Make America Youthful and Productive Again!
There has been a lot of talk about how to Make America Great Again in which some of our population believe restricting travel or admittance to our country because of their religion or which country they are coming from is a good idea. I would like to be the first to state that these bans do not go far enough to help Make America Great Again!
However, there is another ban for which I would like to advocate for that would affect another much larger segment of the population. This group has plagued our society, left us in debt, at war, and out of touch with the environment. Coming from a world that is analogue to today's workplace, this group is made up of migrants that occupy jobs that would be otherwise be filled by natives.
This ban would put America back on its path to prosperity and allow it to reclaim its place as the greatest country in the world. This action would secure jobs for those who are struggling to find work and give hope to the downtrodden and marginalized in today's society. A ban on this group would revitalize US economic growth, and fill the workforce with a retooled laborer that would drive productivity and innovation in today's competitive business environment.
Let's make America young and productive again by implementing a ban on baby boomers in the workforce.
Yes, let's ban baby boomers.
Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, and represent about 45 million people in the labor force according to a 2015 study by Pew Research and represent almost 1/3 of all jobs that are held in the US- the members, of which, I argue have reached their expiration date of usefulness in the workforce today.
Yet this group continues to linger in jobs that can be filled with more skilled and younger workers. To move forward we must adapt to the new paradigm. We face significant human issues, and to best meet the challenges faced we must find new solutions.
Solving climate change, ending poverty in the world, and providing all humans with access to a basic level of standard of living will not be solved by the same thinking that created these problems.
To solve these pressing challenges we face as a society, we must not view the world through the lens of our distant memories or listen to back-in-my-day banter, but move forward, move beyond the past and embrace the future with its youthfulness, vigor and a pool of talent that has the technological know-how to solve problems and revolutionize industries through new and different approaches.
The US is ranked 8th in productive output on a list of countries according to Expert Market research on country productivity. The US ranks only a few spots above France which have shorter work weeks and at least five weeks of vacation for workers. Thirty-five percent of 38,000 employers reported difficulty filling job vacancies due to lack of available talent, according to a 2013 survey by Manpower Group, a human resources consultancy firm. Organizations feel they do not have the right talent in order to compete and be leaders in the future.
Much like a wounded rabid dog, the baby boomer generation workforce is a shadow of its once self. Baby boomers most certainly must find themselves disoriented at work with the speed with which information exchanges and the ever-changing use of technology leaving them unable to cope with the current demands of the workforce. Yet this baby boomer generation continues to sit and occupy jobs. AARP published a study in June 2011, showing that 76 million boomers would be facing retirement in the future. However, when boomers in the workforce were asked about their intentions, 41% responded that they did not want to quit working.
Denying a younger generation that is ready and willing to make and have an impact at the decision making table has long-term consequences for our economy.
Moreover, a ban on baby boomers would be good for the economy by unleashing a large population to consume more Chinese products, fast food burgers, and ingest more Big Pharma prescriptions drugs, generating revenue that would support our healthcare system on many levels. As the generation with the largest wealth, babyboomers’ spending would have a significant impact on the broader economy and produce significant spillovers touching on construction, restaurants and service, insurance, and the hospitality industries. Banning baby boomers would force them to retire which could add significant benefits to their well-being by reducing stress and providing free time to develop hobbies and learn new things. In turn, this would reduce healthcare costs on an already stretched healthcare system. A ban would not completely remove them from the workforce, baby boomers could volunteer and act as mentors to others to help nurture and pass on wisdom.
If we continue on this logic, reciprocal benefits would emerge creating a win-win across generations. Boomers can help millennials and millennials can help boomers. The declining fortunes of younger generations, which many say is the first generation to be poorer than their parents, could impact boomers who are retired or on the cusp of retirement. Payroll taxes from the millennial generation will help to finance the Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement benefits that many boomers receive and those same boomers will need younger generations to buy their homes and invest in the financial markets to protect their own savings.
So what would happen to these jobs that boomers leave behind? Jobs made available by baby boomers would help eliminate redundancy, making organizations more efficient. Jobs that did need to be filled would help organizations become more productive by having a younger, more talented workforce to recruit from and fill those jobs. The combination of banning baby boomers in the workforce along with hiring younger generation candidates has the potential to reduce unemployment and stimulate growth at the same time. By banning baby boomers in the workforce, the governments could reduce spending on government initiatives that are failing to drive job growth in the retooling outdated talent (i.e. Enterprise Florida).
Let's join together in this movement to make America youthful and productive again by supporting a ban on boomers in the workforce!
Join the ban boomers movement!
Make America Youthful and Productive Again!
***The moral of this story is to understand how discrimination feels. The argument to ban baby boomers from the workforce is simply a rhetorical vehicle. The emotions of being discriminated against, the pain, the discomfort- provide a tool for us to understand and empathize with those who have been or are being discriminated against. Discriminating of any form be it age, race, gender, religion, or by whom someone chooses to love, undermines the values of our country and what we stand for.
Discrimination divides us and ignores the similarities that we share.
We have gone through this exercise to provoke emotions and to learn from empathizing. My hopes are when you hear words, rhetoric, alternative facts, and news that discusses divisions of people, please be mindful that the similarities we as human beings in our workplace, community, society, and planet are far greater and abundant than the few differences that often dominate the headlines or our news feeds. Empathy is a powerful tool to embrace the similarities we share and in understanding the few differences that may exist.
Steve is an innovation and management professor, researcher and traveler. He currently holds a faculty position in the Kate Tiedemann College of Business at the University of South Florida- St. Petersburg. Steve has been a researcher at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain and Imperial Business School in London, UK in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group.
As a professor, he teaches courses in management and uses design thinking for problem solving in the areas of innovation, strategy and entrepreneurship. Steve is the founder of the Finger Puppet Management Framework- an edtech initiative to teach management in the classroom where students create TV shows to learn and to educate the world about management.
Steve is a researcher of open innovation and has worked with IBM and their Innovation Jam Platform. He has published on how large organizations such as IBM are utilizing Innovation Jams as a new model of innovation that taps into the collective knowledge of the organizational network. This research stream suggests that managers do not have all the information needed to make informed decisions and benefit from open models of decision support. Learn more about these projects at www.stevediasio.com