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Old 9th March 2020, 06:40 AM   #1
JoeMorgue
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Why Do Such Elderly People Run America?

The Incumbent President, both of the remaining potential candidates (as well as most of the candidates who have already dropped out) for his Democratic Challenger, The House speaker, House majority leader, House majority whip, and Senate majority leader are all over 75. The average age of Congress is at an all time high.

Article from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...tm_source=digg
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Old 9th March 2020, 06:51 AM   #2
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The moto of Boomers changed from don't trust anyone over 30 to don't trust anyone under 70.
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Old 9th March 2020, 07:01 AM   #3
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Really thought this was going to be a jogging thread.
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Old 9th March 2020, 07:19 AM   #4
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It's because the same people have been running the country for the past 20-50 years. These people started their careers in their 30's and now those same people are a bunch of old farts.... still running the country.

You guys have been living in a real-life Groundhog Day movie for the past 50 years.
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Old 9th March 2020, 07:24 AM   #5
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Because many competent younger people look at the political climate of today and decide that running for president will be more rational after King Baby no longer wields power on the national stage.
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Old 9th March 2020, 07:34 AM   #6
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Perhaps younger people prefer to pursue power outside of conventional political structures? Puppetmasters and all.
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Old 9th March 2020, 07:40 AM   #7
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Those in power have been pulling all the strings they can to block out people with different political ideas from their own. And younger adults tend to have different political ideas from older ones. (An exception is Bernie, who thinks more like a youngster. But there's a reason why he's an exception: the insiders do everything they can against somebody like him.)

Also, it's human nature to be more interested in voting when the system seems to mostly already be going your way, and to give up & think it's all hopeless if everything looks like it's set up to go wrong, just like football fans would rather watch when their team is winning than when it's losing. So as soon as the division started to open up, with policies that make life better for the old and harder on the young, young people started perceiving less and less incentive to bother voting & losing all the time, while old people started perceiving more & more to keep voting & always winning. (And the fact that we have no voting holidays so people need to work on election days magnifies this effect by making voting so much easier for retired people than for working people.) This positive feedback reaction is why there's such a thing as "momentum": whoever people think is winning tends to pull in more votes because people want to vote for the winner.
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Old 9th March 2020, 07:47 AM   #8
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Old people accumulate power and now they are healthier longer.

Also for the most part generation X is useless because they've been demographically, financially, and culturally dominated by the boomers. Political power is going to mostly skip this generation, and the millennials aren't quite there yet.
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Old 9th March 2020, 08:20 AM   #9
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It takes a long time to build up the necessary wealth and political connections to run for the highest office. That's not an anomaly, it's historically normal for every leadership position that isn't an inherited monarchy.
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Old 9th March 2020, 08:27 AM   #10
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We're not talking "older then average" though, that is as you said to be expected.

We're talking about literally almost every position of high power being taken up by someone who statistically died years ago.

As I said in a previous thread you can't tell me that having power consolidated to that degree with people who know they aren't going to have to live with the long term consequences of their actions isn't a factor.

The youngest Republican in Congress is 40. The average age is "Told the first complicated amino acids coming together to form the first proteins in a tiny pool of primordial ooze billions of years ago to get of their lawn and stop it with that nonsense." The Democrats fair only slightly better. We talk about anyone in politics under the age of 60 like a spring chicken. "Holy crap this dude's only had major open heart surgery once, let's make him Emperor, let's make him God!"

It's like why watching them govern is like watching your grandmother try to play a modern video game on a modern dual-axis controller. It's why they refer to the internet as a "series of tubes." They are the legislative equivalent to an old man driving a '88 Lincoln Town Car with curb feelers, radio tuned to Paul Harvey, 45 miles an hour in the fast lane.

The fact that all of them know they'll all be dead any minute is probably why none of them care to fix the planet for the next generation.
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Old 9th March 2020, 08:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Old people accumulate power and now they are healthier longer.

Also for the most part generation X is useless because they've been demographically, financially, and culturally dominated by the boomers. Political power is going to mostly skip this generation, and the millennials aren't quite there yet.
This is my take too. The boomers are a large cohort that has wielded unusual political power. They are on the way out.

You see the first stages of the political handover. You have the thread about AOC clashing with Pelosi. It doesn't inspire optimism that aging powerbrokers like Pelosi seem determined to undermine and contain the growing political power of younger generations.
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Old 9th March 2020, 08:37 AM   #12
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From the other thread.

Quote:
Look at the bright side - our next President will feel right at home with the rest of the world leaders, like Pierre Trudeau, Silvio Berlusconi and Paul Keating.

Seriously - Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, heck even Tony Blair won't turn 70 until 3 years into the next POTUS' term.
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Old 9th March 2020, 08:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Because many competent younger people look at the political climate of today and decide that running for president will be more rational after King Baby no longer wields power on the national stage.

That doesn't have a lot of explanatory power for me. It's only been three years. Even if a thirty-something professional were inspired by Hillary's election to get into politics, she'd still be two or three decades away from the real power at the top of that profession. Look at AOC. Young, energetic, looming pretty large for a freshman in Congress. But she's nowhere near the point of running things the way Nancy Pelosi is. This isn't because she's been deterred by Trump.

The thirty-somethings who are deterred by Trump, in your explanation, would have had to be deterred thirty years ago, and would be in their sixties now anyway. Which makes no sense, as an explanation.
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Old 9th March 2020, 09:58 AM   #14
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As someone who is somewhat younger than those guys, but retired, I can't imagine wanting to take that job.
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Old 9th March 2020, 10:12 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
As someone who is somewhat younger than those guys, but retired, I can't imagine wanting to take that job.
Exactly what I keep thinking.
Trump, of course, is an exception. He's never worked a day in his life and still doesn't. His life has scarcely changed.
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Old 9th March 2020, 10:15 AM   #16
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Well, this topic does give me one cheery thought when all else about currently politics is just depressing. Over an only slightly longer time scale than the next few elections, and still significantly shorter than the remainder of my life, the people who've been running my country into the ground for years will die out of the way.
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Old 9th March 2020, 10:20 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Well, this topic does give me one cheery thought when all else about currently politics is just depressing. Over an only slightly longer time scale than the next few elections, and still significantly shorter than the remainder of my life, the people who've been running my country into the ground for years will die out of the way.
And then your generation will get its own chance to screw things up.
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Old 9th March 2020, 10:32 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Old people accumulate power and now they are healthier longer.

Also for the most part generation X is useless because they've been demographically, financially, and culturally dominated by the boomers. Political power is going to mostly skip this generation, and the millennials aren't quite there yet.
This is the crux of it.

Baby Boomers have broken the unspoken covenant of generational torch-passing and refuse to go quietly into that good night.
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Old 9th March 2020, 10:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
This is the crux of it.

Baby Boomers have broken the unspoken covenant of generational torch-passing and refuse to go quietly into that good night.
This. At a certain point the idea was that the "in charge" generation would just get tired of being "in charge" and step down to coast through the rest of their life and with the Boomers that didn't happen. THEY JUST WON'T GO AWAY.
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Old 9th March 2020, 12:05 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This. At a certain point the idea was that the "in charge" generation would just get tired of being "in charge" and step down to coast through the rest of their life and with the Boomers that didn't happen. THEY JUST WON'T GO AWAY.

There was a science fiction series I read in which technology existed to rejuvenate people, restoring their youth and healing any injuries or illnesses. The problem was that it was extremely expensive, so it was effectively only available to rich people, or people working for governments, militaries, or corporations that didn't want to lose their experience and institutional knowledge. This ended up causing significant stagnation in society. People weren't dying and leaving their money to other people, so wealth became more concentrated at the top. People weren't retiring or dying to create new job openings, so promotions slowed to a crawl.
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Old 9th March 2020, 12:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
This is the crux of it.

Baby Boomers have broken the unspoken covenant of generational torch-passing and refuse to go quietly into that good night.
There is a graphic going around that shows the fraction of total wealth in the US by age by generation. For example, when they were 30, the boomers held X% of the wealth in the US. Then compare to how much Gen X had when they where 30, and then millenials.

Across the board, boomers have held a much larger fraction of the total wealth over their lives, and they aren't giving it up.
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Old 9th March 2020, 12:16 PM   #22
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Dianne Feinstein and Orrin Hatch in particular have mindblowingly long political careers.

Feinstein 86 and Hatch 85.

Oh and the man who threw the snowball on the Senate floor to prove there was no warming outside. He's remarkably fit for an old man though.
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Old 9th March 2020, 04:41 PM   #23
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I'm no youngster but I think it is highly dysfunctional for the age bias in politics to be so skewed.
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Old 9th March 2020, 05:35 PM   #24
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We've got the money, we've got the votes, we're interested in politics because we grew up in the 60's; even if our current beliefs are exactly the opposite of that. Get off my lawn! Which the Hispanic yard guy has looking very nice, by the way.
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Old 10th March 2020, 12:51 PM   #25
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Not yet unpopular hypothesis: all our imagery of the "Founding Fathers" is old dudes with white hair, ignoring the fact that they weren't *that* old they were just wearing powdered wigs.

Discuss.
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Old 10th March 2020, 03:12 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
Not yet unpopular hypothesis: all our imagery of the "Founding Fathers" is old dudes with white hair, ignoring the fact that they weren't *that* old they were just wearing powdered wigs.

Discuss.
Ben Franklin was 70 when the Declaration of Independance was signed. FWIW
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Old 10th March 2020, 04:28 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Ben Franklin was 70 when the Declaration of Independance was signed. FWIW
And screwing half the women in Paris not long after. Randy old bugger!
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Old 10th March 2020, 04:39 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Old people accumulate power and now they are healthier longer.

Also for the most part generation X is useless because they've been demographically, financially, and culturally dominated by the boomers. Political power is going to mostly skip this generation, and the millennials aren't quite there yet.

Meh ...
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Old 10th March 2020, 11:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Old people accumulate power and now they are healthier longer.

Also for the most part generation X is useless because they've been demographically, financially, and culturally dominated by the boomers. Political power is going to mostly skip this generation, and the millennials aren't quite there yet.
This, in particular. The "Silent Generation" is starting to bow out, the Boomers are a massive group, and "GenX mostly got ignored, as they're simply too small of a generation - and the Millennials are just starting - and a good portion of them got supremely hosed in thee Great Recession.
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Old 11th March 2020, 06:59 AM   #30
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Good thing we all have biological term limits
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Old 11th March 2020, 07:08 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The Incumbent President, both of the remaining potential candidates (as well as most of the candidates who have already dropped out) for his Democratic Challenger, The House speaker, House majority leader, House majority whip, and Senate majority leader are all over 75. The average age of Congress is at an all time high.

Article from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...tm_source=digg
I have been wondering about the same thing myself.

That is why my original favored candidates for the presidency were much younger people like Booker. I expect that a big part of our political problems is that we have so many old and intractable people running the show.

After all, people like Clinton and Obama were really able to improve things and I think that a big part of that is because they were not totally stuck in their ways as old people tend to do.
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Old 11th March 2020, 07:13 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
Good thing we all have biological term limits
With certain individuals excepted. Vlad Putin's out somewhere in Siberia eating the beating hearts of bears he's just strangled, so as to absorb their strength.
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Old 11th March 2020, 08:02 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
There was a science fiction series I read in which technology existed to rejuvenate people, restoring their youth and healing any injuries or illnesses. The problem was that it was extremely expensive, so it was effectively only available to rich people, or people working for governments, militaries, or corporations that didn't want to lose their experience and institutional knowledge. This ended up causing significant stagnation in society. People weren't dying and leaving their money to other people, so wealth became more concentrated at the top. People weren't retiring or dying to create new job openings, so promotions slowed to a crawl.

More than now???!
Yes, that must have been science fiction.
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Old 11th March 2020, 08:54 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
More than now???!
Yes, that must have been science fiction.
The bad news is, we're living in the worst possible world. The good news is, it can't get any worse.
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Old 11th March 2020, 09:21 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The bad news is, we're living in the worst possible world. The good news is, it can't get any worse.
Chthulu uttered unto his followers: Hold my beer.
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Old 11th March 2020, 09:34 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Chthulu uttered unto his followers: Hold my beer.
I believe in Cthulhu the way dann believes the wealth concentration at the top is as bad as it could possibly get.
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Old 11th March 2020, 09:38 AM   #37
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Yep. Everything is "It's not a problem because it could be a bigger problem" or "Well it's too big a problem, it's just the way it is, might as well accept it."

There's no possible level of problem we can ever achieve that you think is worth dealing with.

And since there is an XKCD for everything:

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- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
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Old 11th March 2020, 09:39 AM   #38
theprestige
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yep. Everything is "It's not a problem because it could be a bigger problem" or "Well it's too big a problem, it's just the way it is, might as well accept it."

There's no possible level of problem we can ever achieve that you think is worth dealing with.

And since there is an XKCD for everything:

https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/scientific_briefing.png
Calm down. I was needling dann's appeal to incredulity. Nothing more. You're fighting a fight literally nobody else is having.
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Old 11th March 2020, 09:46 AM   #39
TragicMonkey
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You're fighting a fight literally nobody else is having.
Oh, dear. The Nothingness War has begun, where noncombatants don't not fight against nobody. That's End Times stuff. The cosmos will collapse into void by the end of the week, and worse: the S&P 500 will go down another forty points!
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Old 11th March 2020, 10:00 AM   #40
theprestige
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Oh, dear. The Nothingness War has begun, where noncombatants don't not fight against nobody. That's End Times stuff. The cosmos will collapse into void by the end of the week, and worse: the S&P 500 will go down another forty points!
Wow. I was going with "curmudgeonly tangent". It's much worse than I thought!
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