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Youth Rights

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,125 times Debate No: 29755
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
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Note: I often accidentally say "children" or "teens", instead of minors, so correct this in your head if you catch this mistake.

What if, instead of using an AGE of majority, we awarded it by having children prove themselves. Many people would argue that this is too subjective, but could you not have a semi-objective track that the children follow? Basically, what I was think was:

1) Every year give the government gives each minor a very small amount of money (~ $100.) and see if they can save it. The reason that they would need to be given money is that school is, in reality, work, so how else can they get money; they don't have time (maybe some of the lazy one's do, but those who would pass this list of requirements would be studying). Now, this has many problems that people would object to that I am about to address.
a) It wouldn't cost much in taxes because ~$100 isn't that big of a deal.
b) I understand you could not easily prevent the parents from spending the child's money. Of course, if a parent is stealing their child's money what's the likelihood that child is learning financial responsibility? That would be the least of the child's worries. Also, this already happens to some 16 and 17 y.o.'s in the first place. One thing you could do is give the kids money cards that only kids are allowed to used to prevent this.
c) This money could increase exponentially to replicate real world situations. This could possibly help lower-income children afford college.

2) If they save up enough allow them to make more money at some after-school activities.

-Now, let's think about the risks taken here. What could go wrong at this point?

a) Many would be worried that the kids would get alcohol or drugs, but the truth is that the kids who use drugs ALREADY have easy access to them (they usually steal them or money, how else would a thirteen year old get drugs?) so that wouldn't be any more of a problem than it already is.
b) The kids who are mature enough to save up this kind of money don't use drugs or drink alcohol in the first place. Teenage recklessness is heavily, Heavily tied poor financial management.
c) The thing is that the reckless kids would have never gotten to the point in which they could have bought anything significant with the money they "saved", or, in reality, spent. As I said, not spending money would help you earn more money later on. Reckless teens would never accumulate this much. This models the adult world.

Here is where it gets a little more weird.

3) If the save up a significant amount of money they should be able to work doing something after school to gain a little more money. Many people, I'm sure would think this is crazy, but don't judge it too quickly.

What could go wrong at this point? (not rhetorical, please answer this)

4) If a minor can sustain a job like this for long enough (maybe a year or two) and save up enough money, shouldn't they be able to drive? Why should a reckless 16 year old be able to drive and not a mature 15 year old who can behave in class, not break the law, not fail classes, save up money a large amount of money AND keep a mini-"job" as well as pass the driving tests? We could even, at a certain point start to require them to donate a larger and lager portion of their earnings if necessary.

5) If they can do all this shouldn't they be able to get a real job?

6) If a minor, regardless of whether or not all of this is possible, saves up enough money to buy a house, balances their education, obeys the law, behaves, preforms community service, and does not exhibit any major mental disorders (you have to draw a line somewhere [and we do. thats why adults who are violent, vicious, psychopaths are placed in mental institutes]) should they not be able to buy that house.

7) and if they can keep the house in shape for a few months shouldn't they be able to live in it one out of every five days?

8) 1/4 days for another month?

9) 1/2 days for a months?

10) 3/4 days for two weeks?

11) If any person, regardless of their age, can maintain a steady income at a real job, balance their education, save up money, perform community service, obey the law, behave, stay mentally sane, and in general, not exhibit any major reckless behaviors, such as lighting of fireworks inside (if things like fireworks and guns are a big issue just don't let minors buy them, thats not a big deal) and pay taxes on a home they own, but do not live in who are we to say "Sorry, that's not good enough. You have to wait to live alone."

12) If they can maintain a this lifestyle alone long enough why not give them full rights? Isn't this the definition of begin an adult (dont take that literally :P)

13) If they are stilll mature after another period of time we could ive them the rights of a 21 year old.

Conclusion: The thing about this method is that they are given small amounts of independence just before receiving small amounts of responsibility they cannot be reckless because they will be able to prove themselves. One major problem with our society is that independence and responsibility are given at the SAME time. The result is that when kids are given responsibility they don't have no idea how to manage it so they behave horribly. This is like trying to learn how to mountain climb on mount everest. People will do stupid things because they are given too much at once.
Many people would argue that this is the way our society works because we give rights little-by-little, but this is not valid, despite its seemingly logical point. The issue is that kids behave poorly in small ways so we do not give them any more rights. What I'm about to say is VERY IMPORTANT and is sort of the thesis of this argument:

This method, unlike our current method, involves judging minors by their ability to handle a relatively small amount of responsibility exceptionally well (like a person who is unusually mature for their age, or in this method, legal status which has replaced age) as a method to determine if the can handle a relatively more risky responsibility adequately (like a regular, mature person). This means that if the kids can poorly or even adequately handle one responsibility they will not be given more risky responsibilities. What that means is that only the minors who are capable of handling a responsibility exceptionally well will have the opportunity to handle slightly more difficult and risky tasks, but that these children who can preform so well on previous tasks will not behave poorly on such difficult tasks because they have proven themselves to be relatively mature.

This is incredibly important because it counters the "Children and teenagers are too immature to be given rights argument because if this is true they will fail this system before they are given enough responsibility to act rashly. If you believe that 14 year olds are to irresponsible drive, then no worries! They won't be mature enough to save up a significant amount of money (~$7,000), keep a job, behave, follow the law,and preform community service in the first place :)

Please understand this system is VERY, VERY theoretical. It is more of an example. Also, it wouldn't involve a track system in a line. It would be best to think of this system as a very complex web with multiple ways to gain responsibility.

Also, if you are going to comment be honest and say how much of this you read. Please, please do not comment after reading half or the first two lines, regardless of your opinion.

Contact me if you want to decrease the amount of time to make your argument, I'm willing to do whatever.

Also, it may seem ironic that I set the age limit to 21, but I would like to for the other person to be an adult since I have less experience discussing this idea with them.

Thanks :)


I"m not sure where to begin on this one, WOW.

I would say no voters or people in society think the government should spend more than 7 billion more dollars a year to GIVE money away to kids for RECEIVING a service already paid for. That doesn"t make sense. If I offer to help pull your car out of the snow you don"t think I should be paying you also do you? You mentioned having money for college when they are done with high school. Cool, $1200 that will pay for your books for two years hahaha. You really want to make that argument?

Driver"s licenses to those who pass school and can hold a job (to show they are responsible). NO!!!! I knew many people who can drag themselves to school in high school, and make it to Burger King on time who were nowhere near responsible. Just because you can do this doesn"t mean you are emotionally mature enough to drive a car, which every time you do you have others" lives in your hands (pedestrians and other drivers). Oh I forgot to mention, those kids who would fit your criteria of responsible, were HIGH the whole time". Very responsible actions, but I mean if you pass school and keep a job flipping burgers you got some talent at a young age, especially if your high the whole time. Even more power to you.

The next step in your 12 step program here was if they continue to, you know make it to work, save some money, and pass high school they should buy a house. Screw it, not like they won"t have all their friends over on Friday nights little party actions (of course with just fruit punch cause their minors). Oh, Oh, wait if they doont get in trouble in the house maybe letting them drink legally under no supervision. College kids, who are 3-4 years older than the kids we are talking about now, have significant problems with this. Just last week I knew a guy getting arrested for going to the wrong girl"s room and getting in bed with her cause he was so drunk. But it"s ok because these kids are responsible and can have their own house and buy their own booze at 16 or 17.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for actually reading all that, I didn't think anyone would :) Sorry if my post in any way seemed rude or attacking, I certainly don't want to give that impression :)

First of you must understand that this is mostly theoretical. The system I layed out would be ridiculous, but I'm trying to help you understand the basic, basic, basic format. The ideas appear concrete because they feature concrete examples, but the examples themselves are not necessarily part of my argument, meaning that them being dumb does not disprove my overall thesis.

By the way, either you are a great guesser or you actually took the time to do the math because my estimates for such costs (the direct costs, not net total) of this money system would be ~7 billion dollars :) (~211,000,000[us population]x.237[%U18 population]x100[money]=7.2 billion) This makes it seem absurdly expensive at first, but not when put in context. $100 dollars would be, and I am not exaggerating at all, literally .001666 of a percent of the average us income. ($100/$60,000[us mean income, which is better than median in this case. If you want to know my explanation then ask for it, but otherwise I will assume you understand.]=~.0017) This means it would be less than one fifth of one percent of the mean income for the united states. If I were right, and I understand you think I am wrong, but if I am correct we would be giving people the ability to prove themselves and earn rights for .0017 percent of our income. That is not as big of a deal as it would appear to be.

When you say "give" you are implying that their time is worthless, but it is not. The amount of money I proposed "giving" them would be a tiny, microscopic, incomparable fraction of what adults receive for jury duty, which is still a ridiculously small amount of money relative to the time spent there. Imagine if you had jury duty 5 days a week every year for eighteen years, but received zero dollars in return. What you say about the books and money collected would be true, but my method would allow mature minors to get jobs earlier in their life so they could make more money. Its not really about the money collected from the annual $100, but I still see your point.
You could argue that jury duty is different because it helps the economy, but, in the long run, education does so as well.

I feel like you are forgetting some of the criteria previously established (thats understandable considering the poor organization of my previous post) as a prerequisite to gain a right:

"Driver's licenses to those who pass school and can hold a job (to show they are responsible). NO!!!!!... Oh I forgot to mention, those kids who would fit your criteria of responsible, were HIGH the whole time."

-You must remember that one of the criteria for a driver's license before 16 was "following the law". Being high is not "following the law." You may ask "How would we regulate this if so many kids use drugs today and don't get caught." The reason they are not caught is because they have freedom of privacy (at least from police officers randomly going through their stuff without a permit), but if they are willing to give up this right in order to gain more, then the more power to them. Maybe randomized drug tests, idk. Regardless of the method there would be some way to analyze this if the minor is willing. The only critique you could give of this is to critique my examples, but, like I said before, there are so many methods of regulating this that one could surely be put in place and there is no issue of privacy invasion because it (trying to gain more rights) would be voluntary.

Much of your argument is based on isolated examples, regardless of whether or not they are hypothetic or real:

"Just last week I knew a guy getting arrested for going to the wrong girl"s room and getting in bed with her cause he was so drunk. But it"s ok because these kids are responsible and can have their own house and buy their own booze at 16 or 17.Just last week I knew a guy getting arrested for going to the wrong girl"s room and getting in bed with her cause he was so drunk. But it"s ok because these kids are responsible and can have their own house and buy their own booze at 16 or 17."

This example does not apply in a larger, more representative context because it is a single example and about a trend which is not significantly higher in teenagers than those of certain demographic groups which have no extra restrictions.

"Binge drinking prevalence among men (23.2%) was twice that of women (11.4%)."
"Binge drinking also was most common among persons aged 18"24 years (28.2%)."
"In 2010, the overall prevalence of binge drinking among adults in the 48 states and DC was 17.1%"

"Frequently, seniors consuming the same amount of alcohol as they did in their youth leads to a greater level of impairment"

"While binge drinking is more common among young adults aged 18"34 years, binge drinkers aged 65 years and older report binge drinking more often"an average of five to six times a month."
"Although college students commonly binge drink, 70% of binge drinking episodes involve adults age 26 years and older."
"More than half of the alcohol consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinks."

First off, I'm a guy, so I have the right to say things that may seem sexists without you thinking I'm sexist. Just understand I'm not being anti-men.

So to summarize this data teenagers are 11.1% more likely to binge drink than adults (defined as the number of incidences of binge drinking in the last month, then compared to other groups as standardization to obtain a percent.), yet men were 11.8% more likely to binge drink than a women. Further, college students were only 120% more likely to binge drink while men were over 200% more likely to binge drink than women. So what's my point? College students are more responsible with alcohol, in general, than men. So if you try to use alcohol abuse as your argument that minors would abuse it a) such people would not be able to keep out of trouble in the first place which would be required for them to gain such rights and b) most importantly (THIS [the following] IS VERY,VERY IMPORTANT):

Any justification warranting the restricting of youth because of a fear by adults of adolescent alcohol abuse can easily, logically be countered by the fact that men are more likely relative to women to binge drink than adolescent are relative to adults and also that the difference between men binge drinking rates and those of teenagers is smaller than the differences of rates of many minorities such as racial, religious, and ethnic minorities. Further, I was lenient and picked the most irresponsible age group to represent adolescents. Plus, I didn't even use standard deviation/error, variance, residuals (i guess that would assume that the relationship is linear, so that wouldn't exactly always work, but it would a lot of the time), sampling distribution or confidence intervals.

Furthermore, 70% of binge drinking incidents involve adults above 25 years old and on top of that the adults >65 who binge drink drink more than college students who binge drink, which is scary because adults >65 have a lower tolerance for alcohol than youth meaning they are more affected by it.

My stance is that your example does not outweigh my statistical analysis of this, and that it surely does not outweigh the Census.

I understand that you mean well and don't want to offend you as I understand that you are trying to protect people, rather take advantage of them or put them down. I'm sorry if my response appears hateful or you feel it targets your character or integrity, this is just something that I am very passionate about. I look forward to hearing your response.



First off it would just be another tax that would be nearly wasted money. There are many better uses for that 7.2 billion dollars that would be taxed besides setting it aside for students in grade school. You could work on fixing poverty, social security, health care, infrastructure and many other things that need to be fixed. As for you saying that they spend time doing school and deserve to be compensated that is false. Students who go to college and grad school don"t get paid for their hours spent "working on school" do they? NO, they actually are paying tens of thousands of dollars to do this. Now ask why do people spend money to go to school? It"s because school is an investment in yourself. Students in grade school are getting a free investment in their minds on basic knowledge and the tools to succeed in life. You used to have to pay to go to grammar school, which is essentially what these kids are receiving. They are just lucky enough that the government already pays for it. So you should not get money to do something, which is already a service being provided to you for free, that in history and still some countries today are paid for.
Prove that I follow the law. Drug tests are unconstitutional to administer by a government sector without proper suspicion. And many drugs, except weed, are out of your system in 3 days. Do some blow or mushrooms on a Friday night at a party and your clean Monday morning for that random drug test.
You say that college kids binge drink and even more after they turn 21 and can get it legal. Don"t you think this will happen sooner if you are allowing all this freedom (house). I know that it was harder in high school to get alcohol than anything else. I could get weed and a few other drugs pretty easy if I wanted but not alcohol. If you say these kids can drink you don"t think the one good kid won"t buy for all his buddies. Of course he will. Then all the irresponsible kids are drinking. Point defeated. Allowing just one responsible kid the opportunity to purchase alcohol gets it to all the ones you don"t think should be drinking, therefore, providing another mind altering substance to young teens, which even you say that they shouldn"t have.

I don"t take anything personally and it"s not that I disagree some people are responsible and mature enough to do some of the things you discuss but it opens doors to allow other bad things to happen that are uncontrollable. How do you regulate the 15 year old buying alcohol for the 14 year old because he hands him an extra 20.
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks for responding :)

After reading what you said about education I kind of agree with you. Maybe a better system would be to not give all of the kids money, but just those who earned a significant amount (~$1,500-$2,000) through things such as mowing lawns (it sounds impossible, but it would be possible for those who are determined, I've know young kids to save up this kind of money with such jobs over time).
Unfortunately, there is a certain point in which we are putting kids in a bit of a paradox by saying "In order make money in life you must get a good education.", yet also saying "In order to obtain freedom you must make money to become independent."
Even if a child were the most mature person ever (that isn't the real case, but this is hypothetical), would they really have any chance to earn their own money if we have them in schools all the time because they want to have a bright future? What happens when they, the hypothetical most mature person ever, need to pay their Harvard tuition (freakishly expensive) and they have been flipping burgers which they had to flip in order to prove themselves?
My point is that once they prove they can maintain some maturity we could weed out the vast majority of kids drastically reducing these costs. Also, I didn't do one of my stats correctly because I included kids aged 1-6 in my previous section which is a bit unfair because it isn't till about 7 y.o. that kids have any abstract skills such as money, so for these younger kids, babies and toddlers we wouldn't be giving any money.

"Drug tests are unconstitutional to administer by a government sector without proper suspicion."

"And many drugs, except weed, are out of your system in 3 days. Do some blow or mushrooms on a Friday night at a party and your clean Monday morning for that random drug test."

In nearly all situations I would completely agree with you, but I believe this to be an exception. Due to the fact that the minor does not have to attempt to gain rights this would be ok. Only the minors who agreed to come in to the nearest police station on randomly selected days (maybe on one randomly selected day every two weeks determined 2 days in advance for a year or two or possibly at a higher frequency over a shorter time span [such as once every week on a random day determined 2 days in advance over the course of 1 year or 1/2 year]).
I do not believe they would be unconstitutional if the minor has agreed to such testing. The thing about randomly selected testing is that you are statistically bound to get caught/ be forced to give up if the tests are given at the correct frequency over a long enough period of time.
Testing Time Span: 1 year (365 days)
Time the Drug is in your System: 3 Days
Testing Period: Two Weeks (14 Days)

# of times tested: 26-27 (usually 26)
%chance of being caught each test (even if drug is taken ONLY once every two weeks): ~21%
%chance of being caught at some point (even if drug is taken ONLY once every two weeks): ~77%

Now most drug addicts take drugs more often than once every two weeks, so I was being very lenient. Even if this were the case they would be caught 77% of the time which would scare most of them away. If this isnt high enough increase the frequency or time span, but regardless it can be done. It is not a matter of privacy because they have the option to opt out.

You make some good points about alchohol.
One thing you do have to understand is that teens already have very, very easy access to alcohol.

"Two out of three teens, aged 13-18, said it is easy to get alcohol from their homes without parents knowing about it."

'One third responded that it is easy to obtain alcohol from their own parents knowingly, which increases to 40 percent when it is from a friend's parent."

It is true that teens tend to get alcohol from adults. You made a good point 15 year old giving alcohol, but it would not apply to kids significantly more than adults. All you need is ONE messed up adult to sell alcohol to 14 year olds for the extra twenty bucks and that is exactly what happens everyday, in fact, that is almost universally how they get it, with the exception of theft. I do see your point.

I don't care too much about the alcohol thing though, its not that big of a deal and maybe it is a bit of a moot point. I'm not really too concerned with mature minors being able to drink, and you made some valid points.

I do not really care about "winning" this debate :) I sort of look of this as advice or as pruning down some of my ideas and learning which of these ideas people would oppose as well as their arguments against them. The entire way people on this site vote for a winner is bs anyway because sometimes you kind of lose and sometimes you kind of win, but you never truly win, so understand that this isnt much of a "me vs. you" thing. Most people will probably read the title and vote for you without reading either of our arguments so I have no realistic chance anyway :P


You say only kids who save that large amount of money can earn your school money. I"m a parent, son go cut the grass every week this month and you got yourself two g"s large. You did a service for me and there is nothing saying I don"t put that much value on it and as a parent you would be irresponsible not doing this. You are just moving money to your kid"s name which they cannot spend and then they are making more money. If you wanted they could give you what they loaned you back when you are 18 and you"re not out money and they made 1200 dollars. Your logic behind a lot of this doesn"t make sense.

You spelled out a very elaborate drug screening idea but it still doesn"t counter my argument saying that if someone is smart and does drugs on a Friday night they will be clean Monday morning. The government doesn"t work on weekends so I just beat your drug screening and am dropping acid every weekend.

You keep saying that kids can get alcohol without they"re parents knowing it and yeah kids can sneak it but they have to keep it pretty discreet. You can"t be drunk or throwing huge parties with your parents" home where as if you had your own house and could buy an unlimited amount you"re asking for trouble. The drinking age is there for a reason. 14 year old kids shouldn"t be allowed to drink on their own. This is the time that parents need to keep a strict leash on them and teach them to drink responsibly but that can"t happen if you"re giving them miles of rope to hang themselves with.

There are way too many issues with all of this. You can"t gage how mature and responsible kids are by jobs or money. That"s why there are age laws to help protect and not have to do this on an individual basis. And if this ever was put to practice I would be very upset that the government is wasting money and time on this when there are real problems in this country.
Debate Round No. 3


TheBlueTurtle forfeited this round.


I'll just say that you can't control this and there are reasons that these laws are age based because you can't have a adgency sit there and play mother on who gets what. Not senseable. As well as school is a service. Put that 7 billion into education and make it better dont give it to people who are getting a free service.
Debate Round No. 4


TheBlueTurtle forfeited this round.


austingreco forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ax123man 5 years ago
I'll take it if you change it two three rounds and 4000 characters
Posted by larztheloser 5 years ago
Bothered to read that all. I'd personally disagree on most of it. Can't accept and probably have little time to, so I wish you good luck finding an opponent.
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