Due to better working conditions and improved health, people are living longer than in the past. Some people believe that this is a good reason for increasing the age of entitlement.
However, they overlook that there are still many people who are worn out by the time they reach 65. This includes people who have spent their working life as manual workers in forestry, farming or other physically or mentally demanding jobs.
Unfortunately, Maori still have a lower life expectancy than Pakeha.
Moreover, if we consider the effect of technological progress, less people are able to work without interruption from, say, age 18/20 until 65. Unemployment is becoming a structural, permanent phenomenon. Indeed, those wanting higher productivity also want, by implication, lower employment.
Increasing the age of entitlement would be inconsistent with the objective of raising the rate of labour productivity. This is so because an increase in the age of entitlement increases the supply of people looking for work. Employers faced with a larger supply of workers will keep using existing machinery. In the opposite case of a tightening labour market they have an incentive to install labour-saving machinery, which raises the rate of productivity per hour of labour worked.
As shown above, there is no need to raise the age of entitlement for financial reasons.
We're publishing this as something of a public service announcement, given that we like to think that we are good citizens. We're also publishing it because we find it very, very ironic!
Why the irony? Well, Jim Anderton's Progressive Party reckon that the age of entitlement to New Zealand Superannuation should remain at 65 years. But Ol' Man River is 72 (the age at which he himself says "there are still many people who are worn out"), and he wants not one but two jobs IN ADDITION to his New Zealand Superannuation! And yet his party's policy is that superannuation should kick in at age 65, to ensure "labour maket productivity", and not to have the labour market flooded!!
We guess that this is just another instance where Jim Anderton says one thing for the people, but does something else for himself. We also guess that it's that "do as I say, not as I do" mentality which makes it really ironic that Jim "Ol' Man River" Anderton is campaigning to be The People's Mayor.