Today is my birthday. I am 40. I’ve been planning this post for the past year, and curses, Jon Hyman, had to go and steal my idea. Turns out Jon is two days older than I am, so I’ve been discriminating against him for two whole days already.
I love Jon’s idea of raising the age for ADEA discrimination to 50. Why? Because 40 is NOT OLD.
But, I’m going to to go a step further. Let’s abolish it altogether.
Gasp! I realize that now I’m protected by this law. (Or, rather, I would be if I lived in the US, which I don’t, but let’s pretend.) Does anyone out there really think that yesterday I was just fine but today I’m an old lady incapable of new ideas? (Well, perhaps my children.)
Age discrimination is out there. I totally believe it is. But I don’t think the way to fix it is to give special protection to older people, like me and Jon, just because we’ve managed to have more birthdays. We also have more experience and can navigate the workforce far better than a 22 year old.
The reason people discriminate on age isn’t because they are scared of a number. It’s because the older people are more likely to be making more money and are less likely to want to do things differently. The former is easily shown, the latter is anecdotal. People believe the latter, anyway and we know that people react on their on version of reality rather than the truth. (And yes, I see the drop off in income at 65 and older. Duh. People retire and stop getting paycheck. Note, their retirement income is still higher than people in the under 25 group. Also, take a look at net worth. There’s still a drop off at 65, but not a big one.)
Why do we need government looking over the shoulder of business owners? Instead, make it as easy as possible to start and run a business. Let those of us who are old easily prove how awesome we are.
Because, as far as I’m concerned, people born in February of 1973 are just about the most awesome people ever. You all wish you were in the club with me and Jon.