By Mark Lautman
As the industrialized world recovers from the great recession, we face an even graver economic threat. A structural shortage of qualified workers is creating a zero-sum labor market that is forcing communities to steal talent from each other, in order to survive and grow. The cause of this impending economic disaster: a baby boom generation who didn’t have enough kids to replace themselves, and an education system that has failed to properly prepare students for the new demands of today’s market. Add to that, 78 million soon-to-be-retired Baby Boomers who will go from high-earning producers to resource sapping dependents, and the situation worsens. Any community unable to attract and hold talent will join a growing number of economically doomed places where economic development is impossible. This suddenly makes deciding where to live or invest a much higher-stakes game. In When the Boomers Bail, economic architect, Mark Lautman, details the causes of the problem, explains how it changes the game and what you can do about it.