Why we need to raise the age of just about everything to 26
You know a while back there was a big brouhaha about the fact that Obamacare required that children be allowed to stay on their parents insurance until they were 26. Now there were many multiple valid claims about this–that it was unconstitutional government use of power, that it wastes money, that it would cause a death spiral of insurance coverage, that it was an entitlement giveaway to just buy votes. All accurate and valid objections of idiotic action by the government. But of all the objections the one that wasn’t really that valid was that 26 year olds are adults. Seriously? I know this is legally a fact, like the idea that corporations are individuals, a pleasant legal fiction that has no relationship to reality. But unlike the legal fiction of corporate personhood which needs to be defended if you want society to properly function, this idea that you legally are an adult when you turn 18 needs to eliminated.
I mean have you met most people in their early 20′s? It would be hard to find a group less like adults if you tried.
Let me speak in generalities for just a moment (those to whom this does not apply will find this an all too accurate indictment of their fellow early twenty something’s). The majority of people in their early 20′s are self centered, short sighted, inexperienced and overly emotional with few useful skills. In some ways they are like 2 year olds, but not as cute. Now certainly they’re not as stupid as Michelle Obama thinks they are claiming they don’t know how to handle knives or cook for themselves (but in her defense look at the mentally challenged dunce she’s married to, so she may have a skewed vision of age and intelligence), but while not the complete idiots liberals think (and hope) they are, they’re not fully ready to accept all of the responsibilities that get thrust on them when they’re 18. They’re simply not.
Let’s be honest, the ages of 18 and 21 are holdovers as rights of passage have more to do with practical issues of previous eras and not anything to do with realities of intelligence and maturity. And it certainly has nothing to do with science as we are beginning to see that the risk aversion portions of the brain (the part that tells us: It might not be appropriate to engage in immature behavior, like say, voting for a worthless idiot who is promising you free stuff) does not fully develop until late 20’s by 30 at latest.
So let’s deal in reality a little more and raise the age of full rights as an adult to at least 26 (if not 30, because if your brain only stops developing at 26, logically you might want to have a few years using that brain and get used to it before being thrown into the deep end of the pool).
Does this mean that I want people living with their parents until they’re 30? No. Hell no. (Although that does appear to be the goal of Democrats based on the last few years of their economic planning). But that just because you get to move out doesn’t mean you you’re ready for everything. Think about it, it’s silly to say, ‘oh you’re 18 and just moved out, here is a long list of things we didn’t trust you with last month and in addition to trying to figure out how to support yourself, we’re going to give you all these other options and responsibilities you have no experience how to deal with Yes we need to give people at 18 or 21 the legal right to sign contracts so they can sign a lease and get out of their parents immediate circle and learn to live on their own, but we don’t need shove everything on them all at once before they’re prepared for it.
Further this needs to be done because of the changing nature of education. Whether the state led Common Core standards (as opposed to the federal Race to the Top program which very ignorant pundits call Common Core, because there are some very ignorant pundits who probably could have used a more standards based reading curriculum out there) succeed or not in becoming standard practice, the fact is that the day is coming where you will see consistent standards across the board in this nation. And once you have that you will see more and more students held back. And this is a good thing; it is one of the dumbest things in world to think that all six year olds are at the same level on the same day. And holding back students a year (and in some cases two or three) will help a lot of students actually succeed where before they would have failed their entire time in school. But this will also mean that you will see more people graduating high school at 19 and 20 (and maybe even a few at 21). Do you really want someone voting who hasn’t even had a government course yet (and let’s think about how little is actually covered in a high school government class…if you don’t even have that, I certainly don’t think you should be deciding what to do with my tax money). And even more to the point as more students succeed in elementary and secondary education because of these standards holding them back making sure they actually get the information in the first place, you will see more and more students getting through trade schools, and their A.A.’s and B.A.’s, (which will be great for the economy)…but will also mean that people will likely be in the bubble of undergrad education for even long periods of their life (and the last thing we need is those people voting)…which will in turn mean they will get an even later start in life.
Let’s just admit that society is changing and change our attitude toward the legal concept of adulthood to match.
And when you think about this there are so many wonderful advantages to this.
What would I include in this?
Well, first, we need to raise the voting age. It should be raised to 30, but I’ll take 26. Yes you can make the argument that some 18 year olds are mature enough to vote, but guess what, if they’re mature enough to vote then they’re mature enough to understand that there are anywhere from 2 to 5 of their fellow 18 year olds who are not mature enough to vote and they’ll probably be more thankful to not have 5 idiots cancelling out their vote. Now some will say that we lowered it to 18 because if you’re old enough to serve in the military then you’re old enough to vote…forgetting that this was an argument about the draft (a program that will never be instituted again because the military prefers an all volunteer force and modern technology has made it possible to fight a war without having to draft). Trust me if we ever get into another war the magnitude of which we have to call a draft, whether 18 year olds can vote or not will be the very least of your worries. And you know what I’m more than willing to put in some exception for those who wish to serve their nation having the right to vote earlier, hell I’m even willing to put in some kind of rules, like in the description in Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, we will find you something to do if you don’t meet the traditional physical needs of the military if voting before 30 means that much to you (if you’re willing to give 4+ years of your life to your nation, we’ll find you something to do and give you the vote). But back to voting, before I digress too much, anyone who has studied exit polls knows that without the 18-29 voting block you will get much, much more rational, sane and intelligent representatives.
But it just doesn’t end there.
Libertarians, what if we raised the age that one could take drugs from 21 to 26 and imposed very heavy punishments to those who sold to anyone under that age. If you made that argument you would be able to deal with almost all the people who very rationally argue “what about the kids” and you would be able to push much more effectively on your legalization arguments (which would in turn reduce much of the waste and corruption that comes from the war on drugs). No one would really care what someone in their late 20’s or older puts in themselves (so long as they do it in the privacy of their own home). But please remember this does need to come with near Draconian measures to against those who can’t keep it in private and those who would provide such substance to anyone under 26…think about it Libertarians, it’s a near perfect silver bullet for one of your favorite issues.
And social conservatives, you should also embrace this? Why, because I think the existence of Girls Gone Wild and other such videos (not to mention nearly every other week hearing about a woman in this job or that being fired for having done porn briefly in college despite any of her current rational and mature behavior) proves that 18 year olds might not be the best age to allow men and women to decide when to get into this industry. I’m not getting into the argument here of whether or not there are people who do enjoy being in this industry and can do it without being psychologically scarred…all I’m going to say is that I think we can all agree an 18 year old isn’t qualified to make that important a choice that will haunt them for the rest of their life. (Liberal feminists you should also be on board with this).
And liberals you should also be on board with this as it will require parents to be financially responsible for their children longer, which you think is a good thing.
And economic conservatives, before you read that last sentence and throw a hissy fit, let’s also say that you can’t get ANY welfare benefits until you are fully adult, you’re the responsibility of your parents until then. And consider how many liberal parents will suddenly start teaching some self control to their children if they know at 16 they’ll be responsible for them (and any spawn they have) for another 10 years not 2. Now think of the dropping welfare roles that could follow. So conservatives, keep calm, reread the last paragraph and use it convince your liberal friends.
Really there is no group that shouldn’t be in support of this. Except maybe demagogues who only stay in power because of easily fooled adolescents. Yeah Barry I mean you.