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Old 03-14-2012, 01:48 PM   #21
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I don't think we'll need any more engineers, our energy policy is one that requires no new engineers since we aren't being allowed to do anything........
We have an energy policy?

Oh, right: Hydrocarbons are bad. Nuke is bad. Green is good. (Expensive, but we can soak the evil capitalists to subsidize it.)
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:57 PM   #22
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I don't think we'll need any more engineers, our energy policy is one that requires no new engineers since we aren't being allowed to do anything........
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We have an energy policy?

Oh, right: Hydrocarbons are bad. Nuke is bad. Green is good. (Expensive, but we can soak the evil capitalists to subsidize it.)
A faint whiff of pork chops and bacon begins to permeate the room...
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:07 PM   #23
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Then, companies need to get over their ridiculous age discrimination which is very short-sighted IMO. Just because younger folks are "cheaper" doesn't mean they are "better". There has to be a balance.

One of the problems is that a large percent of the people think that old folks are 'expensive' and young folks are 'cheaper'....

This should not be the case... young folks are usually paid less because they do not have the experience of the older folks... but if you are doing the same job, there should not be a pay difference just because of age...


One of the big problems is that young folks do not know how to manage older folks... so it is easier to just get rid of them...
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:17 PM   #24
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One of the problems is that a large percent of the people think that old folks are 'expensive' and young folks are 'cheaper'....

This should not be the case... young folks are usually paid less because they do not have the experience of the older folks... but if you are doing the same job, there should not be a pay difference just because of age...
Of course, in a broken system where health care is tied to employment and is expected to be the responsibility of employers, having more older workers also significantly increase the group rates the employer has to pay. This gives them more incentive to practice age discrimination than would be the case if we didn't have a silly system of health insurance linked to employers.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:51 PM   #25
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One of the problems is that a large percent of the people think that old folks are 'expensive' and young folks are 'cheaper'....

This should not be the case... young folks are usually paid less because they do not have the experience of the older folks... but if you are doing the same job, there should not be a pay difference just because of age...
OTOH, 'young folks' may have more up to date skills and more initiative. Not universally true by any means, but I watched first hand several employees let their skills atrophy and refuse to initiate or even accept training to bring themselves up to date. I had a senior Engineer retire (early) because he refused to migrate from an outdated process control system to a newer and far better system. It was very sad, but he deserved to be 'pushed aside.'

There shouldn't be a bias against older employees (and there is indeed), but employers have a right to get the skills they're paying for. Unfortunately, the bias is there for a reason other than 'more expensive'...YMMV
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:57 PM   #26
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OTOH, young folks may have more up to date skills and more initiative. Not universally true by any means, but I watched way too many older employees let their skills atrophy and refuse to initiate or even accept training to bring themselves up to date. There shouldn't be a bias against older employees, but employers have a right to get the skills they're paying for...YMMV
Yeah, this can be true but there are other factors that go into this, I think:

1) Older workers are (in the general case) not as used to rapid technological changes and the need to constantly overhaul their skill set every couple of years. A 28-year-old engineer might be used to that. A 58-year-old, not so much. It's harder for the latter to adjust to a reality that requires them to redo their skill sets very frequently. The younger worker just accept that as a routine part of being employable; it's all they've ever known.

2) Older workers are used to a culture where employers used to provide on-the-job training. If you needed new skills, often the employer would pay for it and give you on-the-job time to learn it. These days you're a lot more likely to be forced to pay for it all yourself and do it all on your own time -- even for a new skill your employer never used to require but now wants you to have.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:39 PM   #27
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OTOH, 'young folks' may have more up to date skills and more initiative. Not universally true by any means, but I watched first hand several employees let their skills atrophy and refuse to initiate or even accept training to bring themselves up to date. I had a senior Engineer retire (early) because he refused to migrate from an outdated process control system to a newer and far better system. It was very sad, but he deserved to be 'pushed aside.'

There shouldn't be a bias against older employees (and there is indeed), but employers have a right to get the skills they're paying for. Unfortunately, the bias is there for a reason other than 'more expensive'...YMMV


Sure, there are many other issues that come into play when hiring old vs young... one of the problems we have seen is social media... the younger ones wanting to text etc. all the time (hey, what am I doing)... or be on the phone with friends etc.

We had one programmer who would take two lunches to be with different groups... he did not last long... we just let go of one who thought their college degree meant they were 'better' than their boss who did not have one...

My point was not to get into all the other reasons.... just that compensation based on age should not be a reason... the compensation should be adjusted... if a young and old person are doing the same job on the assembly line, they both should be paid the same.... all else being equal....
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
One of the problems is that a large percent of the people think that old folks are 'expensive' and young folks are 'cheaper'....

This should not be the case... young folks are usually paid less because they do not have the experience of the older folks... but if you are doing the same job, there should not be a pay difference just because of age...


One of the big problems is that young folks do not know how to manage older folks... so it is easier to just get rid of them...
I think the assumption that a more experienced worked is always a better one is flawed. There are PLENTY of very experienced employees, engineers or chemists, or whatever, just sucking the old paycheck.

A younger less experienced person MAY have some good ideas, just throwing that out there.........
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:56 PM   #29
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But that would not make for a good headline.
It is amazing to see how a development that could both reduce unemployment and increase real wages is spun as a looming catastrophe.

"Oh nos, workers are going to be in high demand and may get some pay increases. Whatever will we do!"
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #30
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I think this will not be a problem. Just ban workers spending half their day on ER.org, and increased productivity from all these people suddenly actually working will take care of everything. Organizations may even have to lay people off, if everyone started actually working instead of kvetching about the the sad state of the world.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:32 PM   #31
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I think the assumption that a more experienced worked is always a better one is flawed. There are PLENTY of very experienced employees, engineers or chemists, or whatever, just sucking the old paycheck.

A younger less experienced person MAY have some good ideas, just throwing that out there.........
Note my word of 'usually'.... I am not trying to cover all possibilities....

There are a few billionaires out there that are young and had better ideas... so I know it is true...
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:33 PM   #32
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I think this will not be a problem. Just ban workers spending half their day on ER.org
Unfortunately, the widespread assumption, whenever someone posts during the "business day" (and not nights or weekends), is that they are "posting on the job."

When you work in a salaried position for a multinational corporation with colleagues evenly spread all over the world in all geographies, including support teams who are on call 24/7, that's definitely not the case -- especially when you work at home and do a few hours here, a few hours there, trying to respond quickly to folks in all time zones. There is no "standard work shift" -- you just get things done when they need to be done, not 8 to 5 Monday through Friday.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:35 PM   #33
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The same in my ex-company, a real shortage of experienced engineers, and you just can't open the faucet and produce more on demand.
And even if you could, they would definitely be wet behind the ears.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:43 PM   #34
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And even if you could, they would definitely be wet behind the ears.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:01 PM   #35
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What shocks me is how fast things change, though. Just in the local sunday paper here was an article about a glut of trained nurses. Seems like just two years ago nurses could name their price [at least from what I read then] Just when I think I have some clue about the future, something pulls the rug.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:22 PM   #36
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What shocks me is how fast things change, though. Just in the local sunday paper here was an article about a glut of trained nurses. Seems like just two years ago nurses could name their price [at least from what I read then] Just when I think I have some clue about the future, something pulls the rug.
Yeah, the something is students watching the marketplace and picking a major "where the jobs are". For the last several years, everyone was told that the way to a secure job was to be a nurse. The market convinces more students to enter nursing (indeed, nursing schools turned away an unprecedented number of applicants in the last few years) and all those new nurses are graduating faster than the number of position is growing. And now all these folks with newly minted degrees are wondering where all those jobs are that were "promised" when they were a senior in high school.

The same thing happened to tech jobs and EE/CS majors in the 1980s. Silicon Valley was booming so rapidly they couldn't hire new EE/CS grads fast enough. But once many of these jobs started going offshore, students picking majors started going elsewhere. And now we're starting to hear we don't have enough software engineers with CS degrees and relevant experience again...
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:40 PM   #37
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I think this will not be a problem. Just ban workers spending half their day on ER.org, and increased productivity from all these people suddenly actually working will take care of everything. Organizations may even have to lay people off, if everyone started actually working instead of kvetching about the the sad state of the world.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:00 PM   #38
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I just hope the school systems in Mexico can step up and provide the workers we will need for these skilled jobs.
Looking at the enormous drop in birth rates in Mexico over the last few years it doesn't look like they are going to be providing many workers (skilled or not) in the medium term future. Currently Mexico population growth is about 2.1 or basically the replacement rate.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:23 PM   #39
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I would expect America to be better off than many other developed nations in terms of the size of the future labour force. From Wikipedia Demographics of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

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The Census Bureau projects a U.S. population of 439 million in 2050, which is a 46% increase from 2007 (301.3 million).[20] However, the United Nations projects a U.S. population of 402 million in 2050, an increase of 32% from 2007 (the UN projects a gain of 38% for the world at large).[21] In either case, such growth is unlike most European countries, especially Germany, Russia, and Greece, or Asian countries such as Japan or South Korea, whose populations are slowly declining, and whose fertility rates are below replacement.
The combined effects of a fertility rate which is currently only slightly below the replacement rate, immigration and increases in longevity should ensure that the pool of available workers will continue to increase. One would expect that an increase in the number of available workers wold result in wages being forced lower (at least in real terms).

Whether there are shortages in particular skill sets is another matter and there may well be greater income differential for those who are in the "right" careers.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:44 PM   #40
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Let me suggest something radical:
- Boomers leave the workforce in greater numbers than people entering the workforce
I, for one, have done my part.

Who's with me?!
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