Posted 02/02/2010 - 10:00:00pm by Terry Nagel
Marc Freedman, founder of Civic Ventures, responds today on The Huffington Post to David Brooks' call for a "generativity revolution," noting that "the real generativity revolution is well under way. And with the help of smart new policies, this movement of forward-looking baby boomers might actually succeed."
Freedman writes, "It's increasingly clear that these older workers aren't competing with younger people; they are meeting demands for talent that will only grow as the economy recovers."
In a piece published February 1, Brooks proposed reversing public policies that he says rob the young to serve the old and take from them funding, freedom and opportunity, saying, "It now seems clear that the only way the U.S. is going to avoid an economic crisis is if the oldsters take it upon themselves to arise and force change."
Freedman counters on The Huffington Post that that innovative practices and smart policy can strengthen an intergenerational alliance. "A mobilization of older adults to transform schools, as teachers, tutors and mentors, could reduce dropout rates and bolster science and math education. An army of encore "health navigators" holds promise to both improve health and reduce costs. All hands on deck - as contractors, managers and trainers - are required to retrofit our buildings for energy efficiency, speed the transition to a clean-energy economy and create good jobs for all ages," Freedman writes.
He notes that policymakers have already taken small steps by including a provision in last year's Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorized encore fellowships to help boomers transition to public service encore careers. "More is needed, such as education support, payroll tax relief and 'posterity tax credits' for those working beyond the normal retirement age for the public good," he says.
Freedman concludes, "With 10,000 baby boomers turning 60 every day, it's time for public policies that honor their aspiration to leave the world a better place and harness their talent and energy for the long haul."