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The Fallacies Of The Boomer “Job Thief”

Boomers are well aware of a push back against their generation. It’s not something you may face on a daily basis, and people you might know may say it without realizing you’re a boomer, but it does exist. Now, that is not to suggest even slightly that boomers are a persecuted group. The push—back I refer to is slight and mostly comes down to younger generations blaming them for how things have turned out. Tim Worstall addressed one of the most popular boomer-blaming sentiments in a Forbes article. Before I delve into what he has to say, let me break down his very clear message; Of course boomers aren’t stealing jobs from younger generations.

If you are reading this article, chances are you know this to be a fact, but the thought is still out there. Finding a job is hard these days and younger generation enter the workforce to find it flooded with competition. There have been many article as of late detailing the fact that millennials have fallen behind in pace with where boomers were at their age. No doubt, it’s tough out there, but the blame can’t be passed so easily. Younger generations say that boomers are being selfish, staying in the workforce longer than is needed and taking away jobs for the next generation. Ask any boomer who is looking for work and they’ll tell you, their facing the same difficulties. Millennials may think boomers should step aside at the “retirement age”, but they should know retirement is an outdated concept. Regardless of boomers wanting to continue working, some need to continue working to support the growing demands of years of retirement. But more to the point, let’s just address the absurdity of the concept of stealing a job. No boomer is going out looking to swipe a job from a younger worker. Worstall explains in very simple terms, “The number of jobs in an economy is set not by the amount of work there is to do. It’s set by the aggregate demand in that economy.”

The truth is, as boomers “selfishly” remain in the workforce, they are not taking jobs from younger workers but in fact creating new ones. A report on this topic explains that when older workers remains at work, new jobs are more likely to form; “Academic and historical evidence shows that, far from damaging job prospects, keeping more older people in work is associated with rising employment and wages for younger people”. Alas, there is no sinister plot to keep millennials out of work. No, this knowledge isn’t likely to stop the complaint from being voice, but you can rest a little easier knowing unequivocally—they are wrong about boomers.

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