John McCardell (a president emeritus and a professor of history at Middlebury College) in the Atlantic argues that the US national drinking age of 21 is a failure -- it has failed to stop underage drinking, and has instead driven it underground and made it more dangerous. I grew up with Ontario's drinking age of 19, but I started drinking at parties and so on at about 14 or 15, often to bad result; ironically, once I was old enough to drink in bars, I drank a lot less, as the culture in bars was generally different from the parties I'd drunk at until then.
The way our society addresses this problem has been about as effective as a parachute that opens on the second bounce. Clearly, state laws mandating a minimum drinking age of 21 haven't eliminated drinking by young adults--they've simply driven it underground, where life and health are at greater risk. Merely adjusting the legal age up or down doesn't work--we've tried that already and failed. But federal law has stifled the ability to conceive of more creative solutions in the only place where the Constitution says such debate should happen--in the state house--because any state that sets its drinking age lower than 21 forfeits 10 percent of its federal highway funds. This is called an "incentive."
So what might states, freed from this federal penalty, do differently? They might license 18-year-olds--adults in the eyes of the law--to drink, provided they've completed high school, attended an alcohol-education course (that consists of more than temperance lectures and scare tactics), and kept a clean record.
This brainfart from the Republican speaker of the house dates to 2013, not the aftermath of his failure to pass 2017’s universally-loathed Obamacare replacement plan. Snopes: WHAT’S TRUE House Speaker Ryan said he would not give up on destroying the United States’ health care system. WHAT’S FALSE The statement was a gaffe that was taken […]
Trumpcare went down in flames yesterday, and the flames smelled faintly of burning Trumphair. But the president’s personal humiliation was shared with adviser Steve Bannon, according to reports, whose behavior around conservative Republicans made a joke of Trump’s ultimatum. Mike Allen quotes him thus: “Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a […]
Republicans withdrew Trump’s favored legislative plan to replace Obamacare on Friday, understanding that they lacked the votes to pass it in the House of Representatives. This despite the president’s threat to leave Obamacare as law of the land if they did not give the American Health Care Act an up-or-down hearing today. The GOP bill—a […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]