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Samizdata quote of the day

I have nothing against 16-year-olds. In fact, some of them are my best friends. Well, not quite. But the current campaign to extend suffrage to them deserves to fail, and not just because it is so obviously a cynical vote-grabbing ploy by the parties who stand to gain most from it.

At 16, I couldn’t be trusted with the kettle, let alone the future of my nation. Anyone who thinks today’s 16-year-olds are imbued with the deep reservoir of knowledge and life experience which qualify older voters to elect and remove governments plainly hasn’t met one.

Paul Embery

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57 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Chester Draws

    If they get the vote, then they are adults.

    1) they should get full custodial sentences just the same as all other adults.

    2) they should be able to buy any legal product, including smokes and alcohol.

    3) they can serve in the Armed Forces. And be drafted, should a hot war start.

    4) they should not have to face any propaganda at school about how to live their lives, as that would be state-aided instruction of voters.

    The Left want to simultaneously infantalise them and have them as voters. It cannot be allowed to happen.

  • Laird

    Dropping the voting age to 18 (in the US; I don’t know what it is in the UK), which we did in 1971, was a serious mistake. It should be raised back to 21, if not 25. Anyone who proposes reducing it to 16 is an utter moron.

  • David

    At 16 I was allowed to sign up. At 18 I was allowed to carry a firearm into harms way. Back then I could not vote until I was 21. In retrospect that was a wise decision.

    I agree with Paul

  • Thailover

    Yes, it is an obvious ploy by people who care more about gaining an unearned political job than they care about the fate of their nation and everyone who comprises it, including the future unborn. Anyone who would propose such a thing is obviously “into” manipulating young minds to their selfish desires. And by selfish I mean in the popular sense of the term, i.e. personal gain at everyone else’s expense.

  • bobby b

    Voting age should be limited to those who have reached the maturity that results from having outlasted intellectual ego and partisan passion.

    All I know for sure is that it lies somewhere north of sixty. I’m hoping it’s not too far north.

  • Deep Lurker

    “they should get full custodial sentences just the same as all other adults.”

    This already happens, on a case-by-case basis, here in the US:

    LAST May two 12-year-girls lured Payton Leutner into the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin, stabbed her 19 times and left her for dead. The girls claim they were trying to appease the Slender Man, a fictional bogeyman who preys on children. Ms Leutner is now back at school, but her alleged assailants are in police custody. In Wisconsin all killers over the age of ten must begin their cases in criminal court, and on March 13th a Waukesha judge decided to try them as adults. If they are convicted, these two girls could be in prison for up to 65 years.

    The Economist, March 28, 2015

    This is an extreme case, of course, but it is common and even routine for 16 year olds to be charged as adults when accused of serious crimes.

  • Deep Lurker

    My preference would be to raise the age of majority back to 21 years, while making it much easier for those under 21 to have themselves declared emancipated minors. Here in the US, I’d want it available for the asking, for those who are 18+ and have a high-school diploma or the equivalent.

    And then I’d want emancipated minors to have all the legal privileges, immunities, and duties of 21+ adults with no exceptions or exemptions whatsodamnever. Vote, buy booze, buy porn, star in porn productions, buy firearms, join the army, serve on juries, – everything.

  • Fraser Orr

    Anyone who thinks today’s 16-year-olds are imbued with the deep reservoir of knowledge and life experience which qualify older voters to elect and remove governments plainly hasn’t met one.

    Anyone who thinks many of today’s voters qualify under this description is obviously nuts. If we are to have qualifications to vote, how about we drop the age requirement entirely and replace it with “you must be an adult to vote.” And how about we define “adult” to mean “earn enough money to pay for a place to live and pay your bills without help from your mamma or the social security office, which is to say be responsible enough for yourself that you don’t have to leech off someone else.” Perhaps qualify that with “have at some stage in your life for at least a year paid your own way… fairness to people who have been successful but sickness or circumstance robbed them of it.

  • bobby b

    “And how about we define “adult” to mean “earn enough money to pay for a place to live and pay your bills without help from your mamma or the social security office . . . “

    Excuse me.

    I’m sixty. From the age of sixteen until the present, I have dutifully pulled out approximately 12% of my gross pay – approximately 6% during years of employment by others, which comprised less than half of those working years – and sent it in to the Social Security folks. This amount was above and beyond taxes. (It was also capped, so when I hit an inflation-adjusted income of about $120,000/year, it would cease for the year.)

    That was my part of the agreement. As a consequence of those payments – which add up to a nice little bundle over these 45 years – I understand that those same SS folk will start sending small monthly checks to me in two years. These are not my retirement income – I’m fine – but they are mine.

    If you liken such a system to welfare, and state that it somehow disqualifies me from civic personhood, well, I disagree. Yes, I understand that there was no savings account established for me, and that my money went to pay previous retirees. But, frankly, I don’t care about that. This was the social contract under which we all operated, and I’d rather not be within that small slice of people who get royally shafted by a change.

    Call SS contributions a tax, if you’d like, but I also paid federal and state taxes on that same income. Had SS been treated as a tax during the years of payment, we all might have argued for a lower overall tax rate – which was why it was never treated that way.

    Being a recipient of SS income is a hallmark, not of being a welfare queen, but of having been a working, contributing member of society for decades. People who never worked, or worked sporadically, or for small amounts, receive much less than I will get, if anything. To now see that status likened to a leech is galling.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Anyone who thinks many of today’s voters qualify under this description is obviously nuts. If we are to have qualifications to vote, how about we drop the age requirement entirely and replace it with “you must be an adult to vote.” And how about we define “adult” to mean “earn enough money to pay for a place to live and pay your bills without help from your mamma or the social security office, which is to say be responsible enough for yourself that you don’t have to leech off someone else.” Perhaps qualify that with “have at some stage in your life for at least a year paid your own way… fairness to people who have been successful but sickness or circumstance robbed them of it.

    Agree completely. The right to vote should not be determined by an arbitrary designation of age, but from their stake in society. Women who did not hold jobs but had raised children should also be eligible.

    One considered alternative is that everybody gets a vote, but those who have a higher stake or have sacrificed more have additional votes to allocate, e.g. they served in the military, etc.

  • Mr Black

    The voting age should be 30 and have a property requirement. People who don’t meet those conditions are generally the same ones who make terrible decisions.

  • Gong Cult

    If you were 18 and eligible to vote say in 1976 given the circumstances of todays “yoots”, in contemporary terms and appraisements for maturity , you should be at least 21 or ideally 25, cause the ” yoots” aint much smarter or responsible – old guy rant based on stats. & observations…

  • Pat

    When the voting age was 21 the school leaving age was 15.
    If we are to lower the voting age we must lower the school leaving age at least to 14.
    Bearing in mind my parents generation left school at 12 with virtually no illiteracy, this could be advantageous.
    What is unacceptable is that individuals be compelled to hear the views of teachers whilst being allowed to vote.

  • Jacob

    “The voting age should be 30 and have a property requirement. People who don’t meet those conditions are generally the same ones who make terrible decisions.”

    All people, at all ages, make terrible decisions.
    In general people vote for the taller and better looking candidate (eg. Trump vs. Hillary).
    Any filter that reduces the number of voters is welcome…
    The property requirement should be for earned property, not inherited one.

  • Paul Marks

    Once many 16 year olds were considered responsible adults – running their own business enterprises and so on. But that was before state education. Today a 16 year old is just entering the world of work (or is still in “education” or “training”) they have no experience of the real world and their ideas often (NOT always – but often) come from the Frankfurt School of Marxism influenced education system and entertainment media.

    By the way, my own party please note, building yet more houses in what little is left of the South East of England will NOT win over the young – someone who is so brainwashed (by the education system and the media) that they will vote for the Marxist Corbyn-and-McDonnell Labour Party is not going to be deprogrammed by yet more housing estates, roads, distribution “sheds”, and shopping centres.

    Sadly too many Conservative Party people, particularly at senior level nationally, wave in support of “education” (without asking themselves WHAT IS BEING TAUGHT?) and try and appear “hip” and “with it” in relation to the Frankfurt School of Marxism agenda in popular culture and the institutions – the “equality” and “diversity” agenda.

    I remember Prince Charles trying to make friends with the author of the “Horrible Histories” series of books – His Royal Highness (good person though he is) could not grasp that the author was a far leftist who wanted to destroy him and his family. And this was not because the author was deceptive – on the contrary he was quite open in his political stance. It was just that his Royal Highness (like Prime Minister May and so many others) seemed to be unable to hear or understand what was clearly being said.

    “Why is this 16 year old trying to murder me?” Because their view of the world has been shaped by such things as the “Horrible Histories” series. “Surely not – those are just amusing books, although I have not actually read them”.

    At the Conservative Party Conference (indeed during her speech) the Prime Minister was wearing bracelets with paintings on them by a Marxist Mexican who would have tortured her (the Prime Minister) and her family to death. It is unlikely that the Prime Minister thinks that to torture her and her family to death would be a good idea – the good lady just does not understand the culture to which she expresses such support (hence the Prime Minister’s support for the CHILD “transgender” cult and so on – most likely the good lady has no idea what the word means and just knows it is “hip” and “with it”). So one can be well past 16 years of age and still rather innocent.

  • Jacob

    Maybe it’s best to set the voting age at 60.

  • Derek Buxton

    Excellent Mr.Marks, I knew there was something wrong with Mrs. May, she is certainly no conservative. But then they seem top be a dying, dead?, breed. I keep asking my MP when are we to get any conservative principles. Answer came there none!

  • terence patrick hewett

    Putting the voting age back to 21 years seems sensible but I read with some amusement those advocating qualified franchise. The whole basis of liberal democracy rests on the simple fact that the Colonel’s Lady and Rosie O’Grady both have a very good idea where their respective self-interest lies.

  • morsjon

    No doubt some might take umbrage at this, but there is also an argument that those past a certain age should have their right to vote taken from them. Although the elderly are often wiser than the young, they are also less intellectually flexible, and crucially do not have the future to worry about (unless they have children). It took my grandfather very long to realise that he should stop driving although he could barely see any longer. Probably 30-70 is the right age band currently.

  • terence patrick hewett

    @morsjon

    Naughty Mr M! Why stop at disenfaranchisement? Surely euthanasia would be a better solution?

    Which of my 4 degrees in the sciences qualify me for this wonderous fate?

    By the way: to you I am addressed as Dr Hewett.

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b

    Being a recipient of SS income is a hallmark, not of being a welfare queen, but of having been a working, contributing member of society for decades.

    It is also indicative that you have moved up the pyramid in the Ponzi scheme that is social security, and you may yet be a net contributor (I hope not). The problem is, we are where we are, and at some point the pyramid will turn into a lozenge. And as the Sage of Kettering might say, that would, or perhaps, will, bring starvation or cannibalism.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    Excuse me.

    You are completely write. My mind was just blanking trying to be transatlantic in my terminology, and got it wrong both sides. Social Security is an entirely different matter than welfare, though, FWIW it is hardly a “put in your money and take it out later” scheme either. I am sorry to tell you Bobby that that money you put in over your many years of work? It is all gone. It has been stolen by the government.

    Nonetheless, presumably you have supported yourself through all your years of work so you certainly should have the vote.

  • Call SS contributions a tax, if you’d like

    If you aren’t given the option of opting out and not paying it, then it’s indeed a tax.

    Just imagine if that money they took from you had been invested in a sensible market fund, hell, just an index fund if you like, and and just based on the Dow, what it would probably be worth to you now. It is a enough to make a grown man weep.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Perry de Havilland (London)
    If you aren’t given the option of opting out and not paying it, then it’s indeed a tax.

    Part of the theory is that people aren’t responsible enough to save for retirement, and so the government makes them do it. And also, people aren’t responsible enough to choose a safe enough investment, so the government chooses for them. Of course this “investment scheme” is one where the government steals the money. So one wonders if it is even possible to find a worse possible investment. Even if you put your money on the ponies at the track there is at least a chance that you’ll come out ahead.

    And how dreadful it is that not only did they steal all your “retirement savings” but they continue to steal from your grandkids, give you a small portion of the criminal proceeds and then expect you to be grateful. Bad enough being the victim of a crime, worse still making you complicity in an ongoing crime.

    (Crime here meaning an outrage to morality rather than a violation of the ridiculous criminal code.)

  • In Scotland, the age 16 – 24 cohort voted against the indyref, albeit by a small margin, the next older cohort voted for it and all others were against, the margin against increasing with age. If we assume the between-cohort trends were continuous within each cohort, then the 16 and 17 year-old voters that Salmond enfranchised voted against him by a reasonable margin.

    There may be law of diminishing returns for the left in lowering the franchise age. At 16 I was much more influenced by my parents political opinions than I am now (of course, given what they were, that was not always a good thing). Drop the voting age enough and you may start increasing the political influence of parents – and lessen the influence of lifestyles less likely to produce children. The left may see politicised schools and welfare services as the way to handle this, but the clients of these institutions do not always respect those who run them. (There is also immigration of groups with much different reproductive rates but I’ll leave that for now.).

    BTW, if the voting age is being reduced, can the jury-service age be increased. 71-year-olds and above cannot serve on juries in the UK, thus forfeiting the services of a valuable hang-em-and-flog-em cohort. It is time for this age-ism to end! 🙂

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul, November 20, 2017 at 10:39 am: “Once many 16 year olds were considered responsible adults – running their own business enterprises and so on. But that was before state education. Today a 16 year old is just entering the world of work (or is still in “education” or “training”) they have no experience of the real world….”

    Quite. (As a general rule. There are always a few who get the idea early. And a few, like Messrs. Jobs & Gates, who get the business aspect early, however much they muck up the rest.)

    Really O/T but I’m curious. You say, referring to Prince Charles, “His Royal Highness (good person though he is)….” Is the parenthetical dryly ironic, meaning the exact opposite of what it says; or is it included pro forma; or is it to be taken at face value, as your actual opinion? I’m curious because it seems he generally doesn’t get such great press around here. :>)

    .

    bobby, at 12:52 am: Your chances are not so hot. I’m farther north than you are, and I still await the promised wisdom of the Golden Years. [Heh. Well said, sir! 😥 )

    .

    Fraser, at at 3:17 pm: “Part of the theory excuse-cum-propaganda is that people aren’t responsible enough to save for retirement, and so the government makes them do it.” There, fixed it for ya. 😥 again

    .

    bobby, November 20, 2017 at 2:50 am: Precisely, with one caveat: Namely, my parents were in their thirties when FDR & cie. rolled out their wondrous Social Security Plan (which — oddly — was not very popular at the time, but of course Everybody Knows that The Voters were beating down the walls in favor of Medicare, which is why Johnson et al. had to birthe it in the dark of night; and ditto Obamacare). My father swore to me that SS was marketed first as a strictly voluntary plan. Back at the height of O’Care Rage, the word went out that the New Dealers never, O SURELY Never, said any such thing (about its being voluntary).

    As it happens I was in absentia at the time, so no eyewitness account here. [Query: Is it contradictory to say that X, which does or did not exist, is or was “in absentia”? Words are very slippery creatures; so inquiring minds want to know. This question will be on Friday’s epistemology exam.) But I believe my folks on this rather than any statements put out by the dingdangDems.

    .

    Dr. Hewett, at at 12:53 pm: Quite.

    . . .

    Me: Tying the right to vote to the ownership of “property” (whether of land or not) is not the answer. Everybody owns something, even the homeless who has only the clothes on his back, filth-encrusted as they may or may not be. Even five-year-olds are owners, be it only the ownership the lollipops they’re sucking.

    The fact is that the acquisitive and possessive urges, like all of our human traits, exist in varying degrees in different people. It’s possible to care passionately, and to be educated and even libertarian-properly-speaking about the regime under which one lives, even to the point of activism of one form or another … and proving it (presently anyhow) at the voting booth; this despite the fact that the person just isn’t a “stuff” or “land-ownership” type of guy (by me, “guys” is gender-unspecified in this context).

    Also, I see no way to state unassailable criteria that would justly determine who “should” have the right to vote (assuming a system where voting is a meaningful feature), except that it’s “reasonable” to disallow the vote to persons who are obviously mentally incompetent — and even there, it’s a slippery slope.

    I can’t think of any sure-fire, up/down, yes/no, completely binary criterion except that of chronological age. But as this discussion illustrates, what are the criteria to be used in deciding what the age threshold should be?

    BTW, the issue about felons’ voting rights is fraught. First, and quite importantly, it depends in part on just what constitutes a felony in jurisdiction X. bobby, Laird, and other American lawyers: I have no idea whether, for instance, Angel Raich (famous 2005 medical-marijuana SCOTUS case) is a “criminal” or “felon” under Federal law; under California law she isn’t, of course, but some states still have a blanket prohibition which includes large fines and possibly jail time for mere possession of some amount. So if you live in, say, Arizona, mere cultivation of two or fewer pounds of the Weed is said to count as a “misdemeanor or a felony,” with a fine of $ 750 – $ 150,000 and incarceration of 9 months – 2 years. https://azmarijuana.com/news/arizona-marijuana-law/ But we laymen really can’t suss out what this means vis-á-vis felonship (if I may) per se.

    So if Angel lived in Ariz., would that mean she should be denied the franchise? Please, Great Frog, let it be not so!

    Heck no.

    As for the Alzheimer’s crowd, I surely don’t think we should have back numbers like Freeman Dyson (b. 1923), or Richard (Epstein) — who is six weeks senior to yrs trly, at 74 1/2, or several others of such clearly lacking mental capacity (though I do admit they both sometimes get things wrong, heh)– I say, obviously we guys oughtn’t to be allowed to vote.

    Nor to go to the opera without a chaperone, either.

  • diogenese2

    Wobbly Guy 6.36am

    “One considered alternative is that everybody gets a vote, but those who have a higher stake or have sacrificed more have additional votes to allocate, e.g. they served in the military, etc.”

    Not original my friend;

    ”Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means – decent folk – should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk – people without means. (1.13)”

    Joseph Heller “Catch 22″

    

  • Julie near Chicago

    Continuing on the “fraught” issue of the felony vote, by me Messrs. Dahmer (sp), Speck, Bundy, Gacy, and all their ilk (including jihadists who are citizens) have no right whatsoever to vote.

    So “felons” cannot automatically (under statute law) be entitled to vote, nor disallowed the vote.

  • Jacob

    Here is another idea:
    Maybe we should impose a fee on voting. If you care so much about voting, and think it’s worth the trouble, please pay a fee of, say, $500 and you get to cast a vote.

  • Alisa

    It’s not who can vote, it’s what can be voted on.

  • bobby b

    Fraser Orr
    November 20, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    “I am sorry to tell you Bobby that that money you put in over your many years of work? It is all gone. It has been stolen by the government.”

    Completely agree. Out of pure selfishness, though, when it all collapses, I’d rather share the pain with everyone than be asked (?!) to bear it on my own. :mrgreen:

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    November 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    “Just imagine if that money they took from you had been invested in a sensible market fund, hell, just an index fund if you like, and and just based on the Dow, what it would probably be worth to you now. It is a enough to make a grown man weep.”

    No doubt. There was only one generation that realized a huge unearned benefit from the scheme – that was the first one that drew benefits after SS was instituted, which is precisely why they voted it in – and there will likely be one generation that will ultimately have to pay the price for this when it collapses. Debts always come due. I’d just rather it wasn’t my generation. Or my kids’.

    On a brighter note, having been familiar with the concept of “math”, and being more of an ant-type than a grasshopper, I have been maxing out my contributions to various qualified plans (401k’s, IRA’s) since my twenties, much to my friends’ amusement. They stopped laughing some time ago. Compound interest and tax deferment have been berry berry gud tu me. 😆 (Old Garrett Morris reference there.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby… You write “…precisely why they voted it in….” As I hinted above, just who is this “they,” kemo sabe? Eighty or a hundred and eighty years from now, are people going to be saying, ” … which is precisely why they [meaning you and I and millions of others!] voted it in….”?

    .

    Alisa, yes, but you can’t get to that question until you’ve got at least an operating plan about who is going to decide what gets voted on.

  • bobby b

    Julie, I’m drawing a distinction between why SS was actually designed as it was, and why the populace accepted it at the time without rebelling.

    The populace at the time could see (I assume) that it was essentially a money/power grab, but they could also see that they would be the ones benefiting the most from the money grab (aside from the real “They”.) Those people would receive whatever benefits the system could provide to the people, while future generations would pay the price.

    “They”, in my mind, remains that class of folk who thought that the upcoming “Road to Serfdom” was to be an instructional manual.

  • Roué le Jour

    A man who earns his own living will strive to earn more, a man who is given his living will strive to be given more.

    If voting was about “should we fight the nazis?” Or “should we build a highway system?” I’d be pretty relaxed about universal suffrage, but as voting actualy means deciding how to re-allocate taxpayers money I don’t think those who live at their neighbours’ expense should be voting. Essentially, income redistribution and universal suffrage are mutually exlusive. Either will work, but together the wealth of the nation will be reditributed until there is none left.

    Furthermore, to misquote Syndrome, “When everyone votes, nobody does.” Universal suffrage alows governments to implement policies that nobody actually voted for.

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby, I quote you with boldface added by me:

    “The populace at the time could see (I assume) that it was essentially a money/power grab….”

    You assume.

    I see no reasons adduced to support such a broad assumption. Especially since people whose honesty I absolutely trust insisted that the thing was deceptively marketed from the get-go (and remember, I told you my folks were in their 30s at the time, so old enough not to be entirely foolish).

    Would it surprise you to learn that there were (and maybe even, I pray the Great Frog, still are) great swathes of people who thought self-responsibility good, independence good, dependence on Gov bad, lifting other people’s $ even under — especially under — color of statute legal bad, very very bad? People who actually thought it more important to be honest than to be rich (or at least a little bit better off)?

    .

    The fact is, bobby, I don’t think it would surprise you at all. But I do think you paint with far too broad a brush in this case, and dishonor the many, many people who never thought SS such a hot idea at all. Even if they did have enough financial acumen and tea-leaf-reading ability to see what would happen a bit further down the road — the tea leaves being an important factor, because how a scheme for good or ill works out in practice depends a good deal on who’s supporting it and why (political pressures do tend to send things twisting in the wind), and who’s running it and with what goals in mind. Even if it were purely voluntary, as the folks in the 1930s had apparently been told it would.

    . . .

    Since I’m upset anyway over this tarring of an entire generation, based on a mere assumption yet — it’s like all these people who prattle about farm subsidies and seem to think that “the farmers” (a large group holding quite diverse opinions in fact) are all for farm subsidies and are now and always have been trying to steal the food out of the mouths of babes and poorhelplesswidows.


    Au contraire.

    When I was growing up, a great many of the farmers, in my area at least, were against subsidy schemes, including the great Gov Putsch of my teenage years, which was Soil Bank. The farmers could get paid for not producing! O frabjous day!! Natch, the closet and no-so-closet kleptocrats, a.k.a. “the farmers,” knew which side had the butter and were only too anxious to cut in line ahead of their fellows to sign up.

    What garbage.

    I have no doubt that some fools were all in favor of it, and some of those cynically figured “wotthehell, I’m getting mine!,” but I assure you that many saw it as an unmitigated evil for Gov to be trying to persuade them to let themselves be enticed into taking “something for nothing.” And trying to set things up so that the Gov would be in an even stronger position to tell them what they must and mustn’t do as farmers.

    People like my granddad and his friends, for instance.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Roué, as long as I seem to be in a double-barrelled mood anyway,

    “A man who earns his own living will strive to earn more, a man who is given his living will strive to be given more.”

    A very fine maxim, which suffers only from the flaw so common among maxims, which is that it’s true except when it ain’t.

    There have been, and just about certainly still are, people who are ashamed of having to be given their livings, and do their level best to cure that condition of dependence.

    Of these, quite a few think they can do better for themselves, once they get on their feet, than they could ever depend on getting from others.

    And of these, quite a few turn out to be right.

    Both in terms of worldly success, and in terms of a healthy sense of self-worth. Always a pleasant thing to have floating around in your psyche.

  • Zenit

    Paul Marks

    November 20, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I remember Prince Charles trying to make friends with the author of the “Horrible Histories” series of books – His Royal Highness (good person though he is) could not grasp that the author was a far leftist who wanted to destroy him and his family.

    I am sorry, but what is “far leftist” on Horrible Histories?

    Terry Deary’s opinions about school and education are not so different from yours. Of course, he blames the Victorians instead of the Prussians, but no one can be perfect 😀

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Deary#Views_on_education

    Deary is an outspoken critic of schools, which he believes serve no function above keeping children off the street.[7] Deary has commented: “I’ve no interest in schools. They have no relevance in the 21st century. They were a Victorian idea to get kids off the street. Who decided that putting 30 kids with only their age in common in a classroom with one teacher was the best way of educating? At my school there were 52 kids in the class and all I learned was how to pass the 11-plus. Testing is the death of education. Kids should leave school at 11 and go to work. Not down the mines or up chimneys, mind, but working with computers or something relevant.

  • bobby b

    “But I do think you paint with far too broad a brush in this case, and dishonor the many, many people who never thought SS such a hot idea at all.”

    I don’t try to dishonor them, but, just as I found myself during the Obama years, they were merely the Loyal Opposition. We can honor their acumen and principles while recognizing that they lost the popularity contest to the takers.

    Roosevelt seemed to do okay after he pushed through this part of his New Deal (re-elected twice afterwards? – there must have been lots of the type of people I’m describing) and it baffles me how he did this, but then it baffles me how we elected Obama to his second term.

    So, no, I don’t dishonor them, but I don’t honor my own efforts in failing to stop Obamacare, either. If we were to make a list of the times when people of acumen and principles have failed to have their way, it would be a long list of honorable people with poor marketing skills. Like, say, libertarians. 😥

  • Roué le Jour

    I wouldn’t disagree with you, Julie, it’s a generalisation and all generalisations are wrong in the particular. I don’t however, notice teaching unions, for example, clamouring to be released from the government yoke.

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby, anything, even the leastest littlest thing you did to try to stop SithCare, demands that in justice you be honored for it. Including by yourself. Even if you believe, and believe correctly, that you “could have done more.” And so no doubt you could have, had your circumstances been different or yourself been a different person.

    Nobody has the right to dishonor an entire generation, or two, or three, just because a proper subset of that generation encouraged the people and the ideas that ended up in SithCare. –WHICH, by the way, not all the Obama voters were in favor of…not even the DamDimDem ones.

    Since when are those who give it some amount of “the old College Try” dishonorable just because they fail?

    . . .

    Roué, no disrespect meant. I’m just tired of all the mudslinging from all 837 sides in these political and philosophical disputes, where everybody ends up making blanket statements that aren’t, and behave generally like troops of ultra-warlike chimps.

    As for the teaching unions (NEA, I suppose), let ’em f a duck. I understand that their membership includes only about 35% of teachers; so I won’t tar all teachers because of the 35%. I read somewhere that only ~ 25% of docs see fit to join the AMA. There’s another famous example of a profession few of whose practitioners are in their professional Association. Forget what it is, though.

    Not that any of that really has anything to do with my comment, which is that the times when the “maxim” fails are just as important as the times when it doesn’t. Arguably, more so.

  • Roué le Jour

    No disrespect infered, Julie. I detest the “tax Peter to buy Paul’s vote” system and the best antidote would be if Paul didn’t have a vote to buy. I bear no ill will towards the halt, the lame and the victims of misfortune.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Amen to that, Roué!! 😉

    . . .

    bobby:

    “If we were to make a list of the times when people of acumen and principles have failed to have their way, it would be a long list of honorable people with poor marketing skills. Like, say, libertarians. 😥”

    Amen to that, too, and if I bring the Kleenex, we can 😥 together.

  • Matthew McConnagay

    18 year olds on the other hand

  • Matthew McConnagay

    Jacob – that’s actually a really good idea. Make it relatively hefty (or not), but make it a percentage of your reported income. Let’s say 0.48% of your annual pre-tax income – that is to say, one week’s wages for a vote every four years. Or less, or more, whatever.

    Then you just tick a box on the tax form – voting, yay or nay?

    Would probably weed out some of the mongs, and would also make elections somewhat self-financing – and would encourage responsibility and productivity, since only people with an income would be eligible to vote.

  • A man who earns his own living will strive to earn more, whether he is moral or selfish. A man who is given his living will strive to escape if he is moral but to be given more if he is selfish.

    (Roué le Jour, November 21, 2017 at 12:08 am, as amended by Niall Kilmartin following critique by Julie from Chicago, November 21, 2017 at 1:28 am)

    The essence of political wisdom (e.g. the founding fathers’ work on the US constitution) is to make the behaviour that a given system rewards align with what it is right to do. The essence of political folly is to create systems that preach good behaviour but incentivise bad behaviour.

  • Julie from Chicago (November 20, 2017 at 6:46 pm), you asked about Prince Charles above. Like many people, the prince is sensible about stuff he personally knows and has studied, but can be far too easily duped by the PC on other stuff.

    – Upbringing and inclination make the prince’s architecture and artistic judgement good. His 80s book on architecture is sensible and his campaign was part (quite possibly the leading part) of our escaping the 50s-70s concrete brutalist high-rise communal-living architecture that the ‘elite’ loved to inflict on the poor – for their own good, of course! For this, he was accused of “advocating nazi architecture” by the usual suspects.

    – The prince is no scientist and so has swallowed the global warming bilge. He has more excuse than those who call themselves scientists or reporters of science.

    In short – to use an appropriately mediaeval formula – his royal highness can be sensible on what he personally knows but has been most treacherously advised on other matters. (As have we all !)

  • bobby b

    Julie near Chicago
    November 21, 2017 at 4:05 am

    “Nobody has the right to dishonor an entire generation, or two, or three, just because a proper subset of that generation encouraged the people and the ideas that ended up in SithCare.”

    Heck, Julie, my original point was that I am happily lining up for the fruits of this unsustainable program. That puts me right at the vanguard of those you think I’m dishonoring. And I have way too much self-regard to consider dishonoring myself. 😉

  • Ever Noaged

    Why settle on 16? What do these people have against 15 year olds? School ‘discipline’ would be as well respected by them… I have a modest proposal: reduce the voting age to 0. Neonates probably have as nuanced a view of humanity and its problems as the typical teenager.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Niall, thank you very much for the info. Golly, I can remember when his Mum wasn’t anybody’s Mum, and indeed was still a mere Princess. (Coronation coloring books were a hot item amongst the Young Set around 1952-3 … I had three of them. And I read F. Marion Crawford cover to cover. I thought Princess Margaret Rose was the pretty one. *g*)

    Is it Prince Charles who is the Royal Follower of the Prophet?

    .

    bobby, “…too much self-regard, &c.” Good for you. I am well pleased and I assume the Great Frog is too, although it’s difficult to get a clear statement on anything out of him/it/her. :>)))

    However, you are “happily lining up for the fruits of” ObamaCare? I must be reading you wrong, yet again, ’cause that I don’t believe. :>((

    . . .

    BTW, I think everyone is safe today from the Bazooka near Chicago, as I am frankly too tired to be in a bad mood. :>) Cheers to all.
    :mrgreen:

  • Fraser Orr

    @Niall Kilmartin
    The essence of political wisdom … is to make the behaviour that a given system rewards align with what it is right to do. The essence of political folly is to create systems that preach good behaviour but incentivise bad behaviour.

    I think it depends on what you mean by “political wisdom.” It is almost axiomic that every task the government takes up it does extremely badly. However, there is one thing that politicians are EXTREMELY good at, and that thing is getting re-elected, what is it, like 95% re-election rate? The contrast between the political failure at EVERYTHING else, verses the stunning re-election rate, especially when you consider political approval ratings is quite striking. Politicians are good at exactly one thing – getting re-elected.

    One wonders if our elected lizards consider it “political wisdom” to do the things that achieve that end? After all, it is the nature of humans to save our own skins.

    Let’s not confuse what is best for the lizards with what is best for the people. They rarely coincide.

  • bobby b

    Julie: I’m “happily lining up for the fruits of” SS.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Ah. In that case, bobby, be your guest. 😆

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well, I see I made a mistake. Golly! I did that once before. I think it was back around 1962.

    To wit, I see that Prince Charles was before the Queen was. I really did think that first came the Queen, followed by the Prince.

    Tsk.

  • Paul Marks

    Julie – yes I believe that Prince Charles is a good person (I was not being ironic or anything like that), but I believe he is badly advised.

    Zenit – look into the gentleman you mention a bit more closely.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks, Paul. :>)

  • john malpas

    Why not ban voting all together. It just gives people ideas. Run the country as a business and sell shares to the workers.

  • bobby b

    john malpas
    November 23, 2017 at 5:06 am

    “Why not ban voting all together. It just gives people ideas. Run the country as a business and sell shares to the workers.”

    Okay, but first we have to decide WHO should run the country as a business and sell those shares to the rest of us. We could let strongmen fight it out between themselves, I suppose, or we could vote on it . . .

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