Student,

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How young is too young to voice opinions on how our country should be run?

I'm 14. I want to know if people think that is too young to have opinions on how our country should be run. I know there will be people who refer to the voting age as a valid restriction and it is. However, I want to know now people's answers and reasons differ from mine. Also if people agree that my generation ( at least that responsible ones) should be included in the talks about the MASSIVE amount of debt that this country has since we and our children will be living with it.

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    Dec 29 2012: Age is secondary to knowledge and the ability to communicate your position.
  • Dec 28 2012: National Institue of Health study shows that the part of the brain that restrains risky behavior, including reckless driving, and thinking skills is not fully developed until the age of 25
    That would be in a perfect world.
    I however, don't think that many of the people who vote now have complete developed brains and I would never be one to deny anyone an opinion on how to get out of the current economic mess.
    It is clear that the old fossils that got us into it are out of their depth when it comes to new ideas leading to a new reality. These will only come from youth who have not yet been told that you can't do it that way.
  • Jan 1 2013: I agree with most of the responders below about you never being to young to have an opinion, and that your opinion matters. However, many adult issues are fairly complex and not well defined. Consequently, it takes some effort to investigate the questions. During the investigation, your may answer many of your own questions, and your opinion may change about what should be done to solve these problems or improve these processes. At 14, you have not had much time to investigate, gather evidence and form arguments to support your opinions. You will find that such effort will lead to an objective and mature opinion that has the power to persuade and influence people to agree with your position. Getting people to agree with your opinions amplifies your influence and your ability to effect the changes you recommend.

    Your opinion should always matter to you, and with a little work and crafting, might matter to may people.

    You might be interested in the 7 Habits by Steven Covey. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_Habits

    My response is similar to habit 5.
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    Dec 29 2012: Human civilization is always in need of the that kid who will ask the most naive question ....Hey King , why you are naked ?
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    Dec 29 2012: Hi Nate,
    I think the younger the better to start exploring, evaluating and voicing opinions in an appropriate manner. The young people of today are our future leaders, and I have a great deal of hope for our future, based on the contributions I've seen here on TED. I think it's important for all of us to share ideas with respectful dialogue.

    Are you familier with this TED talk? John Hunter has created a game, which is played with elementary students to encourage them to start thinking about, and participating in decision making in our world:>) I think it's a great tool...what do you think?

    http://www.ted.com/talks/john_hunter_on_the_world_peace_game.html
  • Dec 29 2012: You have every right to your opinion, I don't care how young you are. If you feel strongly about something there’s nothing stopping you from speaking out about it. One thing you should always have, though, is an open mind. Always consider the other sides views and step into their shoes from time to time. This should give you a better understanding of why they have their views. Your young and have a lot of time to decide your views on the world. Take it from someone whose going through the same thing.
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    Dec 29 2012: It has nothing to do with age.

    The fact that you are talking about debt demonstrates that you have a better understanding of this subject and the consequences of it than the majority of the TED community.

    Something to consider is that reality is agreement. Your predecessors have agreed to a lot of specious ideas. I would recommend that you Look for your self and consider the revisionist perspective.
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    Dec 30 2012: I'm 16 now but i started righting online articles (and getting paid for them) when I was 14. If you have an opinion, express it. It is up to other people on whether you will be heard
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    Dec 30 2012: You are never "too young" to have and voice an "opinion". But to get the attention and be heard your idea and opinion needs to be revolutionary, inspiring and brilliantly different, or it will be lost in the pointless clutter and noise of your peers and others.

    Once you have such an opinion and idea. You need to work very hard and persevere to find and make it known to the people who will do good with it. It is very refreshing to see a 14 year old talk and think about Debt, Youth, voting and country as opposed to Beiber and Apps! Good for you!
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    Gail .

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    Dec 29 2012: No one is ever too young to voice an opinion, but there are many reasons for a child not voting.

    1. You don't have enough life experience
    2. Children your age USUALLY (though not always) take their parent's position without understanding underlying issues.

    This being said, most adults shouldn't be voting because they don't understand the issues either.

    I think that you should speak out as often and as loudly as you can with respect to the issues that impact you, as the debt truly does. But you should also understand the system behind our fiscal paradigm and understand that we have a war-based economy and what that means. (If we were to declare peace (end most military spending - the biggest budget buster), the global economy would collapse. Your parents will lose their jobs &/or not be able to afford food or heat during winter. (This is what happened in Germany when the Versailles treaty put untenable debt on Germany and stole its best farmland. People were freezing to death on doorsteps and dying of hunger. A wheelbarrow of $$$ couldn't buy a loaf of bread. That's what brought Hitler to power.) You should also learn about the Federal Reserve banking system and fractional banking practices. Today, the national banks are part of an international banking system that threatens all industrialized nations.

    So it's not just about debt. Its about MONEY. Without drastic changes, it's unlikely that the economy will survive another 15 years. Add to that global warming that's destroying arable farmland because of financial incentives, and the global population balloon, and financial incentives to destroy natural resources (fracking for natural gas turning faucets into blow torches and bad farming practices that pollute aquifers), and we're headed into dire times.

    So use this time to learn how to create your own reality. (look it up on YouTube). Those who know how to do this will be our salvation. Learn it. Practice it. Teach it. IT WORKS!!!!!
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    Dec 28 2012: in my world, you would even have full voting rights.
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    Dec 31 2012: Everybody's opinion matters, anybody can have a good idea. Kind of curious what prompted the question? Are you trying to share your ideas, and people aren't listening to you? What ideas do you have, and how are you trying to share them? Maybe the TED community can feedback on your ideas and give you ideas how to broadcast them.
  • Dec 31 2012: You are never too young.
    Don't allow others to put limits on you and don't put limits on yourself.
    Adults will want to, and will attempt to limit you no matter what they say.
    They almost cannot seem to help themselves but many times they can but don't refrain from doing it.
    Particularly if what you have to say makes perfect sense, is true and clear, regardless of what they think they know, that you don't know.

    They may at one time have been like you, wanting to help, wanting to be heard and wanting to share, but they gave that up as soon as they decided that "they couldn't" and they better make a pay check. More than likely they were told by other adults that they should "give it up", "grow up" and change by embracing the machinery of death and destruction rather than any kinds of ideals. They traded it all in because they are traitors of your generation and even more generations to follow.
    The reality that is destroying your future is the one they acquiesced into rather than continuing the fight for what is right, what will work, and what is for everyone.

    In 1992 a young girl spoke to the UN Earth Summit in Brazil. Go to youtube.com and type in - the girl who silenced the world for five minutes (no dash)

    Someone here responded to you with these words, " to get the attention and be heard your idea and opinion needs to be revolutionary, inspiring and brilliantly different, or it will be lost in the pointless clutter and noise of your peers and others." True and not true.
    You have to be courageous and committed. What this little girl said was THE TRUTH and that it seems, was, revolutionary, inspiring and brilliantly different, but it changed nothing because the adults, those who are the status quo, don't really give a fsuk about you and your generation. They are only about "business as usual, and keeping the status quo (a dead entity), in place.
    Their ways, ideas, and institutions are broken and dying and they won't fix them for you.
    Talk to your peers, plan
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    Dec 30 2012: Nate, Since you acknowledge, aware, and concerned with the mounting massive debits puts you well ahead of many adults. Debits are debits. In your house your parents cannot spend more that they make or they get into serious trouble. However, the government can barrow money if they spend more than is coming in ... the problem we are facing is that the government keeps growing and demanding more money .... some want to stop and reduce this growth in order to balance the checkbook and other want to continue to grow and barrow more and more.

    So, how to voice your opinion. When I was young we had Mock Conventions. We divided into two groups and debated the issues. At the end of the Convention we voted on who carried the day based on the issues.

    Develop a plan and submit it to your social studies or government teacher .... with some effort this could grow into a school project to be held on a Saturday in the gym or auditorium. A great exercise and learning experience.

    Go for it. Bob.
  • Dec 30 2012: I am 18 and I did not vote in the recent election. I had my reasons and one of them is what I know about how the country should be run: I know nothing at all. I don't think I deserve the right to impact a presidential election because of this. I'm not confident that an age barrier is the answer to overly-uneducated decision making, but all of my ideas on how elections should be run are borderline extremist.
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      Dec 30 2012: "all of my ideas on how elections should be run are borderline extremist"

      it does not mean they are wrong. in surprisingly many cases, the majority opinion is utterly and ridiculously wrong. in such cases, truth looks extremist. give it a chance.
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      Dec 31 2012: Post an idea about your ideas! i would like to see the changes you would propose. And I agree, the biggest issue with elections is the uniformed voter just checking a box because it says one particular party or the other.
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    Dec 29 2012: Wisdom is not about age. Experience is good; but what use is the experience of a fool?
    No matter the age, our contribution to nation-building is not affected by our eligibility to vote or not. You are a leader in your sphere of influence, and the president can not do what you can do.
    As much as the experience of fools is not desirable, experience is important-the experience of wise and teachable people.
    Younger people may not have shown themselves as teachable; but it is very important to have people who are teachable in governance.
  • Dec 29 2012: Age is not so important. It is important to understand what we know and what we do not know. Also, showing some respect for the opinions of others. I must admit that if I were 14, and saw the shabby state of affairs I was about to inherit, I might have a hard time with the respect part. Even so, we should always be polite.
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    Dec 29 2012: This 'MASSIVE amount of debt' is a good point you make for your generation and, unfortunately, a true one!

    As modern politics and economy is not based on long term and trans-generational decision making, restrictions on voting age is a misery-trap for all the younger ones!

    So you would have my vote for this to change!