Traditionally, people retire from their jobs when they reach the age of sixty-five. In some jobs, this is not an option but a requirement. I object to mandatory retirement for capable workers because it violates personal choice, discriminates against senior citizens, and wastes valuable skills as well as money.
First of all, I believe that mandatory retirement violates an individual’s personal choice of continuing to work or retiring. The older working person should have the right to choose his or her retirement age. A person’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (as written in the Declaration of Independence) is a very special thing. Forced retirement takes away people’s livelihood, deprives them of their freedom to choose their line of work, and prevents them from pursuing happiness.
Second, mandatory retirement is surely a form of age discrimination. A young person might wonder why an older worker should be kept on the payroll when the company could hire someone who is younger and more creative. However, a younger person will not necessarily be better or more creative worker. Age does not indicate the quality of a person’s work. Many well-known artists, politicians, and writers developed their best works after the age of sixty. The common belief that a person’s mind slows down after a certain age is nothing but a misconception.
In addition to the previous two points, there is the issue of quality of work. Older employees have knowledge and experience that can truly be beneficial. Unfortunately, many employers disregard this fact. Captain Al Haynes, aged fifty-eight, was able to land a DC-10 that was out of control so that 186 of the 296 people aboard survived when it crashed. McDonald-Douglas, the maker of the DC-10, simulated the same problem forty- five times and not one time did they have a successful landing. Safety experts agree that the high survival rate among the passengers on the flight was due...