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Anne Tergesen at The Wall Street Journal reports:

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, age-discrimination allegations against current, former and prospective employers have hit a high -- up 29% to 24,582 in fiscal year 2008, from 19,103 in 2007.

Behind the trend are the recession and the graying of the American work force. As of June, almost 20% of the labor force was 55 or older, up from 13% in 1999. When combined with widespread layoffs, "it's not surprising that a greater number of older people are alleging discrimination," says David Grinberg, a spokesman for the EEOC.

But there's a hang-up. It's last June's dreadful 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc. In short, by requiring those who allege age discrimination to prove that this was essentially the only cause for their being fired, or demoted or not promoted, getting a favorable ruling has become immensely more difficult.

Previously, workers could win a claim of age bias if they could prove it was a simply a part of the reason for the decision to fire, demote or not promote them. In the past in these "mixed motives" cases, it was up to employers to show they had a legitimate reason for their action. Given that layoffs tend to fall disproportionately on older workers who usually make more money than younger ones, the employer was required to show that that they would have dealt with the situation the same way no matter how old the worker was.

No more thanks to the court. The damage is likely to be widespread. Especially during a long recession like the current one, with industries doing major restructuring of their workforces, employees not expecting to retire for a decade or so can find themselves literally on the street with little recourse.

Over the past decade, anyone with their eyes open has seen many hard-working fiftysomethings ushered out the door. While buy-outs, both generous and stingy, have prompted some to take early retirement, others who had no thought of leaving because it would put them in an economic bind have wound up out of work anyway. Even in a fairly robust economy, finding a new job at comparable pay when you're 56 or so is tough. Experience counts, but employers don't like the salary needs of someone who has been on the job for 30+ years. Thus do many in that age bracket end up working for two-thirds or half or even less what they made previously. And frequently in jobs for which they are vastly over-qualified.

Morever, since it's the rare person over 50 who doesn't have a pre-existing medical condition, employers who might otherwise be willing to pay the higher salary such experienced people deserve, they are loath to hire in that age bracket because it's likely to increase their group medical rates. Somebody 20 years younger and cheaper with a clean medical record is likely to get the job.

So, the best thing to do if you're 50 or so is hang onto that job with all your might. Age discrimination legislation was meant to make that task a little easier. Five members of the Supreme Court have succeeded in making far more difficult.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:06 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ahhhh Yes Bushs' Judges (9+ / 0-)

    Have come to roost

    Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore

    by Horsehead on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:08:45 AM PST

    •  I don't think I fully understand why (0+ / 0-)

      age discrimination should be treated like some other (IMHO, much more nefarious) types of discrimination like race, gender, or sexual orientation.

      It seems to be like most motives for age discrimination revolve around the things mentioned in the article: they're generally paid more, ... actually let me stop right there. They're generally paid more. You don't hear that about people of other races, women, or people of the GLTB community. Already I'm sensing a false equivalency.

      Also, some jobs require considerable OTJ training. If a company is going to spend a year bringing someone up to speed, I would have a problem hiring someone who's likely to retire after that year. It's not so much an age issue as it is a ROI issue.

      Anyway, I'd like to hear some other peoples' viewpoints about this...

      The top tax bracket should be 90% for all types of income over $1,000,000.

      by atheistben on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:28:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try being laid off from your job when you are 56 (15+ / 0-)

        Or 48 like me.

        If all you worry about is profits, why have environmental laws? I mean, it would likely make more money if they did not have to actually dispose of dangerous materials safely.

        And the only reason to fire me and hire some 20 year old, is to make more money in the SHORT TERM.

        I am not convinced that these decisions are the best in the long run for many companies who do this.

        Help me help kids in Afghanistan:

        by kimoconnor on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:43:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They're not in the companies' long-term interests (6+ / 0-)

          But our corporate culture only cares about short-term interests. It's a very Republican, "I got mine, so screw the rest of you" attitude.

          Thwarting Republicans since 1978.

          by wiscmass on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:52:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see it being all about profits (0+ / 0-)

          Environmental laws make it so that third parties don't get damaged by a company's actions. If a factory dumps mercury into the river and makes all the fish inedible, yeah, there needs to be a law against that. I don't think that's quite on the same level with a company saying "We're losing money, and we'll go out of business without cutting our costs. Labor is 90% of our costs. We've got to hire some cheaper labor."

          I know I'm using extreme examples here. But I don't see it as the same thing when a companies lays off someone making more to hire someone who'd earn less vs. a company laying off someone because they're gay. The latter needs legal protection. The other should be protected by unions who really have the worker's best interests at heart, but negotiate with the management about how much of the profits generated go to shareholders and how much go to workers in the form of raises, bonusus, or keeping senior workers on staff.

          Does that make sense?

          The top tax bracket should be 90% for all types of income over $1,000,000.

          by atheistben on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:54:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, why don't I deserve protections at work? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, happymisanthropy

            I mean, why should I be the one sacrificed? The CEOs and other executives most often do not offer to reduce their salaries, instead they fire older people who have the most responsibilities to others (i.e. families who depend on their income).

            Why is protecting my right to work not equal to my right to eat fish without mercury?

            Help me help kids in Afghanistan:

            by kimoconnor on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:57:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Young people have responsibilites to others too. (0+ / 0-)

              They have kids and families and debts and mortgages/rent, parents who may depend on them, siblings they help support, etc.  Having people depend on you is certainly not the exclusive mantle of the older worker.

              "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

              by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:15:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Honestly, (0+ / 0-)

              I think through corporate taxes, our government should penalize companies that have big salary disparity between upper management and workers. That will help to combat a lot of the issues behind layoffs like yours. I would also be in favor of soem kind of rework of the tax code that encourages companies to pay higher wages and lower dividends. I think that's the way to address the 'cheap labor' problem in America. Oh, and placing tarriffs on overseas products made in countries with lower living standards.

              I think protecting your right to work is different from your right to eat fish without mercury because 'work' is kinda like a contract between between two entities (you and the company, where there is an ongoing transaction occurring, you do stuff they tell you to and in exchange, they give you money - I think the ongoing nature of this kind of transaction requires the mutual acceptance of both parties), whereas the other involves a company destroying a 'community' resource. The two are very different in my mind. Should I expand?

              The top tax bracket should be 90% for all types of income over $1,000,000.

              by atheistben on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:51:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  right to work is a not true but.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I was not one of those 'high paid' executives but a salesperson who brought in the money I earned that more than covered my salary and commission. (of course)

                I live in California where there is no contract to work, I can be fired for any reason or none at all and there is not a damned thing I can do (I am not in a union obviously). This is just another nail in the coffin for those of us who are not fresh out of school and can afford to work cheap.

                And are not workers community resources? I mean, if I am not working, I am not spending money which means more in the community will likely lose their jobs etc.

                Of course there is a difference between companies firing 40 or 50 something workers and bringing in cheap younger workers and mercury pollution.

                But neither of these help the community in the long run, it is short sighted for the company and the nation.

                Help me help kids in Afghanistan:

                by kimoconnor on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:14:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  'Labor Costs 90 Pct'? Whose Labor? (5+ / 0-)
            Are you counting the executive compensations?
            (I wish Charles Grodin was Treasury Sec'y. He was frugal in 'Dave.')

            Lies at the top cause murder and misery at the bottom.

            by renzo capetti on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:08:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's not always about the money... (5+ / 0-)

          In my last job, I managed hundreds of people.  Many of my younger supervisors and managers were often inclined to hire younger people despite how qualified the older candidate might have been. Since I signed off on all new hires, in some cases, I had to stop a proposed hire simply because it was blatant discrimination (after learning of the reasons for the potential hire and considering the other candidates that were presented).

          Flash forward a few years later. I found myself in the job market at the age of 50. I heard "overqualifed" literally hundreds of times, despite the job and how well I fit. After nearly 2 years of chasing jobs that could use all of my skills and qualifications, I took a job at almost 1/2 of what I was making previously using 20% of my bag of tricks.

          I don't care what anyone says--age discrimination is the most blatant general form of discrimination in this country today. Not only me, but I saw it happen to dozens of other mid-to-higher level people that I knew over the age of 50.

          "Self-respect is the keystone of democracy"

          by neverontheright on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:45:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, that's the situation I'd view as true (0+ / 0-)

            discrimination. If you're not hiring someone just because they're old, that's discrimination that needs protection.

            Maybe it's partly because of my field. I work in technology where skillsets become obsolete almost over night. Most of the decline-to-hires I've seen are more closely related to skillset, work-styles, and other things that probably have a correlation with age.

            The top tax bracket should be 90% for all types of income over $1,000,000.

            by atheistben on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:18:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  not hiring me as a doctor..... (0+ / 0-)

              ...because I have no medical license is not what we are talking about here.

              We are talking about not being hired ONLY because of our age, and the fact they think we are going to cost them more money.

              They often forget the amount of money we can bring in vs. an inexperienced person, or save for that matter.

              You are looking at all this with a strong tunnel vision based evidently on what you do alone.

              Help me help kids in Afghanistan:

              by kimoconnor on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:19:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, perhaps I... (0+ / 0-)

                ...might have some tunnel vision on this issue. That's why I wanted to initiate a discussion on the topic here. That's why I asked to hear others' viewpoints. Honestly, I feel like most of the debate (not necessarily by you) has been fairly derisive and dismissive of my points and concerns, rather than the open debate and mutual respect I was hoping for. But I guess this is the internet, which is a notorious place for people saying things they wouldn't say face-to-face with another human being. Maybe this is why we can't seem to convince the teabaggers of anything.

                As for the content of your post, as I said above, I think that if a person isn't hired solely because of age, that is discrimination and wrong. If a person isn't hired because they cost the company more, I don't see that as being necessarily wrong.

                If companies are screwing up the calculation on whether hiring experienced or entry-level people is better for the company, I don't really want to address that problem here. That's more the thing for competitive businesses to sort out. Companies make bad calls about what is or isn't profitable all the time. I don't think it should be explicitly against the law for a corporation not to pursue the most profitable path (for a number of reasons). Thus I don't know how you could force a company to hire a more productive/expensive worker over a less productive/cheaper worker. Or vice versa.

                FYI, my dad is a doctor who found a new job this year at the age of 58. The job offering was originally for ~$200K (neurology); however, after showing how much income he could generate by his past performance, he was able to negotiate a salary around $300K. So, again, in my experience it seems like the medical groups are willing to hire experienced people at higher salaries if it appears profitable. And they're willing to hire older people. But again, this has just been my experience.

                The top tax bracket should be 90% for all types of income over $1,000,000.

                by atheistben on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 01:34:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It is a very personal thing (0+ / 0-)

                  And can be very emotional too, so don't be surprised if what appears to be a rather cavalier attitude on this has gotten some push-back.

                  Your opinion seems to say that you personally value profits over helping society in a more broad way by assuring non-discrimination against those who simply have experience.

                  Maybe you figure if the business makes more money it will 'trickle down' to the rest of us.

                  Well, I lived through the Reagan era and the subsequent presidents and congresses since then, and that is a big fat lie.

                  Help me help kids in Afghanistan:

                  by kimoconnor on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:43:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Circuit City fired experienced workers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And replaced them with cheaper ones.

          How did that work out for them??


          Economic Left/Right: -7.38 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.33 . "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people"

          by wrights on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:40:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  So, because a woman is more likely ... (5+ / 0-) get pregnant, and "some jobs require considerable OTJ training" would you "have a problem hiring" a woman who might choose to leave the work force for a few years to stay with her kid until s/he's ready for school?


        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:45:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It Would Depend on the Job, Doncha Think? (0+ / 0-)

          A cutting edge technology development project would not be a good fit for a woman hoping to get pregnant and start a family. Actually, it's not a good fit for many who also want a life.

          •  I would agree with that (0+ / 0-)

            We don't call it religious discrimination when we turn down the Amish guy for the bus driver job.

            As for your example, I think there are two pieces to it. I talked a little bit below about whether companies should have a right to let 'likelyhood of staying at the position for a certain timeframe' to be a factor in selecting a hire. But I don't think the timeframe would be more than a couple of times the time it takes to get the person up to speed on the job. Since women don't tend to have babies every few months, I don't think this would be much of a factor. On the other hand, if someone is pregnant already, I think it's perfectly alright for the hiring company to ask if the person is planning to quit the workforce or take several months off in the relatively near future. I think that should be asked regardless. If I'm planning to move to another state in 6 months to help care for my aunt with cancer, I think the company about to hire me should have a right to know that.

            The second thing I see is that in the woman seeking a child, that would presumably be temporary. Generally, a few months are granted for maternity leave, right? Then the person would be likely to come back. In the case of discriminating against someone who's about to retire, that's more of a permanent leave than is a pregnancy.

            But yes, if someone is expecting to take a few years off work for any reason (like having babies) is applying for a job, I think it's something that the company should get to consider.

            The top tax bracket should be 90% for all types of income over $1,000,000.

            by atheistben on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:42:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Why would it take a year (6+ / 0-)

        to bring someone up to speed who's been in the industry for 30 yrs and has solid skills?

        And what makes you think that somebody who's 25, or 35, will hang around any longer than somebody who's 55?

        Let the economy get even a little better, and that 25 yr old will be looking for greener pastures as fast as possible.

        The 55 yr old might not think the grass is going to be a whole lot greener anywhere. And they usually have more ties to the local community - they likely own a house, they might have family in the area.

        That younger person is just as likely, probably more likely, to up and move to wherever s/he thinks the jobs are.

        •  It's just an example (0+ / 0-)

          In the case of my job, it will probably take a few months for anyone to learn the code and db schema/procs of the applications we support.

          I'm not saying it takes longer to bring older people up to speed. I'm not saying that someone who's 55 won't hang around longer than someone who's 25.

          I'm just saying that I think a company has a right to consider the likelyhood of a potential hire staying with the company for a certain timeframe as a factor in selecting who to hire. And it seems like that might get mistaken as just not wanting to hire old people.

          FYI, I don't think the company has a right to set that timeframe at 30 years, but I do think the company has a right to set the timeframe at more than a month, and for some jobs, more than a year.

          The top tax bracket should be 90% for all types of income over $1,000,000.

          by atheistben on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:29:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're missing the point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            There's absolutely NO guarantee that a young person will hang around. None.

            Why the hell should they? They have nothing invested in you, they have no loyalty to you, and you're probably paying them crap. The first chance they get, they're going to move to another company.

            How long have they ever stayed ANYWHERE? Probably a year or two, tops. You think that's changing for YOU? Not bloody likely.

            Add to that the fact that they might not have much experience in how ANY company works, let alone yours, AND that they likely can just run home to mommy and daddy when they want to leave, and if you think you're going to keep a young kid longer, you're just deluding yourself.

            •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

              I think you're missing my point. I'm wanting to discuss age discrimination, not whether or not old people are more or less likely to stay at a job than a young person.

              All I'm saying is that right now, I think a company should have a right to consider probably length of employment as a hiring factor (and age may play a role in that). If it turns out that older people are more likely to stay, I would prefer to hire an older person over a younger person. And I don't see anything wrong with that.

              But to address your point. I worked at my last job (first job out of college) for three years, then I moved across the country. I've been at my new job for three years, and I have no intention of leaving.

              The top tax bracket should be 90% for all types of income over $1,000,000.

              by atheistben on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:00:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  This Is NOT A Constitutional Law Issue! (10+ / 0-)

      Age Discrimination law is NOT fixed in stone! It is NOT embedded in our Constitution, so the Supreme Court CANNOT have the last word on this!

      CONGRESS can easily pass an amendment to 42 U.S.C. Sections 6101-6107 (the Age Discrimination Act of 1975) stating directly that an applicant need only prove that age discrimination was ONE factor in their being fired, not the sole factor.

      All the right-wing Bush scumbag judges have done is "interpret" the law improperly.

      It could easily be done and probably should be done. It's just another area where right-wingers have tried to bend the law to favor corporations and away from people.

      But this is NOT the last word on this issue. We can easily demand Congress act!

  •  Elections have consequences, and one of them is (5+ / 0-)

    that Presidents get to pick replacement Supreme Court judges.

    We stand a slim chance that during Obama's next three years, he would get to replace two more judges.  One more beyond Sotomayor, most likely.  But that wouldn't really change the balance on the court.  We could help ensure fewer decisions like the one described in this diary, were the President to be able to name two more judges.  Or if he were to win re-election.

  •  I attended a conference on workforce issues (15+ / 0-)

    about 10 years ago and the issue of age discriminiation came up.  We tend to think of it as something that hits when one is in one's 50s but the sobering reality is that it can be seen in one's late 30s.  Already it's considered too late to teach an old dog new tricks.  I'll be trying to re-enter the job market and working for the man in my late 40s.  Just how many job-years will I need to lop off my resume?

    Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

    by conlakappa on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:10:31 AM PST

  •  U.S. can't afford to discriminate against (9+ / 0-)

    anybody......especially those with experience.

  •  For those who are out of work or afraid of being (6+ / 0-)

    out of work, and the Democrats appear to be doing nothing about it, then what option do they have?

    Wall Street won, again.

    "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

    by TomP on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:13:09 AM PST

    •  What do you propose? (0+ / 0-)

      The dems did pass a stimulus plan that is still being rolled out and will continue to roll out throughout 2010.  We are in (or just starting to come out of) the worst recession since the Great Depression.  The government can't force businesses to hire people but they are extending benefits to bridge people who are unemployed for a longer period of time.

      What exactly is the "something" you propose democrats should be doing?  

      "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

      by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:26:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Jobs Bill. (10+ / 0-)

        NAACP, La Raza, and AFL-CIO Call on Obama to Create More Jobs

        Neither your nor President Obama's excuses cut it anymore.

        There is accountability.  While I'll vote Democrat, I bet you many people will not.  So make your excuses and let people suffer.  

        Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO:

        1. We must extend the lifeline for jobless workers. The families who have been hit by this economic crisis are at risk of losing unemployment benefits, food assistance and health care benefits at the end of the year. We need to act now to prevent the human suffering and economic damage that would result.
        1. Rebuild America's schools, roads and energy systems. We must put people to work to fix our nation's broken-down school buildings and invest in transportation, green technology, energy efficiency and more.
        1. Increase aid to state and local governments to maintain vital services. State and local governments and school districts have a 178 billion budget shortfall this year alone--while the recession creates greater need for their services. States and communities must get help to maintain critical frontline services, prevent massive job cuts and avoid deep damage to education just when our children need it most.
        1. Fund jobs in our communities. While workers go without jobs, important work is left undone in our communities. These are not replacements for existing public jobs. They must pay competitive wages and should target distressed communities.
        1. Put TARP funds to work for Main Street. The bank bailout helped Wall Street, not Main Street. We should put some of the billions of dollars in leftover Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to work creating jobs by enabling community banks to lend money to small- and medium-size businesses. If small businesses can get credit, they will create jobs. The administration can act on this immediately.

        Your answer sounds like George Bush: "It's hard work."  No shit it's hard work, but if Democrats are not up to it, as much as I work to elect them in 2010, the people will reject them.

        "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

        by TomP on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:33:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Didn't Obama annouce last week that they... (3+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          TheMomCat, happymisanthropy, LegendClick
          Hidden by:

          ...are working on getting a major jobs bill into Congress?

          Oh, and for this comment:

          Your answer sounds like George Bush: "It's hard work."  

          Fuck off.  

          Obama can't make a jobs bill all on his own.  Congress needs to do the heavy lifting.  If you take a look at the schedule in Congress every day, I'm sure you'll notice that they've been eating bon-bons and lunching for 4 hours a day.  The completely unrealistic pace at which people like you want Congress to do everything in one day is ridiculous.

          Yes, people are hurting out there, but to pretend that Obama is ignoring that fact and it is his fault that they are out of work is asinine.  I guess you just ignore that fact that we are in a recession and pretend it is the work of the government to force private business to hire people and they just, well, won't.  Are there unicorns doling out rainbows in your world too?

          "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

          by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:46:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I should troll rate (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fromer, Predictor

            you for your inults, but I want people to see the arguments you make.

            This is amusing:

            The completely unrealistic pace at which people like you want Congress to do everything in

            People like me include the NAACP, La Raza and the AFL-CIO.

            Obama is having a meeting about it all next month.

            Yes, the fierce urgency of now.

            People are not stupid.  You can insult me and dig your heels in defending the Wall Streetization of this administration, but people see it.

            And activists like me tire of contributing money.

            So, tell me to fuck off again, and I'll keep my wallet shut.

            Better to give money to help the unemployed.  Plenty of food pantries can use my donations.  The Democrats don't need it, I guess.    

            "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

            by TomP on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:53:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You DID troll rate ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pluto, LegendClick

              ...which is a no-no with somebody you're in a direct dispute with.

              Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:04:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, yes, the TR. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Certainly your perogative, if cowardly.

              If you are insulted by my saying fuck off for your completely uncalled for and unsupported comparison of me to George W. Bush, whatever.  I disagree and I really don't care who you give you money to, so your ridiculous threat about closing your wallet, well, also whatever.  Give or don't give.  Free country and all.

              Defending Wall Street?  You've really just got no argument it seems, as you just keep basically calling me a Bush supporter.  

              The fact that you want Obama to wave some magic wand to fix everything yesterday is so divorced from reality as to be delusional.

              "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

              by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:05:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  uprated for undeserved TR (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
      •  How about something actually aimed at jobs (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades, capelza, TomP

        instead of paying favors and crossing items off of wish lists?

        By the time it was passed, even the party leaders were done pretending it was a stimulus act -- it was a recovery and reinvestment act.

        The better approach is make jobs infect every single thing that gets done.

        Even in speeches -- as in Obama's famous declaration that he wouldn't sign a health care bill that raises the deficit.

        How about a declaration that he won't sign any bill that costs net jobs?

        How about asking a simple question with regularity and frequency:  "At the end of the day, will this bill cause more people to be employed or fewer?"

        The administration can't force businesses to hire, but it can do things that make hiring less risky, including tax credits.  It can also provide more support for small business startups.  It can buy things, lots of things, preferably things that consumers also buy.

        But, seriously, we who are out of work are the wrong people to ask.  The administration supposedly has access to the brightest economic minds in the world. Of course, they might consider helping "the masses" to be beneath them.  Maybe they just have a vested interest in making sure there's an amply supply of needy people to wash their cars.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:37:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You mean like a jobs summit? (0+ / 0-)

          Or a jobs bill getting moving into Congress at the urging of the White House?

          Gee, where have I heard something about that lately?

          "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

          by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:51:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  LOL!! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fromer, happymisanthropy, dinotrac

            A jobs summit!

            What a farce.

            "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

            by TomP on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:54:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wait a minute! Don't be so negative. (0+ / 0-)

              Couldn't we sell T-shirts at a jobs summit?

              Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

              by dinotrac on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:57:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Once again, no proposals from you. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Just criticism and pretending that there is some fast, easy solution being ignored by the adminsitration.

              "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

              by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:08:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hey fanboi, where do you buy those rose-colored (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fromer, TomP


                Nobody here has talked about any fast, easy solution.

                But -- how about putting us at the top of the priority list. Even that chuckleberry jobs summit you mention is after health care on the list.

                Hmmm. More than a year after the election, nearly a year into the administration and 3 years into the Democratic Congress, well after Michigan is utterly decimated, well after making homes nearly impossible for many people to finance, and after seeing national unemployment surge into double digits, Democrats might just hold themselves a jobs summit -- at least they think they'll get around to it after taking care of the important stuff like health care (non) reform and presuming something else more pressing doesn't come up.

                Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                by dinotrac on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:19:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  wall street sure got theirs right quick. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TomP, happymisanthropy, dinotrac

                  I guess Timmy and Larry are more Obama's kind of thinkers than the AFL-CIO, La Raza and the NAACP.

                  Something telling in that, perchance.

                  Dear Mr. President, There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.
                  P.S. I am not a crackpot.
                  -Abe Simpson

                  by fromer on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:38:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Do you propose you can stop a recession... (0+ / 0-)

         its tracks and reverse course?  Obama has said from the beginning that things were going to get worse before they get better.  That's reality.  There was no changing that and pretending otherwise is simply denying reality.  

                  I agree that I would prefer things were improving more quickly, but pretending that the jobs issue is being ignored is simply untrue.  See unemployment benefits extention, the stimulus package (creating JOBS), tax credits for business (creating JOBS), incentives for energy efficienty (creating JOBS), incentives for purchasing autos (creating JOBS), incentives for purchasing homes (creating JOBS).  Plus the efforts being planned to create jobs.

                  Ignoring that this is happening and pretending that real health reform is a waste and wouldn't help million of Americans may bolster your argument in your own mind, but it is simply not true.  Oh, and none of this is the result of 8 years of Bush's Contract on America, either, I'm sure.

                  And what the hell is a fanboi?  

                  "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

                  by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:44:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't propose anything. (0+ / 0-)

                    I am neither leader nor advisor.  I am at the bottom of the shitpile looking for a wipe.

                    Sorry. This administration gives no sign of giving a damn about the unemployment problem.

                    They made a big splash when they came in, but have paid most of their attention to their wealthy friends and to their legacy.  With the election drawing close, the issue is sure to get their attention, so maybe we'll something useful now.

                    The bottom line is 10.2% and rising.

                    fanboi (courtesy of wikipedia):
                    A fan, aficionado, or supporter is someone who has an intense, occasionally overwhelming liking and enthusiasm for a sporting club, person (usually a celebrity), group of persons, company, product, activity, work of art, idea, or trend.

                    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                    by dinotrac on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:14:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So you offer nothing but criticism... (0+ / 0-)

             calling and a denial that the truth of the matter was always that employment was going to hit double digits whether McCain, Obama or Micky Mouse got elected.  Perhaps you should do a little research on how and why unemployment rises during a recession and why it might hit double digits in the worst rescession in generations.  But then, it's easier to call me names and dismiss any efforts made by Obama or Congress as too little, too late, than to debate facts.  

                      Oh, and ignoring everything I listed that Congress and the administration have done (which is only a partial list) to help with jobs?  Priceless.

                      "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

                      by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 12:31:35 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yawn. (0+ / 0-)

                        Sorry, did enough of that in college.

                        The facts are what the facts are, and the facts are that everything else is getting this administration's attention while "official" unemployment tops 10% nationwide and 15% in Michigan.

                        Lots of things have to be done "right away".  Jobless people, on the other hand, have to be patient.

                        I'd be much more impressed with your little list if unemployment were going down instead of continuing to climb.

                        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                        by dinotrac on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 01:02:22 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  The Democrats did pass a stimulus ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, TomP

        ...plan, but its main impact occurred in the past two quarters and is now fading and will continue to do so throughout 2010.

        We'll be having a jobs summit next month. Out of that, hopefully, will come something that will put people back to work AND will deal with the decades-long structural problems in the labor market.

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:42:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hopefully, but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fromer, happymisanthropy

          jobs summit seem like window dressing, MB.

          I hope I'm wrong, but when I see Obama moving to be a "deficit hawk" in the middle of a depression, I think I've seen this all before.

          I hope President Obama and the Democrats in Congress prove me wrong.  I have more confidence in Pelosi on this than Obama.

          "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

          by TomP on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:57:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. I know. But I continue to ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP, happymisanthropy, QES

            ...give the President the benefit of the doubt on every issue until a decision comes out of whatever discussions are going on. Sometimes I'm happy. Sometimes I'm disappointed. Sometimes I'm disgusted. But I won't prejudge.

            Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:00:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I haven't prejudged. (0+ / 0-)

              I just have little hope.

              "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

              by TomP on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:06:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If this you not prejudging? (0+ / 0-)

                LOL!! (1+ / 0-)

                A jobs summit!

                What a farce.

                "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

                by TomP on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:54:50 AM PST

                "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

                by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:09:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are so amusing. (0+ / 0-)

                  I think "summits" are a farce.  

                  Whether Obama will come up with a better policy too late to help many people is still up in the air.

                  You just have talking points and insults.

                  Working people are hurting, but Walll Street is smiling.

                  And fools like you think that people will not take it out on the Democrats next year.  You bring it on yourselves.

                  So be it.

                  "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

                  by TomP on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:11:53 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So you have prejudged then? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Were you lying then or are you lying now?

                    So now Obama can come up with a policy that could help, but it will be too late.  Obama really can't do anything right or quickly enough, even though Congress has to pass legislation, so you can feel justified in pre-judging his actions and ignoring the responsiblity of Congress.  Got it.

                    "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

                    by Pennsylvanian on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:21:06 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  TomP would you rather back in january the Prez (0+ / 0-)

            did nothing; or at that time put together a "Commission"?

            He got going on the stim; and it has to yet to prove a total failure.  More earlier would have been nice; but now he's looking to plan B.  

            Late?  Maybe, by a few months.  don't forget, banks haven't helped anything by their failure to start lending again; and help drive the economy...

            •  Yes, no matter what Barack (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              does, there can be no accountability.

              Your excuses won't wash with the American public.

              The stimulus was too weak.  Most policies do date have helped Wall Street and not working people.

              The standard for Barack is better than a total failure:

              He got going on the stim; and it has to yet to prove a total failure.

              10.2% unemployment.  There is such a human cost going on and too many people here only see defedning their team or idolizing of a leader.    

              Whatever.  I know better than to ask that President Obama and his administration be held accountable for their decisions here.  

              "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

              by TomP on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:09:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I am a Staunch Defender of the S.Bill (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But it was not designed to create jobs in the near term -- only to save government jobs that deal with social issues. It was definitely not a jobs bill. (Not was it meant to be a Stimulus package. It was a save-human-lives emergency bill.)

          At some point we are going to have to face the economic reality. There were two chances and only two methods for creating consumer-level jobs:

          1. Nationalize the banks so that loans could be made to Main Street businesses and start-ups.
          1. Apply Quantative Easing from the bottom-up rather than the top-down.

          We missed both chances. Now it is too late and we shall live with the consequeces.

  •  I just (18+ / 0-)

    love the fact that the Justices, all of which are over 50, deciding this case in this manner, since, of course they can't lose their job....shameful.

  •  And if you want to start your own business (11+ / 0-)

    after you are laid off when you're 50, just try getting financing from the bank.

  •  Add to that the folks 65/70 who can't afford to (12+ / 0-)

    retire.  Add to that, the folks who become ill and disabled and want to continue to live at home, not be in an institution (nursing homes are more expensive than home care, usually):

    Our home has one of each of the above.  (And that includes a school loan debt payments for a PhD in science that will last longer than we can live.)

    •  You'd think some of these folks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Dar Nirron

      would be out there supporting health care reform.

      Probably many are, but at least some seem to be tea partiers and others aren't yelling loud enough to be heard.

      Really, these are the people who really need reform.

      Your new Democratic Party: Billions for the bankster boys and not one dime for abortions. Even if it's your dime.

      by Mimikatz on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:26:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mimikatz:how do you know "these" are not supporti (0+ / 0-)

        ng "reform"?  See ADAPT  for disabled people supporting reform.
        I'm for singlepayer HR676.  We all need health care at some point or another.  And, my uterus is no longer on active duty, but I still support choice.
        It's sad the coverage of tea-party people by media makes it seem like a)there's more and b)it's a position by many seniors, which it's not.

        I want more than "reform".  I want "everybody in - no body out".  I have medicare.  
        see Physicians for a national health program.  They have suggested the law needs rewriting.
        I agree.

        The late journalist, John L. Hess fought for years to point out that the Republican push of propaganda that there's war between the old and young is false.  His lively blog is still online.  If I screwed up
        his url, just google "John L. Hess".  He wrote for the NYTimes for years.  Great, witty man, who said
        "Getting out is not for sissies.".

      •  Mimikatz:my only typo was John Hess said "old" (0+ / 0-)

        not "out".  (I have severe CFS and missed that typo in "preview".)

  •  It is terribly hard (11+ / 0-)

    to find a new job in your 50's, and it's always struck me how little we value that experience. Often even at reduced pay - small businesses just don't want to take the chance.

    Better health care policy can help, so that hiring an older worker doesn't just create a high rate for that person but increase the rating for the whole group.

    PS: added tag "labor" to your diary.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:15:44 AM PST

  •  Where's John Marshall? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doris in the Windy City

    When you need him?  If he were around today I somehow don't think we'd be having these issues...

    I bet Obama smells like warm cookies, fresh from the oven.

    by dancerat on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:16:56 AM PST

  •  As ye sow (4+ / 0-)
    Hope all those graying white guys who voted for Bush are happy.
  •  Everyone focuses on abortion (9+ / 0-)

    (The wedge issue of wedge issues) but Republican SCOTUS justices are far more reliable enrichers of corporations than they are reliable protectors of unborn babies.

    The GOP is a fairly effective magician. Look at the right hand! Don't look at the left! The right hand is all about the innocent babies; the left hand is screwing over the average American, once again.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:19:25 AM PST

  •  gee, imagine if business didn't have to shoulder (11+ / 0-)

    the burden of health care costs?  I bet they could afford to keep or hire a bunch more older, experienced workers.

    But single payer is a commie plot, so don't even bother to bring it up.

    Our country is so fucking dumb.

    All I think I can do anymore is slap a laugh track on it, smoke a j, and laugh as the idiocy comes to its natural conclusion.

    Dear Mr. President, There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.
    P.S. I am not a crackpot.
    -Abe Simpson

    by fromer on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:20:40 AM PST

  •  When are the people of America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    going to take a good look at our government.

    It is not working for us but against us the people.

    It is long past time to rethink this system.

    Lifetime appointments to the the supreme court.

    2 party system

    no term limits


  •  A simple yet insidious idea (11+ / 0-)

    There are so many people being laid off at 50 or 55 who would be outstanding and well paid contractors if they could just get health insurance...Where's the amendment that would let them buy into Medicare at 50 if they are laid off, contracting, etc?

    That would be so insidious. These are intelligent and reliable voters, who would love the opportunity. They would increase the actuarial solvency of Medicare, and open the door for what we really want--single payer.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:22:16 AM PST

  •  And of course it pits classes against each other. (5+ / 0-)

    Unless you don't think that the 20 somethings drowning in school debt won't be wanting those jobs.

    The Raptor of Spain: A Webserial
    From Muslim Prince to Christian King: A Tale of Alternate History

    by MNPundit on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:25:12 AM PST

  •  I was one of those 2007 cases. (5+ / 0-)

    The EEOC was absolutely unhelpful.  And that is being kind.  The officer assigned to do my intake, in 15 minutes, had apologized to me three times:

    1.  "Sorry it is taking me so long to get the program started--they changed software, and at my age, it is hard to learn something new."
    1.  "Sorry about the wait.  I had to go to the supply closet, and at my age, I don't walk as fast as I used to."
    1.  "Sorry I had to take that call.  I was out for two weeks with medical issues, and some of my cases went to someone else, and he needed clarification right away, and this is my first day back.  Pretty common to have to miss work at my age, but that's the way it is."

    So, I told him, "Look, you just told me that older workers can't learn as quickly, move slower, and take more sick time than younger workers.  If that is the attitude of EEOC employees, how in the world can the general public believe otherwise?  What does that do to the chances of my age discrimination claim being resolved in my favor?"

    He got very quiet.  From then on, he only spoke to ask questions to fill out my claim.  

    My claim was denied because the community college had, over the previous three years, had hired at least one person over the age of 40 to a full time position, and therefore there was no "systemic discrimination."

    The EEOC invited me to hire an attorney if I was son inclined.  But they found my claim "groundless." They did offer binding arbitration, but every instance of binding arbitration reported on their website was won by the employer.

    To say that my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

    by Dar Nirron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:25:43 AM PST

  •  Gross, while an incorrect ruling is not this bad (5+ / 0-)

    But there's a hang-up. It's last June's dreadful 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc. In short, by requiring those who allege age discrimination to prove that this was essentially the only cause for their being fired, or demoted or not promoted, getting a favorable ruling has become immensely more difficult.

    I'm an employment attorney and what Gross did specifically is eliminate the "direct" vs. "indirect" evidence of discrimination that the Supreme Court created with Title VII (race, sex, national origin etc.) cases.  This allowed a more favorable jury instruction when there was evidence of motve.  Courts had been using this under the ADEA, the Supreme Court ambitiously (and incorrectly IMO) eliminated this distinction.

    The "but for" age discrimination standard is not as stark as the author is drawing it.  Age has to be a "substantial" reason, the one that tips the scales.  

    It is not impossible to win age cases, it is "more" difficult, but it is not immensely so.  

    That being said, the Court's decision was both overly ambitious and an illogical interpretation that should be corrected.  But age cases are not immensely more difficult to prove -- harder yes, but not as much as implied.

  •  can't we just lay off old (4+ / 0-)

    supreme court justices?

    republicians, supporters of small gov't and smaller economies

    by askyron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:31:00 AM PST

  •  Set Medicare & Social Security to Age 50 (7+ / 0-)

    as Howard Dean advised, so more older workers will simply retire early on their own and create millions of jobs for younger workers.

    In response to this idea, the start age will be raised to 70 or above to keep the aged dependent on jobs as long as possible.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:32:32 AM PST

    •  The retirement age in China (4+ / 0-)

      is 50 for women and 55 for men.

      Of course it often just means poverty comes at those ages.

    •  Yep, I am going to retire and live by (0+ / 0-)

      suckling at the arid teat of my government government benefits, when that cow is dying a slow death.   Very inviting.  

      Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

      by SpamNunn on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:01:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A mentoring program (0+ / 0-)

      pairing an experienced worker with a younger one, would be a socially bonding and professionally productive one, and serve as well to teach the new worker habits and judgment that are beyond the scope of educational degrees.

      If retirement and Medicare age were lowered, employers might be convinced to provide this kind of program, pairing part time employment for the older willing participants, and guidance for the younger people.

      •  What an foolish idea. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This is insulting to both groups.  people over 40 do not wish to be treated in such a patronizing manner.  We want to be treated according to our abilities, without assumptions.  I have both trained and learned from workers much older and much younger.

        •  I'm sure you have, as have I (0+ / 0-)

          But there are many people who would be willing if not eager to scale down when they get older and tired, but don't wish to leave the working world entirely. Notice I did say "willing" participants.

          With all due respect, anything patronizing about it would have to be attributed to the personalities and particulars involved. I look at it as a mutually beneficial plan, to keep both groups active and working, and allowing both to apply their skills.

          Anyway, just musing about how to provide openings for younger people while keeping older workers on. YMMV.

    •  Early retirement is a double edged sword. (0+ / 0-)

      It would result in removing high end wage earners from paying into Social Security, and create more beneficiaries.  Less FICA taxes being collected, and more benefits being paid out.  [Shipping jobs overseas, where they are not subject to the FICA laws, has not been beneficial to the program.]  

      However, you have certainly seen the effect of the chicken little arguments that there are not enough workers to support the current level of beneficiaries.  [It's not true - the Social Security actuaries are very good at projecting.  How many of you have a financial plan in place that's good for the next 75 years?  And how old will you be in 75 years?]  But I digress.  Decreasing the number of workers and having those who are working making less and paying in less will be used to strenghten that argument.

      It's a situation that we need to be able to address, because if we have learned anything about those who oppose Social Security, it is that they will use everything, twisted or totally inconsistent or just outright lies, to sabotage the program.

  •  Increasing problem. (6+ / 0-)

    But there's a hang-up. It's last June's dreadful 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc. In short, by requiring those who allege age discrimination to prove that this was essentially the only cause for their being fired, or demoted or not promoted, getting a favorable ruling has become immensely more difficult.

    This sort of ruling is an increasing problem. It goes back to a decision on racial discrimination in hiring made during the Reagan era -- and written by Sandr Day O'coonor, which was one reason I never joined in the bipartisan tributes on her retirement. These decisions require the complainant to prove that the employers don't have legitimate reasons. Damn hard to prove a negative -- you'd think that if there were a legitimate reason, the people who acted on that reason would know it and could prersent it.

    If "con" is the antonym of "pro," what is the antonym of "progress"?

    by Frank Palmer on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:36:22 AM PST

  •  Damn short sighted if you ask me (12+ / 0-)

    older workers are good for younger workers, and vice versa. Younger workers bring energy, enthusiasm, and creativity. Older workers bring experience, wisdom, and a great deal of skill at navigating office politics. In short, young and older workers make natural allies, complementing each others' strengths enormously.

    Organizations that drain off their older workers are depriving younger workers of an enormous resource, and hurts both.

    If apes evolved from humans, why are there still humans?

    by Bobs Telecaster on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:38:37 AM PST

  •  It it hard even in your 40's (9+ / 0-)

    I think it is quite common to get rid of experienced, thus higher paid workers in their 40s and 50s and replace them with cheaper, younger hires.

    I remember when I was looking for a job I had on the top of my resume: "20 years experience...." and got NO CALLS. When I changed that, removing the '20 years' part, I got calls.

    In this nation there is a strong belief that business (I mean profits) should always come before employees. They think that the benefit will eventually 'trickle down'.  

    This is quite depressing to tell you the truth Meteor Blades.

    Help me help kids in Afghanistan:

    by kimoconnor on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:41:00 AM PST

  •  This hits home (5+ / 0-)

    My husband, after losing his job as regional sales rep, finally found a job working at the county assessor's office at about 25% of what he was paid.  As someone who has managed many people in the past the stuff that goes on there drives him nuts.  He's applied for numerous jobs but only rarely even get an acknowledgement.  I had to go back to work too even though I am guardian of my three disabled brothers as a teacher's aide so we could get insurance.  Now we both carry individual insurance which is reasonable but if he were to lose his job again it would cost me over $600/month for the two of us and I only make about $14,000 a year.

    We make about $36,000 between the two of us, are both 57.  My husband has two major pre-existing conditions - hepetitis C and malignant melanoma so is absolutely uninsurable.  

    If we could be insured there are many ways we could make a living and be alot happier as well.

  •  That ruling was an abomination (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Dar Nirron, happymisanthropy

    Like their decision in Lily Ledbetter's case, they were clearly undermining the intent of legislation passed to protect workers from unfair and illegal treatment.

    And just as they did in Ledbetter's case, it's up to Congress now to do something to put right what the Supreme Court fucked up intentionally and with malice.

    Thwarting Republicans since 1978.

    by wiscmass on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:50:47 AM PST

    •  not going to happen (0+ / 0-)

      The government would rather have young people take those jobs. They are much more of a danger to them then 50+ people.

      And as the real retirement age keeps advancing upward and they promise to raise it even higher, there will be a new segment of the population falling into server poverty, the 50 to 70 crowd. No government programs to keep them from the street.

      It's going to get fun in America as the young step over the old on their way to work.

  •  Supreme Court - Political hacks in black robes (3+ / 0-)
    The day I quit respecting the U.S. Supreme Court was the day they ruled not to count ballots in Florida for the 2000 election. The five justices who did that proved themselves to be political hacks.
  •  Almost forgot -- Age discrimination in an age (5+ / 0-)

    when so many things involve technology...


    Old prejudices die hard, and young people seem to determined to learn their lessons the hard way.  We who have been through the wringer a few times have a bad habit of asking questions and drawing on our experience.  That isn't alway conducive to cheerfully jumping into a disaster.

    We're just scared old bundles of negativity who couldn't possibly have learned a thing or two along the way.


    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:54:54 AM PST

    •  Funny that (5+ / 0-)

      I went back to college in my early 40's and graduated with a 3.65 average in a computer-related major. The 'youngsters' used to hate to see us "returning-adult" students...They called us "curve busters" because we actually studied and did the work, including extra credit work, even though we had kids at home, etc.  

      But "old folk's" can't be retrained, didn't you know? /snark.

      "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success."

      by QuestionAuthority on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:57:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You raise a maddening point.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The vast majority of young'uns I've encountered -- not all, but most by a mile (or 1.6 kilometers for the "modern" crowd) -- have nowhere near the work ethic of most older workers.

        I can see how that experience and work ethic would make us undesirable.  After all, who wants to get things done when they're needed, and have them actually work right the first time?  It's un-American, I tell you.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:01:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't matter. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The myth is the young know what other young people want, therefore their insight is "invaluable".

          myth: The young will work long hours because they have the energy. Doesn't matter they are on Facebook half or more of the time.

          myth: The young have no dependents so will be there at the employers beck and call. Even when they are ducking out before the job is finished because they "have" to meet friends for drinks.

          I have experienced the same people with many, not all of young people.

          They know they have a cache to the the employee because of their youth and they exploit it terribly. Making sure the higher ups don't see what they are up to most of the time and when there's interaction playing up their youth.

          •  Spreads like a cancer, too. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Most of my life has been spent doing "backend" stuff --
            the behind the scenes work that has everything to do with how well everything works and whether it makes money, not how it looks up front.

            Wish I knew how many times I've had some little chucklehead tell me "you can't do that" because they didn't know how to go about something.

            Oh wait! It would be about the number of times I went ahead and did it, proving that, yes, I can do that.

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:14:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Kill Grandma. Lay off Grandpa. (3+ / 0-)

    Wow.  Happy Thanksgiving.

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:56:11 AM PST

  •  I have tried a few age discrimination cases. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, happymisanthropy

    Proving a prima facie case of age discrimination is really not that hard.  The problem is that the employer always has the defense of "economic necessity".  For example, Acme Auto Maker lays you off, just before your pension vests, but they lay off 90% of your department, too, and then file Chapter 11.  

    You will get a nice opinion, vindicating your rights, and no money.   I have seen this many times.  Too many.  

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:59:41 AM PST

  •  age discrimination is everywhere (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it goes hand in hand with our society's mores regarding career:

    1. graduate high school at 18
    1. graduate college at 22
    1. work your way up the ladder

    rinse, lather, and repeat

    if you haven't followed this rubrick then there is always the question raised--why?--as if there is some kind of anomaly

    military--seen as uneducated grunt
    graduate school--"overeducated"
    lots of experience--"overqualified"

    good luck finding a leftover job and some pity from prospective employers

  •  My brother was laid off recently, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and they sent him a list of everyone in his division who was included in the layoff. Names weren't given, but job titles and ages were. Out of the dozens of employees whose positions were eliminated, only 3-4 were under age 40.

    Agreed with Cugel that Congress can, and should, fix this pronto.

    The world isn't logical, it's a song. -David Byrne

    by Leslie in CA on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:00:33 AM PST

  •  Frankly, One has nothing to do with the Other (0+ / 0-)

    The Supreme Court's ruling has nothing to do with the increase in claims.  I know, this is a large part of my business as an attorney.  The reality is that the claims ebb and flow just as the economy does.  When the economy is bad, we get more claims of all types (housing, age, sex harassment, etc.).  This is mostly because people need the money.  Sorry, but it's true.  The vast majority of claims are and always have been denied by the reviewing commission (EEOC, DOL, Civil Rights Division).  The claims that you read about are only the really nasty ones that the commission finds merit for.  I've been doing this for 20 years, and admittedly my clients are proactive in preventing discrimination claims of any kind.  They simply don't tolerate it.  When it happens, even if it is a close call, the employee who did anything that was close to being actionable is immediately terminated.  When they have big layoffs, they are mostly done blind to prevent claims.  But I've never had one where a commission found cause to believe that discrimination had occurred.  I'm lucky and I pick my clients carefully.  But, trust me, much of what is filed is just BS in hopes of getting a quick settlement for cash.  The economy is why claims are up, not the Supreme Court Decision.  As bad as it is, all it will do is reduce the number of successful claims, not the number of raw claims.

  •  Thanks again for your continuing focus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, happymisanthropy

    on the fact that American doesn't work unless Americans do.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:06:02 AM PST

  •  Singh will be here manana...and I don't think BO (0+ / 0-)

    will be able to sell him any derivatives.

  •  Thanks for this diary; my comments inside: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1. Back in 2002 at the bust, I talked to a friend who knew a recruiter who said that several of her clients said they did not want to interview anyone over 40.  'Don't even send us resumes,' is what she was told.
    1. Age discrimination is very hard to prove because an employer has an HR department and lawyers who help 'customize' layoffs and outright firings so as to avoid age discrimination charges.  The only truly protected group in employment law is the minority classification. And in 'right to work states,' anything goes except for protected groups.  Imagine:  you are given an assignment that you know you are not qualified for; after six months you are called an and told your performance is substandard, and then when things get no better, you are let go or put on a lay off list.  Your management refuses to hear you out.  You're gone based on your performance.  
    1. Again, in my 2002 example above, my recruiter friend said in pre interviews, she asked if the person could 'work with 'young people,' and report to management younger than the person.  This was raised as a major issue by all her clients.
    1. There is a law that supposedly protects those over 40 from age discrimination, but if you don't hire 40 and over, you avoid this potential problem, and if you can manage to lay off the older employee it's very hard to prove age discrimination.  When a major corporation let thousands go in the mid 90's, a condition of receiving severance pay was to sign a form that certified you would not sue for age discrimination---thousands signed that form to get severance pay, AND because of this form, those thousands were unable to sign up for unemployment benefits.
    1. Any young person needs to know that when they approach 40, they need to have backup plans, hard as it might be to do, OR to be Wall Street traders or attorneys with major law firms, or own significant businesses, so they can amass a tidy nest egg by age 35.  The typical salaried man is on the menu these days.  
    1. I expect the threshold age for discrimination to drop in coming years.   I say it's 40 now, I predict that number will be 35 and will drop.
    1. Some will always luck out and work a full career to retirement.  This is a fact, just as it is a fact that many won't make it, will be dropped in mid life, and will struggle to the end, if they decide to struggle that is.  
    1. The young employees are so engrossed in career building once hired that they cannot believe that in 20 years, they might be without a job and no one will even respond to their resume.  This  is corporate America.
    1. Beware of working in a college town area, since companies there always prefer fresh graduates.  And, without a Ph.D., you will not compete with this group at all, your experience notwithstanding.
    1. Steven Colbert spoke at the Wheaton College (IL) commencement a couple years ago and said 'the world is waiting for you with a club.'  He was right, and it never stops, experienced as you may become.
    1. Many over 40 employees unfortunately create a stigma that employers unfortunately use as a template for the 'older worker.'  So, stay fit, keep the pilot light on, and don't 'retire' mentally and expect to be hired--that attitude will show.
    1. Retraining when you are 40+ is almost impossible, if you are trying to get to an equivalent or higher income in another field or one you are in.   As a college dean told me, 'who would hire someone like that?  Sure he could have a fresh Ph.D., but he's viewed as too old to contribute.'  This from a MAJOR nationally known university dean.
    1. You will find past 35 that recruiters or job counselors will have less and less advice for you that you can use.  Instead, you will get the same advice as they give to younger employees---make sure your resume looks good, say 'thank you' after the interview, etc.  You won't get a recruiter to tell you to 'forget it,' it's that your phone just won't ring and that as nice as the recruiter might be, you may not hear from him/her again, despite his positive comments on your experience.

    Good luck to all, young and old.  I hope all generations can unite and help fix the mess we are in today.

    •  The funny thing is (0+ / 0-)

      I have seen the work that comes from the mix.

      And I can tell you, age matters. They have learned from their experience and their ideas are usually much better because of it. They know what works and what doesn't. They young are aren't all they are cracked up to be. Not that they aren't smart. But they really don't know so many things they are actually disadvantaged in my opinion.

      But the number on your birth certificate is what talks these days.

  •  Hell, I didn't even make it to 50 (0+ / 0-)
    before being broomed for being "too experienced."  And believe me I wasn't overpaid, because one job I was offered at lower than I deserved was later given to someone with much less experience than I at 40%+ higher salary than I was offered.
      Just glad that I have some savings.  If I can pinch pennies and avoid major medical, I might make it to 65 to get SS.  Otherwise, I may have to get desperate enough to rent a room from one of my siblings.  If that doesn't work, I'll have to choose between the lesser of evils - living with my mom or death.
      At some point these companies will pay for the  inexperienced people rising to the top.  Many of them (like the banks) already did, which is what led to this meltdown in the first place.  It's an endless cycle.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:29:12 AM PST

  •  as an employer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As an employer, I've often felt pulled in two directions. My small manufacturing business is not allowed to discriminate in hiring based on age. Yet insurance companies always discriminate based on age. Hiting a couple 50 year olds could cause a disastrous increase in health insurance premiums. For perspective, we've already gotten a quote for next year's policies - They're talking $17,500 per year, per employee. How much more can we afford?

  •  1993 - Fortune Mag looks at 50+ job prospects (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, LegendClick

    They came to the conclusion that it would take 15-18 months to find a comparable paying position.

    In 2008 they did the same study . They called it the `15th anniversary study'. The conclusion for people over fifty: "Don't bother".

    Then it went on to talk about buying a franchise, consulting etc. They didn't mention much about taking jobs at greatly reduced pay as there just doesn't seem to be any desire to keep people over fifty if they can get a younger person to do the same job. In a perverse twist of fate for a fifty year old who "dumbs down" the resume so as not appear overqualified, they are then measured purely on age against younger people.

    It's a lose-lose situation. There are exceptions. One can get a job in Govt if they have the necessary qualifications and/or experience. But by and large, there just won't be room for people over 50 and possibly in their late to mid 40s either unless they have skill set that would lead them to the C Suite or project management skills in highly technical areas.

    This is a real double whammy for people out of college as their parents are kicked out of the economy as they are too. There just isn't any place to hide.  

  •  Interesting that those who ruled in this matter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, LegendClick

    are justices for life. No mandatory retirement. Very little possibility of being forced to step down regardless of age-related infirmity, dementia, or what have you. So why should the Fearsome Five care about people who are being discriminated against? It doesn't seem to be a blip on their radar screens since it can't happen to them.


    Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

    by mofembot on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:45:18 AM PST

  •  Wow--My union household upbringing is showing! (0+ / 0-)

    Given that layoffs tend to fall disproportionately on older workers who usually make more money than younger ones

    My gut was soooo used to those w/ seniority being the LAST laid off!

  •  It's all about benefits (0+ / 0-)

    Employers simply took advantage of the meltdown to fire all the people they have with good benefits and replace them with desperate young people who would accept fewer or no benefits.

    Many employers have their books balanced at this point, but they keep using the economy as an excuse to terrorize their workers out of benefits and job security, and to work half again as many hours for free.

  •  The population bomb has exploded... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and we need economic policies to create and maintain full employment. That won't stop age discrimination in itself, but it'll take out some of the sting.

    Age discrimination is a problem in Europe too, but their social safety nets keep the worse consequences at bay.

    BushCheney Inc. - They lied to me, they lied to you, they lied to our troops.

    by jjohnjj on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:00:59 AM PST

  •  This makes my old eyes see RED! (0+ / 0-)

    I had a dreadful time getting a job when I got older, particularly to the University of Kentucky. Complaints of age discrimination did no good whatsoever. I talked to the woman at UK who handles discrimination complaints (yes, they have a whole person to do that job - pitiful that they need one!), and she simply stopped returning my calls, noticeably after I told her that people in related departments (related to the ones I was interviewing in) specifically told me that they don't hire older workers. I did file a complaint with the EEOC, but they flat-out told me:

    1. They were more concerned with gender and racial discrimination (at that time);
    1. Gee, had I gone to UK itself and talked to the woman who deals with discrimination there?

    F*ck 'em. This was in 2000-2001, and I got a job elsewhere.

    I made myself a promise, though - UK will never get a penny from me. When I die, they won't get my organs, either; my organs can go to another U, but not to UK, where they'll make money from them.

    I have one disagreement with you - in my experience, pay doesn't matter. I had just graduated with a degree in computer science, top of the class, and was willing to work for whatever pay any other newcomers receive. I even said that in several interviews. No luck. It's not the money - it's the wrinkles, pure and simple. That hasn't changed - I've known many, many older folks who can't get a job at all, at any pay, because they're "too old."

    Congress is looking into the Bernie Madoff scandal? The guy who made $50 billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $11 Trillion disappear?

    by SciMathGuy on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:03:50 AM PST

  •  Fuck it. Just make the bastards pay... (0+ / 0-)

    .. by using our considerable clout to get Social Security raised to a level that partially compensates us for being put out to pasture by those young whippersnappers.

    Those managers, who are mostly younger than still-not-useless-60-year-old-me, will just have to pay a higher FICA instead.

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:51:21 AM PST

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