September 18, 2007
But what have we here? A little article by a Mike Males that shows that perhaps this poisonous brand of thinking is a wee bit of projection on the part of the Boomers.
The piece starts off by pointing to several studies where psychiatrists suggest that we should increase the age that people should be allowed to consent to certain activities, trying to use their studies to shape policy, one suggesting that voting and drinking ages should be raised to 25, and another suggesting we should raise the age of consent to join the military. Then Males lowers his main guns for a broadside...
Why, then, do many pundits and policy makers rush to denigrate adolescents as brainless? One troubling possibility: youths are being maligned to draw attention from the reality that it’s actually middle-aged adults — the parents — whose behavior has worsened.
Oh, this is too sweet. But it gets even better!
Our most reliable measures show Americans ages 35 to 54 are suffering ballooning crises:
18,249 deaths from overdoses of illicit drugs in 2004, up 550 percent per capita since 1975, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
46,925 fatal accidents and suicides in 2004, leaving today’s middle-agers 30 percent more at risk for such deaths than people aged 15 to 19, according to the national center.
More than four million arrests in 2005, including one million for violent crimes, 500,000 for drugs and 650,000 for drinking-related offenses, according to the F.B.I. All told, this represented a 200 percent leap per capita in major index felonies since 1975.
630,000 middle-agers in prison in 2005, up 600 percent since 1977, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
21 million binge drinkers (those downing five or more drinks on one occasion in the previous month), double the number among teenagers and college students combined, according to the government’s National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health.
370,000 people treated in hospital emergency rooms for abusing illegal drugs in 2005, with overdose rates for heroin, cocaine, pharmaceuticals and drugs mixed with alcohol far higher than among teenagers.
More than half of all new H.I.V./AIDS diagnoses in 2005 were given to middle-aged Americans, up from less than one-third a decade ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
What experts label “adolescent risk taking” is really baby boomer risk taking. It’s true that 30 years ago, the riskiest age group for violent death was 15 to 24. But those same boomers continue to suffer high rates of addiction and other ills throughout middle age, while later generations of teenagers are better behaved. Today, the age group most at risk for violent death is 40 to 49, including illegal-drug death rates five times higher than for teenagers. (emphasis mine-doubleplusundead)
Oh, snap! Y'know, I'm tired of getting the "yoots these days" crap from the generation that wallowed in the free love and drugs of the 60's and 70's, immediately followed by a call to impose some abusive Nanny State regulation that would first and foremost people in my age group. I'm gonna get a lot of use out of this piece.
And this isn't to say that I revel in the suffering or shortcoming of Boomers, I don't, but I do revel in smacking some of the arrogance out of certain ones. Many of them fall into the Nanny State trap, even otherwise smart conservatives, find themselves wanting to impose stupid regulations, by the behavior of the reckless yoots, hopefully this type of thing will knock some sense into them and make them realize statistically, they need to impose self-discipline, and get their own self-absorbed houses in order.
Males finishes it up nicely,
Commentators slandering teenagers, scientists misrepresenting shaky claims about the brain as hard facts, 47-year-olds displaying far riskier behaviors than 17-year-olds, politicians refusing to face growing middle-aged crises ... if grown-ups really have superior brains, why don’t we act as if we do?
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