December 2012 marked the fifth year since the official onset of the Great Recession in December 2007 and more than three years since its official end in June 2009. What does the picture look like for Americans aged 55 and older today?
Though Washington is fixated this month on the so-called "fiscal cliff," that manufactured face-off is a bit of a side-show. Far more disturbing is a deeper array of fundamental structural problems of federal governance, of which "Taxmageddon" is just a surface manifestation.
You might have heard that unemployment fell in August only because armies of the unemployed are despairing of finding work. The reality is more complicated -- but true enough that somebody should do something about it.
While it would be great if all areas could share in this recovery, having some areas of exceptional growth can act as a real catalyst for the economy. With any luck, where these areas of dynamic growth lead, more jobs, stronger sales and higher savings account rates will follow.
How do we address the fact that both older and younger workers need jobs now? The best advice is to see past the short term and avoid introducing a market distortion -- asking older workers to "step aside" -- that is premised on the number of jobs in the economy being fixed.