Working until 70 in a technological age

 

Sir, – The mere suggestion that retirement age should be extended to 70 is an alarming example of how little the ESRI, the Government, its plethora of advisers and the multitude of economic experts who lecture us daily understand the enormous impact modern technology has had on economic activity.

Work is being eliminated on an enormous and accelerating scale by the genius of invention and innovation. Work elimination is what technology is all about.

Unless governments and economic establishments start immediately to devise and implement policies of sustaining employment sufficient to ensure stable society from a reducing pool of work, by initiating later entry into employment, shorter hours, increased holidays and significantly earlier retirement, economies will begin to experience intolerable levels of unemployment.

Pathetic expectations that “market forces” will regulate overproduction, that growth can be sustained in an oversupply situation and that technology creates as many jobs as it eliminates are leading to potential catastrophic collapse.

The argument that 2008 was simply another “recession” can be shown as absolutely absurd if analysed from the technological viewpoint; the manifestations may have been similar to other “recessions” but the causes were entirely different. Careful management of an awe-struck media by the economic establishment has ensured such an analysis has never taken place.

There has never been a serious discussion of the economic impact of modern technology; the questions such a debate might throw up are far too difficult for economic experts to answer.

Clueless politicians , Government and Opposition alike, meekly bow to unchallenged economic expertise and a situation is allowed develop where wealth is concentrated, feudal-like, into enormous powerhouse conglomerates while countless millions are cut adrift from economic activity into uncertainty, insecurity, penury, debt and despair.

Economic serfdom is the increasing fate of millions. That is why Brexit and Trump triumphed against overwhelming odds and radical politics are making dangerous inroads into democracy.

This is an entirely unprecedented technological age of great abundance without need to work very hard anymore.

Moving the retirement age to 70 is about as wrong as policy can be for the masses, who are not the few to reap the benefits of the best economic time ever experienced. – Yours, etc,

PADRAIC NEARY,

Tubbercurry,

Co Sligo.