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As robots advance, lower retirement age

Engineers inspect Toshiba's four-legged robot during a demonstration

Engineers inspect Toshiba's four-legged robot during a demonstration at Toshiba's technical center in Yokohama, in suburban Tokyo. (Nov. 21, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Automation, computers and robotics in manufacturing have resulted in increased productivity. This can be good, but there also has been a corresponding reduction in labor required — which is not so good [“How do we replace rewards for labor?,” Opinion, Feb. 22].

A global crisis is brewing, and the response of creative leadership and formulation of constructive solutions seem to be lacking.

I would suggest the following: Over the next 20 years, reduce the standard workweek from 40 hours by one hour per year until we arrive at a 20-hour workweek. At the same time, reduce the retirement age from the mid-60s by 6 months per year, until people are entitled to full retirement benefits at 55. Hopefully, people will have time to enjoy their retirements and engage in charitable works.

Right now, a very large demographic feels trapped around the edge of an ever-expanding sinkhole. I don’t believe we’re too far off from a social and economic crisis of monumental proportions.

Ted Richman Jericho

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