The NYT had an interesting piece on how Japanese workers are increasingly working well into their sixties, as a declining population has led to somewhat of a labor shortage. The piece rather bizarrely offers this as an explanation for why wages aren't rising, since it says that older workers are paid less.

That could be true, but it would imply serious discrimination if older workers are paid less than younger workers with the same productivity. Alternatively, if older workers are paid less because they are actually less productive, then this would not explain why average wages are not rising in the face of a labor shortage.

It is also worth noting that the piece repeatedly describes the declining numbers of workers as a problem. This is 180 degrees at odds with the view that robots are going to take all the jobs and we won't have any work for people. It is incredible that we have ostensibly serious people who are both worried that an aging population will leave us with too few workers and rapid productivity growth (i.e. robots) will leave us with too few jobs. As they say in economics, "which way is up?"

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