I’m a big fan of public radio and public TV, the PBS Newshour in particular. In fact, I have my TV set up to record the News Hour record every evening. Last night, though, I had to wonder.
They had a segment on older people staying in the workforce, and the boost they give to the economy. One woman they highlighted was close to 100, I think. The story line was that if more people would stay in the workforce past their normal retirement age it would really help the economy. They didn’t address the problem we older folks have of even FINDING a job, getting past the gatekeepers who are looking for experienced people who are also young!
Come on, PBS, is this the best you can do? I’m not really interested in working until I’m 100 but, given the fact that I’ve been laid off more times than I can remember – and have nothing saved for retirement – I’m not sure I have much choice. Hey, I know what I’m doing in my profession, I’ve kept up with the technology better than most kids AND have a ton of experience. Is it helping? No.
The same companies with histories of downsizing and layoffs don’t want to take a chance on someone who’s been downsized and rightsized numerous times.
So, PBS, how about a follow up on this segment with some solutions? How about looking at the salaries paid to these CEOs who grab huge bonuses for letting people go? How about discussing the fact that employers would prefer to get rid of older workers to cut down on their health insurance costs – pass them along to Medicaid? Let’s consider the fact that taking a lower paid job really doesn’t pay because doing that immediately cuts into any social security check the worker might be getting?
OK, so it’s a good thing for the economy that seniors keep working. Less social security being paid out and more warm bodies in the workforce. It didn’t address any of the real problems.
Waste of air time last night.