On a scale of (0) most
disagreement , to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your
view on the following:
Businesses will increasingly have to rely on older workers as a
critical part of their knowledge base.
Governmental pension plans should be redesigned to reflect the
realities of an aging workforce.
Employers should offer variable compensation options to older
employees to increase the attractiveness of continuing employment.
Current employment policies related to the age of employees should be
redesigned to ensure an appropriate mix of both younger and older
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Chris Stedman (6)
(7) (3) (8)
Brent Olson (9)
(10) (10) (8)
Kent Eklund (10)
(10) (10) (10)
Rick Bishop (10)
(10) (10) (10)
Don Fraser (8) (8)
Charles Lutz (9)
(9) (9) (9)
Jerry Fruin (10)
(10) (10) (5)
Fred Senn (7) (10)
Arvonne Fraser (8)
(8) (8) (8)
David Broden (10)
(10) (10) (10)
The shift in demographic related to age
profile of works, skill sets etc. demands that business must change
its policy and view regarding the structure and mix of the workforce.
Business together with government must be sensitized to this need and
begin to respond not to continue to act and manage according to the
old school. The term older worker must be eliminated from the
vocabulary of the HR departments and others who address workforce
issues. The topic must be available workforce period.
The workforce structure must set the stage
for pension plans and people, business , government cannot use pension
plans as a crutch as they are now used.
Compensation options must be part of the
overall picture of the changing definition of the workforce. To make
this happen business and government must work together. Both are
currently locked into the old model of get old retire and go on SS or
pension etc. No more of that; a new time has arrived.
First there is not supposed to be any age
related policy in any company--it is against the law and is the basis
for age discrimination. The policy must be that one can work as long
as they like with no mandatory retirement or discrimination policy.
Terry Sluss (3)
(0) (7) (2)
Nice new format - takes a little
longer to read but worth it.
Jim Keller (0)
(10) (10) (0)
I am unsure what a correct mix of
employees is and who should decide?
Alan Miller (8)
(9) (8) (9)
Don Anderson (10)
(8) (8) (10)
Wade Athey (5) (5)
(0) (0) (10) (0 or 10)
First of all, by the time you get to
be retirement age, there is no such thing as typical. Much more so
than in childhood, everyone's abilities and everyone's health
conditions are different. I aged more in the last two years than in
the last 20, for example. My ability to recall ancient details have
grown surprisingly sharp, yet I have a hard time remembering anything
from yesterday or last week. I should say I have a hard time
understanding why I remember some things and not others. I see it from
my own son's frustrated reactions that I am not as good as I used to
Old people definitely do not have the
energy, predisposition and adaptability to be good employees, in the
sense that young people are, and they do not have current knowledge
that young people fresh out of college have. We can't put in 14-16
hour days, though we are awake more hours than that, and we can't
juggle school and work and family life as young people like to pretend
Given all that, the value of old
people is in the ability of some, but by no means all, to become a
fountain of wisdom of the eternal truths that, while taking on
different specific forms as time marches on, nevertheless illustrate
some principles that are valid and applicable throughout the realm of
human affairs. But there are no employers who can, would or even
should accommodate old people for all this wisdom, because once you
fill up your ranks of managers, there is no more room or need for
experienced guidance in a typical enterprise. In spite of vast
increases in productivity since we were young, still there are
extremely few serious jobs that can be done on a part time basis, and
few employers who would be able to accommodate part time workers and
still run their business successfully.
Question 1: Employers need employees
who are reliable, energetic, durable, smart, and up to date with the
technical details of their jobs. Generally that means younger, not
older people. If necessary, employers will import the workers they
need, or off-shore the entire operation.
There are precious few old folks who
are hip to all the latest fads, or even care to learn the latest in
the applicable technology, law, etc. that are required knowledge in
most jobs. There are far too many old people who effectively lost
their ability to contribute because their job, if still being done at
all, is done in a completely different way, with which they are not
familiar unless they happened to have worked for a decent employer who
did not mind spending money on keeping his workforce up to date. But
why would he, if his reward is to watch his best people being hired
away by his competitors?
In my own (former) profession as
technical writer, the required skill set progressed from specific
technical knowledge and serious ability to write, to writer and
writer-editor-illustrator, writer-editor-illustrator-publisher, and
pretty soon the primary requirement shifted exclusively to expert
level familiarity with the employer's favorite software tools at the
expense of any skills as writer, editor, illustrator, printer,
publisher, archivist, etc. I went from being a writer with a secretary
who did all editing and word processing and a draftsman who drew all
the illustrations, to a one-man operation from composition through
shipping printed manuals, and eventually just e-mailing them. The
software tools themselves are subject to fads much like haute couture
fashions, and you can't get another job unless you can demonstrate
several years of experience with the other employer's favorite tool
set -- which has not even been on the market for a year.
Question 2: The government has no
business designing or redesigning pension plans. If there is anything
to be redesigned, it is tax policy to re-incentivize saving, not
spending -- through reduced tax rates, savings accounts completely
tax-free on both ends (contribution and distribution), personally
owned privatized retirement (Social Security) accounts, and keeping
inflation to zero so the purchasing power of our money will not erode.
Retirement age and level of productive activity in the retirement
years must be an individual choice, not a concern for government.
Question 3: Duh.... Let the free
market work, which means, let each employer and older employee work
out their terms of continued employment.
Question 4: Score = 0 if "employment
policies" means government will dictate the terms.
Score = 10 if it means the same thing
as Question 3.
Who is to decide what is the "proper
mix"? Who is to say there should be a mix or no mix?
Who else but the employer?
Europe's answer to their aging
workforce has been to import an increasingly hostile muslim population
to replenish their workforce. America's answer is to turn a blind eye
to a massive and increasingly hostile invasion from Mexico, Latin
America and muslim countries. The result is ethnic cleaning of entire
cities and counties, as in southern and central California, and entire
professions, such as gardening, construction, the hospitality
industry, etc. As long as it is US government policy not to control
immigration and defend our borders, immigration will overshadow and
obviate all other efforts to boost gainful employment among older
workers and retirees. Not every older person has a PhD, or an ability
to work in a teaching, lecturing, guiding, advising capacity. Not
every older person has the health and energy to be on their feet all
day or even half a day in a store, restaurant, warehouse, etc., where
they spent their productive years. And not every older person will
take orders from a younger boss who is clearly lacking in judgment and
experience; most bosses will be reluctant to hire an older person
precisely because of that reason. We can be ignorant and call it
"ageism," but the problem has very deep psychological, not cultural or
political roots. It is so much easier to hire younger immigrant
workers, and let the boss be the token oldie.
Shallbetter (8) (8) (6) (6)
Wayne Jennings (4)
(9) (8) (8)
Carolyn Ring (8)
(8) (10) (6)
Former Lt. Gov. Lou Wangberg back in
the early 80's used to give an excellent seech on our "upside down
Society." He emphasized our worship of youth and down grading of aging
Americans. As life span has increased, the age of retirement has
decreased. I like your new "classy" format.
Mina Harrigan (7)
(8) (10) (5)
Paul Hauge (8) (8)
Dan Schultz (7)
(7) (10) (5)
Vici Oshiro (8)
(7) (10) (7)
Bert Press (0) (0)
(10) (10) (10) (10)
Ray Ayotte (10)
(10) (10) (10)
Dane Smith (7) (8)
I really was intrigued
and inspired by Jan’s presentation and I’m following up to see if we
can partner somehow on message and policy around harnessing the
Silver Tsunami. I like the improved look of your product, that’s no
(5) (10) (8) (10)
Yes, to eliminate any perceived
barriers to employing older workers. But the underlying problem is
the perception that older workers are physically less competent than
younger workers and that they were before.
(10) (10) (10) (10)
Question 1: Only
if business feels the pain of labor shortages and becomes more
flexible negotiating terms of employment. Outsourcing to cheap labor
in third world is the enemy now.
Unfunded liabilities are not even being discussed as part of the MN
Portable health insurance options are a must today when the average
worker may be employed by 7-10 different employers in a career.
Question 4: As
Jan Hively has noted, "ageism" is an insidious prejudicial attitude in
our society. Just look at ads on TV depicting elders as frail, needy,
dependent, sick, helpless. This old attitude reflects the Youth
Culture that has held sway in the U.S., but it does not fit the
current reality of living long, productive and healthy lives for the
majority of seniors, who contribute mightily to this economy now.
Seniors are not the problem. A small slice of this population is
sucking the big bucks out of Medicare/Medicaid including the young
whose lifestyles are creating a crisis in diabetes, which can be
corrected by redesigning incentives. It is time to adjust our
perceptions and capitalize on this valuable human capital called
Quie (10) (10) (10) (10)
Bill Hamm (8) (9) (9) (3)
It was a pleasure reading Hively's
perspective, gives one much to think about.
Question 1: While that is already
happening in some maintenance skills, this younger generation is far
more resistant to listening to any one older than them whom they
consider technologically inferior even when they are educationally
Question 2: A 9 for what should be,
politically a 6 based on how much resistance Public Employee Unions
Question 3: Again a 9 for what
should be and probably a 7 for what can politically be accomplished in
this real world.
Question 4: I don't see any way
that this concept should ever be mandated or legislated upon anyone
and that is my greatest fear for this seemingly innocent suggestion.
Make your case at the Chamber of Commerce with this one, leave the
legislature out of it.
Nice to see a particularly multi
partisan issue on table, it tends to bring all sides into the
conversation with less protectionism and hopefully in a more solution
Terry Stone and
John Carlson (10) (5) (5) (0)
Question 1: Partly as a result of
automation and partly as a result of a decline in our education
system, a number of vital skill-sets are found uniquely among older
A generation or two in the past, home
ownership implied a skill-set that was required to do basic home
maintenance. Home ownership typically required a working knowledge of
carpentry, electrical wiring, plumbing and the ability to use a range
of tools. This skill-set is vanishing at a frightening rate while
older workers retain these skills.
Question 2: Government pension plans
are symptomatic of a system in which pay is not tethered to
productivity. Once this problem is mitigated, opportunities for older
workers will arise in the public sector.
Question 3: Perhaps AARP could
abandon its social planning agenda and conduct a national employer
awareness program on behalf of older workers. Ultimately, however, the
marketplace must determine the work environment of workers of all
Older citizens who are working
consume more goods and services than retired citizens. The best thing
for both the nation and for opportunities for older workers is full
employment born of unfettered free enterprise that is uncontaminated
by government social planning and regulation.
Question 4: Free markets quickly
sort out qualification, productivity and return on investment for any
given worker. Policies on sexual orientation, age, gender or race have
a bleak history.
Minnesota government has been
creating little Departments of Happiness for each special interest
claiming to be unhappy or disaffected. The bureaucracy that attends
each program has brought our state to un-sustainability. The last
thing we need is for the government to engage the idea that the
private sector is incapable of (or shouldn’t be) hiring the most
Governmental efforts at social
planning that involve employer tax credits, phased retirement plans
and flexible career paths for older workers are unwelcome intrusions
into free markets. Social planning is an extra-constitutional function
of government, regardless of how well intended.
(7) (7) (8) (7)
Robert J. Brown
(10) (10) (10) (10)
This was a good discussion. Unless we
make use of the skills of the older people there will not be enough
people in the labor force to serve the population since there are
relatively lower birth rates and increasing life expectancies.
Bill Kuisle (10)
(10) (7) (5)
Question 4: Are you talking about
those working in public or private employment? I am not sure the
government should do anything in the private side. Companies that are
going to stay in business will do this on their own.
Shari Prest (2)
(3) (8) (8)
Question 1: I
don't believe they will have to but that they should and that they
will experience an economic advantage if they do.
Incentives should be offered but the
planning of people who have earned for invested according to their
expectations needs to be honored.
I believe the wealthiest segment of our
population overall is senior citizens. Therefore we must be careful
not to over-shift opportunities to them and away from younger people
with greater financial responsibilities.
The challenge is to define "an appropriate
(10) (10) (10) (10)
The statement "Since the '50's
retirees have segregated themselves in retirement communities to enjoy
eternal leisure" certainly doesn't hold true in the retirement Village
I live in. Only a few unhealthy ones fit that description. The rest of
us are busier than one-armed paper hangers as a visitor once noted,
contributing to the health and welfare both inside and outside our
environs. And in the Village church, acknowledgement of birthdays are
for those 90 years and older; anniversaries 50 years and over ! Yes,
we have a wealth of active seniors who just haven't found the time to
adapt to the couch potato way of life.
(10) (10) (10) (8)
Redesign group health coverage for
government and private health coverage so that wellness is
rewarded. Medicare premiums and withholding should also have
reduced rates for healthy practices.
Tom Swain (10)
(10) (8) (9)
Larry Schluter (6)
(8) (9) (9)