Monday, March 11, 2013

Baby Boomers are Not the Best Model for Today's Youth

Essentially all American studies of the effects of raising or lowering the legal drinking age were based on a single generation:  the Baby Boomers.  And the latest junk science study is no exception.  Remember, many states lowered their drinking ages in the early 1970s and raised them to 21 in the 1980s, so that was the generation most affected by such changes.  But there is a fundamental question that is rarely asked, especially by the pro-21 crowd:  Could the Baby Boomers (i.e. those born from 1946 to 1964) have been an exceptional generation that was actually affected perversely by the changes in the drinking age?  That is, could the effects that some studies found actually be the opposite of what would have happened for other generations?

We at Twenty-One Debunked believe that the answer is yes, that they are a unique generation that was likely affected differently (if at all) by the changes in the drinking age, and that studies that only look at them are outdated and obsolete for determining the supposed effects of lowering the drinking age in 2013.   There are several reasons for this:

  • Baby Boomers came of age at a time when America's drinking culture was very different, a fact that was true regardless of the drinking age.
  • Baby Boomers (and early Gen-X) were more affected by lead poisoning that any other generation that is still alive today, thanks to the leaded gasoline (and paint) that was used when they were children.  Lead is a neurotoxin that causes serious and often permanent damage to the developing brain, resulting in reduced intelligence, increased impulsivity, and arrested development.  And changes in crime statistics and standardized test scores verify this fact.
  • Baby Boomers were exposed to numerous other developmental toxins as well:  mercury, PCBs, DDT, dioxins, fluoride, and many others.   And they did lots of drugs as well.
  • Baby Boomers, for whatever reason, were apparently raised to be rather narcissistic and self-important as a rule.
  • Baby Boomers, regardless of the drinking age in their home states when they were growing up, succeeded in becoming the drunkest and druggiest generation in American history (at least since the Founding Fathers), yet they have the audacity and hubris to overwhelmingly support the 21 drinking age and other anti-youth laws.
  • And most ironically of all, the Baby Boomers also became the wealthiest generation in American history despite screwing up the economy for everyone else (to say nothing about what is happening to our planet).
That is not to say that all Baby Boomers are reflected in these facts, since a rather large number of them defied these trends.  But enough of them were so as to call into question the wisdom of using that generation as a model for the effects of policy changes on today's youth.  And we certainly should not continue punishing today's youth for the sins of their Boomer parents.  Perhaps some generations can indeed handle freedom better than others--and the best statistics are indeed more on the side of today's generation of young people.

Let America be America again, and lower the drinking age to 18.  If you're old enough to go to war, you're old enough to go to the bar.  'Nuff said.

3 comments:

  1. I have known that the Baby Boomers are not as good as the current generation of people who are 13-24 years old. There is hypocrisy in that many Baby Boomers support the ageiest drinking age. This blog does a good job at analyzing research that falls short of good science. The country's drinking culture is better today than in the 1970s but there is a lot of room for improvement with a drinking age of 18. The Baby Boomer generation shouldn't be used for research because the statistics have to go a long time ago and there are differences between then and in the 2010s. Punishing a daughter or a son for a parent's wrongdoing never makes sense so courts don't do that. It's time to get rational thinking on lowering the drinking age.

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  2. Lowering the drinking age will most definitely increase the number of single mothers. In fact, the morality of this country is in the dumps and many, if not most, babies are born as the unintended consequence of immoral conduct. Raise the drinking age to 28.

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  3. Lowering the drinking age will most definitely increase the number of single mothers. In fact, the morality of this country is in the dumps and many, if not most, babies are born as the unintended consequence of immoral conduct. Raise the drinking age to 28.

    ReplyDelete