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America has become a gerontocracy

By Guardian (US)

The average age of a congressional representative is 59, with leaders in their 70s and 80s. We must have lawmakers who look like the people they represent The United States has a gerontocracy problRead full story

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  • I tend to quarrel less with age and more with the fact that people in these positions never retire. Ageism is real and it’s not right. That’s why we need term limits. People of all ages should not make government service their only career.

  • A big risk for any number of reasons. One underrated one is that the quite understandable reaction — electing the young — tends to sweep inexperienced people into power and erode institutional knowledge.

  • Traditionally, public service was just that. As a service it was generally poorly paid which required someone to be reasonably financially secure. With the rise of a professional political class, this has instead become a well paid job that no one wants to give up. There are term limits-2 yrs for reps

    Traditionally, public service was just that. As a service it was generally poorly paid which required someone to be reasonably financially secure. With the rise of a professional political class, this has instead become a well paid job that no one wants to give up. There are term limits-2 yrs for reps, 6 yrs for senate, 4 yrs for pres. We just need to enforce them. Unfortunately, there is no term limit on govt employees.

  • Millennials are now the largest voting block in America. Change begins this November driven by our generation. It is not showing up in the polls because the two generations exist in a vastly different media context. But, change is coming and it is going to be long lasting. Here I am reminded of a quote

    Millennials are now the largest voting block in America. Change begins this November driven by our generation. It is not showing up in the polls because the two generations exist in a vastly different media context. But, change is coming and it is going to be long lasting. Here I am reminded of a quote by Maya Angelou: They will forget what you did and forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Get ready.

  • Just another reason we need congressional term limits NOW.

    Your 86-year-old great-uncle may be a great guy, but do you really want a few dozen of him in the most powerful positions in the US government?

  • This clash of generations goes beyond the family circle - should we be concerned? It's funny because at the same time we celebrate diversity, it's only ok if it's the kind of diversity we want.

  • This article has pin pointed the biggest problem right now in our Democracy and it has helped lead to a massive disconnect between Congress and the American people. How old are the majority of the people attending a Trump rally? I know the clips from the ones I have seen show people behind him mostly

    This article has pin pointed the biggest problem right now in our Democracy and it has helped lead to a massive disconnect between Congress and the American people. How old are the majority of the people attending a Trump rally? I know the clips from the ones I have seen show people behind him mostly older than 50 with a few younger folks mixed in.

    The younger generation of voters don’t participate much in elections but if what’s happening now doesn’t wake them up to get out the vote, I don’t know what will. The older generation has engaged in a slash and burn campaign as far as chances to participate in the American Dream goes . They are making sure achieving anywhere near the standard of living millennial parents did is nearly out of reach. They are even trying to change the very values that define American society while claiming that they aren’t. If this isn’t enough to piss millennials off and encourage them to participate nothing will. If millennials want American Democracy to look anything like it did during their parents formative years as far as opportunities go they better vote and push these regressive and repressed oldsters out of government at all levels. I for one pray for it to happen.

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  • I agree 100% that we need term limits of no more than 2 terms of 6 years for Senators and no more than 5 terms of 2 years for Congressmen. And no Lobbyist money and perks for either. But Congress decides so it will never happen! And of course they are allowed to give themselves pay raises. All crooks

    I agree 100% that we need term limits of no more than 2 terms of 6 years for Senators and no more than 5 terms of 2 years for Congressmen. And no Lobbyist money and perks for either. But Congress decides so it will never happen! And of course they are allowed to give themselves pay raises. All crooks. Also they are all in some wealthy person’s or big business or big Pharma’s pocket.

  • What's not discussed here is also making the barrier to entry the political arena lower in regards to cost. Let younger people run for office by limiting the ability for people to campaign with an endless bank account. Could see younger people running if they could start campaigning on a fair level

    What's not discussed here is also making the barrier to entry the political arena lower in regards to cost. Let younger people run for office by limiting the ability for people to campaign with an endless bank account. Could see younger people running if they could start campaigning on a fair level, all with minimal campaign budgets and shorter campaigning periods.

  • Who decided there is a gerontocracy problem? While doing a nice job of detailing the aging of our society (including our lawmakers), there is no proof that younger representatives would make better decisions. It appears the author is looking to tilt the system in the hope of “different” decisions rather

    Who decided there is a gerontocracy problem? While doing a nice job of detailing the aging of our society (including our lawmakers), there is no proof that younger representatives would make better decisions. It appears the author is looking to tilt the system in the hope of “different” decisions rather than better decisions. Every legislator is serving a limited term. They can be voted out every time they run for re-election. You have seen this just recently with legislators (like Senator Flake) who are forced to retire rather than face a certain re-election loss. Young people are eligible to run for office just like us older folk. There is a good reason they don’t often win when they do run. The system works.

    I just turned 60. I am much more measured in my decision making with much better perspective on the management of people and processes than when I was 40. It is pretty typical of youth to believe they have all the answers. If what I see in many of the young protestors on television is any indicator, that is certainly not true. I value the patience and wisdom that can only be gained by years of life lessons lived. Lawmaking is hard. Lawmaking should be hard. Gridlock is not a bad thing. I don’t want to shove my beliefs and values down the throats of my liberal friends and I don’t want their views imposed on me. And I surely don’t want my welfare legislated by someone with limited life experience.

  • On the larger issue, part of it is that younger generations are less likely to vote. One of my law school professors spent some time a few days ago urging students to go vote. But I also think the political sphere is a market place of ideas. Bernie is old but his ideas resonated with the young. Other

    On the larger issue, part of it is that younger generations are less likely to vote. One of my law school professors spent some time a few days ago urging students to go vote. But I also think the political sphere is a market place of ideas. Bernie is old but his ideas resonated with the young. Other more regular politicians have the same talking points. So younger candidates saying the same thing don't hold any advantages in making others vote for them.

  • How can we solve America’s gerontocracy problem? The simplest solution would be to make it easier for younger people to vote. Automatic voter registration, lowering the voting age, increasing the number of polling places at high schools and colleges, making it simple to file absentee ballots, and declaring

    How can we solve America’s gerontocracy problem? The simplest solution would be to make it easier for younger people to vote. Automatic voter registration, lowering the voting age, increasing the number of polling places at high schools and colleges, making it simple to file absentee ballots, and declaring election day a federal holiday would all increase youth turnout. We might even consider creating institutions that enable older politicians to retain an advisory role while allowing younger leaders to replace them as formal representatives. Such arrangements have existed before; for example, John F Kennedy consulted his predecessor, Dwight D Eisenhower, during the Cuban missile crisis.

  • Agree. This is a generation war.

  • If you don't like that old people still have jobs, elect younger. It's your vote. Stop whining.

  • This is less about age than true diversity. Representation should be representative, given that is the point of it. Party politics could very credibly be traced to the source of the issues.

  • Wait, what? "How can we solve America’s gerontocracy problem? The simplest solution would be to make it easier for younger people to vote." You need younger candidates, not more younger voters.

  • Other than a blatant attack on conservatives and a shot at the Kavanaugh hearings, which seems to only condemn republicans, it then goes into how to address this with automatic voter registration and lowering the voting age.

    Automatic voter registration seems a little fishy because it could create

    Other than a blatant attack on conservatives and a shot at the Kavanaugh hearings, which seems to only condemn republicans, it then goes into how to address this with automatic voter registration and lowering the voting age.

    Automatic voter registration seems a little fishy because it could create a loop hole for illegal immigrants to vote. Lowering the voter age below 18 is also suspect, because it is a way to manipulate a massive amount of teens who are trying to figure themselves out to follow whatever propaganda you throw at them. Like free college...

    And before I end, Trump is not suffering from some cognitive disorder. It seems more and more that the swamp does. Like smearing someone’s reputation then telling people you have to believe the smear even though there is no actual evidence to back it up.

  • Younger people do no not truly understand that if they spent more time putting the work in to get what they want, then they may understand why older people are elected to office. The younger generation of Americans have been raised in a bubble that never let them fail at anything. Not at school, sports

    Younger people do no not truly understand that if they spent more time putting the work in to get what they want, then they may understand why older people are elected to office. The younger generation of Americans have been raised in a bubble that never let them fail at anything. Not at school, sports, even college and the work place. We have lowered the bar, and continue to do so, instead of demanding high standards. So is it surprising that the answer put forth in the article is to make it “easier” for younger people to vote and that will solve the problem?

  • The American population is older too.

  • Old folks of sound mind carry a great deal of wisdom. And there is no fool like an old fool. The higher ups in leadership are out of touch with constituents because of their influence, they are cultivated by professional lobbyists seeking perks for profit. Until they are forced to live in reality, eat

    Old folks of sound mind carry a great deal of wisdom. And there is no fool like an old fool. The higher ups in leadership are out of touch with constituents because of their influence, they are cultivated by professional lobbyists seeking perks for profit. Until they are forced to live in reality, eat fast food, buy their own groceries, pay their own bills, they will never know the reality of a mainstream American. Let them use healthcare off the exchange. But these gerontocracy will continue until term limits are invoked.

  • A good but flowed argument, with the exception of lowering the voting age, as I feel it is important to get youngsters included at the roots of the issue at an age that will shape their future engagement.

    As for aging Senate, it is simply unfortunate that the ones occupying it now is from an Era that

    A good but flowed argument, with the exception of lowering the voting age, as I feel it is important to get youngsters included at the roots of the issue at an age that will shape their future engagement.

    As for aging Senate, it is simply unfortunate that the ones occupying it now is from an Era that has been behind the cause of #Racialdivide #Segregation #MeToo and #timesup

    If they can still get away with it... They would!

  • With gerontocracy comes a geriatric mindset. Such thinking is inherently short-term. This is not sustainable for our collective future.

  • Elders may not share the experience of youth but they have been there. That helps prevent repetitions of mistakes. Making voting “easier” is one we don’t need again ... and again.

  • The average age of our founding fathers was 30-40. BUT life expectancy was only 40 even tho many lived beyond and became President in their 50s and ADAMS was 69. Young people today want what they want immediately before wisdom sets in. Because the life span has changed Older Americans are more equivalent

    The average age of our founding fathers was 30-40. BUT life expectancy was only 40 even tho many lived beyond and became President in their 50s and ADAMS was 69. Young people today want what they want immediately before wisdom sets in. Because the life span has changed Older Americans are more equivalent to that 50ish range of yesteryear and have a great deal to offer by using their age experience as a guide. Young people today in their 20s are often more like 16 year olds were 200 years ago. Staying on mommy and daddy’s health care insurance until 26...need I say more?

  • All those old men think it’s their way not the Americans way. Old people don’t change. They want everything to stay the same. Same routine. With all old people running the show everything has remained the same. We need the younger generation to progress.

  • There is something strange about aging in politics. In many cases, those who spend decades as politicians defy one of the best things about getting older. Somehow many manage not to get wiser. That’s hard not to do. Yet, when we watched the narrow minded, out-of-reality behavior of the GOP octogenarians

    There is something strange about aging in politics. In many cases, those who spend decades as politicians defy one of the best things about getting older. Somehow many manage not to get wiser. That’s hard not to do. Yet, when we watched the narrow minded, out-of-reality behavior of the GOP octogenarians on Senate Judiciary committee, it was clear that they weren’t guided by the great wisdom of the ages but by a post adolescent desire to prove they have the biggest you-know-whats in the room. Democrats are no great prize either when it comes to this matter but let’s avoid false equivalency. There’s still the basic, matured wisdom of ethical common sense on the left leaning side of aisle.

  • Aside from this article is trash, arguing about who is running the circus when the average IQ is 70-80 something... You're going to have a circus either way; and encouraging people to vote who have no clue about much of anything is the reason democrats keep getting elected.

  • Perhaps she and experience with some degree of skin in the game can be trusted to represent sound judgement? Respect your elders has to be relevant. Doesn’t it?

  • What types of candidates are being supported by SuperPACs, to the tune of billions of dollars? Are they supporting young politicians, who tend to be idealistic wild cards and are open to changing their views when some presents a convincing argument? Are they making the safe bet and investing in significantly

    What types of candidates are being supported by SuperPACs, to the tune of billions of dollars? Are they supporting young politicians, who tend to be idealistic wild cards and are open to changing their views when some presents a convincing argument? Are they making the safe bet and investing in significantly older politicians, who bring experience and influence, but who aren't likely to change their views?

    This is all the more reason to overturn Citizens United… but, with our newly confirmed SCOTUS Justice on the bench and all the tax-free dark money being laundered and funneled through charitable "think tanks" and into hyperpartisan PACs, I'm not holding my breath.

  • Elderly people rejuvenate by sucking on the young till they get as dry as crouton.

  • Before all you kids run out and put your names on the ballot, maybe try getting to work on time.

  • Gerontocracy is found in not only U.S. but other advanced countries too.

    Capitalism doomed.

  • Get rid of anyone who brings religion into their politics. That's where any democratic nation has a problem. Age does not come before that.

  • So sad to say but who in their right mind would want to run for political office? Especially when you have other options to serve. No one wants to subject themselves or their families to the media abuse that you would need to endure.

  • We know all politicians are beholden to their particular special interests and lobby groups especially the ones set up for their relatives.This has gone on since before the Great Civil War so who thinks it’s going to change any time soon.Then There’s Murkowski who got in there as a write in who’s really

    We know all politicians are beholden to their particular special interests and lobby groups especially the ones set up for their relatives.This has gone on since before the Great Civil War so who thinks it’s going to change any time soon.Then There’s Murkowski who got in there as a write in who’s really a Democrat beholden to all the special interests in Alaska and pretending to support Native American’s because Brett Kavanaugh will probably be against them which is a joke.She will be removed from office when Sarah Palin is successful God Bless her.Ill be 67 so if anybody wants to tell me to shut up be ready for a loud response.I know more than a few things but one fact should stand out in the political process The Democrats will stoop to any trick possible.They will use anyone to further thirst for power.We all know Christine Blasse Ford’s father was involved with CIA as her brother also with Fusion GPS and she herself a gatekeeper for Standford and Palo Alto prospective Agents.No cover is blown since she’s not undercover

  • No kidding. Throw in a 3 term limit too.

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