Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Proposed: Move Drinking and Smoking Age Down, Voting Age Up

 

I think we can all agree that today’s 18-year-olds are not as adult or responsible as the 18-year-olds of the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s or even the ’80s. Today’s 18-year-olds often do not have driver’s licenses, have not held a single job, do not pay their own bills, and have little experience supporting themselves by doing laundry or cooking meals. Years ago, at 18, these young adults held down jobs or went to college and studied. Some of them got married and started families.

I would propose the following: we move the drinking and smoking age to 18. We move the voting age to at least 21, if not 25 (when people are out of college). This would give people more time to grow up, since they apparently need it, and would save them from the consequences of their under-developed brains’ machinations. Let’s move adulthood to 25. The FAFSA already holds a parent’s income against a student until age 24 or unless married, has a dependent of their own, or is in the service. Let’s take the next logical step.

If my kid is on my insurance until 26, shouldn’t we assume that they can’t manage other things too?

Maybe it’s just my fear looking around and seeing what they expect from their elders while they take the time (on our dime!) to “grow up.”

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  1. Arahant Member

    Either that, or change some laws to make them all be apprenticed for seven years at age fourteen. That’s the way it used to be. Look at Ben Franklin. He turned out fine.

    • #1
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:24 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  2. Mark Camp Member

    Your proposal and Arahant’s counter-proposal would each resolve the present inconsistency between social demand on the young and their available supply of social capability.

    The tie-breaker is, as always, good looks. But if Arahant can tweak his program to make it clearly superior on the merits, then of course I will change my mind.

    • #2
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:40 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    But if Arahant can tweak his program to make it clearly superior on the merits, then of course I will change my mind.

    Parents can $ell the kids into their apprentice$hip$.

    • #3
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:45 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Hoyacon Member

    I have no idea where these arbitrary age limits came from. As far as I’m concerned Jack Weinberg had it backwards. Don’t trust anyone under 30.

    • #4
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I have no idea where these arbitrary age limits came from. As far as I’m concerned Jack Weinberg had it backwards. Don’t trust anyone under 30.

    Most of them probably won’t vote until they’re that age anyway, quite frankly.

    • #5
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:48 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Mark Camp Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    But if Arahant can tweak his program to make it clearly superior on the merits, then of course I will change my mind.

    Parents can $ell the kids into their apprentice$hip$.

    Better on the merits but still no contest on good looks.

    • #6
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:57 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Bryce Carmony Inactive

    I think the drinking age should stay 21 and if we lower anything we just lower the penalty for underage drinking making it akin to public litering. assign a teen 200 hours of community service so they learn to keep a lower profile. Low grade criminality is better than industrial toxic compliance. 

     

    • #7
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:31 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Henry Racette Contributor

    Just good common sense. I like it.

    • #8
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:59 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Either that, or change some laws to make them all be apprenticed for seven years at age fourteen. That’s the way it used to be. Look at Ben Franklin. He turned out fine.

    Don’t know about apprenticeships but there was a time that 14 to 16 year olds were strong enough to have families and cross the nation. We need to gear our education system to produce better young adults, not middle age children. We can start by teaching life skills like budgets, finance, civil, criminal legal systems, government structure, etc.

    • #9
    • January 27, 2020, at 7:12 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  10. Mark Camp Member

    Bryce Carmony (View Comment):

    I think the drinking age should stay 21 and if we lower anything we just lower the penalty for underage drinking making it akin to public litering.

    The support for metricization on Ricochet has now doubled. Join us while it’s still cool.

     

     

    • #10
    • January 27, 2020, at 7:14 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Arahant Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Bryce Carmony (View Comment):

    I think the drinking age should stay 21 and if we lower anything we just lower the penalty for underage drinking making it akin to public litering.

    The support for metricization on Ricochet has now doubled. Join us while it’s still cool.

    You misread, Mark. He is saying litering is a crime, even if one with low penalties. Personally, I still believe it should be a capital offense, since it’s obviously a communist plot.

    • #11
    • January 27, 2020, at 7:17 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  12. Clavius Thatcher

    Bryce Carmony (View Comment):

    I think the drinking age should stay 21 and if we lower anything we just lower the penalty for underage drinking making it akin to public litering. assign a teen 200 hours of community service so they learn to keep a lower profile. Low grade criminality is better than industrial toxic compliance.

     

    Only if the law is enforced. And that’s not happening with far more serious crimes in many jurisdictions. So that drunk teen would likely never get the benefit of doing the community service.

    • #12
    • January 27, 2020, at 8:12 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Bryce Carmony Inactive

    Clavius (View Comment):

    Only if the law is enforced. And that’s not happening with far more serious crimes in many jurisdictions. So that drunk teen would likely never get the benefit of doing the community service.

    Not every law needs to be enforced 100% all the time. I think most drugs should be illegal but I think the charges for a lot of them should be mild. I don’t think Wal-Mart should sell shrooms but if you do shrooms and no one knows… well who cares. cottage criminality is better than industrial compliance that has toxic byproducts look at gamblimg I’d rather have people have “illegal” poker games with their buddies then have legalized gambling in the state of Utah. 

    • #13
    • January 27, 2020, at 8:37 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Stad Thatcher

    TheRightNurse: We move the voting age to at least 21, if not 25 (when people are out of college). This would give people more time to grow up, since they apparently need it, and would save them from the consequences of their under-developed brains’ machinations.

    I agree. I dismiss the “old enough to die for your country, old enough to XYZ” argument as being somewhat dishonest. Raising the voting age to 25 would give youth a chance to develop the intellectual tools they need to vote Republican make rational decisions in the ballot box . . .

    • #14
    • January 28, 2020, at 6:43 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    What is the point of the trade-off? I mean, we could raise the voting age while leaving the drinking and smoking age unchanged.

    Is the idea that we could get the support of young people with this compromise?

    • #15
    • January 28, 2020, at 9:40 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think the more reasonable answer is simply to have a mental acuity, American history, and civics test requirement for voting. Any age deliniation is just as arbitrary as the next ultimately. You need a hard and testable objective standard that can be applied to everyone young or old. After all an 80 year old living off of government handouts is as irresponsible as a 20 year old living off his parents. The test should be taken before every election. Passing the test automatically registers you to vote. If you fail you can take it again next election. The test should be free. 

    • #16
    • January 28, 2020, at 10:12 AM PST
    • 1 like
  17. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Is the idea that we could get the support of young people with this compromise?

    The idea is that they’re still moderately under the control of their parents. We worry about young people’s drinking habits. If they were at home and still somewhat under parental control, perhaps they can learn to pace themselves and drinking itself will be treated as less exotic.

    • #17
    • January 28, 2020, at 11:25 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    You need a hard and testable objective standard that can be applied to everyone young or old. After all an 80 year old living off of government handouts is as irresponsible as a 20 year old living off his parents.

    First thing, I don’t think there’d be an agreed “objective standard”. Most identity politics-loving lefties would disagree and state that the test has institutionalized biases against POC, the queer and the differently abled.

    Secondly, I know very few 80 year olds that are as irresponsible as 20 year olds. They’re much more deliberate with their spending. It’s possible that’s less to do with age and more to do with generational culture, but it does exist.

    • #18
    • January 28, 2020, at 11:28 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    I think the more reasonable answer is simply to have a mental acuity, American history, and civics test requirement for voting. Any age deliniation is just as arbitrary as the next ultimately. You need a hard and testable objective standard that can be applied to everyone young or old. After all an 80 year old living off of government handouts is as irresponsible as a 20 year old living off his parents. The test should be taken before every election. Passing the test automatically registers you to vote. If you fail you can take it again next election. The test should be free.

    Valiuth, I like the idea, but there’s quite a historical problem about misuse of literacy tests.

    • #19
    • January 28, 2020, at 11:31 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Bryce Carmony (View Comment):

    I think the drinking age should stay 21 and if we lower anything we just lower the penalty for underage drinking making it akin to public litering.

    The support for metricization on Ricochet has now doubled. Join us while it’s still cool.

    You misread, Mark. He is saying litering is a crime, even if one with low penalties. Personally, I still believe it should be a capital offense, since it’s obviously a communist plot.

    Litering and…

    (Language warning, to be on the safe side)

    • #20
    • January 28, 2020, at 9:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Stad Thatcher

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    After all an 80 year old living off of government handouts is as irresponsible

    Living off government handouts isn’t necessarily proof a person is irresponsible, although it’s usually a good indicator.

    I wish we could have a test for voting, but that would get struck down even by a majority conservative SCOTUS . . .

    • #21
    • January 29, 2020, at 11:25 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Although the federal government does dictate the smoking age, it shouldn’t. This should be totally at the discretion of state governments. Technically, the federal government dictate the drinking age, but essentially they blackmail the states into doing what Uncle Sam wants. If a state lowers the drinking age below 21 — or raises the blood alcohol level that defines drunk driving — the federal government will withhold federal highway funds. But as with smoking, I think this ought to be decided strictly at the state level without any “guidance” from the federal government. So I don’t care what the drinking age is in other states, it’s non of my business. I’d like to see it lowered in mine.

    Voting age is set by federal law. I don’t support increasing it. 18 year olds can be held responsible in a contract, 18 year olds who are working are paying taxes, 18 year olds are serving in our military, some of whom are fighting terrorists on the other side of the world on our behalf. 

     

     

    • #22
    • January 29, 2020, at 7:27 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    After all an 80 year old living off of government handouts is as irresponsible

    Living off government handouts isn’t necessarily proof a person is irresponsible, although it’s usually a good indicator.

    I wish we could have a test for voting, but that would get struck down even by a majority conservative SCOTUS . . .

    Oh I know that no test for voting could withstand judicial review. Given the history of such tests. But without an actually objective test of competence this all just amounts to an exercise in electoral manipulation little better than that of progressives pushing to give 16 year olds the vote. Just purely partisan calculations to gain advantage. 

    • #23
    • January 29, 2020, at 8:13 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Arahant Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    But without an actually objective test of competence this all just amounts to an exercise in electoral manipulation little better than that of progressives pushing to give 16 year olds the vote. Just purely partisan calculations to gain advantage. 

    Yep.

    • #24
    • January 29, 2020, at 8:16 PM PST
    • Like
  25. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Voting age is set by federal law. I don’t support increasing it. 18 year olds can be held responsible in a contract, 18 year olds who are working are paying taxes, 18 year olds are serving in our military, some of whom are fighting terrorists on the other side of the world on our behalf. 

    18 year olds can be held responsible in a contract.

    But if we’re treating them like children, they shouldn’t be. It should all get moved up. Except military service, which should be done (as it is now) with parental permission.

    16 year olds also pay taxes. 14 year olds pay taxes. Everyone pays taxes (sales tax, the great equalizer). The difference is that by 18, we allow them to decide where those taxes go, whether or not they pay federal tax. I do not think that’s exactly right. We need to be more consistent. Either they’re adults or they’re not. They can’t have it every which way.

    • #25
    • January 29, 2020, at 8:24 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  26. Ontheleftcoast Member

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    16 year olds also pay taxes. 14 year olds pay taxes. Everyone pays taxes (sales tax, the great equalizer). The difference is that by 18, we allow them to decide where those taxes go, whether or not they pay federal tax. I do not think that’s exactly right. We need to be more consistent. Either they’re adults or they’re not. They can’t have it every which way.

    Hmm. With minimum wage laws, the net result is that first paycheck where you see all the deductions is more likely to get deferred until you’re already personally getting government money in some form or another. 

    • #26
    • January 31, 2020, at 8:47 AM PST
    • Like