What’s in a Number? America Has a Maturity Problem.

 

Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name?” I ask, “What’s in a number?”

Particularly, I want to know what chronological age is magical, that which allows you to do something on your birthday that you could not do the day before. If you are 17 you may not vote, you may not buy a long gun, or you may not join the military without permission. But at age 18, in one magical moment, from 11:59 p.m. local time to 12:00 a.m., you have gained the wisdom and the right to do all these things.

While progressives howl at the prospect of an immature young man buying an AR-15, they also tell us that five-year-olds may reject their genitals, that 13-year-olds should be encouraged to use theirs (and the genitals of others) and hide their subsequent abortions from their parents. Oh, and please acknowledge that college-age kids are incapable of acquiring health insurance and should be allowed to sponge off their working moms and dads AND that they were too stupid to understand the terms of their student loans so those must be forgiven.

And yet, while we’re humping and killing and shooting and recklessly spending a fortune on useless university degrees, we have somehow also convinced ourselves that we’re all too young to get married before our mid-thirties.

That tells me we don’t have a numbers problem. We have a maturity problem. And I don’t know how to cure that. As a society, we’re granting feel-good rights too early and postponing real adulthood until it’s almost too late to put it to good use. And for that, we probably deserve all the misery that’s coming our way.

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  1. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    EJHill: And for that we probably deserve all the misery that’s coming our way.

    Not we.  They.  So the rest of us should do our best to avoid the carnage they cause.  Since they won’t believe it’s coming, and especially not that they caused it.

    • #1
  2. Lawst N. Thawt Coolidge
    Lawst N. Thawt
    @LawstNThawt

    States’ rights are the answer.  Make it so that each state and community can set the rules they live by.  That way stupid will wipe itself out and/or it will become obvious what works and what doesn’t.

    • #2
  3. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    EJHill: If you are 17 you may not vote

    Leftists want the voting age to be 16, since they like ignorant and impulsive voters.  I want to see that changed back to 21.   The draft ended long ago.   Medical science and insurance companies tell us that males are mentally immature (impulsive) until age 25. 

    • #3
  4. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    States’ rights are the answer. Make it so that each state and community can set the rules they live by. That way stupid will wipe itself out and/or it will become obvious what works and what doesn’t.

    You’ll just get another bailout.  The whole country was about to see the lesson when Covid allowed them to bail out blue states and cities for decades of mismanagement.

    • #4
  5. Lawst N. Thawt Coolidge
    Lawst N. Thawt
    @LawstNThawt

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    States’ rights are the answer. Make it so that each state and community can set the rules they live by. That way stupid will wipe itself out and/or it will become obvious what works and what doesn’t.

    You’ll just get another bailout. The whole country was about to see the lesson when Covid allowed them to bail out blue states and cities for decades of mismanagement.

    I was having a good parade, flags waving, the band playing and planes in formation overhead. 

    Seriously, if the states would take back everything that is a state’s right, the federal government could not have bailed anybody out.   I’ve been thinking about this and I think the root (or one of them) of the problem may be that we the people tend to think the important elections are federal and that may be true now, but it should not be true.  The most important elections should be for the state executive and legislators.  They are the ones that should have the most power and influence and are close enough to us we can yank their chain if needed. 

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):
    Seriously, if the states would take back everything that is a state’s right, the federal government could not have bailed anybody out.

    Repeal the Progressive Amendments!

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    EJHill: That tells me we don’t have a numbers problem. We have a maturity problem. And I don’t know how to cure that.

    I know how, but it is a political non-starter.

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    • #8
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    • #9
  10. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    EJHill: That tells me we don’t have a numbers problem. We have a maturity problem.

    I quoted this so I could “like” it twice.

    • #10
  11. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    States’ rights are the answer. Make it so that each state and community can set the rules they live by. That way stupid will wipe itself out and/or it will become obvious what works and what doesn’t.

    I’ll get Ya started.

    What obviously doesn’t work: Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco 

    • #11
  12. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    What’s in a number?  I’ll tell you what’s in a number – in about 4 months I will turn 21.  For the third time!  Still trying to decide on an appropriate celebration.

    • #12
  13. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):
    The draft ended long ago. 

    Young males still have to register with Selective Service when they turn 18. From the Selective Service website:

    A man who fails to register with Selective Service may be ineligible for opportunities that may be important to his future. He must register to be eligible for state-funded student financial aid in many states, most federal employment, some state employment, security clearance for contractors, job training under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (formerly known as the Workforce Investment Act), and U.S. citizenship for immigrant men.

    Also:

    If required to register with Selective Service, failure to register is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or 5 years imprisonment. Also, a person who knowingly counsels, aids, or abets another to fail to comply with the registration requirement is subject to the same penalties.

    Unless a man provides proof that he is exempt from the registration requirement, his failure to register will result in referral to the Department of Justice for possible investigation and prosecution.

    So although there is no longer an active draft, there are consequences for failing to register.

    • #13
  14. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    I’m in favor of 17-18 having a bit more freedom to make adult choices and take on adult responsibilities. That 25 “immaturity” is that the brain is still capable of forging new connections, meaning they should be forming adulthood connections before they are 25.

    I would be happy for something like voting being tied to some proof of independent household. Rent stubs, mortgage or deed, army enlistment. Remove the age req and tie it to independence. The landowner was by far the best arrangement there.

    • #14
  15. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    I think this is the next step that conservatives need to take. We need to stop being so scared of having people say we are racists or bigots or whateverphobes, and start pushing back.

    • #15
  16. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    I think this is the next step that conservatives need to take. We need to stop being so scared of having people say we are racists or bigots or whateverphobes, and start pushing back.

    Well, the proper response to “you are a racist” etc is probably not “so?” but more like “That’s crazy, you really know nothing about me.”

    • #16
  17. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    I think this is the next step that conservatives need to take. We need to stop being so scared of having people say we are racists or bigots or whateverphobes, and start pushing back.

    Well, the proper response to “you are a racist” etc is probably not “so?” but more like “That’s crazy, you really know nothing about me.”

    At the current point of definition, “so?” Is appropriate. They aren’t accusing me of anything vile anymore.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    I think this is the next step that conservatives need to take. We need to stop being so scared of having people say we are racists or bigots or whateverphobes, and start pushing back.

    Well, the proper response to “you are a racist” etc is probably not “so?” but more like “That’s crazy, you really know nothing about me.”

    At the current point of definition, “so?” Is appropriate. They aren’t accusing me of anything vile anymore.

    Not in reality, no.  But an “admission” of being “racist” would still be used against you.

    • #18
  19. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    I think this is the next step that conservatives need to take. We need to stop being so scared of having people say we are racists or bigots or whateverphobes, and start pushing back.

    Well, the proper response to “you are a racist” etc is probably not “so?” but more like “That’s crazy, you really know nothing about me.”

    At the current point of definition, “so?” Is appropriate. They aren’t accusing me of anything vile anymore.

    Not in reality, no. But an “admission” of being “racist” would still be used against you.

    It would whether I acknowledge it or not.

    • #19
  20. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    I think this is the next step that conservatives need to take. We need to stop being so scared of having people say we are racists or bigots or whateverphobes, and start pushing back.

    Well, the proper response to “you are a racist” etc is probably not “so?” but more like “That’s crazy, you really know nothing about me.”

    At the current point of definition, “so?” Is appropriate. They aren’t accusing me of anything vile anymore.

    Not in reality, no. But an “admission” of being “racist” would still be used against you.

    It would whether I acknowledge it or not.

    Sure, but it’s better if they can post you admitting it on TikTok.

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    I think this is the next step that conservatives need to take. We need to stop being so scared of having people say we are racists or bigots or whateverphobes, and start pushing back.

    Well, the proper response to “you are a racist” etc is probably not “so?” but more like “That’s crazy, you really know nothing about me.”

    At the current point of definition, “so?” Is appropriate. They aren’t accusing me of anything vile anymore.

    Not in reality, no. But an “admission” of being “racist” would still be used against you.

    By their definition, all white people are inherently racist. They need a new imprecation, the old ones are all worn out.

    • #21
  22. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    I think this is the next step that conservatives need to take. We need to stop being so scared of having people say we are racists or bigots or whateverphobes, and start pushing back.

    Well, the proper response to “you are a racist” etc is probably not “so?” but more like “That’s crazy, you really know nothing about me.”

    At the current point of definition, “so?” Is appropriate. They aren’t accusing me of anything vile anymore.

    Not in reality, no. But an “admission” of being “racist” would still be used against you.

    By their definition, all white people are inherently racist. They need a new imprecation, the old ones are all worn out.

    There are only two groups of white people left.  The ones who perpetually cringe in apology, and white supremacists.

    • #22
  23. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The proper response to “that offends me” is “so?”

    I think this is the next step that conservatives need to take. We need to stop being so scared of having people say we are racists or bigots or whateverphobes, and start pushing back.

    Well, the proper response to “you are a racist” etc is probably not “so?” but more like “That’s crazy, you really know nothing about me.”

    At the current point of definition, “so?” Is appropriate. They aren’t accusing me of anything vile anymore.

    Not in reality, no. But an “admission” of being “racist” would still be used against you.

    By their definition, all white people are inherently racist. They need a new imprecation, the old ones are all worn out.

    There are only two groups of white people left. The ones who perpetually cringe in apology, and white supremacists.

    Nope. If a prog calls you a racist, it means he’s losing the argument and he knows it.

    • #23
  24. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Stina (View Comment):

    I’m in favor of 17-18 having a bit more freedom to make adult choices and take on adult responsibilities. That 25 “immaturity” is that the brain is still capable of forging new connections, meaning they should be forming adulthood connections before they are 25.

    I would be happy for something like voting being tied to some proof of independent household. Rent stubs, mortgage or deed, army enlistment. Remove the age req and tie it to independence. The landowner was by far the best arrangement there.

    Good points.  I would say that anything that the general public can do should not be denied to anyone specifically because of age.  Once an adult, you are all in.  If adults at the age of 18 can’t be trusted to buy alcohol, the age of adulthood is wrong.  If adults at the age of 18 are too young to possess handguns, then the age of adulthood is wrong.  Same with cigarettes.  And anything else that is a right or privilege conferred upon adults.  If they can fight in the armed services they should be allowed to vote.  If they can’t be trusted with alcohol or pistols, they shouldn’t be trusted with the vote.  Take your pick.

    Some adult rights and privileges can be conferred on a minor, but none of them should not be withheld from adults.

    The age of adulthood was once 21 anyway, and I think that either society has to change back to conferring more and more responsibility onto teenagers so that they can handle life’s choices at 18, or else the age of majority should be raised to 21 or higher.  Say, 26 when you’re no longer living as a minor and enrolled on the medical insurance of your parents.

    • #24
  25. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Cassandro (View Comment):
    The age of adulthood was once 21 anyway, and I think that either society has to change back to conferring more and more responsibility onto teenagers so that they can handle life’s choices at 18, or else the age of majority should be raised to 21 or higher.  Say, 26 when you’re no longer living as a minor and enrolled on the medical insurance of your parents.

    I like the boundary at 18 for all but one item:  the right to vote.

    I would make that a variable: earned the first year you file taxes where you are not someone else’s dependent and your net contribution to government (taxes paid less benefits received) is positive.  If you go straight from childhood to welfare dependency, you never get to vote.

    • #25
  26. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Some kids have had jobs from an early age and by the time they’re in their late teens  or early twenties  they actually understand more than some adults who didn’t do grunt work when they were young.    Still, it takes a long time to figure out we don’t know squat and some never learn that fact. Even so, we have to work, raise families and try to prosper which causes a lot of folks to figure out what matters.  What matters turns out to be pretty much local.  Washington’s power is an illusion for most of us but real income for those who run it, but it’s important for us to understand that their income and interests are what matter to them not the written mission of the agencies they work for.   That’s true of private business as well, whether giant or small, but if not well run, they die.  Some bureaucracies that cease to grow and prosper don’t die they just  spend our money quietly or get taken over by a more dynamic bureaucracy.  They are profoundly different and with time get much worse because they don’t fire folks nor die.

    • #26
  27. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I think the age of majority should be tied to legal responsibility. Trying teenagers as adults drives me nuts. A person is either an adult or he or she is not. The heinousness of the crime does not define adulthood. Knowing that some action is a crime is not adulthood. Rather, adulthood is defined as being responsible for yourself in every way. It’s being able to act on your own behalf and make your own choices.

    We need to bundle up all these things and hand a child his or her adulthood in one package. We need consistency. The child is either the parent’s responsibility or his or her own. And if it is the parent’s, then that parent’s relationship with the child is inviolable. Teachers and doctors and guidance counselors should not interfere in any way. Accountability never works when it is distributed.

    Legal responsibility is the dividing line because it’s the parents who determine where the child lives and when and from whom he or she may receive medical care, including psychiatric care. The parents determine whom the child may associate with. In order to be considered a freely acting consenting adult, a person has to have the legal authority to do so. A person needs to be able to seek and obtain his or her own medical care and housing and sign contracts in order to be considered an adult. That’s how I think it should be set up. You can’t hold a person completely responsible when he or she doesn’t have the freedom he or she needs to solve problems.

    We really need to clarify these responsibilities, for both the parent or guardian’s sake and the child’s. Avoiding this clarity leads to injustice for kids.

    This issue shows up in the student loan programs. The government considers parents to be financially responsible for a child’s college education until the child is 24 years old.  That demarcation has always fascinated me. So when it comes to money, the government is the first one in line to seek extended childhood. But when it comes to parental authority, that same government wants to walk all over the parents. The government and the rest of society feel completely comfortable advising children in the absence of the parents. In fact, in the colleges my kids attended, even when parents were paying for the education, they were not allowed to see the child’s grades. My kids were not a problem in college, but it really bothered me to think that parents were paying the bill but were not allowed to know how their kids were doing.

    We really need to clean up all of these inconsistencies.

    • #27
  28. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Percival (View Comment):
    Nope. If a prog calls you a racist, it means he’s losing the argument and he knows it.

    Nope nope.  If a prog calls you a “racist”, it means he’s starting his argument ;)

    • #28
  29. Lawst N. Thawt Coolidge
    Lawst N. Thawt
    @LawstNThawt

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think the age of majority should be tied to legal responsibility. Trying teenagers as adults drives me nuts. A person is either an adult or he or she is not. The heinousness of the crime does not define adulthood. Knowing that some action is a crime is not adulthood. Rather, adulthood is defined as being responsible for yourself in every way. It’s being able to act on your own behalf and make your own choices.

    We need to bundle up all these things and hand a child his or her adulthood in one package. We need consistency. The child is either the parent’s responsibility or his or her own. And if it is the parent’s, then that parent’s relationship with the child inviolable. Teachers and doctors and guidance counselors should not interfere in any way. Accountability never works when it is distributed.

    Legal responsibility is the dividing line because it’s the parents who determine where the child lives and when and from whom he or she may receive medical care, including psychiatric care. The parents determine whom the child may associate with. In order to be considered a freely acting consenting adult, a person has to have the legal authority to do so. A person needs to be able to seek and obtain his or her own medical care and housing and sign contracts in order to be considered an adult. That’s how I think it should be set up. You can’t hold a person completely responsible when he or she doesn’t have the freedom he or she needs to solve problems.

    We really need to clarify these responsibilities, for both parent and guardian’s sake and the child’s. Avoiding this clarity leads to injustice for kids.

    This issue shows up in the student loan programs. The government considers parents to be responsible for a child’s college education until the child is 24 years old. That demarcation has always fascinated me. So when it comes to money, the government is the first one in line to seek extended childhood. But when it comes to parental authority, that same government wants to walk all over the parents. The government and the rest of society feel completely comfortable advising children in the absence of the parents. In fact, in the colleges my kids attended, even when parents were paying for the education, they were not allowed to see the child’s grades. My kids were not a problem in college, but it really bothered me to think that parents were paying the bill but were not allowed to know how they were doing.

    We really need to clean up all of these inconsistencies.

    Some of our woes do seem to be driven by drawing a legal line in the sand where adulthood starts for every child whether they’ve been one for a few years or never will be one.   I don’t have a clear answer.

    • #29
  30. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think the age of majority should be tied to legal responsibility. Trying teenagers as adults drives me nuts. A person is either an adult or he or she is not. The heinousness of the crime does not define adulthood. Knowing that some action is a crime is not adulthood. Rather, adulthood is defined as being responsible for yourself in every way. It’s being able to act on your own behalf and make your own choices.

     

    I agree with everything you said MarciN, but I struggle with what should be done with a 15 year old who shoots and kills someone else (as happened in Gresham, Oregon this week).  Is he incarcerated in a juvenile facility?  For how long?  Surely it’s not only until he reaches whatever arbitrary number we deem him to be a legally responsible person.  How would we hold his parents responsible?  What consequences would they face?

    • #30
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