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Age Stratification in the USA


In the United States of America, there are several age restrictions that most people are not completely aware of. Take a look at this chart that is true in most parts of the U.S.:


Age (years old) Restriction
18
Minimum age to join the military, vote in elections, treated as an adult
in a court of law, and buy tobacco products and lottery tickets.
21
Minimum age to purchase alcohol.
25
Minimum age to become a U.S. representative.
30
Minimum age to become a U.S. senator.
35
Minimum age to become the president or vice-president of the
United States of America.
Figure #1


At the age of 18, a person is considered sensible and responsible enough to join the military to kill or be killed for their country. Also at the age of 18, a person is legally an adult who is responsible for all of their actions, so a court of law can sentence an 18 year old person to prison or even to be executed. Conversely, if a person can be punished in a court of law as an adult, then that person is considered psychologically mature enough to be responsible for their actions.


On the other hand, a person is only considered responsible enough to purchase alcohol at the age of 21. Therefore a legal adult between the ages of 18 and 21 is not considered mature enough to purchase alcohol. I think most people agree that this is an unfair double standard. Either a person is a completely mature adult who is responsible for all of their actions or not. Therefore, if a person is an adult in a court of law and in the military, then there is no logical reason to discriminate against an adult from purchasing alcohol.

Furthermore, an adult should be allowed to hold any political office despite of their age. If a democratic population votes an adult into public office, then the population deemed the person qualified and mature enough for the position. Another way of putting it is if a person is old enough to vote, then they are old enough to be voted into office. Therefore, there is no need for an arbitrary age limitation for holding a political office.

How I see it, there are 6 classes for citizens of the United States of America. I call this age stratification of American citizens as "adulticity".


Age (years old) Class
0 - under 18
Minor or Child. No direct political power with limited rights.
18 - under 21
Fifth Class. Limited adult with voting rights and cannot hold any upper
political offices.
21 - under 25
Fourth Class. Full adult, but still cannot hold any upper political offices.
25 - under 30
Third Class. Full adult that can hold limited political offices.
30 - under 35
Second Class. Full adult that can hold more, but still limited, political
offices.
35 and over
First Class. Full adult who can hold any political office.
Figure #2


As you can see, there are five classes for adults in the United States. This adulticity is morally wrong and needless, because a person is either completely responsible and mature enough to be an adult with all benefits and disadvantages of being an adult; or else, the person is a child that needs supervision and guidance from an adult. In the United States of America, there should be only a single age for adulthood with all the rights associated with it.

by Phil for Humanity
on 02/12/2008

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