Reason.tv: Fighting Youth Discrimination - Q&A w/ NYRA President Jeffrey Nadel

Are young people being discriminated against?

Founded in 1968, the National Youth Rights Association (NYRA) says yes and works to educate the public on how laws intended to protect young people instead treat them as second-class citizens.

Reason.tv sat down with NYRA’s president Jeffrey Nadel to discuss how drinking, curfew, and other laws punish young adults. Nadel points to New Jersey’s Kyliegh’s law as an example of how the unintended consequences of many laws aimed at protecting youth actually endanger them. The law requires drivers under the age of 21 to have a red decal on the license plates of the vehicles they drive, ostensibly to allow law enforcement to be more protective of them. But the decals have instead lead violent drivers to target those cars; infractions by younger drivers also come with harsher penalties for typical traffic violations. Instead of one-size-fits-all policies that punish responsible youth, Nadel says that decisions about alcohol consumption, work hours, and even voting should be more tailored to individuals, regardless of age.

For more on Kyleigh's Law, read Reason magazine's June 2011 story "Dead Kids Make Bad Laws." And on lowering the drinking age, check out Reason.tv's "21: Is It Time to Lower the Drinking Age" and Reason magazine's "Back to 18."

Interview by Michelle Fields. Shot by Jim Epstein and Joshua Swain; edited by Swain.

Approximately 4.18 minutes.

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  • ||

    This is how Logan's Run get started.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Nadel totally pwned Fields! She tried a gotcha on age of consent and he pwned her. Pwned.

  • ||

    Shut up and pay my fucking pension, bitches!

  • Amakudari||

    Any chance of getting this declared odious debt?

    I kid. But just a bit.

  • yonemoto||

    ...because old people smell bad?

  • Amakudari||

    I can't find a better site, but here's your fact of the day:

    Some British rag: "Old person's smell" doesn't exist

    In other words, old people that smell bad do so because of diet or hygiene. And they used to smell worse.

  • yonemoto||

    Heh. "open dialogue based on mutual respect". I'm nearly 30 and I still often don't respect my parents very much! (Only when they deserve it)

  • ||

    Glad to see Michelle Fields hosting more videos. She strikes me as a lively, engaging person. Let's see more videos with her in them!

  • anarch||

    Those red license-plate tags identifying young drivers remind me of the light-blue uniforms that used to distinguish NYC police rookies. I'm pretty sure they got rid of those for the same reason mentioned here.

  • JCR||

    Every year I enjoy youth discrimination a little more..

  • Tim||

    Snot nosed punk! (shakes fist, tries to fart, shits himself) Dad gummit!

  • JCR||

    Is NYRA like Menudo or MTV, where you hit a certain age and you're out?

  • ||

    America's parents had better listen to NYRA—or their adult children might resort to desperate measures to hold them accountable. Teenagers are the new niggers; I'm the new Rosa Parks. There, I've said it. It's out now. I can't take it back. Boy, do I feel better.

  • Gerard W.||

    No thanks. All teenagers scare the living shit out of me.

  • ||

    I'd rather they work tax free until they are 21 than vote at 16. At 21 they get hit with an enormous tax and become instant Libertarians.

  • andy tkr jesus 1||

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  • Dave||

    Children are certainly discriminated against - children are the new slaves: denied freedom they never learn responsibility.

    It was bad enough when one group of Americans enslaved another, unrelated group - but to enslave one's own children? Who else could be so perverse?

    Naturally I don't mean to imply that children should be free to run wild, nor held to the same standards as adults - but children need to learn responsibility, and they need to learn this one step at a time - and in order to learn that responsibility they need to have freedom. They need the freedom to succeed and benefit from their success, and they need to freedom to fail and to learn from their failure.

  • King Ludd||

    That's what your parents said about your lazy ass generation.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

  • Alan Kellogg||

    Jeffrey, I have news for you; when you can act in a consistently mature fashion >then< you'll be treated as an adult.

  • ||

    Alan, how can we trust your advice on being a grownup if you believe in blaming the victim?

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  • Gregory Smith||

    Lowering the voting age to 16 is insane. I'm sorry, but voting should be reserved for legal adults, that is, 18 year olds unless emancipated by a court. By the way, Hugo Chavez wants to lower the voting age to 16, why? Because he knows that stupid young people are more likely to support tyrants.

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