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?