"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Shocking Chart

Business Insider posted this chart yesterday that describes the percentage change in participation in the workforce by age group since 2002.   The data apparently shows that two groups have increased workforce participation:  ages 55-64 and ages 65+.   This means only one thing:  older workers are deferring retirement, undoubtedly due to the flat equity markets over the past decade.   Understandable, perhaps, but not without rippled effects.

Older workers staying in their jobs means that fewer jobs are available for younger workers, so younger workers (ages 20-24) apparently defer work (by staying in school, by going to graduate school, by mooching off mom and dad, or perhaps by entering the off-the-books/cash-only/black market economy).  

But the worst news long term is what's happened to the youngest workers, ages 16-19.   Their workforce participation rate has plummeted.  

Too much XBox?   Too much Internet?   Well, maybe.   But my vote would be:   Too much liberal policy, and, specifically, the minimum wage.   Teenagers aren't worth $7.25 an hour, but their work is worth something, and they'd be available to do it if only the government wouldn't stand in their way with policies that run contrary to the most basic economic thinking:  namely, if something is overpriced (like the labor of teenagers), buyers will demand less of it.  

Liberals are robbing our children of their future in so many ways, and the national debt that they'll have to repay eventually is only one of them.   They're also robbing our children of their first work experiences.

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