Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Youth

Leave Barron Alone

I want to talk today about Barron Trump. Do you know Barron? He’s Donald Trump’s 10 year old son. We don’t know that much about Barron, but here’s what we do know–he lives on his own floor of Trump tower, he speaks two languages (English and Slovenian), he enjoys wearing suits, and he currently attends a prep school in New York. Already, people have started going after Barron. There are people who think he should change schools in the middle of the year, and there are people calling him autistic or anti-social just because he often didn’t seem to enjoy the campaign circus. This is not okay.

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Britain Must Refuse to Honor the Results of the Brexit Referendum

In a shockingly stupid decision, the British public have voted 52% to 48% to leave the European Union. In the short term this means an economic disruption that will blight people’s lives. In the long term this means that unless it is permitted to remain in the European Economic Area, Britain will no longer have EU regulations to protect its workers, consumers, and environment. Even if it stays in the EEA (and the EU has every reason to refuse to permit it to do so to deter other countries from leaving the EU), it will no longer be able to play a part in solving collective action problems like tax avoidance and climate change, and its non-involvement will undermine the solutions proposed by others in Europe. Brexit will also aid and abet other Euroskeptic movements throughout Europe and dump gasoline on the right nationalist fire that grips so much of the world today. Many people in Britain and elsewhere throughout the world will be harmed, some now, some later, many irretrievably so. No political outcome can be legitimate if it permanently and irretrievably harms so many people with no substantive advantages. For these reasons the next British government must refuse to invoke Article 50. Parliament is sovereign, and its sovereignty cannot be abrogated by a referendum. This is a controversial view–refusing to honor the referendum would make a lot of people very angry. But the long term harms of Brexit to Britain’s young people are too great for any government to morally justify invoking Article 50, irrespective of public opinion.

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Democracy Discriminates Against the Young

Young people overwhelmingly support Bernie Sanders in this election, but many of them are not showing up. He crushed the demographic in Massachusetts, but still lost the state narrowly:

Young voters are just not keeping up with older folks:

This has been true for a long time–Millennials did not invent low youth voter turnout:

Many people see figures like this and their knee-jerk response is to scold young people for failing to show up, often attributing it to the laziness or lack of civic virtue of the current crop of young people. But as we see above, young people have been less active in politics since long before Millennials came on the scene. There are larger reasons why young people tend to feel disenfranchised by democratic politics–it’s because the system discriminates against them.

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The Value of Time

From time to time I am asked what I am going to do with my summers. Am I going to get a job? An internship? What productive, respectable use will I make of my time? The answer is no such use at all–I spend my summers enjoying myself. Why? Because time is valuable.

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