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  1. #1
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    Age limitations for Government

    • To be a member of the House of Representatives, one must be at least 25 years old.
    • To be a member of the Senate, one must be 30 years old.
    • To become President, one must be a least 35 years old.


    The above requirements show that age discrimination is a vaild practice in terms of government jobs.

    From my own experience, I think these age requirements are fine by me. There is something to be said for life experience and making poilcy.

    Since using age is an appropriate filter, the government should set an upper age limit.

    Mental and Health risks are much more prevelant in older people; however, that is not the main reason I would advocate an upper age limit.

    Personally, I've found it rare with all my encounters for older folks to be in touch with the younger generations valuse and technogy. For example, I think John McCain's lack of computer knowledge was a huge problem -- not because it would effect the efficiency of his work but beacuse that makes him unable to make a very informed decision or comprehend issues around cyber issues.

    I believe government would be more responsiev and "in touch" with Americans and what they go through. Moreover, I think it would prompt government officials to do a bit more legislation when they know they can't get reelected.

    If you disagree with an upper limit, please explain why you contradict yourself and agree with the minimum age requirement being higher than 18. (And if you disagree with the minimum, fahgettabouit!)

  2. #2
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    I don't know if it is possible to set a upper age limit effectively. Many older people will not keep up with current technology and trends, but some do. To my knowledge there is not a specific age were mental degeneration or heath concerns become overwhelming either.

    I think that age can come into the equation when considering a candidate in how it relates to the areas you pointed out. But I can't see making it a specific restriction.

  3. #3
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    Quote Originally Posted by YamiB. View Post
    I don't know if it is possible to set a upper age limit effectively. Many older people will not keep up with current technology and trends, but some do. To my knowledge there is not a specific age were mental degeneration or heath concerns become overwhelming either.

    I think that age can come into the equation when considering a candidate in how it relates to the areas you pointed out. But I can't see making it a specific restriction.
    Well there are people younger that 25, 30, and 35 who could also be effective Representatives, Senators, and Presidents. So why can you justify those limitations? Are these "effective"?

  4. #4
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    Never seen this topic before. I'd say the age limits reflect the medical reality of the time, the late 1700s. People didn't live nearly as long, on average, as they do today. The average life expectancy in the U.S. was only in the 30s or 40s in 1800. Also, arguably life was harder, and people matured faster.

    Maybe that's why there's no upper age limit included, and why the lower limits are so low. I would add about ten years to the minimum ages set forth, ideally. I sure wouldn't want many 25-year-olds today as congressmen.

  5. #5
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Never seen this topic before. I'd say the age limits reflect the medical reality of the time, the late 1700s. People didn't live nearly as long, on average, as they do today. The average life expectancy in the U.S. was only in the 30s or 40s in 1800. Also, arguably life was harder, and people matured faster.

    Maybe that's why there's no upper age limit included, and why the lower limits are so low. I would add about ten years to the minimum ages set forth, ideally. I sure wouldn't want many 25-year-olds today as congressmen.
    But you would prevent those of that age who ARE capable of such representation simply because the majority of that age group is incapable? I would call that discrimination of the worst kind. Besides, what would be gained by forcing people to wait another 10 years. When the men and women of this country are ready to lead, and their constituency agrees, they deserve the opportunity to lead.

  6. #6
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape
    The above requirements show that age discrimination is a vaild practice in terms of government jobs.
    Actually, all it shows is that age requirements are an accepted practice - not a valid one. You'd be hardpressed to show it as valid to deny a 34 year old Harvard graduate with 9 years of public service credentials a chance to run for president, while a 35 year old high school dropout with 19 years experience in running a McDonald's is eligible.

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape
    Personally, I've found it rare with all my encounters for older folks to be in touch with the younger generations valuse and technogy.
    Personally, I've found a greater percentage of older people actually vote compared to younger. If older people are voting, older candidates connect with the voting population just fine.

    We have no need of an "upper age limit" for the issue of "being in touch" because we already have a system that can redress the issue - younger people can vote in greater numbers and NOT vote for the old farts.

    As for why I'm in favor of minimum age requirements while not in favor of an upper age limit...

    1) I see no contradiction. As I stated, there's a mechanism already in place to get rid of older people who are falling "behind the curve" as it were.

    2) I certainly think a person should be a legal adult before being able to propose laws which typically bind "legal adults" more forcefully (ie - if kids can't be 'tried as an adult' they shouldn't be able to make the rules)

    3) We have a history of minimum age requirements: driving age, sexual consent age, voting age, drinking age, entering kindergarten age.

    Do I think the current age requirements for public office are too high? Yes. Here is my solution:

    A) Make 20 the legal adult age - I've always hated the fact that for two years someone is both a teenager and an adult.

    B) Lower all age requirements in law (including drinking and holding public office) to 20. Age limits beneath 20 can remain (16 for driving and consent, 5 for kindergarten are all uneffected). Allowing voting to continue at 18 encourages interest in politics for a few years without the urge to immediately run for an office.

    C) If someone has a problem voting for a 20 year old candidate (I'm with ya here, Kevin), they have the option of not voting for them. If someone has a problem voting for a 75 year old candidate, they have the option to not vote for them.

    And Democracy runs happily ever after.
    “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
    ~Carl Gustav Jung
    "When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane."
    ~Hermann Hesse

  7. #7
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    There is no upper age limit because that would set off all kinds of bells and whistles and send some organization into an uproar. It's like the whole "re-test the elder for their drivers license when hit a certain age." Although it makes sense...no one wants the headache that comes with it.
    I was anti-Obama before it was cool

  8. #8
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    Quote Originally Posted by JoCro View Post
    But you would prevent those of that age who ARE capable of such representation simply because the majority of that age group is incapable? I would call that discrimination of the worst kind. Besides, what would be gained by forcing people to wait another 10 years.
    So do you disagree with the original age requirements, or just my proposed addition of ten years to the minimum? And of course it's discrimination. We should be discriminating in choosing our elected leaders. What would be gained? A higher chance of experience and maturity.

  9. #9
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    So do you disagree with the original age requirements, or just my proposed addition of ten years to the minimum? And of course it's discrimination. We should be discriminating in choosing our elected leaders. What would be gained? A higher chance of experience and maturity.
    The original age requirements somewhat, I'm still undecided on those. As for yours, absolutely. My point is that raising the age does nothing to add to the pool of eligible candidates, it simply removes many illegitimate ones. However, I would postulate that those 25 year olds that you don't see as good leaders...won't be elected. If you look at the pool of LEGITIMATE candidates, instead of simply the ELIGIBLE candidates, then you simply remove an entire spectrum, for unsubstantial gain. And discrimination should extend only to personal opinions, not who is allowed to run. We have no right to remove such an opportunity from those ready to take advantage of it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    Quote Originally Posted by JoCro View Post
    The original age requirements somewhat, I'm still undecided on those. As for yours, absolutely.
    If you don't absolutely disagree with a minimum age of 25 for congressmen, but you do with a minimum age of 35, your opinion is contradictory. There could very well be qualified candidates under age 25, right? Shouldn't the rare qualified 24-year-old have a right to run? My suggestion to raise the age requirements is based on the fact that Americans live 30-40 years longer on average than when the requirements were written in the late 1700s. If you disagree with age minimums in principle, it makes no sense to single out a certain age minimum proposal over another.

  11. #11
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    If you don't absolutely disagree with a minimum age of 25 for congressmen, but you do with a minimum age of 35, your opinion is contradictory. There could very well be qualified candidates under age 25, right? Shouldn't the rare qualified 24-year-old have a right to run? My suggestion to raise the age requirements is based on the fact that Americans live 30-40 years longer on average than when the requirements were written in the late 1700s. If you disagree with age minimums in principle, it makes no sense to single out a certain age minimum proposal over another.
    Alright, I had not done any sort of research on the original purpose of the age requirements, and was not sure if there was a reason for that specific age. With that out of the way, I am willing to levy my now educated (somewhat) opinion: the age requirements are wrong, any age requirements. I didn't want to say something when I wasn't sure about it's background. The only reason I bashed your suggestion prior to my (admittedly surface) research was that I knew the reasons it was based on. I could not say the same for the original requirements, and now that I can I have said what I have.

    And my major point was that in either case you only reduce the quantity of eligible candidates, not legitimate candidates.

  12. #12
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    Re: Age limitations for Government

    Quote Originally Posted by Socialgremlin View Post
    Actually, all it shows is that age requirements are an accepted practice - not a valid one. You'd be hardpressed to show it as valid to deny a 34 year old Harvard graduate with 9 years of public service credentials a chance to run for president, while a 35 year old high school dropout with 19 years experience in running a McDonald's is eligible.
    Very true. I should have used the word "accepted", thank you. Moreover, you analogy is quite appropriate.

    Personally, I've found a greater percentage of older people actually vote compared to younger. If older people are voting, older candidates connect with the voting population just fine.

    We have no need of an "upper age limit" for the issue of "being in touch" because we already have a system that can redress the issue - younger people can vote in greater numbers and NOT vote for the old farts.
    I understand the sentiment and sure, in an ideal world, this would happen. However, I would say it is more important to have a better working elected government tha better caters to the majority of americans (despite if they vote or not) rather than have the retired age group connect well with their congressmen and senators of yesteryear.

    To accomplish this we have to setup the correct parameters that will most likely lead to the most functional government. If setting a lower age limit is important to do that, then I don't understand why the upper age limit isn't just as much so.

    What is your opinion on being "out of touch" with the majority of americans (not, specifically, voting americans) due to generation gaps? Prime example: John McCain and computers.

    As for why I'm in favor of minimum age requirements while not in favor of an upper age limit...

    1) I see no contradiction. As I stated, there's a mechanism already in place to get rid of older people who are falling "behind the curve" as it were.
    The problem with this is what "curve" are you talking about? Being an effective legislator? Or connecting well with your age group? If its the second, I'd say that this isn't serving the country best.

    2) I certainly think a person should be a legal adult before being able to propose laws which typically bind "legal adults" more forcefully (ie - if kids can't be 'tried as an adult' they shouldn't be able to make the rules)
    I agree that they should be legal adult, perhaps 20 so they can have some experience of BEING a legal adult. Moreover, (as you address below) if anyone is so confident in the voting system weeding out the bad from good, that is anothe reason to get rid of the current minimum age requirements; voting will take care of that, no?

    3) We have a history of minimum age requirements: driving age, sexual consent age, voting age, drinking age, entering kindergarten age.
    Sure.

    Do I think the current age requirements for public office are too high? Yes. Here is my solution:

    A) Make 20 the legal adult age - I've always hated the fact that for two years someone is both a teenager and an adult.
    The age is quite arbitrary and your "teenager/adult" complex sounds personal. But, if you can enroll in the armed services or go find a job and be responsible for yourself; taht's an adult to me.

    B) Lower all age requirements in law (including drinking and holding public office) to 20. Age limits beneath 20 can remain (16 for driving and consent, 5 for kindergarten are all uneffected). Allowing voting to continue at 18 encourages interest in politics for a few years without the urge to immediately run for an office.
    C) If someone has a problem voting for a 20 year old candidate (I'm with ya here, Kevin), they have the option of not voting for them. If someone has a problem voting for a 75 year old candidate, they have the option to not vote for them.

    And Democracy runs happily ever after.
    Again, this is true. However, you are still setting an arbitrary limit when the voting age is 18. Don't you think, in part, voting for something you cannot be involved in is rather discouraging?

    If the law is set that you can vote ANDat the same time not legally take part in the positions you are voting for, then I see no reason why the upper age limit shouldn't be held to the same standards. They would be able to vote but not take part...just like their younger counterparts.

    If you believe in the voting system that much, make the legal age for legislative officials the same as the legal age to work. Let the voting take care of the rest. If you can set a minimum age which is not the same as legal adult age, then you can set a maximum age. Otherwise, its blatent hypocrisy.

 

 

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