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mkl654321
mkl654321
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August 31st, 2010 at 8:28:42 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

You were the one who mentioned underage gambling in general with this comment, "Gambling isn't appealing for underage kids the way drinking is." To me the issue isn't just minimizing gambling. I also value freedom in life to do what you want, as long as you aren't harming anybody else. Furthermore, I don't see Canada and Australia clamoring to increase their gambling age to 21.
I doesn't seem ridiculous to me. For every one person who waits to 21 to drink, there will be 10 who drink more because of forbidden fruit tastes better than legal fruit.
I don't dispute that learning to delay gratification and take only calculated risks take a while to learn. In fact I would say that the young are deliberate risk seekers. That is why they a lot of them drink excessively, because it is risky. Legalize it and you take the fun out of it. However, in the interests of compromise, I wouldn't oppose a Colorado type of law where beer only is legal between the ages of 18 and 21.
There you go with another chimpanzee/murder kind of comparison. I'd tone town the hyperbole; it doesn't become you.



I admit that I didn't say "CASINO gambling", but that is what I meant. I thought that that was implied since no one was talking about the legalization of the poker game in the basement.

Freedom as long as you don't harm anyone else--does the existing body of law extend that freedom to minors, i.e., to harm themselves? SHOULD they be free to harm/destroy themselves? The answer would be unequivocally "yes" if you discounted the societal cost of losing young people.

It seems that you weight the appeal of "forbidden fruit" more heavily than I do, but you weight the deterrence factor of an activity being against the law less heavily than I do. Therefore the discussion is subjective, in the absence of valid comparisons (which I'm sure have been done, contrasting minors' death/addiction rates in states where the drinking age is 18 and 21, respectively).

However: "legalize it and take the fun out of it"?? Obviously true: I live in a college town, and I see morose 21-year-olds sitting around all the time, sipping Starbucks and lamenting that "drinking isn't any fun now that I'm allowed to do it". Which, from a social utility standpoint, argues for bringing back Prohibition, since that would make it illegal for EVERYONE to drink and thus maximize their enjoyment from drinking. A similar argument could be made for making potato chips or cable TV illegal.

My last chimpanzee comparison involved a violin, not murder, and I don't think you realize just how perfect chimpanzee analogies really are.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
Wizard
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Wizard
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August 31st, 2010 at 9:03:20 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

Freedom as long as you don't harm anyone else--does the existing body of law extend that freedom to minors, i.e., to harm themselves? SHOULD they be free to harm/destroy themselves? The answer would be unequivocally "yes" if you discounted the societal cost of losing young people.



You have to draw a line somewhere regarding who is a minor. In my opinion, if you're old enough to go to war, you're old enough to drink and gamble. 18 seems a good number to me.

Quote: mkl654321

It seems that you weight the appeal of "forbidden fruit" more heavily than I do, but you weight the deterrence factor of an activity being against the law less heavily than I do. Therefore the discussion is subjective, in the absence of valid comparisons (which I'm sure have been done, contrasting minors' death/addiction rates in states where the drinking age is 18 and 21, respectively).



I agree.

Quote: mkl654321

However: "legalize it and take the fun out of it"?? Obviously true: I live in a college town, and I see morose 21-year-olds sitting around all the time, sipping Starbucks and lamenting that "drinking isn't any fun now that I'm allowed to do it". Which, from a social utility standpoint, argues for bringing back Prohibition, since that would make it illegal for EVERYONE to drink and thus maximize their enjoyment from drinking. A similar argument could be made for making potato chips or cable TV illegal.



I'm not following your logic. If the 21 year old switched to coffee because alcohol was now legal for him, and thus not fun anymore, it would argue in favor of my "forbidden fruit" theory. Perhaps you were being sarcastic, but it wasn't a good segue into your next point. I never said utility maximization is the desired goal. I'm more in favor of freedom maximization -- for adults, and as long as you're not hurting anyone else.

Quote: mkl654321

My last chimpanzee comparison involved a violin, not murder, and I don't think you realize just how perfect chimpanzee analogies really are.



I didn't mean to imply the chimpanzee and murder comments were made at the same time. I was referring to this one, "So I suppose we should repeal laws against all forms of drug use, and for that matter, burglary, rape, kidnaping [sic], and murder? Because "people are going to do what they want", no matter what?."
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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August 31st, 2010 at 9:45:40 PM permalink
>>Obviously true: I live in a college town, and I see morose 21-year-olds sitting around all the time, sipping Starbucks and lamenting that "drinking isn't any fun now that I'm allowed to do it".>>

LOL!!! I think you're making that up. Kids don't drink because its illegal, they drink because its fun! They drink because its new to them and because all their friends do it. I didn't ride around at night with my friends drinking beer when I was 17 because it was illegal, I did it because it was fun to get drunk. And when we all turned 21, we really went nuts. We went to the bars 4-5 nights a week and closed them down sometimes. Because it was youthful FUN.

My state tried letting 18 year olds drink 25 years ago. Big mistake. They went berzerk going to bars and driving home drunk. So many of them died that the law was repealed a year later.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
mkl654321
mkl654321
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August 31st, 2010 at 10:09:14 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

You have to draw a line somewhere regarding who is a minor. In my opinion, if you're old enough to go to war, you're old enough to drink and gamble. 18 seems a good number to me.

I'm not following your logic. If the 21 year old switched to coffee because alcohol was now legal for him, and thus not fun anymore, it would argue in favor of my "forbidden fruit" theory. Perhaps you were being sarcastic, but it wasn't a good segue into your next point. I never said utility maximization is the desired goal. I'm more in favor of freedom maximization -- for adults, and as long as you're not hurting anyone else.

I didn't mean to imply the chimpanzee and murder comments were made at the same time. I was referring to this one, "So I suppose we should repeal laws against all forms of drug use, and for that matter, burglary, rape, kidnaping [sic], and murder? Because "people are going to do what they want", no matter what?."



That's been my point all along: eighteen-year-olds are not able to give informed consent in the matter of risking their lives for dubious political goals, so they should not be allowed (encouraged) to join the armed forces. The same argument applies to not allowing eighteen-year-olds to drink and/or gamble: they are not mature enough to handle the consequences. Obviously, both 18 and 21 are arbitrary numbers, so would 12 be, in the sense that we could say that anyone who enters puberty is an adult. Therefore, I default to the scientific measure of maturity, which is when the final stages of mental development are complete. This occurs at age 26. I actually have no problem whatsoever with not allowing drinking, gambling, OR enlistment in the armed forces until that age. If this seems extreme, keep in mind that given that the current generation should reasonably expect to live well into their late 80s, the proportions of their lives that are considered "pre-adult" would be the same as the current calculation of 21, with a life expectancy in the low 70s.

I actually equate freedom maximization, with the qualifications you give, with utility maximization. And utility maximization should be the ONLY goal of government, as in, "the greatest good for the greatest number". This, unfortunately, often means decreasing the utility (happiness) of certain individuals or classes of individuals. I may want to play the trombone out on my lawn tonight before I go to bed, which would give me great utility, but I have to defer to the common good and refrain from doing so. Prohibitions against drug use, suicide, and speeding all are utility maximizations, i.e., using the principle that personal freedom ends where negative consequences for others begin.

Perhaps the concept of "negative externalities" is relevant here. Negative externalities are negative consequences of behavior or actions that do not fall on the individual or entity performing those actions. Air pollution is a good example; so is raising chickens in your backyard. Underage drinking inflicts severe negative externalities on the community (as does drug use, suicide, and gambling, to mention other examples I've touched on), and that is the reason for prohibiting it even though it gives maximum utility and maximum freedom to the minor who wishes to drink. That he may do so illegally nonetheless is neither here nor there; all the law can do is make something illegal. Enforcement is a whole 'nother ball of wax.

The analogy with allowing severe crimes was a somewhat sarcastic response to the assertion that laws are useless because "people will do what they want". However, chimpanzees do rape, steal, and murder, which probably has something to do with the fact that they have no laws against underage drinking or gambling.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
rudeboyoi
rudeboyoi
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August 31st, 2010 at 10:17:55 PM permalink
its my belief that the federal government should only be there to protect us (military) and for matters that deal with multiple states. like interstate highways and the hoover dam. state governments should take care of the rest.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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August 31st, 2010 at 10:27:18 PM permalink
>>The same argument applies to not allowing eighteen-year-olds to drink and/or gamble: they are not mature enough to handle the consequences.>>>

You're comparing apples and oranges. Drinking has immediate bad consequences, like dying on the way home. On the other hand, 18 year olds have NO MONEY, so losing $20 isn't going to change their lives. They have no money, have no access to money, have no property. Gambling can be a learning experience for them. Keeping a problem gambler out of a casino means nothing. He can always buy lottery tickets or find a game somewhere or play poker online. You can't protect people from themselves.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
rudeboyoi
rudeboyoi
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August 31st, 2010 at 10:41:23 PM permalink
my best friend in college dropped $30,000 online playing poker. for two weeks i kept trying to get a hold of him and he wouldnt answer. i find out through a mutual friend he bought an oz of cocaine. wasnt going to classes. and locked himself in his room. he was living in a dormitory for grad students. when his parents came down to see him im guessing because he wasnt answering any calls they knocked on his dorm room and got no response. they got the door open and found him in a pool of blood. he slit his wrists with scissors. i got him into poker and have been living with that guilt ever since.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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August 31st, 2010 at 10:49:26 PM permalink
Quote: rudeboyoi

my best friend in college dropped $30,000 online playing poker. for two weeks i kept trying to get a hold of him and he wouldnt answer. i find out through a mutual friend he bought an oz of cocaine. wasnt going to classes. and locked himself in his room. he was living in a dormitory for grad students. when his parents came down to see him im guessing because he wasnt answering any calls they knocked on his dorm room and got no response. they got the door open and found him in a pool of blood. he slit his wrists with scissors. i got him into poker and have been living with that guilt ever since.



Problem gamblers will always find a way to play. They say if a man isn't a problem gambler by the time he's 18, he probably never will be. What they mean is a risk taker, somebody who takes risks just for fun, when there's no reason, just for the adrenaline rush. Thats all gambling is, risk taking. Scientists say the part of your brain that makes logical decisions is half the size of the part of the brain that deals with fight or flight. So when the logical part is screaming at you to quit playing, the large part is bathed in exciting adrenaline, egging you on for more. Some people never learn to listen to the logical part and ignore the other.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
Wizard
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Wizard
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August 31st, 2010 at 11:23:22 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

And utility maximization should be the ONLY goal of government, as in, "the greatest good for the greatest number". This, unfortunately, often means decreasing the utility (happiness) of certain individuals or classes of individuals.



Karl Marx couldn't have said it any better.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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August 31st, 2010 at 11:32:34 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Karl Marx couldn't have said it any better.



I thought Marx DID say it. Its called spreading the misery equally, kinda like a manure spreader. Once everybody is equally miserable, and you have no hope of a better life, you die inside and half the country drowns their misery in vodka.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal

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