for rejecting someone’s job application.

  • Fredlinskip

        Is not the ultimate effect of a trade policy that create such huge *trade deficit, is that jobs once created here are now elsewhere? If consumer spending ultimately ends up overseas, how can this NOT weaken our own economy. If our goal is to create “level playing” field around the world, of course good jobs will disappear. 
         We now can purchase less expensive goods at box stores, but the jobs we are creating here more and more are on par with the type of folks working in those box stores.
      There was a time when trade encouraged job creation HERE, until large corporations lobbied Washington and changed these policies, so as to increase profit margins- which of course went only those at top of pyramid.

  • maier354

    We need to pay closer attention to the contribution that the steady movement away from traditional pension (defined benefit) plans to 401(k) (defined contribution) plans has made in creating this problem. In the name of saving money, company after company froze or eliminated their pension plans which usually cost in the neighborhood of 6% to 7% of base wages to 401(k) plans which cost maybe 3% to 4%. I know this because I was CFO at a company which made this move in the 1980′s at the recommendation of the human resources department. I opposed making the change unless we were honest with our employees and told them the truth, which was that the company’s savings would be at their expense (duh!) and that they would now have investment responsibility that they may or may not (mostly “not”) have the skill-set to handle.

    Now, many soon-to-be-retirement-age individuals have had their retirement funds devastated.

  • ThirdWayForward

    Human Resources departments and their culture are yet another dimension of the problem. They are the enablers, gatekeepers, and implementors of the employment caste system that partitions workers into part-time under-caste expendables and full-time professional-caste “permanents” with benefits.

    They are the ones who should be telling those who make hiring decisions that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of age. Instead, nowhere does one see any warnings to this effect, such that many people making hiring decisions think it’s OK and normal to automatically disqualify older workers (and they freely admit this).

    Martha Coakley, as the state attorney general, you should do something about this situation. Run some sting operations, and put some fear of litigation into their little bureaucratic HR hearts. That’s about the only thing that will move an HR department to change its ways.

    Life is not fair, and long ago we abandoned any idea that there is “fairness” in any walk of life, perhaps except for sports with clear rules and/or competent referees (not that we couldn’t make things fairer in general if we as a society chose to do so).

    But if we are going to legislate against the kind of blanket, thoughtless stupidities that irrationally discriminate against whole groups of people for attributes that are beyond their control (in this case, that they have been born too long ago), then by all means we should enforce these laws across the board.

    When those laws are enforced, and it becomes socially inappropriate to discriminate on the basis of age (more or less how most of us feel about racial and gender discrimination and how many of us feel about other kinds of discrimination), then people will begin to take the ethical precepts that underlie them to heart, and it will then feel immoral to them when they consciously discriminate.

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    Geez, where do I begin?

    Well, the caller who worked as a web designer was probably closest to my situation, 58 and “unemployable” because of a skills gap … that depends on where you are, who you know, and with whom you attempt business with … I see TONS of graphics jobs with ridiculous demands at $10 an hour and I don’t mean one must know Flash as well as print. I’m taking aim at the chiselers who want print, web, 3D, animation AND video “expertise” at $10 an hour … I’ve seen the ads, and any self-respecting “pro” would stay clear of such ads, but unfortunately, schools have pumped out so many of us in recent years that the supply / demand situation has only emboldened “employers” to the point of being exploitative. We have ourselves to blame. Of course, one has to eat, so …

    At the same time, the general marketplace has incurred so much demand for computer-induced efficiency that has destroyed brick-and-mortar jobs, with more losses coming. Think of it as employment compression. As others have pointed out here, society has turned a blind eye to this huge problem and will never be able to absorb the human and economic costs, no matter how the economy fares over time.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      … and I’m afraid that caller will only find himself back in that same situation in short order, after a two-plus years stint back at school, when he finds himself once again fighting the headwinds of technological advancement. We don’t have the wherewithall to be in school perpetually!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001048219334 Vic Volpe

    Our economy is under-performing.  We should have plenty of opportunities for growth.  We have poor leadership — in government and the private sector. We need leaders who understand how to challenge people to explore and innovate. We have lost that kind of leadership.Our supply-side economics mentality — of letting entrepreneurs seek economic opportunities and incentives – has resulted , after several decades of this thinking, in a status quo with the resultant economic stagnation. We need to get back to a demand-driven economy. A demand from our leadership that will give us big challenges — like the space program did in the 1960′s — that will motivate us to engage the whole economy and society. That will drive our technology — and create interest in the STEM fields. That will grow the economy and advance our culture.For more, see my blog: (do a Google search on) Economics Without The B.S., http://vicpsu.blogspot.com/2013/01/economics-without-bs-leadership-that.html, and the posts on Leadership, Supply-Side Economics vs Demand-Driven, and Manufacturing. Note the comments from Burt Rutan and Dr. Tyson. Note the leadership of President Kennedy — someone who was not technically oriented but understood that the scientific community needed a challenge. There are other posts on the blog that address debt and the growth in the economy — especially in the ’60′s when we ran one deficit after another, had good economic growth, and during the decade reduced the debt to GDP

  • Deoridhe

    You had an apparently rhetorical question about who would want to work with the elderly for in home care on this mornings show. As someone who works to keep people on disability stable and in their homes, I think you’re underestimating the sense of purpose and pleasure in human interaction which can come from being a caregiver. It is a job with a high level of novelty and opportunities to learn and be creative, to, and if you’re lucky enough to work with fantastic coworkers like I do, it can really be wonderful. I think it’s important for us to be clear about how valuable and important these kinds of jobs are for everyone involved.

    • olderworker

      I’m pleased to read that you enjoy your caregiving job, but seriously, if you worked for several years as, say, a computer programmer or systems analyst, earning $200K+, you wouldn’t be too thrilled with a home health aide job. 
      (BTW, I’m NOT one of those professional types, I am a nursing home social worker, so I know and appreciate the work that you do)

  • jimino

    The increasing number of older workers out of work and realizing they will NEVER get a good job again is the reason Social Security disability claims have increased.

  • Deoridhe

    On your show you mentioned people wanting to work with the elderly almost rhetorically, as something that no one would want to do as a career. Speaking as someone who works with people on disability, I think this underestimates both the value of this work in terms of personal and professional satisfaction, and the positive contribution to society. My job is one of endless novelty and chances for creativity and innovation, and makes use not only of what I learned to get my advanced degree, but also a wide variety of extra-curricular skills and knowledge. This kind of work really deserves much more respect and consideration as a challenging and rewarding career.

  • Mike_Card

    I kept waiting for that Marci chick to proclaim, “Follow your bliss and the money will come.”  Right.  Go volunteer and it might lead to a full-time job with an organization that expects you to work for free.

    She was full to the brim with inter net platitudes, but mostly she was selling her most recent book.

    This program was the broadcast equivalent of cotton candy.

    • olderworker

      The one point that Marci made, that is quite valuable, is that if you volunteer you will make some contacts who might lead you to another job. So although you may start out working “for free” you may still end up with a real job. 

      • Mike_Card

        Thanks for your response.  The operative word here is “may.”  If you are interested in the volunteer work, the rewards lie in the volunteer work itself.  If you are pursuing a paying job, volunteering is an inefficient use of your time

  • twenty_niner

    A couple of charts show quite the contrary – workers 55 and up are representing most of the employment gains since 2009. The other chart (which the media never mentions) shows that most of these jobs are part time. This all jives with the anecdotal evidence I see when I go into a McDonald’s these days and see who’s manning the counter.

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    What we have is a job matching failure. It is a candidate discovery failure by the job matching applications. I do not know why companies with so many jobs cannot match to the people who can fill the jobs.

    • Mike_Card

      Commenter ThirdWayForward–down thread–has it exactly right:  HR incompetence and laziness.

      • Mike_Card

        ..

        • harverdphd

           Shoulda been a plumber.

          • Mike_Card

            Wish I’d known that 40 years ago.

        • jefe68

          The short sightedness of people who wont hire you is astonishing. We live in a world that is ass backwards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001048219334 Vic Volpe

    See post:  http://vicpsu.blogspot.com/2013/02/challenge-me.html.  We had much better leadership in the 60′s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004190882538 Rick Simpkins

    After raising children and over 40, I opened a micro-enterprise after having no luck securing return to full time employment, in spite of previous 14 years at a Fortune 250. 10 years later, I was regulated out of business by new onerous local regulations that among other things, do not permit self employed one person limo operators. One of these stupid regulations more than doubles prices from what some of us charged before the rules. http://whyispricefixinglegalintennessee.blogspot.com/?view=classic

     Subsequent to being put out of business, I secured an entry level position in international logistics. I put in 2 solid years there, including 900+ hours of overtime, on top of 40 hour week, in 2012. My application wasn’t acknowledged and I wasn’t interviewed, when an opening to the next level was awarded to a 19 year old, who had not even worked there 6 months.

    Age discrimination is alive and well!

    • Gregg Smith

      That’s mighty short-sighted hiring practices. I’m assuming the 109 year old wasn’t an Einstein but I guess I don’t know. Loyalty should mean something but in the end anytime you work for “the man” you do not control your destiny unless you go the union route. But even then you become a number and overtime won’t help you. All that matters is you put in your time and don’t ruffle feathers. your union rep will make the decisions.

      The regulations are the bigger issue IMO. This is not a friendly environment to start a business. It’s not a friendly environment for existing businesses to hire or expand either. That’s the real impediment to jobs and growth.

      I wish it was easy and inviting to put your money and time at risk but it isn’t. It sounds like you have skills and a work ethic, good luck.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    “Gregg Smith” joked — “Wealth is not distributed. Did the poor write you a check?”

    OK, Gregg, I’ll play the straight man. Ex 1: Righty hero Jindal wants to eliminate the income tax and make up the lost revenue with a higher sales tax. That means the poor will pay more tax and the rich will pay less. Can you really not “follow the money”? The extra $ the rich get to keep will come right out of the pockets of the poor. Ex 2. To keep real estate taxes low, CA defunds the University of CA and tuition rises. Middle class families pay more so romney-type estates pay less. Can you follow the money flow yet?

  • http://www.facebook.com/terrence.b.mckinley Terrence Baker McKinley

    Okay, here we go. Listening to the late broadcast of this show and my fiancee and I find it absolutely ridiculous. Some callers are doing great, have taken steps to retrain, find a new field, maybe teach. They don’t seem to realize that young people today can’t find jobs either. Almost everyone I know is underemployed, can’t work over 30 hrs per week without a second job, $10/hr would be considered a GREAT job for most of us living in the mid-west.
    If you consider a $10/hr job the equivalent of ‘volunteer’ work then you need to reconsider your definition of poverty. It seems to me that many of these people are upset because they have to move from an upper-middle class lifestyle to a lower-middle class lifestyle. We can’t have ONE child because it is too expensive, and need to take out 50k in student loans to get a college education. Then those of us who achieve a degree cannot find a job in our field and are forced to work 30hrs a week for $10-$15/hr if we are lucky waiting tables or doing manual labor.
    This population seems to feel they are entitled to an income that supports the lifestyle they lived in their prime even though they are less capable of performing than they were. If you can’t lift 40 lbs all day and stay standing for 8 hours at a time, don’t expect a job that is physically demanding when younger people with more energy would be grateful for the opportunity.
    It is insulting that seniors look upon shopping at thrift stores, using public transportation and conserving energy with disdain when many people do things just to keep the heat on through the winter. It would be nice if seniors took a community outlook and consumed less or assisted young people in starting their careers and families.

    • jefe68

      What? Here’s some disdain right back at you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/terrence.b.mckinley Terrence Baker McKinley

        Care to explain? I’ll admit I was a little bitter after listening to people complain for an entire hour, just saying everyone else has things to complain about as well. But riddle me this, why do seniors deserve these jobs when they already receive pension, social security, have 401k accts, medicare, disability or are AARP members? I receive a small food stamp stipend because I can’t get enough hours (at $8.50/hr) to make $1200 a month (the maximum you can earn without children to receive food stamps). 
        PS: I never mentioned I had disdain the callers had disdain for menial jobs others would be grateful to have.

        • jefe68

          Why do you deserve the job you have?
          Seniors are over 65 and they have earned their SS buddy. The 401k’s have been raided by the fat cats on wall street and a lot of folks have alos lost a ton of equity in their homes.

          That you’re having financial trouble is no reason to take it out on others in the same boat. You did not have mention the disdain, as it was seeping through the very pores of your comment.

        • olderworker

          The “seniors” interviewed in this hour’s show are not yet old enough to get a social security or Medicare; that’s a big part of their complaints. They’ve worked hard and then gotten laid off right BEFORE they could  more comfortably retire, and they can’t get hired because they’re “too old”

    • Steve__T

       I had a job working six days a week making less than I did on unemployment. I would rather work than look for it. After working for about three weeks I was offered a job by a nation wide hiring firm, making three times the amount I was currently making with less hours + med + paid Holiday +301 +++. And I told my employer, he said don’t be foolish take it, so I gave my two weeks notice, purchased the supplies needed to do the job $500. and was told what day I was to start, Fri, and what address and supervisor to report to. I turned in my key and went home, to receive a phone call that I was not to start Fri but Monday and have a nice weekend. Then received another call that night that the job was no longer being offered, but that I was to interview with another person in the same Company looking for someone with my skill set. I went to the interview, It went well but I got that strange feeling that I was not going to get it when he said he had other interviews that week. That’s right someone younger with less experience will get the job, at less pay. Now Im back on unemployment.

    • ktaylorh20

      I agree whole heartedly that the already legitimately retired generation is slacking in their potential to help with this crisis. Instead of helping others secure work, I see many 65 plus folks taking positions as well as their publically funded retirement benefits, and not because they are needy, but because they are bored.  In a few cases I have tried to point out that they are taking jobs away from other people.  In every case, they are unconcerned about others.  They do not seem to see the shortage in jobs or care about the people who are suffering.  They are just thrilled about their ongoing vitality and connections that keep them earning money.

  • jefe68

    After reading a lot of the comments on this forum today it does seem that for a large portion of Americans who have worked hard and long that they have been screwed one way or another by a system out in place by Wall street that demands short returns. This mindset filters down to companies that are not public but have to compete in this so called free market.
    It’s really an American nightmare as George Carlin points out in this spot on monologue.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q  

    • The_Truth_Seeker

      Yup – a great video – a MUST watch!

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    It’s simple- in America you can’t say a word critical of women, blacks, gays, Hispanics, Asians, etc.. but for ridicule, abuse, and discrimination, it’s open season on the old. And to the 23yo punks doing the hiring, 40′s is old. “Oooo, they make me uncomfortable.” Over 50, figure on crime as one career that’s still open. Age discrimination in jobs is universal, vicious, and unpunished. Witness the violent societal opprobrium when you have a wife or girlfriend 15-20 years younger- better to live somewhere else. This is almost exclusive to America (+ England), elsewheres in the world older people are treated with greater deference and respect.

    • pigbitinmad

      Yes, exactly. Crime is the only answer….which is why I cannot understand why “older” people vote against the legalization of marijuana.  (I am over 50 and am so frustrated with this).  What do they think is going to happen that could possibly be worse than the way things are now.  There are no jobs, so people may as well get F’d up all day.  WHO CARES as long as you have money.

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    Anybody here remember the regional retail chain Caldor? I’d gotten the inside scoop on how that organization was cannibalized from the inside out back in The ’80s and ’90s and had no clue it was to become an American model for business management … just one more reason why there’s no jobs for the very young and old.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    welcome to plutonomics

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADZ6TZZKHWRLDNAOP6R2MBBP6A Bob S

      and Plutocracy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/I5TOBOBALVAIXB7XREXPSY363I Haruka Akino

    Marci’s example is such a joke

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/I5TOBOBALVAIXB7XREXPSY363I Haruka Akino

    Puke, this Marci is a typical hare-brained “yes we can” type cheer leader for Barak Hussein, who is destroying america. 

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    It’s 1900 all over again!!!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADZ6TZZKHWRLDNAOP6R2MBBP6A Bob S

      Yes, the Guilded Age is here again.

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    Our patent system is getting totally wrecked as well (in favor of multi-national corporations). The independent American inventor will be completely extinct within 20-30 years.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADZ6TZZKHWRLDNAOP6R2MBBP6A Bob S

    It’s pretty simple.  Thanks to our victory in the Cold War, we are now competing for jobs not only with robots and computers, but also with increasingly well-educated workers in China, India, Russia, Vietnam, and many other countries. The message from the ruling class in the so-called developed Western world to the workers in those countries is loud and clear: if you want to live 5 times better than people in China, you must be 5 times as productive.  Get ready for more belt-tightening and “entitlement” cuts.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADZ6TZZKHWRLDNAOP6R2MBBP6A Bob S

    There are 5 billion working age people worldwide competing for jobs that still cannot be done by computers and robots.  The competition is great.  It drives down the cost.  In this case, the cost is your wage. This is the 1%ers’ dream come true as they pocket the profits made possible by increasing productivity of increasingly desperate workers.

    Possible solutions include (1) global workers’ union, (2) worldwide 20-hour work week, (3) abolishment of the greed-based economic system we live in. No, I am not holding my breath for any of that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      this new $20,000 robot can replace many many workers and is much cheaper

  • Regular_Listener

    Thanks for this show.  I don’t really want to say how old I am – maybe that means I am an “older worker.”  The show didn’t touch on the problems of people like myself, and for good reason, it focused more on people who can’t find work at all, who have lost a lot and may have to give up more still, and who may very well be the subject of illegal ageist discrimination.  I would definitely like to see a case of age discrimination or discrimination against men brought against an organization someday, because I know these things exist.

    There are also the problems of people like myself, who are making a living, but not where they would like to be,  the underemployed you might say – middle-aged or older people who have good educations and credentials, and are not able to find better positions, while younger folks get offered opportunities.

    • Andy Karl

       Hi Well I’m 60 and I know how you feel about age discrimination.  But be real – we are not protected in any way unless perhaps a union and it is virtually impossible to prove. In a previous life I was an EEO officer and I know first hand that employers have vary sophisticated ways of covering their back side when this happens.  case in point I have a relative who is 63 (VP of lending for a large  bank in New England).  Just laid off/fired whatever you want to call it. The bank hired a 30 something to take his place HOWEVER the bank ALSO promoted a 60 something woman to a VP position. Age discriminmation is nothing new and it isn’t going away. Im sure at some future point their will be age discrimination suits brought against these companies and we MAY win a few.  But for now it isn’t going to happen and Im not going to hang around waiting for things to change.

      I like what ExcellentNews posted above.  We have tio somehow tap into the wealth that’s around and there’s plenty of it.  Traditional ways of making a living , unfortunately for you and I, are out the window.

  • ExcellentNews

    This is just another communist terrorist muslim liberal media program that simply FORGETS TO MENTION THE UPSIDE. Yes! Look at the upside:

     - Billionaire CEOs are doing better than ever, writing their memoirs and dining with congressmen, after raiding their company retirement fund and exporting the jobs abroad! 

     - Well-to-do bankers, hedge fund speculators, and so on, are making the economy of the Cayman Islands boom, and the demand for high-end escorts and entertainers skyrocket!

     - Pyramid schemes, snazzy gurus, and evangelist preachers have more cash than what Uncle Sam owes the Chinese, and enjoy unprecedented fame and glamour.

     - Industrialists, “services”, and media moguls are stocking up on gold, buying ranches the size of Switzerland, and living for longer and longer thanks to exclusive hospitals specializing in organ transplant from young “donors”.

    Anyway, enough examples that make my point. Times have never been better if you look from a TOP-DOWN perspective. All that wealth is bound to TRICKLE DOWN eventually if only we were patriotic enough to elect Bush the IV (or another corporate-sponsored candidate) in 2016…

    • The_Truth_Seeker

      Planet Venus is asking you to come home!!!

  • Pingback: Channeling FDR: The Republicans Need A New Deal | Cognoscenti

  • patvt

    did capitalism create the need for the beast? and does that mean starving the beast will lead to the destruction of capitalism. 
    the states are starving now, cutting the money that’s a necessary hand up in order to fund another one.
    for one necessary program  
    how many are they willing to have in jails, on the streets, before they see it affects their quality of life too?

  • Disco Dotty

    Age discrimination is an ugly beast that I am facing as I get ready to be laid off at the end of June.  I revamped my resume, took out the fact that I attended Boston State College in the 1970′s and tried to make myself appear to be younger.  However there are no interviews coming in and even Target won’t hire me because I am over qualified!
    Young people have a chance to recoup when the economy picks up a little ( I am convinced it will never return to what it was)….but in our late fifties we will never recoup what we have lost. 
    I have never been so disappointed in our nation as I am today.  My husband was laid off three years ago and finally found a job at a gas station after 35 years in the computer field.  What we made as a family last year was scary, it was so little and yet we were eligible for NO help what so ever.  The revolution will begin when the government tries to mess with our social security…and it won’t be pretty.

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