Monday, June 02, 2008

I’m Not Dead Yet

I am really ticked off with businesses and government agencies saying they have to find ways to keep the under 40 age crowd here in Michigan. While at the same time, nationwide the age of 50 is the new 40. If that is true, and many swear by it, then Michigan better start looking at how to keep the experienced, stable, and devoted 50 plus crowd in Michigan too.

Don’t get me wrong, yes, this state needs new blood. But the blood all ready in the bank is like plasma with a long time line. Who do you think taught the “youngins”? Yet, businesses and government agencies want to act like octopuses with eight arms never thinking about the best fit. What I mean by that is this, sometimes someone with age and experience should have the job and other times new ideas that were never tried just might be the best fit.

But what I see is employers wanting nothing old, only the new. They want new blood with lots of training and experience. Hello, the younger set have new blood but, only the older set have the long term experience.

I bring this up because with many more announcement made about downsizing in the auto industry, the up coming downsized are most likely over 40. They’re told to not worry. They’re told their experience coupled with new/re training will get them new jobs. Liars! Age discrimination is back in vogue agin. I’ll tell you why.

The younger set don’t have kids in college, grandchildren, or aged parents thy have to take care of. They can work for $32,000 a year. The older set can’t. They spent a lifetime climbing the ladder and are asked to start over at a lower pay. You do the math. Fifty plus in age means to climb the ladder again, another 10-15 years added to the 30 all ready completed. While the under 40 set (25-40) will spend the same 30 years the over fifty crowd completed all ready but will get no credit for them.

Why? They cost more. Back to the math. Would you pay someone $50,000 plus to do a job that you can hire someone to do for a starting pay of $30,000? I don’t think so. Employers look to the bottom line. The one that demonstrates whether or not a profit is made. If you knew you could trim your expenses by 40% to produce profits, don’t tell me you wouldn’t. Which means the 50 plus individual doesn’t have a fighting chance in getting a decent job after being downsized and competing with an under 40 plus person.

It’s a shame age discrimination is disguised as bottom line dollar profitability. You could also say, they’re just burying the 50 plus crowd alive. Sorry to tell you, like it or not, we’re not dead yet.

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