In fact, Ghilarducci argues, allowing the pension system to deteriorate serves a long-term interest of business: avoiding future labor shortages when the baby-boom generation moves into retirement. "All this retirement policy is really a labor policy," she asserts. "It's motivated by these experts who say, Hey, wait, we're going to need to do what we can to encourage people to work longer. A whole range of economists and elite opinion makers is talking about a labor shortage where, God forbid, wages would increase. That's what they're worried about--making sure there isn't a corporate profit squeeze, that skill shortages and upward wage pressures are checked."Now I've never heard any experts say this, and I pay fairly close attention to the debate here. But as conspiracy theories go, this one makes sense! Speaking of which, though, for a while I've wanted to bring up the strange case of the "notch babies," namely, those people born just after January 1, 1917. Thanks to some fiddling with the Social Security benefit formula, the "notch babies" were all scheduled to receive substantially smaller benefit cuts than those born just prior to that date. Everyone expected that these poor workers would all have to work longer, past their nominal retirement age, and hence, would suffer poorer health than their predecessors. As it turned out, though, the "notch babies" all enjoyed much better health than those born six-months earlier. Perhaps, the theory goes, this was because many of these "notch babies" responded to their benefit cuts by working longer or finding part-time jobs, which helped them avoid isolation and inactivity, both of which tend to be unhealthy things.