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Wednesday, Feb 6, 2008, 1:43 pm

16 is the new 18 and/or 21

By Adam Doster

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Anya Kamenetz has an interesting op-ed in the New York Times today, arguing for the lowering of age-limits on a variety of activities considered "adult." The theory behind the reforms is a good one.

The more we treat teenagers as adults, the more they rise to our expectations. From a developmental and vocational point of view, the late teens are the right starting point for young people to think seriously about their futures. Government can help this process by bestowing rights along with responsibilities.
Of course, the implementation could get a little messy, especially with things like credit cards, which historically market to -- and then exploit -- young people. But I think it could be a valuable way to make Americans more independent and mature.

Adam Doster, a contributing editor at In These Times, is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former reporter-blogger for Progress Illinois.

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