Raising the Retirement Age Because We Can

tags: politics

Here’s an article about the idea to raise retirement age which argues we should actually lower it. It starts with some common knowledge about productivity, and concludes we should take advantage of this.

In 2009, it took American workers about half the amount of time it took them in the mid-1970s to produce the same amount of wealth.

[…] So when the economy is able to give us that same paycheck for less effort, there’s something demented about concluding that the portion of our lives spent in retirement should get shorter.

The article then diverts into questions of politics, but the idea is interesting. If workers are more productive, would removing them from the workforce sooner make keeping our workforce fully-employed easier? Does it benefit us economically to get workers out of the workforce as quickly as we can?

The inverse is interesting. Does having them hanging around at the tail-end of their careers – taking up a job – hurt the rest of us? This gets into questions of lifespan. Every year, our lifespans get longer, so we are effectively employable for a longer period of time, thus inflating the workforce.

(Perversely, does the obesity epidemic help us? Obesity causes shortened lifespans and degraded physical performance and ability to work later in life, Does obesity help “cull the herd” somewhat, keeping the workforce at a fully employable level?)

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