Is the sky is falling?” discusses a pending shortage of human resource talent. OMG, we’re gonna run out! This shortage is based on the false belief, created by baby boomers to push those over 65 out of the way.
The references, beliefs, values and convictions of the U.S. have been largely shaped by the 78 million baby boomers born 1946-1964. The major issues of the day, are based on what is important to this cohort. It is this group that controls wealth, directs governments, businesses, and the social values and policies of the nation. This group is living longer and healthier and, as a result, will continue to participate in shaping the issues, long after they turn 65. This group will not desire, and our society cannot support 20 or 30 years of “retirement”, that was previously considered a life of leisure and irrelevance.
This group has shaped the issues on what is important. Baby boomers created the need for large homes in the suburbs, a desire the best education for our children, the demand for SUV’s and the ever growing demand for energy and other resources. They created domestic and foreign policies and have expanded business to global markets. Things are changing.
By living longer and healthier lives, baby boomers will continue to shape the issues and decide what is important, much longer than prior generations. Our society has created a planned obsolescence of elders. “Retirement”, at one time, was a term used to describe 1 or 2 years of before death that has evolved into 30 or 40 years beyond age 65. No more, our society cannot afford to, nor does it desire a life of leisure or irrelevance for this long.
Baby Boomers will create new institutions for their continued participation in life, to be part of the future. So how will things change?
This group will create new social communities of right-sized housing, with more public and reduced demands for personal transportation in more efficient, economically and environmentally sustainable urban environments. These shared resource communities enable lifestyles of lower consumption with lower expenses. To remain relevant, they will continue to update skills through education, beyond an online class, classes strictly for personal development of community colleges that require continued consumption from their over sized homes. Their focus will shift from the size of their paychecks to more meaningful contributions to society.
There will be social barriers for re-entry. Educators, hospital administrators, government officials, or non-profit directors will resist re-entry baby boomers with insidious methods to protect their personal economic value. What industry, government or social institution would accept a re-educated, highly talented and passionate 50 or 60 year old who would work for $20,000 per year, because their economic needs are only $20,000? They are no longer building nest eggs for the future, they are living their future. Values will change to creating the new dream, where people will not be judged by their age but by the content of their character and their ability to contribute. Resistance will manifest itself in such things as oh, well why don’t you volunteer, if you are so passionate about this? Or, you need experience in this industry to advance, you cannot apply what you know to what we do. It is our failure to create low cost, low consumption meaningful living lifestyles, and the exclusion of the human capital that creates shortages.
Our next visionaries, social, economic and political leaders that will create these new, low cost options for the baby boomer population. Existing back to campus attempts focus on a transfer of wealth for entrance fees, and continued high expenses for services. The best option now, is to understand and expand the lifestyle available on Public University campuses, where the cost of living is currently under $20,000 per year.
There is no pending shortage of talent, we have just closed our eyes to our own human capital.