The minimal role of unions in the 21st century prompts us to consider what else does and does not make sense in the workplace when we live healthy, active lives into our 70s, 80s, and 90s. In societies that are defined by more old than young, the traditions that have for decades shaped work need to be reconsidered.
The economic upheaval we've experienced since 2007 has really upended our long-held assumptions about employment and retirement. My generation grew up thinking that we would retire comfortably at age 65 and that younger people would naturally come along to take our jobs and keep the economy growing.
A short time ago, I called my bank with a simple question about my account, only to be faced with an endless maze of voice recognition questions -- press 1, press 4, for Spanish press 2, etc. etc. 'Can't I just get a human operator?' I fumed with exasperation. If I could, the call would have taken less than a minute.