Reductio Creep Lives

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Radley Balko finds a case of life-imitates-Onion: In 1998, as the Master Settlement Agreement between the states and tobacco companies was being hammered out, The Onion ran a satirical piece announcing that Hostess was in legal peril for marketing Twinkies, "a dangerous snack cake linked to obesity and hyperactivity," to minors. Earlier this week, the FTC issued a series of "self-regulatory" (for now) recommendations that would constrain the marketing of junk food to minors.

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  1. What is the libertarian position on selling cigarettes to minors? Are we for that particular freedom here? Is Nannystatism inherent in that prohibition? Why or why not?

  2. I’m not surprised. At least no more so than when I found out that I wasn’t going to get fucked.

  3. What is the libertarian position on selling cigarettes to minors?

    Whether a kid smokes or not is the parent’s call, not the state’s.

    Is Nannystatism inherent in that prohibition?

    Why, yes, yes it is.

  4. R C,

    I have a difficult time agreeing that Alcohol, Heroin, and Prescriptions should be freely available to 8 year olds. Dave’s question is one of that leads down the path of question the extremes at the opposite end of nannystatism, and I have a hard time answering the subtext of that question.

    I don’t have much of a problem with “for the children” legislation that particularly targets minors and has no impact on adults. It is regulations that impact both in the name of the children (such as broadcast rules or advertising restrictions) that I object to on the grounds of nannystatism.

  5. RCD, so kids should be able do whatever they like with no consequences?

    JMJ

  6. JMJ-So consequences only come from the government?

  7. JMJ-So consequences only come from the government?

    Please don’t.

  8. Do we not count on the government to keep an eye on our kids when we are not there to watch them?

    JMJ

  9. Not if we’re smart we don’t JMJ.

    For christssakes, these are the idiots who a week ago wanted to buy us off with a $100 check. You trust those fools with your children?

  10. When my dad was a kid he got caught nicking cigarettes from my grandfather. Granddad took him out behind the barn, and made him smoke until he threw up. He was about 10, so it didn’t exactly take all that long. Dad hasn’t smoked a cigarette since, far as I know, although he does favor a cigar every now and again.

    But in the case of junk food, have we really gone so far astray that Mom & Dad saying “no” just isn’t good enough anymore?

  11. Wow. We’ve reach a whole new level of trolling here.

  12. Wow. We’ve reached a whole new level of trolling here.

  13. Wow. We’ve reach a whole new level of trolling here.

    And they keep feeding him in every thread.

  14. TPG: I’m with you man, just ignore him. I can’t help but feed Dave W. every now and again, but he’s at least usally somewhat thoughtful.

    As an aside: do you wonder if this obesity crisis is really just envy-based? Europeans are skinnier, we’ve got to do something about it! BE SKINNIER AMERICA! In an odd way it reminds me of the mistaken class-warfare ideology. In the same way that another man’s success in no way inhibits my own because the economy is not a zero-sum game, somebody being fat doesn’t make my life worse in any measurable way so why should it concern me in the least? I mean, sure, fat folks can be unpleasant to look at on the beach or whatever, but there’s plenty of other ugly shit around anyway.

  15. James,

    “For christssakes, these are the idiots who a week ago wanted to buy us off with a $100 check. You trust those fools with your children?”

    While I concede the government is made up of the same bungling boobs the rest of our society is made up of, why on Earth would you NOT want the government (cops, courts, probate officers, surrogates, teachers, etc) to act as an extension of our authority when we are not around?

    For christ’s sake – is there such a thing as a libertarian over 15 years of age?!?!

    I’ve seen idiots around here argue that kids should be able to do anything they want, anywhere they want – they’re friggin kids! I’ve read morons going on about how schools should proffer junk food – public friggin schools! It’s like saying, “I would hire a babysitter to come over my house and feed my kids junk food, or, better yet, sell them junk food for a profit!”

    What the hell is the matter with you people?

    JMJ

  16. How is it that by begging the question of the upper bound of liberty for minors, Dave gets labeled and a troll?

  17. When my dad was a kid he got caught nicking cigarettes from my grandfather. Granddad took him out behind the barn, and made him smoke until he threw up.

    I remember a friend’s parent using your granddad’s method when I was a kid. Can you imagine how quickly DCF would have the kids out of there if someone tried that today?

  18. I don’t have much of a problem with “for the children” legislation that particularly targets minors and has no impact on adults.

    If you happen to find such a measure, please let me know. There’s nothing I can think of that purports to target only “children” and has no effect on adults; in fact, most “for the children” measures have significant effects on adults.

    The current concept and definitiion of children is based almost entirely on what’s convenient at the moment for the person using the word. How can a society that claims to be free allow such a loosely defined, inconsistently applied concept to determine whether a person has their rights honored or infringed?

    Allowing the government to so openly, blatantly trample the rights of any group of people will come back to hurt all of us, esp when the government is one that we’ve allowed to determine who’s in that group.

  19. Goiter was labelling JMJ a troll, I might have confused the issue. I apologize. Dave is only sort of a troll, but I must say that he’s become a lot less troll-like recently, bordering on interesting.

    David: Yeah, they’d be on you like white on rice for that these days. How dare anyone try to discipline their kids! Disclipline children? That’s unpossible!

  20. If you happen to find such a measure, please let me know.

    Tell me how banning a minor from purchasing an particular product does anything more than mildly inconvenience an adult (by forcing the display of an ID).

  21. TPG: I’m with you man, just ignore him. I can’t help but feed Dave W. every now and again, but he’s at least usally somewhat thoughtful.

    Dave is a troll that throws out something decent to stay “respected” as a foil. In his own mind at least.

    JMJO has set up shop under the bridge and deserves no human interaction.

    As an aside: do you wonder if this obesity crisis is really just envy-based? Europeans are skinnier, we’ve got to do something about it! BE SKINNIER AMERICA! In an odd way it reminds me of the mistaken class-warfare ideology. In the same way that another man’s success in no way inhibits my own because the economy is not a zero-sum game, somebody being fat doesn’t make my life worse in any measurable way so why should it concern me in the least? I mean, sure, fat folks can be unpleasant to look at on the beach or whatever, but there’s plenty of other ugly shit around anyway.

    I don’t see it as a crisis. For a very long time, the wealthy were envied because of their girth. Rather than starving on scraps, gruel, and slop, they were living high on the hog. Now everyone in this country is well off enough to overeat, and many have work that allows them to avoid physical effort.

    The “crisis” again comes down to personal choice. There are multiple decision points made each day on diet and it’s up to the individual to maximize their happiness, taste, effort and health in each decision. If some individuals choose to maximize taste and effort at the expense of health, so be it, that is a personal decision.

  22. How is it that by begging the question of the upper bound of liberty for minors, Dave gets labeled and a troll?

    Previous bad acts.

  23. The “crisis” again comes down to personal choice. There are multiple decision points made each day on diet and it’s up to the individual to maximize their happiness, taste, effort and health in each decision. If some individuals choose to maximize taste and effort at the expense of health, so be it, that is a personal decision.

    Agreed, TP’s Goiter. But I think that sentiment would embolden those who feel you have no right to make a “wrong” choice.

    Tell me how banning a minor from purchasing an particular product does anything more than mildly inconvenience an adult (by forcing the display of an ID).

    MP,
    Do you think the nanny-types would be satisfied by banning minors from making any purchases at all? That would make each and every purchase the sole discretion of the parents.

  24. I think JMJ might’ve been standing behind him, overshadowing his legitmate concern with his own brand of silliness.

    Dave W: I believe “libertarianism” is an ideal for society-at-large to attain by themselves, particularly without the help of government.

    That being said, I’ve heard a story of a parent buying a cig for her child, aged 12 or so, in a store and even going so far as to ask “What brand, honey?” If children want to smoke, they should have to do it with their parents, not hiding in the alley with the “cool kids”.

    While not allowing the sell IS an extension of the nanny-state, I doubt very many would oppose that (very) particular facet of it, even if they do worry about nanny-creep.

    Everybody: Knock off the gotcha-games, quit feeding the troll. Thank you.

  25. Do you think the nanny-types would be satisfied by banning minors from making any purchases at all? That would make each and every purchase the sole discretion of the parents.

    No. Statists are statists and constantly seek new ways to meddle. My point is that from a libertarian perspective, it is hard to argue that the banning of sale of any item to a minor isn’t potentially a legitimate exercise of the state’s police power.

  26. why on Earth would you NOT want the government (cops, courts, probate officers, surrogates, teachers, etc) to act as an extension of our authority when we are not around?

    Extension of who’s authority? Mine, yours, the person down the street?

    Who’s authority does the government extend? What happens when the government extends itself much further into the (harmless to other of course) actions of my kid than I would or would like it to?

    When the government applies one parent’s idea of rules to all “children”, they step all over what another parent would have done.

    What if a parent decides that they not only trust their kid to do the right thing, but they know them better than anyone else and have no problem whatsoever in letting their kid go with their friends at any hour they want?
    What if the parent has no problem whatsoever in letting their kid buy, sell, play, make, use any type of entertainment media they desire?

    If the government is really just an extension of my authority, it would leave the kid the hell alone.

    The only true libertarian solution would be to get the government out of the parental authority extension business. What a kid does that hurts no one else is exclusively between that kid and his parent(s).

    At some point, someone will bring up the fact that some parents neglect their kids. Well, to start, the actions of truly neglectful ADULTS should not be used to justify burdening and restricting children and young adults who’ve done nothing wrong.

    Another example of this unfair shifting of burden is the curreent myspace hysteria-a very small number of adult predators troll this site, that has a claimed membership of 40-60 million, for young people to prey on. The primary solution to this predatory adult behavior? Restrict the young people who use the site.

    Some Masshole (MA AG to be exact) wants Myspace to raise their age limit to 18 because of the small number of adults preying on cops pretending to be people under 18 and the much smaller number of confirmed incidents where braindead witless young people have made contact with adult predators in meatspace (pun sort of intended).

    If age limits are the solution, protecting teens the goal, and adults the ones causing all the problems, why not suggest setting an upper age limit? You know, burden the age group who’s members are causing the problem?

    Since the generation so fond of this age limit nonsense also seems to have had a mantra of “Don’t trust anyone over 30”, I suggest we impart that advice to the current generation of young people and also ask that myspace adopt a policy along those lines.

    Back to neglect. Neglect seems to be another one of those words with a legitimate largely agreed upon core definition and another definition that exists solely at the convenience of the person using the word. It’s very heavily used to define a parent who lets their kid do something the speaker doesn’t like, agree with, and/or understand. An example is the “restrict/ban video games” crowd, regularly implying that parents who let their kids play certain types of video games are inept or neglectful in their duties and the call for these parents to “start parenting” or “be a parent”, etc.
    If a parent decides they have no problem with their kid playing any video game they get their hands on, are they being neglectful or “a parent”?

  27. TPG: Yeah, I should’ve put “crisis” into scare quotes.

  28. One of the things that bugs me is that when a minor buys cigarettes or alcohol or a violent game or whatever and breaks the law, it’s the shopowner who gets punished and not the kid or his parents.

  29. Tell me how banning a minor from purchasing an particular product does anything more than mildly inconvenience an adult (by forcing the display of an ID).

    Are you new here?

    Every anti-alcohol, tobacco, gun, car, porn group uses the ‘children’ issue as a wedge to open the door to restricting adult freedom. They add more and more hoops in the name of “the childre”. Groups want to tax alcohol to make it more expensive for people under 21, which also makes it more expensive for adults. The CSPI wants malt beverages banned or severely taxed to keep people under 21 from getting them.

    Anti-porn groups contintually push for more restrictive zoning, floor space, content, hours of operation, staffing, security etc. restrictions on current and prospective businesses, the Bush administration is pushing for internet search records as part of their case in support of the law “protecting” “children” from porn.

    Some Anti-tobacco groups range from wanting smoking banned in places “children” regularly requent to wanting it banned in all places “children” are present (subtle, but significant difference between these two).

    Gun control groups want adults forced to buy trigger locks with every gun with penalties for not using. Some groups demand various mechanical interlocks-click on/off safties, magazine disconnects, and even “smart” guns all in the name of protecting children.

    All of these things impact adults quite a bit despite their “for the children” auspices, and this is just what I could think of immediately after reading your post.

  30. Brendan, your posts are awesome – I am in complete agreement. I would also say, however, that even when people think it should be illegal for a minor to buy cigarettes or alcohol or whatever, they punish the wrong party when the law is broken. In no way should a shopkeeper or store owner ever have to be put into the position of being some brat’s legal guardian.

    If we want to make a law that says it’s illegal for minors to buy cigarettes, punish the kid who breaks the law or his “neglectful” parents.

    I agree with you that the government has no business interfering in the first place, but I’m just pointing out that not only is the ideology behind this interference wrong, the implementation sucks, too.

  31. Are you new here?

    Quite the contrary. And introducing a slippery slope argument simply dodges my question. I was very specific in regards to asking about banning sales of “unsafe” products to minors. I was not, as you imply, talking about making the world safe for children.

  32. btw, my own beliefs on the kids and cigs and junk food thing is as follows:

    1. Cigarettes should be forbidden due the addictiveness.

    2. Junk food should not be legally prohibited to children on obesity grounds because children need to learn to maintain a healthy weight, and choice (for the children) is a helpful (and maybe even neccessary) condition to foster this personal reponsibility.

    3. It may be okay to prohibit junk food sales to kids on diabetes grounds. Diabetes is even less reversible than a nicotine addiction. However, I don’t think diabetes is yet a big enuf problem to justify banning the sale of junk food to minors. This belief is subject to change if diabetes gets bad enough.

    4. I share the concerns on this thread about prohibitions on sales to children being used strategically to try to exert gov’t control over the behaviors of adults. I think that happens far too much in various areas and I don’t like it

    So, my current views on the kids & commerce are more pragmatic than philosophical. Regular readers may be surprised to see how much I think obesity is a personal responsibility problem, rather than a problem to be solved by the government. Even if HFCS does somehow make you fatter than other sugars, an individual has plenty of time to look down at his stomach, see it bulge, and make the appropriate corrections (as I have in my own life).

  33. To all the Trollinators – that’s right, show us all how incurious and closed-minded you are!

    Brandon,

    why on Earth would you NOT want the government (cops, courts, probate officers, surrogates, teachers, etc) to act as an extension of our authority when we are not around?

    “Extension of who’s authority? Mine, yours, the person down the street?”

    The parent(s).

    “Who’s authority does the government extend? What happens when the government extends itself much further into the (harmless to other of course) actions of my kid than I would or would like it to?”

    That’s why we have a constituion, laws, and a representative democracy.

    “When the government applies one parent’s idea of rules to all “children”, they step all over what another parent would have done.”

    But that’s not what the government is doing. It’s representing, democratically, the wishes of most parents.

    “What if a parent decides that they not only trust their kid to do the right thing, but they know them better than anyone else and have no problem whatsoever in letting their kid go with their friends at any hour they want?”

    There’s nothing to stop that.

    “What if the parent has no problem whatsoever in letting their kid buy, sell, play, make, use any type of entertainment media they desire?”

    Well, that parent (slob that they are) can always buy whatever they want for their kids.

    “If the government is really just an extension of my authority, it would leave the kid the hell alone.”

    Good for you.

    “The only true libertarian solution would be to get the government out of the parental authority extension business. What a kid does that hurts no one else is exclusively between that kid and his parent(s).”

    That second sentence is already true. Do you have an example of the government interfering with this in some way?

    “At some point, someone will bring up the fact that some parents neglect their kids. Well, to start, the actions of truly neglectful ADULTS should not be used to justify burdening and restricting children and young adults who’ve done nothing wrong.”

    If they’ve done nothing wrong, there is no restriction.

    “Another example of this unfair shifting of burden is the curreent myspace hysteria-a very small number of adult predators troll this site, that has a claimed membership of 40-60 million, for young people to prey on. The primary solution to this predatory adult behavior? Restrict the young people who use the site.”

    Well, we’ll see where that goes. I get the feeling that would be impossible to do.

    “If age limits are the solution, protecting teens the goal, and adults the ones causing all the problems, why not suggest setting an upper age limit? You know, burden the age group who’s members are causing the problem?”

    Good idea.

    “If a parent decides they have no problem with their kid playing any video game they get their hands on, are they being neglectful or “a parent”?”

    No – but they may be making a big mistake.

    JMJ

  34. To all the Trollinators – that’s right, show us all how incurious and closed-minded you are!

    Do your trick, pony!

  35. Jersey, if you had any reading comprehension skills, you might be able to crawl out from under the bridge. NOBODY here as said that schools “should sell junk food” – what they’ve said is that schools should be ALLOWED to sell junk food. I don’t think they should do it, but I don’t think the Feds should make that choice. I think that that choice can be made at the local level.

    But you’re so interested in being superior to us, that you NEVER figure out what we’re saying. You drop four key words to turn our argument into a stupid argument, so you can call us stupid. It’s strawmanning, and its TROLLISH BULLSHIT.

    And if you really do beleive that people have said most of the things you think we’ve said, then I’ll have to appologize because you’re not a troll, you’re just utterly without reading comprehension skills. Either way, you’re a disgrace to the left.

  36. I was very specific in regards to asking about banning sales of “unsafe” products to minors. I was not, as you imply, talking about making the world safe for children.

    As far as I can see, the two concepts are joined at the hip. It’s never been enough for something “unsafe” to simply be banned for purchase by “minors”. It may start that way, but it expands. Soon there are laws against possessing, purchasing for minors, advertising to minors, encouraging minors to possess, sales venue restrictions, etc., courts begin holding parents neglectful for allowing use,possession, purchase, etc.

    I don’t see anyway to confine it to simply saying no sales to persons under 18-which is a concept I don’t agree with.

  37. Brandon,

    Brendan

    “Extension of who’s authority? Mine, yours, the person down the street?”

    parent(s).

    Which parents? I wasn’t referring to just strangers in the street. Which group of parents’ rules oes the government follow?

    When the government applies one parent’s idea of rules to all “children”, they step all over what another parent would have done.”

    But that’s not what the government is doing. It’s representing, democratically, the wishes of most parents.

    To the exclusion or detrement of other parents.

    “What if a parent decides that they not only trust their kid to do the right thing, but they know them better than anyone else and have no problem whatsoever in letting their kid go with their friends at any hour they want?”

    There’s nothing to stop that.

    Except the police ie., curfew laws.

    “What if the parent has no problem whatsoever in letting their kid buy, sell, play, make, use any type of entertainment media they desire?”

    Well, that parent (slob that they are) can always buy whatever they want for their kids.

    Slob? Why should a parent have to be joined at the hip to their kid just so th kid can buy a movie/video game/cd? Why can’t they delegate their authority?

    “The only true libertarian solution would be to get the government out of the parental authority extension business. What a kid does that hurts no one else is exclusively between that kid and his parent(s).”

    That second sentence is already true. Do you have an example of the government interfering with this in some way?

    Numerous. If a kid drinks a beer, hurts no one and is “caught” in a bar or at a friends house, he/she can be arrested. If they are outside after 9p-1a (depending on the area), they can be arrested. Being outside and/or drinking a beer are, in and of themselves actions, that hurt no one, yet they are criminalized. Some states want to criminalize the sale of “violent” media to people under 18.

    “At some point, someone will bring up the fact that some parents neglect their kids. Well, to start, the actions of truly neglectful ADULTS should not be used to justify burdening and restricting children and young adults who’ve done nothing wrong.”

    If they’ve done nothing wrong, there is no restriction.

    I assume you mean if the kids have done nothing wrong they face no restriction?

    Curfews, drinking age, restrictions on driving entertainment, firearm and other self-defense tools, living arrangements, etc. All are in the name of protecting teens from themselves and “helping parents”.

    “Another example of this unfair shifting of burden is the curreent myspace hysteria-a very small number of adult predators troll this site, that has a claimed membership of 40-60 million, for young people to prey on. The primary solution to this predatory adult behavior? Restrict the young people who use the site.”

    Well, we’ll see where that goes. I get the feeling that would be impossible to do.

    Impossible to accomplish? It’s still a burden to honest teens who don’t want to lie about their age and “suspected” “underage” teens who are snagged by whatever software the site claims to use to sort out people currently under 14

    “If a parent decides they have no problem with their kid playing any video game they get their hands on, are they being neglectful or “a parent”?”

    No – but they may be making a big mistake.

    An opinion. Valid and one I understand, but not something that should be put into law or pushed on another entity by the government.

  38. I would also say, however, that even when people think it should be illegal for a minor to buy cigarettes or alcohol or whatever, they punish the wrong party when the law is broken. In no way should a shopkeeper or store owner ever have to be put into the position of being some brat’s legal guardian.

    Agreed. Laws that criminalize sales to minors essentially shift the burden from parents on to shopkeepers.

    A lot of people justify parental authority under the idea that parents are responsible for their kids actions. Except for a limited financial sense, this is false. Yes, parents are sometimes responsible for a token amount of damages their kid does, but it’s the kid who goes to a juvenile boot camp or does work crew detail to pay back the damage.

    If parents are truly “responsible for their kids actions”, we wouldn’t need juvenile courts or juvenile halls. It would be the parents and only the parents who face the penalties. Start that ball rolling and we’ll see who wants to “protect” children through criminalization of everything even remotely harmful to them.

  39. A child’s diet should be a function of parenting, not government. If a parent wants to give a kid a few bucks and exercise some decision making about what they eat for lunch, neither the federal government nor a consortium of regulators and trial attorneys should get in the way. If a local school board wants to get between parents and what children are allowed to buy at school, then I have very few problems with that.

    …other than the usual regarding the eternal and forever failure that public education, in my humble opinion, will always be. …The Libertarian Party–it’s the party of parents, people.

  40. In other words, your opinion of what other people feed their children should only be interesting to people who find your opinon interesting. …as opposed to law makers and everyone who either has a child or might have a child.

  41. Quite the contrary. And introducing a slippery slope argument simply dodges my question. I was very specific in regards to asking about banning sales of “unsafe” products to minors. I was not, as you imply, talking about making the world safe for children.

    MP, you know as well as anyone that a concept like “unsafe” can be twisted mean almost anything, and usually is. As far as the little inconveniences associated with the enforcement of such legislation, it’s both that they add up after a while, and create an opportunity for police entrapment. After all, the way to prove that such measures work is to arrest violators.

  42. Agreed. Laws that criminalize sales to minors essentially shift the burden from parents on to shopkeepers.

    This is SOP for regulators, just look at how much spying banks are required to do in the name of preventing money laundering.

  43. I was very specific in regards to asking about banning sales of “unsafe” products to minors.

    MP, the problem is that any clown can (and does) come along at any time, and show that any thing on this Earth is “unsafe” for minors. Because they’re right. Just about any object you can see around you right now is unsafe for kids when those kids aren’t properly supervised.

    Case in point: Magnetix toys. Magnetix have been around for years, but because young kids (often younger than the recommended age on the packaging, because everyone seems to think their kids are such geniuses that the guidelines don’t apply to them) swallow the loose magnets when they’re not properly supervised, now Magnetix is considered “unsafe” and manufacturer RoseArt has to recall many of their products.

    Obviously, swallowing any toy part is bad for a kid’s health. So what’s to stop the mob with the torches and pitchforks from coming after Lego, Playmobil, Barbie, Bratz, Crayola, Polly Pocket, Hot Wheels, or anybody else? For that matter, common office supplies like paper and binder clips, pen caps, pencil leads, and staples are pretty nasty on the insides when swallowed, so how ’bout we ban those, too? Most coins are toxic and filthy…shall we ban coin currency? Kids can drown in a shallow bucket of water, so gotta ban buckets, too. Good luck getting that deck paint home in a big Ziploc baggie, that’s all I can say.

    Everything in our world is unsafe, especially for kids. That’s why they’re considered immature beings who require supervision. And still, sometimes, kids die. People die, and statistically speaking, some of those people are kids. No matter how much legislation there is, no matter how onerous the restrictions placed upon adult life in the name of the precious children, children still manage to die.

  44. MP, the problem is that any clown can (and does) come along at any time, and show that any thing on this Earth is “unsafe” for minors.

    Natural Rights do not extend to minors in the same way they do to adults, due to the inability to impose an expectation of absolute responsibility on the immature. Given that a minor should not be held absolutely responsible for their actions, the police power of the state can legitimately be argued as being usable to protect minors from their own irresponsibility. This protection should not, however, come at the cost of denying the Natural Rights of other adults in society. If you agree with this premise, then the issue becomes a matter of line drawing. When does a law protecting minors encroach too far on rights of adults vs. simply being an inconvenience? If you don’t agree with this premise, then you implicitly agree that minors should be entitled to buy anything without parental consent, including shotguns and crack. I simply don’t accept the idea that minors have absolute rights and are unbounded by parental consent.

  45. Think the laws could make exceptions for children who aren’t expected to live much past 20 YO? For instance, my cousin with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy just about made it to 21 YO.

    It obviously makes no sense for us to concern ourselves with their long term health. Couldn’t their maturity level for adult pleasures be pro rated for their life expectancy?

  46. Do we not count on the government to keep an eye on our kids when we are not there to watch them?

    I warn my daughter to watch out for the government when I’m not around. I’ve informed her starting at a very young age, that there are unscrupulous clip-board wielding agents of social control out to get her. Only time will tell if the lessons have stuck. But on a serious note:

    fuck no.

  47. When my dad was a kid he got caught nicking cigarettes from my grandfather. Granddad took him out behind the barn, and made him smoke until he threw up.

    Timothy:

    Your granddad would be in federal prison had this happened in these here modern times.

  48. Earth would you NOT want the government (cops, courts, probate officers, surrogates, teachers, etc) to act as an extension of our authority when we are not around?

    What on earth does this have to do with regulating snack foods to minors? Since when did one = the other?

  49. You can always tell how wealthy a society is by the sheer mind-numbing pettiness of their problems.

    We eat too many calories. That’s in the Top 10.

    3 billion other people on this planet should be so lucky.

    God-damned progressatives won’t be happy until they’ve squeezed (read litigated) every ounce of joy out of life. Even then, that won’t be enough. Someone, somehwere will still be thinking for themsleves and (oh, the horror) having fun.

  50. Natural Rights do not extend to minors in the same way they do to adults, due to the inability to impose an expectation of absolute responsibility on the immature.

    The concept of “minor” is a government created one and has been changed over time to fit various, largely adult, needs. Depending on what were talking about AND where, it can be 18,19,or 21-I don’t see a lot of 20 age limits.

    “Minor” status does not equal immature. This is my biggest problem with the concept of denying rights to “minors”. We claim it’s about immaturity and then fail to acknowledge that many people below that artificial threshold are mature and many above are not.

    If we define “absolute responsibility” as that level to which adults are held, then our society does indeed hold people well under the adult/minor age threshold to absolute responsiblity.
    Teens pay taxes on their income at the same rates as others in their bracket, pay the same traffic fines, government fees, sales taxes, are regularly tried as adults in all states for numerous offenses, are automatically routed into criminal court for ALL offenses in several states at 16 and/or 17, in many states juvenile offenders are held in custody for an equal or greater period than adults for the same offense.

    Our society has little or no problem “bending the rules” to hold a “minor” accountable like an adult, but has huge problems budging an inch to allow “minors” to have anything near an adult level of rights and privileges.

    Basically, when it comes to a “minor”‘s accountability for criminal actions, age is irrelevant-it’s only the act that matters.

    Yet, when it comes to enjoying (currently adult)rights and privileges, age is the only that matters-nothing will allow a person under 18 to vote, a person under 21 to walk in a bar and drink a beer.

    Given that a minor should not be held absolutely responsible for their actions, the police power of the state can legitimately be argued as being usable to protect minors from their own irresponsibility.

    Maybe minors “shouldn’t” be held absolutely responsible for their actions, but they currently are.

    The police power of the state still has no business protecting all “minors” from presumed irresponsibility. Minor!=irresponsible. Again, protecting minors from whatever degree of irresponsibility they may have is still the parents’ responsibility.

    This protection should not, however, come at the cost of denying the Natural Rights of other adults in society. If you agree with this premise, then the issue becomes a matter of line drawing. When does a law protecting minors encroach too far on rights of adults vs. simply being an inconvenience? If you don’t agree with this premise, then you implicitly agree that minors should be entitled to buy anything without parental consent, including shotguns and crack. I simply don’t accept the idea that minors have absolute rights and are unbounded by parental consent.

    They are not unbound by parental consent, it’s just that the government should not be imposing a parental consent requirements on anything. If a kid buys something his/her parents don’t like, that’s their problem. Essentially it would be assumed that a “minor” has parental consent until proven otherwise.

  51. Brendan,

    Stop cherry picking the easily debateable cases and skirting around the hard ones. Is it your opinion that 8-year olds should be unconditionally allowed to buy crack and shotguns? A six year old? A four year old?

    What you are doing is redrawing the lines to fit your preferred boundaries without recognizing the fact that you are engaging in line drawing. I know that age is an arbitrary indicator of maturity. But a predictable legal system cannot be established along arbitrary lines. Yes, some vagueness belongs in the law, but in many circumstances it is preferable to have a bright line. If you want to claim that age should not be a relevant factor in the law, you are still claiming the need for a maturity “standard” that judges could use to level-set their opinions against. If you deny even the need for a maturity standard, then you are back to selling crack to 4 year olds.

    And your opinion that minors are currently being held absolutely accountable for their actions is a gross misrepresentation of realty. Stop defining a minor as sixteen and start working with the hard case. An 8-year old involved in an act of manslaughter is not charged with manslaughter and given 10 years in hard time.

  52. Stop cherry picking the easily debateable cases and skirting around the hard ones.

    I’m picking the most absurd ones and the “easiest” because that’s the best place to start. The most egregious examples of government waste are the first ones to be loudly reported and dealt with

    Is it your opinion that 8-year olds should be unconditionally allowed to buy crack and shotguns? A six year old? A four year old?

    YES all three times. First you have to find a 8,6, or 4 year old unsupervised, with the desire and money to buy a shotgun or crack, as well as the knowledge of WHERE to buy them. The chances of that are probably one in 500,000 for 8 year olds (so we might have eight 8 year olds in country try to buy a shotgun if all age limits were lifted), stretching into the billions for the 4 year old. Never gonna happen. When it does it’ll be a non-issue because it will probably be years before it happens again-parents will now have incentive to talk to their kids and not expect the government to play one-size-fits-all proxy parent.

    The laws I talk about are not aimed at 4-8 year olds, they’re almost universally aimed at post pubescent persons in the 11-17 age range.

    What you are doing is redrawing the lines to fit your preferred boundaries without recognizing the fact that you are engaging in line drawing.

    I’m doing no such thing. I don’t think age needs to be the most important factor and sure as hell doesn’t need to be the sole deciding factor. i’m asking for another standard or significant loosening of laws towards people under whatever age. I don’t want a line in the sand, but if there is one it should probably be moved back and blurred quite a bit.

    I know that age is an arbitrary indicator of maturity. But a predictable legal system cannot be established along arbitrary lines. Yes, some vagueness belongs in the law, but in many circumstances it is preferable to have a bright line.

    Very true.

    Although, the justice system has no problem doing individual, almost arbitrary, assessments when it comes to trying teens as adults and the 22/19 or so states that pre-2005 SCOTUS decision had the death penalty for crimes committed at 17/16 had all sorts of tests they would do to certify teens as adults.

    If the government can use a test certify a teen as an adult for criminal proceedings, they can sure as hell use that very same test to certify a teen able to drink a beer.

    Perhaps the easiest way to do this would be to set the age of majority to the same age as the age where a person can be tried as an adult. We would see an immediate drop to around 12-14 in most states.

    Also, a great deal of this age restriction boundary issue becomes irrelevant when the government stops playing O-S-F-A-proxy-parent (I should just refer to this as “OSFAPP” from here on in. 🙂

    If you want to claim that age should not be a relevant factor in the law, you are still claiming the need for a maturity “standard” that judges could use to level-set their opinions against. If you deny even the need for a maturity standard, then you are back to selling crack to 4 year olds.

    First I’d have to find a 4 year old with money and desire to buy crack-of course…

    Perhaps a loosened emancipation standard as an interim measure, the judges could use the adult trial certification tests as proof of maturity.

    And your opinion that minors are currently being held absolutely accountable for their actions is a gross misrepresentation of realty. Stop defining a minor as sixteen and start working with the hard case.

    Why should I define minor any different the government when arguing against the treatment of those “minors”? I’ll move off the issue of 16=minor when the government does. In the meantime, 16 year olds ARE currently defined as minors by the legal system-when convenient anyway.

    But I think I get it. I shouldn’t deal with the extremely common everyday asininity almost exclusively directed at young people past puberty, rather, I should deal with the one in a million possibility of a 10 year old buying crack. This whole 4-10 year olds buying crack thing is really absurd. A 4 year old who actually buys crack is not going to be stopped by an age limit. What makes you think that current age restrictions as the sole barrier to such a transaction? Selling crack is still illegal.

    When it comes time to finally end drug prohibition, we can talk about the one-4 year old, two-6 year olds, maybe five-8 year olds, and maybe seven or eight-10 year olds in the entire country that would actually try to go through with a crack purchase.

    An 8-year old involved in an act of manslaughter is not charged with manslaughter and given 10 years in hard time.

    Probably because they’re so hard to find. It’s probably tough to track him down. I’d like to find more than one or even two in the last 15 or years who’s ctually committed a criminal act of manslaughter.

  53. God-damned progressatives won’t be happy until they’ve squeezed (read litigated) every ounce of joy out of life. Even then, that won’t be enough. Someone, somehwere will still be thinking for themsleves and (oh, the horror) having fun.

    Maybe I’m a fool, but I still have hope that enough people will get fed up and annihilate these people before your scenario plays out.

    I quote (or maybe paraphrase):
    Some people should die; that’s just unconscious knowledge.

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