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Labor Shortage 11


(August 30, 2007) Karen Mattonen, the much maligned author of There is no (pending) labor shortage! Get over itů, suggests that the labor shortage is pure falderal. In her view, grandma and and grandpa are both cause and solution to the demographic shifts ahead. By postponing retirement and reducing consumption, baby boomers ruin the party and save the day.

She goes on to suggest that hysteria, like that surrounding the Y2K problem, is really at the root of the subject. She assures us that most people get hysterical over nothing. I guess that proves that there's no labor shortage.

Karen doesn't really bother to address the imbalance between the output of our education system and the requirements of the economy. She misses the fact that the population of the United States is growing but may be out of balance with our requirements for economic growth. She bypasses the real underlying question: how important is growth.

Like many in the media, Mattonen prefers uninformed simplicity to subtle and complex analysis. Just keep your old people from retiring and you'll be sitting pretty while the competition is crying about the labor shortage.

Oh, what was that?

Yup, she says there's no labor shortage if you get the right people and treat them very well. If you do that then your competitors will be the ones with a labor shortage.

Well, duh.

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