There is a very interesting story at the Huffington Post titled 15 Photos Show You Can Be Awesome At Your Job, No Matter Your Age. That this is the case should not be surprising. Winston Churchill’s finest years, for example, were as wartime Prime Minister while in his late sixties. As the Huffington Post article notes, older people who remain in the workforce do so for a variety of reasons, including the obvious economic one, but also for social reasons and to feel they are making a contribution. In Australia, the employment-to-population ratio for people aged 65 years and over has increased since the early 2000s (see chart below). The upward trend will probably continue, as no doubt many ageing baby boomers will want to maintain their contact with the workforce and community.
Stories and data such as these make me wonder about the tendency of our political leaders to retire after a defeat, even if they are relatively young, which was the case for Peter Costello and Julia Gillard, for example. After the Government’s near death experience at the 2016 election and the debacle of the last day of Parliament last week, Government MPs would probably be very grateful if an experienced player like Peter Costello returned. There is no substitute for experience, which is why we should look positively at rising workforce participation among older Australians.
Great post Gene, politicians are a breed on their own as you would know having dealt with them in the past. But as someone involved in the party side of the equation most are quietly told it’s time to move on, the branches are full of people wanting to have a go themsleves and most know that it is time for a change. What does annoy me a little though is when the public complain about former politicians getting other govt jobs, overseas postings etc, as you point out many of these people have much to offer and if their skills and contacts can be best used to serve the country in other capacities, we should encourage it, otherwise we will have to put up with them as television commentators for years to come anyway.
Haha, yes, a lot of them do end up on tv! Thanks for the comment, Glen.