The 65 and above age group is projected to become larger than the population 18 and under by 2056. Does that mean the U.S. economy is headed for trouble? Christopher Farrell of The New York Times writes there isn’t a need to panic.
Farrell outlines a few myths that deal with older people and what they mean to an economy, like, “Older adults don’t work, so they weigh down the economy,” “Older workers are not productive,” and “Older workers are blocking younger workers from the job market."
Older workers still have a lot to contribute. C. Eugene Steuerle, an economist at the Urban Institute in Washington, captures the underlying dynamic: “If labor supply increases, the nation gets additional work and larger output. More output means more income for workers. More income means more revenue at any given tax rate. With more revenue, government can pay for more spending at the same tax rates, or lower tax rates.”