Should we just put old people on an ice flow.

TheeErin / Foter / CC BY-ND

Thursday, November 29, 2012

“Five years ago, managers at Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) realized that with Germany’s graying population the average age of their workers would jump from 41 to 46 by 2017. So they decided to make it happen sooner.

In 2007, the luxury automaker set up an experimental assembly line with older employees to see whether they could keep pace. The production line in Dingolfing, 50 miles northeast of BMW’s Munich base, features hoists to spare aging backs, adjustable-height work benches, and wooden floors instead of rubber to help hips swivel during repetitive tasks.  read more.. By Christian Wuestner – Sep 6, 2012 5:01 PM CT

The preceding article was posted last September on bloomberg.com.  A similar article can be seen in Car and Driver magazine as well.

We spend a lot of time agonizing about the aging population and their enormous drain on the economy, namely Social Security and Medicare (funded by taxes these same people paid).  The solutions always seem to be tax more and payout less.  How about keeping the aging population productive longer by reconfiguring the workplace much the same as BMW and others have done.    The United States has always been a model for the rest of the world regarding the skilled productivity of our workers.  The experience and productivity of our aging workers can once again lead the way by providing guidance to young people entering the workforce.  We shouldn’t be waiting for “old people” to retire so their positions can be filled by young people coming into the workplace.  Rather we should see the young people coming in as expanding the workforce and gaining valuable insights from their older co-workers.  Happy Holidays!

For additional info:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-07/its-time-to-see-older-workers-as-an-asset

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