There are around 70 million people born between 1946 and 1964 — known widely as Baby Boomers. Around 65 million of those people are in the workforce today and of those, 28.7 million are over the age of 55. What if those positions were suddenly freed up? How many jobs would that mean for the nearly 11.5 million people under the age of 55 currently unemployed? What economic benefits are there for companies, who would get cheaper insurance premiums with a younger staff? And what kind of stress would this put on Medicare and Social Security?
Two economists join us to argue the pros and cons of early retirement for Baby Boomers. James Galbraith is the former executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of the Congress, is an economist and professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He suggests opening a three-year window allowing boomers to retire at 55 with full benefits to boost the economy. Former senior economic adviser to the White House and author Todd Buchholz says that age is knowledge, and only those boomers who can no longer hack their jobs should be shown the door.