“He’s a sharp cookie, but way long in the tooth, and probably doesn’t even do half the work a newbie would do in the same position.”
Many Americans in this demographic (in various fields) are casualties of salaries being adjusted to the “new normal”; too many years of salary increases have made them uncompetitive in an employers’ market. Age discrimination laws aren’t protecting them as they are shuffled around between jobs (if they’re lucky enough to find them) at lower and lower wages; anyone I know over 40 who lost their job in the last five years and found another one is making noticeably less money, even if they are doing the same work.
It is a national disgrace.
Too many Americans also think they're owed a job making the sort of salary they think they're entitled to. In my experience, most of these same people vote Democrat, and support the nanny state in all its various permutations.
I've been hurt by negative economic forces too, but in my case, it was the influx of illegal aliens into the construction trades that practically destroyed my family's business. They drove the prices for what we do down to near subsistence levels, and turned what was once an honorable, highly skilled trade into a fly-by-night, semi-skilled, cut throat game.
Unlike my dunderhead liberal brother, I never supported the policies which brought those conditions about.