Younger Workers Equals Lower Wages

There are so many stories emerging about concerns over the aging workforce across the world, that one has to start wondering what this “crisis” arc is about… and if it is real.

Singapore today announced a U.S. $1.6 billion package to encourage families to have more children, and China is managing expectations about its recovery by discussing in public how a labor shortage there is emerging, due mainly to China’s long-standing national policy of one child per family.

This, despite the fact that we are facing a growing global population and all the sustainability issues that go with it. My incredulity at these boost-the-population efforts grows.

If this crisis arc was emanating solely from Asia, one could easily assume the corporatists are worried about finding fodder for their sweatshops and factories. But it isn’t: The U.S. Italy, and even the Bank of Canada is sounding the alarm in an 185-word news release with almost as many disconnects in the logic as there are words.

There’s even a name for this trend: The Silver Tsunami. And the core of the crisis arc can be teased from this article in The Economist:

“Companies are still stuck with an antiquated model for dealing with ageing, which assumes that people should get pay rises and promotions on the basis of age and then disappear when they reach retirement.”

So here we find a not-so-coded concern that is very simple to understand: The older the worker, the more a company has to pay him or her. Younger workers equals cheaper labor.

And the corporatists certainly wouldn’t want to become stressed over labor rates rising off already historically low bottoms, now would they?



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3 Responses to “Younger Workers Equals Lower Wages”

  1. Tracy Goodwin Says:

    This is so true. My mother was pushed out of her job this month. She started at the hospital 31yrs ago, she was a unit secretary early on. Then as her schooling continued she moved up to CNA, then LPN and finally RN after several years. She worked in the ER for years and was charge nurse for many of them. Then she managed an urgent care run by the hospital. Later she was house supervisor and was in charge of all the nursing in the hospital. Finally she started to feel her age and the build up of stress so she moved to community outreach. There she developed several programs for the poor funded through grants and donations. She was especially proud of her dental program that would not charge a single dime to a person. Everything was either covered by grants, donations or free services from providers. She ensured that. Alas the hospital cut her position after 31yrs with the same hospital. They gave her 6wks pay and kicked her to the curb. I am absolutely positive that it was done because she had higher wages than most people there since she had been loyal to the hospital for more than 3 decades. But that didn’t matter. When it comes down to it all that matters are numbers on a spread sheet and ensuring the bottom line is not red. So they cut her because she was too expensive to pay. Though I hope they realize as time goes on that she brought in more money to the hospital through fundraising than her wages.

  2. E.L. Beck Says:

    An all-too common meme these days. I hope things work out for her.

    • Tracy Goodwin Says:

      She will be fine, she always is. I find that when faced with a problem there are two general types of people. Some MAKE it work no matter what and others make excuses for why it won’t work. My mom makes things work so I am not worried. I just find it disappointing that employer loyalty to employees just doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

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