If I was King of the World

So let’s pretend I was King of the World. One day, the people’s representative comes to me with a problem

Person’s Representative (PR): King, we have a problem. The kids these days are too irresponsible and we want to change the legal age they are allowed to do certain things.

King Ralph (KR): Eh? So right now they can do pretty much anything anything legal after they turn 18, with some stuff available as early as 14, right?

PR: Correct, but some people want to restrict what they can do even after 18. Some people think you shouldn’t be allowed to drink until you’re 21, others want to restrict voting, having children, military service, and driving as well.

KR: Wait, so if I agreed to all those things they’d pretty much treated as kids until they’re 21

PR: Errr, yes, the more extreme elements want to take that even further and up the age to 25, seeming to think 21-25 year olds are not much better than kids. Other want lower ages for certain things.

KR: Well, we all start somewhere – by that logic, some people should never get full adult rights.

PR: Let’s leave that debate for another day – the problem is we can’t agree on what ages to allow certain things – so we’re calling on you to make the decision for us.

KR: Can’t we just make it all the same? They’re adults, they should have full rights.

PR: Nope, that’s one thing we do agree on – in transitioning from kids to adults, they should have increasing rights as time goes on. You have to make the call on when kids get certain rights.

KR: {sigh} Okay but be careful what you ask for – you might find my decree to be quite different from what you expected…

PR: As always, we defer to you infinite wisdom, your Royal Highness.

~~~By Decree of King Ralph~~~
Hens forth, children will be given progressive rights leading up to adulthood. Full rights will granted at the 21st birthday, with limited rights being granted at 14, 16, and 18. We’ll see how this goes then I’ll modify the decree as I see fit.

At 14 years:
Rural residence may train for, and obtain a driver’s license. Driving restricted to daylight hours only. Employment will be restricted to a maximum of 10 hours per week.

At 16 years:
Urban residence may train for driver’s license and obtain learner’s license. Driving restricted to daylight hours, and with another fully licensed driver. Exceptions will be allowed where public transit is deemed to be inadequate. Employment restricted to no more that 15 hours per week.

At 17 years:
Upon graduation from at least High school or equivalent technical schooling, employment hours restricted at adult levels and may obtain full driver’s license at this time.

At 18 years:
Full driver’s license may be obtained. May serve in the Military. Upon successful completion of a citizen knowledge test, may vote.

At 21 years:
Upon passing a means test, sanity test, and intelligence test, may bear children. Tests will be re-administered for each subsequent request to breed.

~~~ Make it so ~~~

Surprised I wouldn’t allow breeding until 21? I’ve always found it interesting that we are so concerned about children harming themselves by drinking alcohol that as a society we are willing to restrict their basic rights. But when it comes to bearing children, where the well being of someone truly helpless, never mind the well-being of the mother is at stake, we have draconian laws that date back to the days when you had large families to provide labor for the farm. There needs to be some serious education given regarding the decision of when to have a child. Too many people just have children because they want one; they’ll figure out the rest as it comes. Now that we have way too many people on the planet, we need to grapple with the question of who gets to breed, and give up the idea that we can have as many kids as we want. You want to save the planet? Have fewer (or no) kids. If we can come up with someway of restricting those that don’t have the means to raise a child to breed, we’d be way better off socially too.

It sucks to give up what people see as a basic right, but I’m way more worried about that problem than if little Johnny got blitzed with his friends at 17. Kids do stupid things, it’s part of growing up. Let’s see if we can make better parents out there to make fewer kids that do fewer stupid things in the first place.

About ralph

Just another blog to share some thoughts with the world. Want to comment? If you know how to contact me, I can manually set up a commenting account for you. Sorry, commenting is not open to the general public at this time.
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