Reason Writers Around Town: Kerry Howley on How Elderly Voters Distort Politics

|

Over at the New York Times, Senior Editor Kerry Howley talks with The Cato Institute's Will Wilkinson about how geriatric voters are ruining American politics. Click on the image below to watch.

To watch the rest of their conversation, visit Bloggingheads.tv.

NEXT: Set a Camera to Catch a Thief

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. [grumpy old guy voice]

    Distort? Distort you say? I will tell you about distortion! Back in my day we did not even have ‘politics’ and we were greatful! We didn’t even have food. All we had was dirt. Dirt without politics and we were happy happy happy.

    Then you little whippersnappers come along with your politics trying to tell us what to do with your money. Distortion my hiney! It is our right!

    Now, get off my yard before I have to shoot the water hose on you!

  2. Darn old people, always running around voting, telling me to get off their lawn, trying to get elected President and such.

    Oddly enough, at one point I was invited to join AARP, despite being about 30 and not retired. Mailing lists are weird things.

  3. What’s in Kerry’s hand, a shotglass of vodka?

    I don’t blame her, I too need a drink when I think about old folks and politics!

  4. Those damned socialist old people!

    How dare they preserve their investment in Social Security!

  5. I of course won’t WTFV because I am at work, but I’m sure I’d agree with anything that resembles “boomers suck”.

    Also, can’t reason find people for certain employees to echo-chamber with that they aren’t currently playing hide the salami with? It sort of puts a damper on the whole “objectivity” thing.

  6. You know your old when your talking to your friends and they say:
    How young Tim Russert was when he died
    How young George Carlin was when he died
    and 80 is the new 50.

  7. I of course won’t WTFV because I am at work

    Me too and I am trying to save the taxpayers bandwidth charges.

    I am so nice that way.

  8. [failed to write anything regarding Ms. Howley that doesn’t seem creepy]

  9. Art,

    She is a hottie in that pic. Sort of has that “drinks well with others” look.

  10. Me too and I am trying to save the taxpayers bandwidth charges.

    I am so nice that way.

    Not only that, but through your brave efforts, reason.com won’t end up on the DoD filtered websites list. Hooray!

  11. Q: How did a generation of hippies turn into landed gentry that makes laws against anything new?

    A: They got old, to everyone’s surprise.

  12. Art,

    I thought I got it filtered right before I made the FIRST POST this thread, but it must have just been the server squirrels.

  13. She is a hottie in that pic. Sort of has that “drinks well with others” look.

    She seems like the kind of woman who’d turn a fellow down all polite-like. And, yeah, I’d say she’s about early-’90s Winona Ryder hot. I’m gonna be real honest and say I couldn’t pay attention to Will Wilkinson because Ms. Howley was just too dime-a-licious.*

    *I’m truly, truly sorry.

  14. Damn, that Will guy is as hairy as I am.

    Good for you Mr. Wilkinson. We ape-men have to stick together against the metrosexual threat.

  15. I thought I got it filtered right before I made the FIRST POST this thread, but it must have just been the server squirrels.

    :::whew::: 🙂

    jtuf,
    good one.

  16. Art,

    I think her mom was one of the female vocalists in the Human League.

  17. Hmm, was that supposed to be a debate? What was the point again? That old people vote? Sorry, but I didn’t hear any actual facts presented, more of a “I’m scared that old people won’t let gays get married” sort of vibe.

  18. I think her mom was one of the female vocalists in the Human League.

    Some cursory research suggests that this is apocryphal. However, were such a thing true, she would become an uber-legend.

  19. I just realized Ms. Howley and Mr. Wilkinson comb their hair in the same way.

  20. How do old people distort politics?

    “Poking the thingy into the wrong slot on the ballot” comes to mind.

  21. Indeed. If it weren’t for old people voting for Buchanan, we’d all have forgotten about global warming by now.

  22. Neon Cat, I think I can top your AARP recruitment tale. When I was about 17, I received an invitation to join. To be fair though, my grandfather had the same name as I do, and (I think this is where the problem came from) I had a subscription to Smithsonian magazine from my grandmother.

  23. Good grief people — the problem is not with OLD people “distorting” politics, the problem is with PEOPLE distoring politics.

    What the frack is ‘undistorted’ politicis, anyway?

    Worst Reason post in at least weeks…

    no hugs for thugs, old or young,
    Shirley Knott

  24. Old people vote, so what? Young people don’t vote, too fucking bad.

  25. I want to be a part of a coddled, voting coalition. You libs that refuse to vote are screwing things up for the rest of us 😉

  26. STFU you punk kids. AND GET OFF MY LAWN *shakes fist*

    I’m talking to you Kerry. I’m going to curse you for disparaging the elderly. Are you listending?

    One day, if you are vary lucky, IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!

  27. What the frack is ‘undistorted’ politicis, anyway?

    Doing EXACTLY as I say!

  28. Warren,

    Turn up your reading aid 🙂

  29. When Kerry gets old, she’ll understand.

  30. Am I the only one who gets a little twinge of disappointment upon realizing that an interesting blog topic is being presented in video form only? I’m just too restless (and short of time) to sit and soak up the nuts and bolts of an argument at the mercy of someone else’s pace and tempo.

    Or maybe I’m the old fuddy-duddy. Those dang newfangled web clips…

  31. [grumpy old guy voice]

    Back in my day if we wanted to see moving pictures we would just go out on the porch and look at the dinosaurs play.

    Later we would go to the picture shows.

    Everything went down hill when those infernal “talkies” started taking over.

    Leave me alone while I listen to the wireless!

  32. “I just realized Ms. Howley and Mr. Wilkinson comb their hair in the same way.”

    That’s because they’re both girls. Seriously, old people are yucky! They’re wrinkly, and they smell bad. Plus, they totally can’t get it up (this is the guys).

    I guess the moral is that

    1) Will and Kerry need to bang out as many kids as possible, so as to make society more progressive

    2) kill themselves when they hit 50

  33. I’m with Tom; Kerry is very good looking, but I’d much rather read than watch TV. Especially since these things always stutter on my computer.

  34. How do old people distort politics?

    “Poking the thingy into the wrong slot on the ballot” comes to mind.

    Not to mention a “trying to prevent men from poking their thingy into wrong slots (sluts?)” vibe .

  35. Preventing “Social Progress”?! To anyone harboring any further doubt cosmotarians are basically socialists that have learned to talk in market-speak, I rest my case….

    nd, yeah, I’d say she’s about early-’90s Winona Ryder hot.

    Heh, yeah…. the Cutest li’l Commie from Cato….

  36. The external speakers on my laptop are toast, so it’s just too damn much trouble to go get the headphones to watch someone only quasi-hot like Kerry talk.

    Sorry, Kerry, but the creepy droolfest here is getting on my nerves.

  37. Seriously, you libertarians act like you’ve never seen a girl before.

    Wait for it…

  38. Typical orange journalism.

  39. aren’t will & kerry like, life partners or something?

  40. Seriously, you libertarians act like you’ve never seen a girl before.

    bad sci fi novels are a harsh mistress, joe.

    thank you thank you i’ll be here all week picking the lowest hanging fruit i can find.

    piggie, don’t you think it kinda fucks up specificity when you use the term “socialist” as a replacement for “people i don’t care for”? though it must be neat to yell “you fucking socialist!” at the dude who cuts you off when driving to the store.

    “damn statist assholes! learn how to drive, commie pukes!”

  41. Joe,
    You nanny staters act like you are women.

  42. Gabe,

    You mean we ignore you?

    😛

  43. Oh, SNAP!

  44. I believe joe–what is it you kids say these days?–oh yeah, “wins the thread”..

  45. piggie, don’t you think it kinda fucks up specificity when you use the term “socialist” as a replacement for “people i don’t care for”?

    No, I don’t think so. Socialism isn’t merely about forced wealth re-distribution, it’s about forced wealth re-distribution to achieve specific ends. I don’t see how a (slight) modification of policy to achieve redistribution in pursuit of those same ends distinguishes it from the classic model in any significant manner.

  46. Joe beat me to it.

    You guys don’t get out much, do you?!

  47. I like Will’s frames.

    I’m also amused at the notion of Will and Kerry doing each other’s hair prior to engaging in their video debate.

  48. Why is kerry bright pink? Is it my monitor? Will is sort of normal white prson pink, but kerry looks a bit like the girl in willie wonka who ate a meal-in-a-gum.

    but pink.

  49. mitch: Kerry is very good looking, but I’d much rather read than watch TV. Especially since these things always stutter on my computer.

    Ubuntu, my friend. Ubuntu is the answer. Take the red pill.

  50. I don’t see how a (slight) modification of policy to achieve redistribution in pursuit of those same ends distinguishes it from the classic model in any significant manner.

    maybe i’m missing the point, but i don’t see the cosmotarian handout system in place. perhaps latte foam is clouding my vision, but i don’t think so. at the very least, i didn’t take kerry’s one-liner about social progress – intended, i believe, to mean the natural evolution of a place, changing demographics, etc – as a gotcha moment.

  51. Grow up on three news channels and you would be a blithering idiot too.

    Grow all the TV channels we have today you would be a blithering idiot too.

    Turn off the TV and you might become depressed because you’d find yourself surrounded by so many blithering idiots.

    The internet is the new printing press, we’ll see how long they’ll let that stand.

  52. someone only quasi-hot

    I see you, contrarian, ha ha. Maybe there should be disclaimers at the bottom of Kerry Howley threads, warning the unsuspecting of the crypto-sexist admiration that will follow.

  53. er, top of…

  54. dhex,

    People who don’t realize that everything was better in 1952 are teh socialist.

  55. Over at the New York Times, Senior Editor Kerry Howley talks with The Cato Institute’s Will Wilkinson about how geriatric voters are ruining American politics.

    But wait, both of them have told us that demographic changes are nothing to worry about, yes?

  56. maybe i’m missing the point, but i don’t see the cosmotarian handout system in place.

    I didn’t say “handout”, I said redistribution.

    Even a “free” market has rules, and he who defines the rules can manipulate the outcomes.

    Example: in the antebellum south, plantation owners used slave labor. Now, some of them might have had a moral objection to slavery, but the price of declining to participate in the slave market left as the only alternative paying wages to free labor. Given that this would have forced anyone who chose to decline participation to raise their prices, they would have been non-competitive and forced out of business. Obviously, there weren’t many (if any) examples of cotton plantations running on wage labor. Effectively, anyone in the cotton-production business was forced to use slave labor, not through the “hard” coercion of government, but through the “soft” coercion of the market.

    Government didn’t establish slavery as an institution, market forces did. And they established it just as effectively as any government mandate could have. Note, we don’t have a “free” market in slaves anymore.

    Likewise, there’s nothing “natural” about the demographic evolution you speak of, it’s the inevitable outcome of specific economic and labor policies, none of which are necessary. Japan, for example, is confronting it’s problem of declining population with advanced technologies and robotics (surprise! markets can offer more than one solution to a problem!).

    Of course, we could do the same thing here, but then, that wouldn’t result in the preferred cosmotarian social outcome, which differs from the socialist policy of redistributing the wealth among the population only by redistributing the population according to the wealth. (I’ll leave as an exercise to the reader as to which country will come out ahead – the country that resolves it labor problems through advancing it’s technology, or the one which resolves them by importing an underclass.) But while the mechanism differs, the preferred outcome is the same: transfer of wealth from Americans to foreign nationals.

    So I’ll reiterate: cosmotarianism == socialist ends by “free” market means.

  57. Darn younger generation! How dare they object to getting ripped off by our wondrous Social Security pyramid scheme!

  58. I won’t be watching this one either.

  59. I of course won’t WTFV because I am at work, but I’m sure I’d agree with anything that resembles “boomers suck”.

    The truly hilarious part of it is that if you were making a movie that needed a ’60s style moonbat boomer couple, you couldn’t do better than to typecast Howley and Wilkinson. I haven’t seen a couple that so thoroughly personified just what made the boomers so incredibly loathsome since Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.