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Taxes and fiscal cliff

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby wack wack » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:16 am

Huckleby wrote:Obamacare does some important reform that is not so well publicized - it removes the burden on businesses to create their own insurance pools. That is the main factor driving age descrimination in the labor market.


Really? Really? Sounds like a glib statement of non-fact to me.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:22 am

wack wack, why do you suppose businesses are reluctant to hire older people?

Under current system, a small company can have its costs for providing health care to all employees soar if just one employee gets a serious injury.

My brother manages small companies in several states. Two employees in a small company in Texas got cancer, and the cost to insure all the employees there went up thousands of dollars per year for each employee. Crazy.

Large companies are self-insured, generally, so this is not such an issue. But smaller companies, where most job creation occurs, have a huge incentive to keep older, riskier people out of their company. Obamacare will fixed this when fully implemented.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby wack wack » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:42 am

Huckleby wrote:wack wack, why do you suppose businesses are reluctant to hire older people?

Under current system, a small company can have its costs for providing health care to all employees soar if just one employee gets a serious injury.

My brother manages small companies in several states. Two employees in a small company in Texas got cancer, and the cost to insure all the employees there went up thousands of dollars per year for each employee. Crazy.

Large companies are self-insured, generally, so this is not such an issue. But smaller companies, where most job creation occurs, have a huge incentive to keep older, riskier people out of their company. Obamacare will fixed this when fully implemented.


1) Older employees lack of current process and technology skills
2) Younger employees are more likely to buy into the "company" way and are more flexible for the company, learn more quickly and adapt to change more readily
3) An almost absurd amount of young talent available
4) Including the obvious... salary expectation
5) Return on employee as an investment

I don't doubt your brother's experience. I can tell you that, for the hiring in which I've been involved, #2 above is primary by a long shot, and insurance was never an issue. Not even a consideration or mention.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:50 am

I have worked in a lot of small software companies. There, people over 40 were the exception. I don't know the nature of the companies in your personal experience, but I think for many jobs people over 50 are excellent, stable contributors. Your theory that only young people are sufficiently sheep-like is not how most employers operate.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby grumpybear » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:10 pm

wack wack wrote:
Huckleby wrote:wack wack, why do you suppose businesses are reluctant to hire older people?

Under current system, a small company can have its costs for providing health care to all employees soar if just one employee gets a serious injury.

My brother manages small companies in several states. Two employees in a small company in Texas got cancer, and the cost to insure all the employees there went up thousands of dollars per year for each employee. Crazy.

Large companies are self-insured, generally, so this is not such an issue. But smaller companies, where most job creation occurs, have a huge incentive to keep older, riskier people out of their company. Obamacare will fixed this when fully implemented.


1) Older employees lack of current process and technology skills
2) Younger employees are more likely to buy into the "company" way and are more flexible for the company, learn more quickly and adapt to change more readily
3) An almost absurd amount of young talent available
4) Including the obvious... salary expectation
5) Return on employee as an investment

I don't doubt your brother's experience. I can tell you that, for the hiring in which I've been involved, #2 above is primary by a long shot, and insurance was never an issue. Not even a consideration or mention.


Wouldn't that be age discrimination to not higher the older person due to the possible insurance costs. I think that is one reason why it is not mentioned.
I'm not disagreeing with your reasoning about why companies hire younger folks. I'm just saying that insurance costs might be a factor too but people and companies keep their mouths shut about a touchy subject.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby wack wack » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:11 pm

Huckleby wrote:I have worked in a lot of small software companies. There, people over 40 were the exception. I don't know the nature of the companies in your personal experience, but I think for many jobs people over 50 are excellent, stable contributors. Your theory that only young people are sufficiently sheep-like is not how most employers operate.


It's not my theory because it's not what I said.

Of course people over 50 can be productive, stable contributors... especially if they've been contributing for 20+ years to their current employers.

Like or not, an employee is a long-term investment. 25 has more investment potential than 50. A company is much more likely to succeed if it's roster is filled with employees who buy into the company's culture. Older hires who have already lived through one or more other "cultures" are less likely to integrate fully and happily into a new culture. Not unlikely, but less likely.

Used to be that a resume reflecting "25 years at AT&T" was a big asset. Not so much anymore.

For any potential hire, a large part of a complicated assessment boils down to, "is this person looking for a career, or to build a resume?" Are they here for us, or solely for themselves? The "correct" answers are more likely to come from younger candidates.

My only problem with your comments was the assertion that insurance consideration is the main reason for age discrimination, when that's not ever been a real consideration in my experience.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:07 pm

I get what you're saying about young people being more adaptable, and I would also add energetic. I worked in an industry dominated by young people, but I don't think that is representative of the work world as a whole. I have a different judgement of what is going on.

People over 50 tend to be more loyal and stable, many have a long habit of work ethic. I'm not buying into the 25-year-old being a better long term investment, people change jobs frequently now and companies are looking at 3-year window at most.

My opinion that health care is the primary barrier to older employment is perception, it is hard to know exactly what causes age descrimination. I know if I ran a small business, I would not even consider hiring anybody over 50 if it caused increase in my overall health insurance rates.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby wack wack » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:42 am

Huckleby wrote:I get what you're saying about young people being more adaptable, and I would also add energetic. I worked in an industry dominated by young people, but I don't think that is representative of the work world as a whole. I have a different judgement of what is going on.

People over 50 tend to be more loyal and stable, many have a long habit of work ethic. I'm not buying into the 25-year-old being a better long term investment, people change jobs frequently now and companies are looking at 3-year window at most.

My opinion that health care is the primary barrier to older employment is perception, it is hard to know exactly what causes age descrimination. I know if I ran a small business, I would not even consider hiring anybody over 50 if it caused increase in my overall health insurance rates.


As you seem quite comfortable bringing in anonymous appeals to authority, I'll introduce you to mine...

My mother was a nationally-respected, long-term care health professional; she retired in March. her last position was as Executive Administrator over a group of 15 nursing homes. She was ultimately responsible for all hiring and firing. Each location has less than 120 employees, so these are 15 small businesses, and decisions were made as if they were all independent businesses. Inspired by our exchange, I talked to her about this yesterday.

In short: pregnancy and child-care costs and issues of younger employees are far more concerning than any health concern of older adults, but either way insurance cost is NEVER... N-E-V-E-R part of the calculation. To her, the suggestion was literally laughable.

Furthermore, in concurrence with my personal experience, her biggest concern about hiring older employees was boiled down to this attitude often displayed by older new-hires: "well, when I was at such and such company, we did it this way..." First, it's difficult to attend to what's here when your point of reference is always over there. Second, it's a leading cause of demoralization and dissent among other employees.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Donald » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:35 pm

Insurance costs are usually not a concern in hiring (in fact it may be illegal age discrimination to even consider it), but they become a concern to all when Republicans start raising the Medicare eligibility age and starts dumping workers near retirement off Medicare and onto an employer's insurance. That will be especially true for small business since Medicare is the primary insurer of older workers.

I think a workplace with a mixed age structure is better. As an older worker, I get a charge out of the young'uns. Mostly they are good workers, a lot quicker on technology than I. They lack good judgement, though, and the experience to know when to call "bullshit." A lot of young workers are so eager they will let employers take advantage of them, violating labor laws. Older workers have heard all the bullshit about "we are a family here, etc., etc." We know the truth about work---it's all about the paycheck and benefits, and your family is your family.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby snoqueen » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:14 pm

The last time I was employed by someone else, being older was useful because I got called on more than once to be the adult in the room, intercede in some meaningless ego-driven dispute, or handle someone nobody else could get along with.

With regard to technology, I was as competent as anybody else so that was never an issue.

I also did not have childcare issues, Monday hangovers, or boyfriend/girlfriend problems.

I liked working with people younger than me because they taught me different kinds of music and were funny and accepting.

I think the effects of being older are an individual thing, except for structural matters like childcare.

But Donald has an important point about the possible effect of raising the Medicare age, unless other provisions of the ACA take up the slack for older workers.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:54 pm

wack wack wrote:In short: pregnancy and child-care costs and issues of younger employees are far more concerning than any health concern of older adults, but either way insurance cost is NEVER... N-E-V-E-R part of the calculation. To her, the suggestion was literally laughable.


I can not speak to this particular situation, it could be that these individual businesses were part of a larger insurance pool.

Small businesses (under pre-Obamacare conditions) that purchase their own group plan have insurance costs are affected by the risk levels of their employees, and older employees drive up costs. If your expert is laughing at this suggestion, she is not well informed.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:01 pm

Donald wrote:Insurance costs are usually not a concern in hiring (in fact it may be illegal age discrimination to even consider it), but they become a concern to all when Republicans start raising the Medicare eligibility age and starts dumping workers near retirement off Medicare and onto an employer's insurance.


If insurance costs are not a concern in hiring, why would Medicare be important?

You are making my point - employers will have an easier time retaining older people, who are expensive to insure in today's market, if they have their own coverage through medicare or Obamacare.

It's true for large organizations that incremental insurance costs are not so important. Totally different situation for a small company trying to maintain their own group plan.

The long term impact of Obamacare will be to eliminate employer-provided health insurance, at least in smaller organizations. That is a very good thing.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby snoqueen » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:00 pm

I'm not sure there still ARE any small companies trying to maintain a group plan.

If there are, newer hires never get on it, so any discussion of how healthcare costs restrain the hiring of older workers is moot.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby wack wack » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:48 am

Huckleby wrote:I can not speak to this particular situation, it could be that these individual businesses were part of a larger insurance pool.

Small businesses (under pre-Obamacare conditions) that purchase their own group plan have insurance costs are affected by the risk levels of their employees, and older employees drive up costs. If your expert is laughing at this suggestion, she is not well informed.


My expert laughed at your suggestion that cost of insurance is a consideration in individual hiring. As successful as her career was, I'm confident she knows what she's talking about.

I look forward to hearing her laugh when she learns that she's not well-informed.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:00 am

snoqueen wrote:I'm not sure there still ARE any small companies trying to maintain a group plan.

If there are, newer hires never get on it, so any discussion of how healthcare costs restrain the hiring of older workers is moot.


There are plenty of small companies that maintain group plans. And if somebody gets cancer and incurs huge bills, the rates for the whole group go up dramatically the next year.
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