Thursday, September 3, 2009

Retirement An Option For Baby Boomers?

“Do we have a moral responsibility to retire?” Minnesota Public Radio blogger Bob Collins asks the question on his September 3 News Cut blog. He’s responding to a September 2, New York Times story, “A Reluctance to Retire Means Fewer Openings,” by Catherine Rampell and Mathew Saltmarsh.

Geezers took a major hit to our savings in last fall's economic correction. That's keeping poeple in the workplace who might otherwise have taken our shoulders from the wheel, and made room for young people.

Collins gives us a yes-or-no gadget for voting on a question where our opinion will have approximately zero influence, and which begs for nuance. Collins may or may not have a dog in the fight, but you might answer one way or the other because of what you think work means, here in the developed world, at this moment in history.

Our dependence on fossil fuels means we live in less than a zero-sum economy: With few exceptions, what you do reduces human wealth, and you get paid in what amount to chits for your share of the remaining oil wealth your team manages to claim. If you think that’s okay, or just the human condition, vote yes so somebody else gets a chance. If you think it means trouble for Homo s., vote no and get to work.

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