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My generation (X), and the Boomers directly above me, have a unique relationship with alcohol. Maybe that’s because we developed an early and voracious taste for it. As a 2018 Washington Post story reveals, teen drinking peaked in the late seventies and early eighties. In 1982, nearly half of all male high school seniors, and 31 percent of females, reported consuming five or more drinks in a row in the previous two weeks. In 2015, that figure had dipped to 30% of males and 20% of females. It may not be surprising, then, that my peers associate youth with an alcoholic excess our children don’t quite share.

The drinking age was moved up in the early years of the Reagan presidency…..

11 thoughts on “Idiot”

  1. I do sometimes think that the yanks would solve a lot of their problems with student activism and so on if they could just get boozy from a reasonable age.

  2. When I was a fresher our bar had a licence only for beer and wine. I thought that rather old-fashioned until I realised that one denizen of our common room was already an alcoholic by means of whisky. He was last heard of being carted off to hospital having buggered the lining of his stomach.

    You could use that as an argument for (i) the wisdom of the restricted licence, or (ii) the stupidity of a restriction that’s easily avoided, or (iii) the irrelevance of anecdotes.

  3. The kids are getting baked instead. 15% of teenagers used cannabis compared to 7% of Europeans.

    Drug dealers don’t care if you’re 16. They get into trouble whatever age you are.

  4. I seem to recall that Reagan’s public health people forced it on the states as a quid pro quo for funding the Interstate network. I seem to recall there was some dodge around it

  5. 15% of teenagers used cannabis compared to 7% of Europeans

    Those numbers sound low. A friend of mine travelled to several West Coast cities for work in 2019 and reported the widespread stink of dope. Not to mention the staggering over-prescription of various mood-altering drugs.

  6. Diogenes
    February 2, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    I seem to recall that Reagan’s public health people forced it on the states as a quid pro quo for funding the Interstate network. I seem to recall there was some dodge around it

    Not as quid pro quo. The Federal government has no authority to set a drinking age – or a speed limit – so they threaten to withhold funding (or money taxpayers have already had taken from them) if the states did not enact the 21 year old minimum ‘totally on their own’.

  7. Teens are notoriously foolish. My HS years were in the 1950’s & alcohol was readily available. We could buy beer & wine from 7-11’s without ID. Liquor stores required ID, but some parents had accounts with some liquor stores & sent us HS kids to fetch it. We could tell the liquor store it was for “X,” a parent with an account, though the liquor store mgr probably only did that for kids he recognized as the children or friends of such parents. Older brothers & friends would buy it for some.

    I lived in a good hood with 2 fancy Country Clubs. Some rich kids threw parties at the clubs & invited many HS kids. There, liquor, beer & wine were free to us HS kids & available on request from waiters & at the CC bars. Rich parents of one of my HS friends built him a playroom with fireplace, pool table with benches around 2 walls that served as beds & a fully stocked bar. They wanted him to be popular as they were in their social circles & he was indeed.

    Heavy drinking, more by boys than girls, but lotta drunk HS kids the same. This is where the foolishness comes in. I did not like to be drunk. A little buzz was better. I learned that drinking some for me & my date allowed me to take ‘em to the woods for a much better experience while so many friends were passed out or puking in the bushes. There was a saying: “Candy’s dandy, but liquor’s quicker” which I took to heart.

    My best friend noticed & told me he wanted to follow my example but could not as after a few drinks he could not stop growing ever happier till he passed out. I enjoyed a healthier & think more fun life than most. I was less foolish.

  8. Aga, yes, there was sometimes a trade off with speed limits, or was that an earlier round of interstate funding?

  9. The national speed limit ’55 mph’ was forced on the country the same way – take your money and threaten to not give it back unless you did as you were told.

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