[in progress 7/9/2013]
I apologize. I wanted this essay to be much more sarcastic and biting and self-deprecating, but it just has not come out that way. It is mostly just serious and with a little sarcasm about American industry and the importance of lying to workers to motivate them. Maybe the essay will evolve into something more vicious later, with time.
In America, ageism is everywhere. And American industry is very ageist in its hiring policies. But are there potentially good reasons for this discrimination? Is there perhaps a dark side to hiring an older, more experienced worker, one with a reputation in the field, and a style and name that goes along with it? Are there genuine good reasons to stay away from such people?
Yes, there are such reasons and we know that a priori because in America the actions of business are the leading indicators of right and wrong in our society and they are certainly ageist.
In America, the company is always right because the company is endowed with the test of efficiency in a perfectly competitive market. Therefore if the company is ageist in their hiring practices, as nearly all of them are, then it has to be for a good reason. Anything that the company does not want to do, e.g. hire older and more experienced workers, must ipso facto be inefficient and lead to the destruction of America and its way of life. It is up to us to explain why ageism is the right thing by examining the case studies provided us by industry.
Technically, ageism in hiring is against the law. But the law is deliberately written to make this impossible to enforce and so practically there are no serious legal impediments to discrimination on the basis of age.
Here are some of the ways in which having an experienced worker can cause problems.
3. Older workers bring a history with them.
Good or bad, older workers have done things in their life. That means they know people, and some people like them and usually some people don't. And people are competitive, and frankly, some people are just fucking crazy. But when you hire an older worker you also hire a person who has a network of people in the field who have made up their minds about the person you have hired. Maybe it would be better to just hire a new person who has no history and keep things simple.
4. Older workers bring other company cultures with them.
Corporate culture is real. Building a culture is critical to building a company. If someone does not fit in, possibly because they have done things differently in other companies, then that person may represent an obstacle to building the culture you desire. Better to hire someone with little background, they will be easier to indoctrinate into the company way.
In conclusion, it seems clear that the younger worker will be more pliable, have less history, and won't try to tell you how to do your job. The answer is clear. One should hire younger workers, burn them out, then discard them so that they can go away to live the rest of their life in misery and poverty.
That is the American Way.