Friday, April 28, 2017

Stereotypes are dangerous beasts especially when used to link age and attitudes

I have already written about the political affiliations of French voters and how it changes by age but it is such an important subject I am going to make the point again.

In the UK the dominant narrative is that young are pro EU, pro multiculturalism, pro change, pro immigration. The old are all of the above with 'pro' replaced by 'anti. I guess the young would be called 'progressive'

Marine Le Pen is protectionist on the French economy, fervently opposed to the EU, suspicious of Muslims, supports limiting immigration and fearful of multi-culturalism. GQ magazine provides a summary, albeit it a tad biased, of her policies and believes them to be a 'nightmare for progressives'.

You would think that the last person on earth that French youth would vote for was Le Pen. Wrong, as is shown by this chart from the FT.

One explanation is 'well that is the French for you' - the typical explanation that Brits have about anything that happens over the other side of the channel. A more accurate explanation is that it shows how useless age stereotypes are. Dick Stroud

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Workplaces suitable for older workers. You must be kidding

Whilst governments plays about with their spreadsheets and keep increasing the value of the cell marketed 'age people stop working' the reality in the workplace is totally different. Expecting people to generate an income and not have a state pension until they are 68 or 70 might balance the country's finances but it is pie in the sky thinking.

Take the Construction Industry as an example. Yes, I know it is something of an extreme because of the physical demands that it makes on people.

This data is taken from Construction News:

Nearly 30% of men aged 45 will have left the construction industry by the time they hit 50. The average for all other sectors is just 2%.

The DWP surveyed men aged 50-64 to find out why they left their last job. For those who had left construction, 46% said it was because of ill health. This was significantly higher than in any other sector, including other manual and skilled areas such as mining and agriculture. The average across all sectors for men retiring for health reasons was just 25%.

Unless we make the construction workplace more age friendly then the construction industry is going to have a huge labour problem. This age related attrition rate is horrendous.  Maybe, the next time a finance ministers thinks about extending the years of work they should spend a week working on a construction site? Dick Stroud

Ken Dychtwald's take on the Longevity Economy

As usual, Ken Dychtwald gives a very polished presentation and considering he must have done it a zillion times before he always injects energy and enthusiasm into the subject.

The contents were nothing that you will not have heard before with the possible exception of his emphasis on the factor of older consumers being 'Time Affluent'. It is an interesting and important point. There is one thing to have disposable income and another to have the time to spend it.

However, I always listen to his presentations and think that he is mainly talking about people like himself and like those who are in the audience and who watch his videos. He always mentions that there are lots of older people who are not wealthy and on high incomes but then swiftly moves on. That's fine but maybe he needs to make it a tad clearer that his comments apply to a minority of the age group.

The second half of the video is a discussion and the first minute or so I thought it was going to be dreadful. Then the tone changed and it became very interesting. I think the interviewer was able to get behind the professional presenter exterior and she got an insight into what he really thinks.

Worth the 30 mins of your life to watch. Dick Stroud