Out With the Old, In With the Young

from NYTs

IT’S NOT JUST THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP is a well-seasoned 73 and his three top Democratic Party challengers are also septuagenarians. The average senator is now almost 63 and the average member of the House nearly 58, making them roughly 20 years older than their average constituent, and nearly a decade older than they were in 1981.

Older people today hold disproportionate power because they have the numbers and the means to do so. People 65 and older, for example, are more than three times as likely to make political donations as those under 30. As a result, their voices, amplified by money, carry farther politically than those of the young and impecunious.

There are a lot of voices in their chorus. The American electorate is the oldest it’s been since at least 1970 and is graying at a rapid clip, with the well-off living longer than ever before. By 2034, according to the Census Bureau, the population 65 and older will exceed the population under 18; by 2060 the 65-and-older crowd is projected to have almost doubled. There are some 74 million baby boomers alone, and when election time comes, they turn out in droves. During the 2018 midterms, 64 percent of citizens ages 54 to 72 cast a ballot, compared to 31 percent of eligible voters 29 and under.

“Money, numbers and power have been inexorably accruing to the aging ‘baby boomer’ generation for the last few decades,” the political scientist John Seery warned in his 2011 book “Too Young to Run?” The trends show no signs of slowing. Migration to metropolitan centers by people who tend to be younger and more diverse, along with rural depopulation and aging, will only intensify age-based inequities given the geographic biases of the American electoral system. Call it the coming gerontocracy.

While significant divisions exist within every age cohort (many older people in this country are progressive and poor, just as some young people are rich and right-wing), the divisions between older and younger generations are becoming increasingly salient. Of course, young people are not intrinsically enlightened or virtuous compared to their elders — as someone who just turned 40, I certainly hope that’s not the case — and our society desperately needs older people to participate in public life.

More here.

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  1. This article brings major light to our current political problem. The people who represent our country represent the same age bracket and morals as less than one-third of our country. This is not just the Republican party, but the Democratic Party, who is supposed to represent change and acceptance, who have representatives old enough to be our grandparents. However, the problem that lies here is not the millennial age wanting change, but our voices not being heard. I’m not someone who represents with the left at all, but is time for our age to get a fair chance in elections. Our elected officials are being placed into their spots due to political donations and acting as puppets for a few months just to get support from American companies and the rich, who want their candidate to go further to benefit themselves. Most young people want change to happen, and have competent leaders who have experience in politics, but aren’t lifelong politician over the age of 70. The problem also lies with young voters actually voting. New York Times says, “64 percent of citizens ages 54 to 72 cast a ballot, compared to 31 percent of eligible voters 29 and under.” This is mostly why those who have been representing our country for decades, keep their spots. Our country does not care about young people’s votes, because they are afraid that all of our elected officials would lose their seats, which they most likely did if all young voters actually did perform their civil duty. I am a registered Republican voter, but I personally would prefer if we eliminated our party system. I feel as people are forced to vote for someone because they are limited to their party’s candidates, and would not want to vote someone from the other party into office. If the U.S. was to eliminate parties, we would be giving every candidate a fair chance because citizens would vote for someone based off of their policies, not the symbol next to their name. Many young voters feel as though the system is stacked against them, and rightfully so. Our current policies are made to benefit those who can afford to vote who they want into office through donations. It is time for a MAJOR change in the United States.

  2. A baby boomer is a term used to describe a person who was born between the years of 1946 and 1964. The baby boomer generation makes up 74 million people in America which is a large portion of the United States’ population and conversely, has a significant impact on the economy and politics in today’s era. During the 2018 midterm elections, 64 percent of citizens ages 54 to 72 cast a ballot, compared to 31 percent of eligible voters 29 and under. This number is staggering and raises as a concern to many millennials in this era. The average age of a United States Senator is almost 63, and the average age in the House of Representatives is 58. However, having an even proportion of millennials and baby boomers representing our democracy is important. The main argument is that the older generation is wiser and is more knowledgeable because they have more experience. However, this does not have to be the case, especially because there are plenty of qualified millennials, and there are people in power who may not live to see the next 20 years. Why should they be paving the way for the younger generation when they will not even be alive to witness it? The blame certainly should not entirely fall on the baby boomer generation. This also goes hand-in-hand with the level of participation of the younger generations. Going back to the statistics from the 2018 midterm elections, only 31 percent of eligible voters who were 29 and under actually voted. If millennials want more of an impact on democracy, they have to prove it. After all, it is their future, and even their kid’s future, so they should be more active in voting. The lack of intergenerational teamwork between the young and old is often overlooked, but it is a problem in today’s society. It is impacting the change we need to see in the world. In the long term, and even participation would lead to a more democratic system that our founding fathers hoped for, and would benefit the vast majority of people, young and old alike.

  3. This article shocked me with its effective use of statistics. The age issue regarding politicians and their constituents is not one that is widely discussed, similarly to one of the original provisions for who could vote and run for office. Living in a country that greatly prides itself on its democracy and its founding principle of representation for all, a point that should be addressed at the national level is that the representation should actually be representative of the citizens. As the article mentions, our current president is in his seventies, as are the two front-runners for the democratic nomination going into 2020. The problem with this is that the constituents each politician claims to represent are less than half of their ages. This presents a very unique problem in today’s political system in that “fair representation” in government has not been realized.

    In my opinion, no matter what a politician says or promises, they will not truly be able to represent their constituents when there are many glaring differences. This is especially true about Bernie Sanders and his comments about becoming a millionaire after writing a best-selling book. The people he claims to represent are not the elderly millionaires like himself, and although he claims to speak to them, he is not an ideal candidate. In the same breath, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are also out of touch with the next generation of Americans.

    Another issue with the current political system is that many young people do not vote, despite having the ability and the duty to do so. Only 31% of citizens aged 29 and under voted during the last presidential election, compared to 64% of citizens ages 54-72. One explanation for this is that many young voters do not feel as though their votes truly matter due to the electoral college and a growing desire among young people to switch to the popular vote. Due to a lack of election participation among young people, older candidates at all levels of the government still dominate politics and represent the people who voted the most.

    One of the most effective and simple solutions to this problem is to encourage all people of all ages to vote. There is no reason to miss an election despite whether or not a person thinks that their voice will not truly be heard. This country has a democratic system for the purpose of the people to change issues that they do not agree with, so the first step in getting one’s voice heard is to participate in the system rather than ignore it entirely. Regardless of party, each American has a civil duty to vote in every election because not every country in the world guarantees the freedom and safety (or even the ballot) when it comes to voting. Being able to participate in such a system when many others cannot should be at the forefront of every American’s mind regardless of political views.

  4. The article describes a growing problem that young Americans need to take seriously. As a young college student, when I go to vote, I will continuously ponder if I my vote even holds any significance. If we take a look at the last midterm election in 2018, it is known that 64 percent of Americans between the ages of fifty-four to seventy-two voted while only 31 percent of individuals under the age of 29 went voted.
    It is crazy to think about how the older American population has so much more influence over society than the younger generation. Everyone always says you and your peers are the future of this world and that we will be running soon. Then why don’t we influence politics and government as much as the older Americans? Unfortunately, the reason that I think holds the most significant value is money. As a young college student, I don’t have much money to throw around. Therefore, you will not be seeing me making any significant political donations anytime soon. This being the case, even if I do vote, how much value my vote holds, is uncertain in my opinion. Because the older generations of Americans are making more political donations, that also gives me the impression that policy makers will be more likely to make and push for policy that pertains to the older population in America. I recently came across the demographics of political donors for the democratic party’s candidates. After reviewing the charts and the descriptions that followed, majority of donations of over 200 dollars are made by people with salaries of 75k or more and majority are over the age of fifty. Therefore, even if I do vote I won’t be receiving all the policy pushes that people my age want. Politicians are probably more concerned with keeping their contributors happy, rather than just focusing on their overall voter turnout.
    According to this article, it is only the beginning of this issue for me and my peers. By 2034 the number of Americans over the age of 65 will tower over the number of Americans who are eighteen and under. This can easily persuade many young Americans to not even vote at all; the free rider issue. If we are going to change the way are nation operates, the young Americans must step up and vote; we must also see our participation in government and policy as a necessity

  5. Having old representatives in office can be seen as both positive and negative I different opinions or times. The main positives of older representatives is the fact of life experience. Life experience is something that no book from school can teach you and that it is only something you can learn on your own through mistakes and trials. It all depends on how they use that experience in my opinion. Some of these people still don’t learn from pervious mistakes, however, and still strive to make the same mistakes as previous peers made. One great example is socialism. Real world experience with this economic system has showed us countless times it will only fail, yet people will still not learn with their abundance of knowledge and experience. This means that there would be no difference with their younger peers if these are the actions, they take which. My main issue with the younger generation of representatives is that according to the polls taken by New York Times, they are not too well versed in understanding simple economics. For example, the thought of free college, a universal savings account, and thinking the system is stacked against them, is not the type of leader you would like in office. This all stems from the idea that modern people think that people with a lot of money were handed it and don’t actually work for it. Free college would devalue the whole education while taxing people that work extremely hard for their money. To the families that also paid off all of their debts over a long period of time, it would not be fair to them that the education they paid for is now worth nothing. A universal savings account would also take more money from the more well off individuals that employ the rest of the economy and mean less hours they give or less jobs. Finally, thinking the system is stacked against you only means that you are not willing to work past the countless failures in a person’s life before you reach your success. These are terrible qualities and ideas that should have no place in office. In my opinion, the older representatives should stay and be more abundant in office because they are less impulsive to bankrupt the country and try to give handouts to everyone. It is not a coincidence that most older people are conservative because most liberal ideas are those of younger people that do not know the wiser and will ruin the country if put in office.

  6. This article was very thought provoking especially to a young college student. I think many of the things expressed are true, and some could use some more thought but that is why they are just possibilities and not realities. One of the things that I thought was interesting was the lowering age of an eligible voter. While I could see this facing much criticism, it is, however, their world too. Many young people still have the rest of their lives ahead of them, and their say in the matter to what occurs in our country matters. While it may be a bit of a stretch to get 16 year old’s to vote, 17 may not be that far off. I think that by lowering the voting age, it would create a wider range of what young people think nowadays, especially those still in high school. I feel that many people from the ages of about 18-23 think they have more to worry about (such as, school, getting a job, paying off loans) than voting. Which, as a college student, I somewhat agree. Although the elections influence all of our lives, it is sometimes difficult to put that first when struggling through exams and homework.
    I think that the age influence in congress and the senate is absolutely baffling. They are the majority of older people, who while yes have the most experience in the world, do not have to live in it in fifty years, like the rest of us. I do agree that they may make decisions with that mindset, which is utterly unfair to younger generations. Having the youngest age to enter into Congress be 25 is very reasonable, but Senate one has to be 30 to enter. I think both should be made the same age, 25, to better reflect the young minds of society.
    What I liked about this article is that it did not just focus on current issues but it also brought it back to the household income and price of living aspect that was around in the 1950s and 1970s. The cost of living for families in that time was less expensive, with reasonable student debt costs and higher household income. Now, it seems, many of those things are completely reversed. The cost of living has become so inflated, as has the cost of going to college and the result of thousands and thousands in student loans. While this may not seem currently relevant it absolutely is, because it has shown where the country has gone since that time, and the influence the older minds have had on society.

  7. As a democratic nation, America prides itself in representing all people, not just those who have power. This is not at all the current case though. Currently, the political bodies of The House of Representatives and the Senate averages ages in the “baby boomer” age group. While the minimum age for positions in these areas are 25 and 30, there are very few people entering these positions at these ages because of the very low amount of young people who vote compared to the amount of older people. This does not seem incredibly concerning until we take into account the different views of the two age groups and how that could effect our political system if an equal amount of young people entered these positions.
    While young people are technically to blame for this unequivocal inequality, there is more on the plate of young people than those of older generations. As times become more technologically and educationally advanced, it is becoming more difficult to become a successful young person. Not only are young people focused on college, student loans, establishing a credit score, building a resume, starting personal savings, navigating the job market, and growing into young adults in a world where there is so much stress placed on the shoulders of young people, but we are also expected to keep up with the current political climate and other situations in connection to it. While voting is a duty as an American citizen, it makes complete sense why young people are not focused on voting. For goodness sake, science says the world is going to end in a few years so what is the point anyway! While I do not hold that as a personal view, I know many people who do.
    So what can be done about that? Really nothing. With society and economics functioning the way they currently are now, there is no way to move this stress off of the shoulders of young people. Of course we can promote voting, but there are organizations that already do that and it has not had any significant change.

  8. It is no secret that our government is run by older people. In fact not just older people, MUCH older people. While this is not exactly a new trend, it is certainly one that has gotten worse over the years, and one that might continue to get worse if changes are not made. So how does this affect us as a country? Well, there are a few different arguments one could make for this. The first argument would be in favor of older people in governmental positions of power because wisdom can only come with age, and we do not want unwise people running the country. On the contrary, the other argument would be that older people keep us in the past, and do not represent the real views of the country, hence younger people should be given more power. Whichever side you land on, this is definitely an issue that people should give some thought to, as it directly affects them. The article certainly got me thinking.
    The first side of the argument, in favor of older people, is generally the default, or at least it has been for most of history. Believers in this argument think that wisdom can only come from age, and that all young people will make rash decisions which would hurt the country overall. There is a certain level of truth to this. Even though I am a young person, I admit without issue that many young people make very stupid decisions, and in general, older people make better more rational decisions. However, this is not to say that is always the case. I think it is also important to realize that there is a likely limit on how older people will be able to adapt to changes in the world.
    This leads into the other side of the argument: younger people should be given more powerful roles in government. As just covered, older people are generally more conservative in their decision making, but like I said, this is not always the case, and maybe some quicker decisions would not necessarily be a bad thing. This careful quality that makes older people more fit to lead in many people’s minds is also a quantity that makes them more stubborn, and less willing to make big changes. Bringing younger people that are more receptive to new ideas into power roles would vastly speed up the process of change in the U.S. which is pretty much at a standstill right now. Younger people would also be more in-tune with current trends, and be on top of what new topics or issues arise. In a lot of ways, these qualities would improve the United States and make it a more current, malleable, and creative society.
    Overall, both younger and older people have benefits and drawbacks when it comes to governing the United States. It really comes down to what we prioritize as a country. Do we want the change associated with younger leaders? Or would we rather stick with the same old systems we have been using by keeping our older leaders?

  9. The older generation has so much influence in the world today, especially about politics and events that won’t end up changing their futures. Us young people are constantly told that we are the future of the country, and that everything we do will have a huge impact on the way our world works. If this is true, why is it not being reflected in the polls every election season? We can’t expect to make the major changes that this country needs to make if we aren’t showing up one day in November to do so. We need more younger people to go out and vote, and we really need more younger people, like AOC, to be running for office. We need passion and a person in office who would be able to bring about the change that the younger generation cares about. Having the older generation in political office is great for the past experience they can bring but it isn’t great for people my age who have to live with the decisions they make.
    These older representatives have a major say in issues that aren’t going to affect their future, like climate change, for example. They are making major decisions when it comes to how to reverse the effects of global warming but they aren’t taking into consideration that they are leaving the Earth to us. The things us younger people care about are vastly different than what the older generation has in mind. It makes sense that younger people and older people will be on two different wavelengths regarding the importance of certain issues but it’s time that the younger people show up to the ballots and start trying to get elected into office so that way we can make sure our interests are being represented. Three Democratic nominees, who at this point are all frontrunners, are over 70 years old. Bernie Sanders just turned 78 and he’s making a serious run for the White House. How can we expect someone who is more than three times my age to represent me and my generation interests as President. We need the young people to get out and have their voices be heard so we can make sure we have our interests being represented in all forms of government.

  10. I am a big advocate that younger people need to start getting out there to vote, many young people complain about issues with our country, such as pollution or tuition prices, but then they don’t go out and vote for politicians that support the issues the complain about. Although I do believe their will soon be a change because the younger generation is beginning to realize if they don’t begin to change the world we live in when they are 60 years old will be very different. The ‘Baby Boomer’ generation is not worried as much about future problems such as global warming and dwindling resources around the world, they are much more worried about today rather than tomorrow. To create change we need younger leaders who are willing to rise against the older politicians, and tell them that what they are doing is wrong and that they need to focus their time and effort into creating a better tomorrow for their children and grandchildren.
    One great example of this is a girl by the name of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old girl known for being a environmental activist who stood in front of the United Nations and delivered a very straightforward speech about how we need to reduce our carbon footprint and other things to help the climate, which caught the attention of Time magazine who then put her on the cover calling her a “next generation leader”. We need more people like Greta, younger people in their teens to twenties that go get something that they want, and are willing to speak their opinion whether people like it or not. I feel as if many younger people are scared to speak out against the older generation because they feel as if they are disrespecting their elders, but causing discussion can be a good thing because their are thing the older generation don’t know about that younger generations can teach them about and cause them to think differently. I think going forward their needs to be more unity between younger and older generations to work together to make sure that younger people have a better tomorrow, while making the older generation feel as if they still have purpose. At the same time, I would like younger people to get more educated about the government, and different politicians that are running for office, people should not be voting for candidates just because they think they are good looking or they like the way they talk, people should research what they have planned if they get elected into office and how if affects you.

  11. After reading this article I was shocked by the immense stats and analytics that were covered. We live in a society where the laws and statutes that are made to dictate how we (young adults) live are decided by people who are close to retirement or have little to no understanding of how their decisions will affect the future generations of this country. It is true that lowering the age for voters to vote is not the only remedy though. There is an increasing disconnect between political power, money, discrimination that needs to be reworked first in order for age to make a difference. From the article it states that “The inequities that result from the role of money in politics and our geographically based electoral system also need to be remedied. Otherwise, the power structure will keep pandering to older — and whiter and more affluent — voters.” This line in the entire article is what stood out to me the most. If voting is an individual’s most significant and important right/duty then why are there so much cut-offs and restrictions towards a large demographic of people. The study and proposal of the Oxford professor William MacAskill, suggest that there should be a vote weighing option that gives people 18-27 years of age six times the voting power as a person who is 65 or older. This sounds like a great idea to me seeing that the person who is 65 and older will probably not be around long enough to see the changes that they are voting for. All it takes is a difference in mindset and progressive thinking. Another stat that stood out to me is the fact that 76 year old Bernie Sanders is a favorite in the next presidential race and is favored among college students is a big eye opener to me. Someone who has seen a lot and lived through a lot has progressive mindset and is looking to change the way the world is even if it is not immediate and even if he is not going to personally benefit from it. This is why I believe it is important for our legal system to undergo a serious reformation.

  12. This article touches on something that I have been thinking about a lot recently since we are now less than a year out from the 2020 elections, and that is that most of the people that I will be voting for will not be a generational representative of myself. While I do not see this as an inherent issue, I did find it interesting that the article did provide more insight as to why this is. It’s not surprising to me that the older generations are able to make more financial donations than those younger than them, and it also isn’t surprising to me that those with an income of over $150,000 also make more donations than those that make less. The people that have the money to contribute toward decision-makers are going to have their voices heard over the people that can’t afford it since they aren’t directly contributing as much, so of course the people being elected are going to be those that represent those groups.

    However, just because I don’t see my own generation represented now does not mean that I never will, as by the time that I am in the 65-and-older range it is projected that there will be double the amount of older people than there are now. Since this would mean that there would be even more older voters than there are now, it’s safe to say that the elected government officials would be similar to who they are now. But this assumes that the current trend will stay in place, rather than the newer, younger generations bringing change to the system. Given the amount of protests led by young activists that occur today, change is something that is wanted by plenty of people in this country. So an assumption that nothing will ever change politically in the next 40 or so years is, I believe, a naive one. I believe that moving forward, rather than wondering if my generation is properly represented in politics, I will pay more attention to finding candidates that will make decisions that benefit more than just those that give them the most amount of money.

  13. I believe that part of the reason that older people dominate our governmental structure and politics itself is because they care more. When baby boomers were growing up and once they reached adulthood, they were reading the newspaper every day. They cared about what was happening in the world and who was doing what in Washington. Today, newspapers aren’t even a thing, first off. Second, the newer generations just don’t seem to care as much. I think that there are several probable reasons for this, and a main one being that there are so many ways to entertain and distract yourself these days. Videogames are a huge component of today’s culture, and most young adults feel why waste time reading the news when they’d rather be doing something else, such as playing videogames. Another probable reason is the fact that we are in good times, meaning no major wars, the economy is doing well, there is no widespread illnesses, so young people figure why pay attention.
    Statistically speaking, 64% of people ages 54 to 72 voted in the midterm election in 2018. Only 31% of those under 29 that were eligible to vote voted in the midterm election. It makes sense that the reason why the average ages of candidates running for president and those in Congress are significantly higher than they have been. People that are in their 50s and higher are going to be able to relate a lot more to Donald Trump or Elizabeth Warren than someone such as Kamala Harris or Tulsi Gabbard, who are younger. When you have a majority of a generation voting compared to new generations that are seeing less than a third turn out to vote, the candidates that are older and have more experienced are far more likely to win. According to the charts in the article, voters between the ages of 18-29 are more likely to support free college than those that are older than 65. Americans ages 18-29 are also more likely to support universal savings, greenhouse gas fees, and Medicare expansion, to name a few, than the older generations. This data is significant because it shows that the younger generation is more liberal why the older generations tend to be more conservative. This is a big reason why Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are favorable candidates to all generations; they are able to sway the young voters through favorable policies for them while gaining an older audience simply because the older generation can relate to them from an age perspective.
    I don’t necessarily agree with the article in suggesting that we are treating young people as “second class citizens.” Hence, we have age requirements on who can run for certain positions. For example, a person running for president must be at least 35 years old. I think it is a good thing that we have age requirements for the person that represents the entire United States of America, who’s also the commander-in-chief. An 18-year old shouldn’t be allowed to run for president, since an 18-year old more than likely has very little knowledge on how the world works. As for the legal age to vote, I also don’t believe it should be lower than 18. The difference between someone that is 16 and 18 is a big difference. Someone age 16 doesn’t know enough about government and politics to be voting for the people who are going to represent us.

  14. This article hit home for me. I normally do not like discussing politics but the subject matter of this was very neutral. First, the way this article starts by pointing out the average age in the political world right now. It is old. Now that is a fact. It has nothing to do with anyones abilities to run a country or their opinions on certain topics. The article then goes further into exaplaining the race diversity of the population in different age groups. The one that stood out to me was the fact that 80% of people over 65 are white. On the other hand, 50% of people from the ages of 6-21. That is an astounding 30% difference.
    The article then talks about the treatment of young people in the constitution. I see this treatment of young people similar to the archaic treatment of women. Women have come a long way since not being able to vote. There is still a long way to go though. But the connection I am trying to make is the thought process of women being unreliable, moody and or unfit to make decisions is the same reasoning to not allow younger people into positions of political power. These are all unfair stereotypes and should not be the basis of a decision. Although some of these things may be true they are just applicable to women and young people as they are to men and old people.
    I believe that the people in positions of power should be more representative of the current population. For example how the house of REPRESENTATIVES are selected to represent the population of a state. There should be another layer of representation to demonstrated the younger generations as well. This could bring new opportunities and ideas to the table that the older people in power might not have thought of or have already unfairly ruled out. Also, another reason why the age of politicians matters is the mob mentality. For example, when a bunch of like minded people come together they are more likely to feel more strongly and completely close their minds off to other options. Our government is based on parties of opposing beliefs so why does it have to stop at the parties and why can the age population also not be represented in the political field.
    Now you are seeing more and more children and teenagers stepping up and speaking out against things they feel are important. These are the people who are being neglected and not being represented properly. A lot of these current issues such as, climate change, gun control and abortion are looked at from similar points of veiw amongst the generations and there needs to be some kind of divrsity even if it is just to put a seed of another opinion in their minds.

  15. Time is the most valuable commodity in my opinion, some may say information is or even happiness, but I think it’s time. As you get older you start to think about death and how you will be remembered after you are gone and what difference you made in the world. One way to change the world is through politics, this is one of the reasons why there are so many older people in politics. This is a problem for the younger generation entering politics because age and experience are big advantages that the younger generation does not have. The older generation not only has experience, but they tend to have more money than the younger generation. Money plays a big part in running in politics, campaigns cost money and they are what get you elected. With a big part of the younger generation coming out of school with loans to pay, they cannot possibly rely on their wallets to compete with the older generation.
    In addition to this, the younger generation frankly does not care as much as the older generation does when it comes to politics. There is so much more to stress about now then there was back then and there are more pressing issues. Now one can argue that in order to take care of these pressing issues is to elect pay attention and elect good candidates. As I said earlier, time is the most important commodity, it is undefeated and only time will tell what the younger generation will do. I believe when it is time to step up to the plate, the younger generation just might surprise the older generation and things might get better.

  16. This article was very well written and filled the brim with important statistics of generational differences. The article really shows how and why older people are ones who control politics and end up making decision for the younger generation. There is a very apparent lack of representation for younger people in government. Data shows that “the average senator is now almost 63” and “people 65 and older…are more than three times as likely to make a political donations as those under 30.” As a young voter I try to vote in every election I can, but making donations to help fund campaigns is just something I don’t have the money for. This holds true for a lot of young people, the most impact we have is voting, but older people have the time and money to do much more. Age limits on voting, eligibility for office, and the impact of money in politics are all stacked against young people.
    The article also argues against young people not having same political rights as their elders.The article recalls when Senator Feinstein dismissed a political concern of a 16 year old girl because, “Well, you didn’t vote for me.” The response and implications really irritated me. The Senator implied because someone is not the legal voting age their political rights mean nothing. When the last presidential election happened I was 16 and unable to vote. It still frustrates me that because of my age I was not able to have any impact on political elections.
    The article lastly calls for teenagers being granted more access to ballots and reforms on the role of money in politics. I fully agree with both suggestions. Voting should be accessible to everyone who is able to vote so that they can have their opinions heard. Money in politics carries too much power especially when majority of young people are unable to donate to campaigns. I hope to see change regarding the influence of young people in politics in the coming years.

  17. I for one am very proud to be a part of Generation Z. I grew up with the shows and toys of the Millenials but that was mostly due to my family’s financial situation when I was young. However, neither my sister nor I think “the system is stacked against people like me” as the polling question stated in the article. A growing concern of mine about Generation Z is the increasing victim complex of those of us in Generation Z. Many young people blame those who have come before them for the problems of today, without appreciating the struggles they faced. Just as it is now, many Baby Boomers were active in their speaking out against those previous generations. The active participation of my generation in politics is astounding, to say the least. Kids in middle and high schools across the nation are marching for their beliefs and writing their congressmen and congresswomen. I would assert that the perceived anger or apathy of Gen Z members stems from the constant condescension that is perpetrated on us by the members of the government who are of older generations such as the Baby Boomers.

    Older generations inherently have more life experiences along a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that they, in theory, could impart on the younger generations to assist them in improving the world for the future. However, what we often find is a barrage of name-calling as well as blaming on both sides that results in completely unproductive dialogue and a startling lack of productivity. Generation Z has a fighting spirit that will not be silenced but the tenacity of Boomers will not back down. It truly is an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. It remains to be seen whether or not the disenfranchised younger generations will use their greatest power, the vote, to remove the older generations they so often complain about. For the country’s sake, I hope that tensions calm down but it does not seem as though that will happen anytime soon.

  18. There are many problems in our political system, and they are not limited to the disproportionality of the ages of those in power. It is without effort that you may notice the homogeneous nature of today’s politicians- more often than not they are old, white, and male. This may have worked in the past, simply because most people who had a say in votes and politics were on a similar spectrum as those in power. But the world is much different now, which calls for change in power in order to enact change in our lives.
    Two of the main contributors in the age inequality is the simple fact that those in power stay on the job for too long, as well as the age limits set in the qualifications to serve. To begin with, representatives can essentially serve indefinitely as long as they are re-elected to continue on. For example, Representative John Dingell still holds the record for the longest consecutive service of over 59 years. Not only that, but Senator Robert C. Byrd served a total of 51 years. Simply because they are well-known and well-funded, they have a significant advantage in getting re-elected. These are prime examples of how vital term limits are in order to diversify the political circle. An individual may serve a majority of his life until he or she finally decides to retire, which is usually a while from the initiation of their term because the amount of power they are granted to hold is hard to give up.
    Additionally, the age limits set in qualifications to serve are unnecessary. For instance, a senator must be at least thirty years of age, and the President must be at least thirty-five. My issue with that is: why turn down a completely capable candidate just because they are not old enough? If he or she has a competitive resume and suitable experience in the field, why not allow them a shot at running? Personally, I’d much rather a younger President with a respectable set of values than an older one who is not in touch with any generation besides their own.
    Innovation is an essential tool in transformation- and young minds are the key to achieving that. It is time for our current leaders to step aside and support the younger hopefuls in pursuing their advancements toward elected offices.

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