Should Baby Boomers Get Out of the Workforce?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Donald Cubitt has been working for the MTA for 28 years. Donald Cubitt has been working for the MTA for 28 years.

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.


Todd Buchholz and James K. Galbraith

Produced by:

Kateri A. Jochum

Comments [4]


Is Mr. Galbraith planning to retire? Perhaps he should set an example if he is so committed to the idea.

Jun. 16 2011 02:33 PM
Sherry Cohen from Stamford, CT

Oh, come on! Most 55-year-old people have a lot to contribute to society, including the workplace. 60 is the new 40, remember? This is the group that has the experience, the work ethics and the drive that people in their 20s lack. Why should only those boomers who can no longer hack their jobs should be shown the door? This should hold true for anyone, including CEOs such as Sam Zell who run their companies to the ground.

Whoever came up with this program falls into the category of not being able to hack their jobs!

Jun. 16 2011 10:35 AM
owen stewart from columbia sc

i hope you admonished the moron who made the "mexican village" comment, and i hope i will never have to hear that idiot speak again. the takeaway is fun, but it isn't foxnews and like mr lehrer says, it isn't just entertainment

Jun. 16 2011 10:18 AM
Peg from Southern Tier NY

Americans under 65 do not qualify for Medicare. Many boomers are staying in the work force beyond 65 because they have a job that provides health insurance for family members under 65. If we changed to a Single Payer/Medicare for All system, many older workers would be willing to retire early.

Jun. 16 2011 07:12 AM

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