For your liberty!
James Eyer
Candidate for U.S. Congress District 9

Talking Points: Teens and Pre-teens
Issues and Opportunities


  • Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.
      -Plato, The Republic
  • Too often, adults forget what it was like to be a teen or pre-teen.
  • A vast majority of young persons are good responsible citizens though they are often treated as guilty until proven innocent.
  • Teens and pre-teens do know what is right and what is wrong; society should hold them responsible for harm caused ( crime ) -- though not using the same criteria used to judge adult criminals.
  • Government laws and rules regulating young peoples' behavior -- such as curfews -- are examples of adults / parents asking the government to make rules for parenting. (Government's mission: preserving liberty and holding criminals accountable.)
  • Freedom of all teens -- and in some cases all adults -- is reduced because some parents are not responsible parents and / or because a few teens are just troublemakers. It is not right to take away privileges from the vast majority of people because a few teens cannot behave in a civil, responsible manner.
  • Regulations that specify a specific way to reduce pollution may result in more pollution and less accountability for the effects from pollution, and may even preclude superior solutions, not to mention lining the pockets of "special interests."
  • Often new rules do not result in a drop in crime -- young people just become more determined and innovative -- for the wrong reasons.
  • Summary statement: Adding more and more rules for young people has many negative effects such as: a) less parenting, b) less personal responsibility, c) less emphasis on individuals and more on regimentation, d) disregard for the law in general, and e) additional types of "forbidden fruit."
  • Many of the issues faced by teens are, in one way or another, failure of adults with an obligation to provide for young peoples' intellectual, emotional, and overall personal enrichment and development.
  • Mounting evidence exists which indicates that teens' brains are still developing such that they are, to some extent, physiologically unable to think like adults (e.g. to consider decisions in the context of future implications). Adults must understand this and adjust tactics and communicate accordingly.
  • Many programs set up by the adults will lead to huge tax obligations by young people in the future. For example, without significant changes young people will pay 30% of their income just for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, not including income tax, property tax, sales tax, death tax, parcel taxes, gasoline tax, business taxes, mass transit taxes, phone taxes, internet taxes, cable taxes, etc.

Policies and Actions

  • In broadest terms: I will fight to preserve liberty in general -- for all people that do not harm others.
  • I promise to do whatever I can to empower young persons to succeed as good, productive citizens, and to have fun before they must face the full responsibilities of adulthood.
  • Teens must be held accountable for crime -- in ways that do not lead to more alienation, wasted talent, crime, and law enforcement, court, and prison-related costs.
  • I will place a special emphasis on reforming government spending that shifts a significant amount of the burden to today's young people just as their careers are moving into high gear.
  • I will do whatever possible to encourage states and local school districts to place significant emphasis on input from students and from parents when setting education priorities (curricula, facilities, resources, educators).
  • Be a leader in a general effort to encourage parents to

       a) accept responsibility to be engaged nurturing parents who provide
           parental guidance to, and set expectations for teens,

       b) avoid transferring parental responsibility and authority to
           the government regarding family matters; which often leads to laws
           and rules for everyone or for young persons who do no harm.

  • Seek establishment of a Youth Congress for young persons to learn about governance and to influence their government, coupled with support of get-out-the-vote programs for young voters.

rev 7/23/04