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View Full Version : What comes first, the spoiled child or the dumb parent?



WMR
11-29-2007, 11:53 PM
And we wonder why the terrorists hate us? (JOKE)

http://www.zanyvideos.com/videos/spoiled_girl_cries_over_getting_a_new_lexus

George Foster
11-30-2007, 12:11 AM
If you raise an idiot like that, you have no one to blame but yourself. What are the odds of her growing up and being a productive member of society?

Honestly I have never seen anything like that before in my life, and I hope I never will again.

How much do you want to bet she got the car anyway?

WMR
11-30-2007, 12:12 AM
I would bet all the money that I have. The "take the car back" from her mother was a weak attempt at saving face. I'm sure she came crawling back to her daughter, hat in hand, soon after.

WMR
11-30-2007, 12:14 AM
You can tell that no one has ever called that girl's bluff.

guttle11
11-30-2007, 12:31 AM
I've seen some teenage girl meltdowns, but wow...just...wow.

Yachtzee
11-30-2007, 01:45 AM
Ah yes, "My Super Sweet Sixteen." Rich kids with no sense of priorities are nothing new. Why do you think discretionary trusts were created?

GAC
11-30-2007, 08:56 AM
My daughter just got her driving license about three months ago. Did I give her a car? No. We have a 3rd car, a '98 Mercury Sable (very clean) which I let her use quite often to drive to school, activities, etc. I want her to drive in order to gain experience and learn responsibility. As well as how expensive gas is.

It's winter time, and we have a 2 1/2 car garage where me and the wife park our vehicles. My daughter wanted to know if she could park here car in there because she hates having to go out early and start it, warm the car up, scrap the windows, and run the defroster.

I said "So do I, and tenure means everything!.... so shut up or I'll take away your scraper!" :lol:

Roy Tucker
11-30-2007, 09:36 AM
My daughter just got her driving license about three months ago. Did I give her a car? No. We have a 3rd car, a '98 Mercury Sable (very clean) which I let her use quite often to drive to school, activities, etc. I want her to drive in order to gain experience and learn responsibility. As well as how expensive gas is.

It's winter time, and we have a 2 1/2 car garage where me and the wife park our vehicles. My daughter wanted to know if she could park here car in there because she hates having to go out early and start it, warm the car up, scrap the windows, and run the defroster.

I said "So do I, and tenure means everything!.... so shut up or I'll take away your scraper!" :lol:

Sounds like our house. My 17 yr. old daughter drives a '93 Chevy Lumina with 34K miles on it (!). It was driven by my wife's aunt literally only to church and the grocery.

But now that the weather has turned cold, she's been complaining about scraping her car in the morning and wondering if she can put it in the garage. I asked where. She said I could move my car out. The resulting gales of laughter could be heard for miles.

I offered to buy her a new scraper and told her my car didn't get garaged till I was 30. She can pay her scraping dues just as I did. Or, the school bus will run her to school and back for free.

RFS62
11-30-2007, 09:36 AM
That was awesome.

Cyclone792
11-30-2007, 09:51 AM
I was given a car a few months after my 16th birthday. It was a 1987 Oldsmobile Calais, and my dad gave it to me in the summer of 1998. He had two cars at the time, and the Oldsmobile was his beater so he just handed it down to me.

That car came loaded with tons of high quality amenities such as high miles, several unique door dents and rust spots, a broken cassette player, a power steering fluid leak, and other qualities that had given it plenty of "character" over time. The cloth on the inside of the roof was starting to hang down, and it got so bad that I just ripped all of it out, cloth, insulation, everything all the way to the metal roof frame. Boy, you want to talk about loud when I'd be driving in a heavy rain ...

And you know what? I was happy as hell to have that car given to me, because well ... it was a car that got me from Point A to Point B throughout high school. It enabled me to get to school, commute to a part-time job and have some freedom on my own time. When that car was given to me, I think I had maybe $2,000 to my name so my motto was "if it runs, I like it!" Because even back then, that first six month car insurance payment took a nice bite out of that $2,000 I had to my name.

That car lasted me for a little more than two years when I finally decided to (read: afford to) upgrade a bit. Somehow I was able to find a buyer for that car and unloaded it for a whopping $400.

Cyclone792
11-30-2007, 10:07 AM
But now that the weather has turned cold, she's been complaining about scraping her car in the morning and wondering if she can put it in the garage. I asked where. She said I could move my car out. The resulting gales of laughter could be heard for miles.

I offered to buy her a new scraper and told her my car didn't get garaged till I was 30. She can pay her scraping dues just as I did. Or, the school bus will run her to school and back for free.

:lol: That's good stuff, Roy.

I live in a condo, and I'm the odd person out when it comes to garage space. When I bought my new car recently, I wondered if I had any options for a garage. I lucked out and found a neighbor in the next building over who bought a condo for a second residence. She lives in New York and visits her elderly mother here once a month for three or four days, and those are the only three or four days each month she's in town. She has a big garage with nothing more than a few boxes in it (she doesn't park her vehicle in it when she's in town), and I'm now renting her garage space from her for a small monthly fee.

My other car, now an old beater, sits outside though. When I decide to drive it on some days, I'm scraping.

WVRed
11-30-2007, 10:21 AM
Got a story somewhat similar to that video.

I went to a small Christian school in Kentucky when I was in elementary school. My mom and dad were sitting in front of the high school and this family had bought their daughter a brand new black Ford Mustang for her 16th birthday. The parents were so proud...

She comes out of class and starts crying, but not because of the joy of getting a new vehicle, but because it wasn't red.

Needless to say, i'm willing to bet the parents took the vehicle back and got her the red one.

Johnny Footstool
11-30-2007, 10:28 AM
Two things here:

1) While I'm appalled by the lack of appreciation these children exhibit, I firmly believe the parents are reaping what they have sown. If you don't teach your kids to value the things they have, you deserve to have to deal with spoiled brats.

2) Would it hurt to *ask* your daughter what kind of car she wants -- make, model, and color? How hard is that? Some people have these things called "conversations" in which they verbally exchange thoughts and ideas. Some parents even have them with their children.

WMR
11-30-2007, 10:30 AM
The model of the car wasn't the issue... her mom had the audacity to give it to her on the wrong day. :lol:

Johnny Footstool
11-30-2007, 10:31 AM
The model of the car wasn't the issue... her mom had the audacity to give it to her on the wrong day. :lol:

Good lord.

That poor, poor child.

WMR
11-30-2007, 10:33 AM
Any car experts know what model Lexus is in the video? I figure it's at least a $60,000 car.

traderumor
11-30-2007, 10:54 AM
Two things here:

1) While I'm appalled by the lack of appreciation these children exhibit, I firmly believe the parents are reaping what they have sown. If you don't teach your kids to value the things they have, you deserve to have to deal with spoiled brats.

2) Would it hurt to *ask* your daughter what kind of car she wants -- make, model, and color? How hard is that? Some people have these things called "conversations" in which they verbally exchange thoughts and ideas. Some parents even have them with their children.I'm with you on the first part, but JF giveth and JF taketh away on the second part. Regardless of how expensive of toys I could buy for my children, I do not see having a conversation about make, model and color of a car with a 16 year-old, unless it was related to "dad, I wanna use the money I've saved up to buy a car. Will you help me find one?"

Johnny Footstool
11-30-2007, 11:05 AM
I'm with you on the first part, but JF giveth and JF taketh away on the second part. Regardless of how expensive of toys I could buy for my children, I do not see having a conversation about make, model and color of a car with a 16 year-old, unless it was related to "dad, I wanna use the money I've saved up to buy a car. Will you help me find one?"

Really? It seems like the kind of thing that would get talked about quite easily -- like when you're watching TV together and see a car commercial, or when you're chatting at dinner. Or even when your child comes up to you and says, "Dad, I want a car." (In that case, the conversation would probably consist of the kid describing a bright red Lexus and the parent choking back the laughter, but still...) My dad and I weren't the types to just sit and chat with each other for hours on end, but we still talked about the kinds of cars I liked.

Another example: My wife had a Mustang that we had to sell (couldn't fit an infant seat in the back seat of that thing). We sold it to a guy who had a 16 year old daughter. He had already purchased a brand new Ford Focus for her, but she didn't like it, so instead of saying, "tough luck, drive it or ride the school bus," he agreed to get her a different car. I guess the guy learned his lesson (or at least, learned *a* lesson), because he made sure his daughter liked the Mustang before he bought it. Of course, the little princess didn't care that Daddy had to sell his own car in order to get it for her.

That situation is the root of my two earlier statements. Talk to your kids beforehand, find out what they like, and then make sure they appreciate what it takes to get it.

Roy Tucker
11-30-2007, 11:12 AM
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I regularly picked up my freshman daughter this year from band practice in my 1999 metallic beige Nissan Altima. Nice car, well-taken care of, just a smidge long in the tooth, 85K miles, but perfectly fine and functional. I'd like to buy a BMW 745, but that is hardly in the current budget with 3 kids in or soon-to-be in college.

But I saw lots of kids getting into a Lexis, BMW, Mercedes, or some zippy brightly colored jelly bean shaped cars and zooming off. Some cars looked like a borrowed mom and dads, but also lots of these cars looked like they belonged to the kids. I would sit and muse the inequity of this and the general unfairness of the world.

But then I remembered the parking lot of Centerville HS circa 1969-70. Kids would drive to school in a new Chevelle 396 SS or a GTO "The Judge". Heck, my girlfriend (the future ex-Mrs. Tucker) got a brand new fire-engine red Triumph GT 6+ for her 16th birthday.

While I was very happy to schlep around in my '62 beater Falcon with a 3-speed tranny on the column that I paid $200 of my hard earned dollars for and my dad made me park on the street because it leaked oil so bad.

Kids got spoiled then and kids get spoiled now. Nothing new here.

durl
11-30-2007, 11:13 AM
It's a Lexus SC. It's around $65k.

All I can say is "wow." I'd ground her for a month and make her earn every penny she spends after that and only let her get a minimum wage job. She definitely needs an adjustment.

RedsManRick
11-30-2007, 11:23 AM
The Minneapolis suburb where I went to HS was full of spoiled brats like that. A class mate once got a new BMW for her birthday. She crashed it a week later in to a parked car b/c she was distracted talking on her cell. Totaled the car but walked away unscathed. The next week she had another one and was complaining that, get this, the clock wasn't set in this car and it was unreasonable for her parents to give it to her before it was "ready"....

Meanwhile, the day I turned 16, my parents declared their taxi service was closing. My brother and I went together to buy a 1994 Grand Am -- all the money from us including every cent I had made since starting working.

RFS62
11-30-2007, 12:09 PM
Kids got spoiled then and kids get spoiled now. Nothing new here.



Yep, everything's relative.

Our sense of outrage seems to be diminishing though. I think we've become even more desensitized to crazy behavior since it makes it into the mainstream media so easily these days.

Heath
11-30-2007, 12:16 PM
One of many reasons why MTV is blocked at my house.

minus5
11-30-2007, 12:22 PM
One of many reasons why MTV is blocked at my house.

I think I'm going to be blocking it soon at my house as well. THis kind of stuff along with the hip hop culture - - I don't need it in my house. My wife is always watching these goofy reality shows with rich people and I just, for the life of me, cannot understand why. Quit helping to fan the fire of making celebrities out of people with no talent whatsoever other then their ability to inherit money. Why the hell do we as a society care about them?

traderumor
11-30-2007, 12:41 PM
Really? It seems like the kind of thing that would get talked about quite easily -- like when you're watching TV together and see a car commercial, or when you're chatting at dinner. Or even when your child comes up to you and says, "Dad, I want a car." (In that case, the conversation would probably consist of the kid describing a bright red Lexus and the parent choking back the laughter, but still...) My dad and I weren't the types to just sit and chat with each other for hours on end, but we still talked about the kinds of cars I liked.

Another example: My wife had a Mustang that we had to sell (couldn't fit an infant seat in the back seat of that thing). We sold it to a guy who had a 16 year old daughter. He had already purchased a brand new Ford Focus for her, but she didn't like it, so instead of saying, "tough luck, drive it or ride the school bus," he agreed to get her a different car. I guess the guy learned his lesson (or at least, learned *a* lesson), because he made sure his daughter liked the Mustang before he bought it. Of course, the little princess didn't care that Daddy had to sell his own car in order to get it for her.

That situation is the root of my two earlier statements. Talk to your kids beforehand, find out what they like, and then make sure they appreciate what it takes to get it.I'm sure the difference is that I just don't see myself buying a child a car in the same category of buying a christmas gift. If I am buying a car for a child's use while they are at home and my dependent, they will get what we can find to get them from point A to point B. If there is the possibility of a choice and it was being bought specifically for their exclusive use, then that conversation might take place, so I guess I'm seeing what you're getting at. But at that age, I'm not sure I can afford their insurance, much less a make, model, color choice. Heck, I haven't gotten that with a vehicle for myself yet. I get what I can get in. If the dealer can't get me in it, then its on to what he can get me in.

Johnny Footstool
11-30-2007, 01:07 PM
I'm sure the difference is that I just don't see myself buying a child a car in the same category of buying a christmas gift. If I am buying a car for a child's use while they are at home and my dependent, they will get what we can find to get them from point A to point B. If there is the possibility of a choice and it was being bought specifically for their exclusive use, then that conversation might take place, so I guess I'm seeing what you're getting at. But at that age, I'm not sure I can afford their insurance, much less a make, model, color choice. Heck, I haven't gotten that with a vehicle for myself yet. I get what I can get in. If the dealer can't get me in it, then its on to what he can get me in.

Absolutely. My first car wasn't exactly my top choice, but my dad and I talked about the kinds of cars I would prefer (two-door sedan, GM-built, nothing brown, yellow, or maroon), then we went out and found one in our price range.

GAC
11-30-2007, 02:02 PM
Or, the school bus will run her to school and back for free.

The school bus threat really gets their attention...... "Do it, and do it now, not when you want to. Or else figure out a way to ration that 1/4 tank of gas for the next month because you won't be getting a dime for gas money from us, meaning, you'll be riding that big yellow bus sitting next to the Finkelstein **** kid." :lol:

Really gets their attention.

SunDeck
11-30-2007, 02:45 PM
What I see is a girl who is lacking some emotional tools. The situation does not unfold the way she expects and she loses it. My kid does this all the time- but he's also seven. I sincerely hope he doesn't act this way when he's sixteen.

M2
11-30-2007, 04:27 PM
Why is she getting a car on her 15th birthday?

guttle11
11-30-2007, 04:50 PM
Why is she getting a car on her 15th birthday?

Because giving a 14 year old a car would be spoiling her.

RedsManRick
11-30-2007, 05:04 PM
What I see is a girl who is lacking some emotional tools. The situation does not unfold the way she expects and she loses it. My kid does this all the time- but he's also seven. I sincerely hope he doesn't act this way when he's sixteen.

Good observation. Not take away from the ridiculousnesses of the situation, but clearly the stage was set for that sort of circumstance.

SunDeck
11-30-2007, 05:28 PM
Giving your kid a Lexus on film, at a party where all her friends can see it is more about you than it is about the kid.
Just sayin'.

durl
11-30-2007, 05:36 PM
What I see is a girl who is lacking some emotional tools. The situation does not unfold the way she expects and she loses it. My kid does this all the time- but he's also seven. I sincerely hope he doesn't act this way when he's sixteen.

I'm not 100% sure if I'm following your statement about "tools." I don't know if she lacks the tools as much as she sees no need to use them because she believes nothing is expected of her. She's a spoiled kid who believes the world should be handed to her on HER terms. She wants all the stuff, sure, but she also wants to dictate HOW she gets it regardless of how it makes her parents feel...although they are the source of all her stuff.

She's a completely self-absorbed, ungrateful brat. Her parents may (stress may) not be completely to blame for her horrible attitude, but if they let her see daylight for a month after that incident, they certainly aren't trying to discourage it.

I can relate to your parenting situation somewhat. I have a preschooler that can be angelic one minute, then drop in a heap if something doesn't go quite her way. We don't spoil her, we try to be consistent with discipline, we're encouraging, yet she can be a terror. I believe they call it "childhood." ;)

WMR
11-30-2007, 05:39 PM
Why is she getting a car on her 15th birthday?

They shoulda brought Wily Mo out with a baseball bat, had him demolish the car, and PUNK'D HER. COMBINE TWO CRAPPY MTV SHOWS INTO ONE!!

Johnny Footstool
11-30-2007, 05:47 PM
They shoulda brought Wily Mo out with a baseball bat, had him demolish the car, and PUNK'D HER. COMBINE TWO CRAPPY MTV SHOWS INTO ONE!!

That idea is sheer genius, my good man.

My Super Sweet Punk'd Party.

Roy Tucker
11-30-2007, 05:53 PM
Children make you young.

But first they make you old.

traderumor
11-30-2007, 05:55 PM
Why is she getting a car on her 15th birthday?Surely you don't expect a princess to learn how to drive in just any old set of wheels, do ya? You're just so old-fashioned.:D

WVRed
11-30-2007, 09:21 PM
Repeat after me.

No 16 year old needs their license, much less a car, even if you can afford it.

GoReds33
11-30-2007, 11:17 PM
Repeat after me.

No 16 year old needs their license, much less a car, even if you can afford it.I don't know. I don't want to be chaeufering my kid around all the time. At sixteen, they do atleast need to make the tests harder. I also believe that those breathilizer things, that determine if you can start the car or not should be installed.

vaticanplum
11-30-2007, 11:31 PM
One of many reasons why MTV is blocked at my house.

There are plenty of reasons to block MTV. But MTV isn't responsible for something like this.

Chip R
11-30-2007, 11:45 PM
They shoulda brought Wily Mo out with a baseball bat, had him demolish the car, and PUNK'D HER. COMBINE TWO CRAPPY MTV SHOWS INTO ONE!!


He'd have just missed the car. ;)

I havent seen the video yet but from your descriptions, it reminds me of that one Andy Griffith Show episode where this spoiled kid was having a negative effect on Opie and was willing to let his dad do a little time so he could have his bike back. Andy suggested that the boy's father take him out to the woodshed.

BearcatShane
12-01-2007, 06:36 PM
Repeat after me.

No 16 year old needs their license, much less a car, even if you can afford it.




I don't know about that, I'm 17 and a damn good driver of my 1991 Chevy Blazer. Do they need to make the tests harder? Absolutely, I passed mine with a short 5 minute drive around the block. They could come up with some sort of policy where if you get a ticket of any kind under the age of 17 and a half your licence are suspended for 6 months.

redsfanmia
12-01-2007, 07:51 PM
Repeat after me.

No 16 year old needs their license, much less a car, even if you can afford it.

There are alot of people in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and so on that dont need their license's as well, I see them driving like maniacs all day long.

Yachtzee
12-01-2007, 10:10 PM
I think the written portion needs to include more questions on proper driving techniques rather than just focusing on the law. I'm also for more stringent drivers training. I passed drivers training in one week. We'd spend 4 hours in a room reading a text book and answering the questions in the back and 4 hours on the road with an instructor, taking turns driving or practicing the maneuverability test. Everyone passed the class, even the ones who spent the class time talking to each other and just circling answers in the book. That that plus a drive around the block and a maneuverability test were all that were required to pass is frightening to me.

Personally, I've always thought the driving age should be 18. Not that I don't think there are good drivers out there who are younger. It's just that I can remember driving at 16. I also rode in cars with friends at that age and I'm amazed I lived to tell about it. A lot of teenagers are just too distracted when they drive, whether it's talking to friends, fooling with the radio or tape deck (now the cd player I guess), or checking out the babes in the next car. Driving was just as much a social event as it was a means of getting to where you are going. And this was before cell phones were affordable, so I can only imagine what it's like today. I thing more stringent requirements to get a drivers license at 16 or 18 would go much farther to having better drivers on the road in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond.

Slyder
12-02-2007, 04:03 AM
I got my license at 16, I didnt get a car. I was thrilled when i got a 1992 Saturn (in 2000) from my parents and then found a 1988 Ford Tempo for $500 with 60k miles. Stories like this make me sick... and its only going to get worse probably. Many in my generation (Generation Y) need a serious attitude adjustment and I wish I or anyone could give it to them. I see wAAAAAAAAAAAAAY to many people about my age and still in high school pull crap like this and it disgusts me.

I didnt watch the whole movie because I guessed it was going to be such an example of how my generation and future generations have zero understanding about so much that happens in life that it is never funny.

GAC
12-02-2007, 07:18 AM
There are alot of people in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and so on that dont need their license's as well, I see them driving like maniacs all day long.

And older....

http://www.automoblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/old_driver.gif


Give them one of these so they don't have to try and see over a steering wheel....


http://www.lewisportusa.com/Images/friends/granny.jpg

SunDeck
12-02-2007, 10:30 AM
Lobbyists will argue that the fewer 16 year olds there are with licenses, the fewer 16 year olds who can fill jobs at the mall and fast food restaurants. So instead of raising the driving age it is probably more practical to make the testing more rigorous. It will be a barrier, but kids will rise to it and the roads will safer...and from an actuarial standpoint, we'd all be better off.

Yachtzee
12-02-2007, 11:20 AM
Lobbyists will argue that the fewer 16 year olds there are with licenses, the fewer 16 year olds who can fill jobs at the mall and fast food restaurants. So instead of raising the driving age it is probably more practical to make the testing more rigorous. It will be a barrier, but kids will rise to it and the roads will safer...and from an actuarial standpoint, we'd all be better off.

I rode my bike to work at the fast food joint. I used to ride my bike 4 or 5 miles a day to get to work or baseball practice on the other side of town. There are plenty of other modes of transportation not called a car. Bikes and buses are readily available in most communities. In fact, the Summit County Regional Transit Authority now has buses with bike racks on them, so you can ride your bike to the bus stop and then ride the bus. Besides, as of late, I see most of those fast food jobs filled by immigrants anyway. The only place I'd see taking a hit is Abercrombie & Fitch. And let's not forget the potential environmental benefit! Fewer teens in cars and more teens on bikes or buses means less greenhouse gases! :)

Is the problem really the need for a teenage workforce, or is it that parents like the idea of having a 16 year old to chauffer the other kids around so they don't have to?

SunDeck
12-02-2007, 11:56 AM
I rode my bike to work at the fast food joint. I used to ride my bike 4 or 5 miles a day to get to work or baseball practice on the other side of town. There are plenty of other modes of transportation not called a car. Bikes and buses are readily available in most communities. In fact, the Summit County Regional Transit Authority now has buses with bike racks on them, so you can ride your bike to the bus stop and then ride the bus. Besides, as of late, I see most of those fast food jobs filled by immigrants anyway. The only place I'd see taking a hit is Abercrombie & Fitch. And let's not forget the potential environmental benefit! Fewer teens in cars and more teens on bikes or buses means less greenhouse gases! :)

Is the problem really the need for a teenage workforce, or is it that parents like the idea of having a 16 year old to chauffer the other kids around so they don't have to?

Of course there are bikes and public transit, but when you consider the patterns of development in the US, and the current lack of coverage by bike friendly paths and bus lines, it adds up to a reason for parents and policy makers to stick with the status quo. I am really just guessing, but my gut tells me that those businesses who depend on a low wage, high school age work force would fight it tooth and nail if anyone suggested we raise the minimum driving age to 18.

I bike to work, too. I'd love it if everyone did- we'd be a leaner, healthier and greener society. But I also understand the realities of it; my brother lives 30 miles from his work place and already puts in 60 hours a week. The likelihood of him extending that for one minute by opting for a slower form of transportation is practically nil. The difference between us is that I made a choice to choose a small town where commuting times are low while he lives in Southern California. And that's about 15 million people all with the same transportation problems.

Razor Shines
12-02-2007, 12:21 PM
I was given a car a few months after my 16th birthday. It was a 1987 Oldsmobile Calais, and my dad gave it to me in the summer of 1998. He had two cars at the time, and the Oldsmobile was his beater so he just handed it down to me.

That car came loaded with tons of high quality amenities such as high miles, several unique door dents and rust spots, a broken cassette player, a power steering fluid leak, and other qualities that had given it plenty of "character" over time. The cloth on the inside of the roof was starting to hang down, and it got so bad that I just ripped all of it out, cloth, insulation, everything all the way to the metal roof frame. Boy, you want to talk about loud when I'd be driving in a heavy rain ...

And you know what? I was happy as hell to have that car given to me, because well ... it was a car that got me from Point A to Point B throughout high school. It enabled me to get to school, commute to a part-time job and have some freedom on my own time. When that car was given to me, I think I had maybe $2,000 to my name so my motto was "if it runs, I like it!" Because even back then, that first six month car insurance payment took a nice bite out of that $2,000 I had to my name.

That car lasted me for a little more than two years when I finally decided to (read: afford to) upgrade a bit. Somehow I was able to find a buyer for that car and unloaded it for a whopping $400.

My first car was an '88 Delta 88 and my Dad bought it for $500. I think it had more rust than paint, the radio worked if I talked to it really nice and it had 175,000 miles on it. I drove that car through high school and my first two years of college and never once took that car in to get something fixed, I kept good oil in it and it just ran. When I finally sold it, it had over 275,000 miles on it and some kid bought it from me for $500.

Yachtzee
12-02-2007, 01:56 PM
Of course there are bikes and public transit, but when you consider the patterns of development in the US, and the current lack of coverage by bike friendly paths and bus lines, it adds up to a reason for parents and policy makers to stick with the status quo. I am really just guessing, but my gut tells me that those businesses who depend on a low wage, high school age work force would fight it tooth and nail if anyone suggested we raise the minimum driving age to 18.

I bike to work, too. I'd love it if everyone did- we'd be a leaner, healthier and greener society. But I also understand the realities of it; my brother lives 30 miles from his work place and already puts in 60 hours a week. The likelihood of him extending that for one minute by opting for a slower form of transportation is practically nil. The difference between us is that I made a choice to choose a small town where commuting times are low while he lives in Southern California. And that's about 15 million people all with the same transportation problems.

I don't think that many industries rely on teenage workers as much anymore. Immigration has done a lot to change the makeup of the low wage work force in the country over the past few decades. A lot of those jobs that used to go to teenagers are now going to immigrants from Latin America or South Asia. There's no limit on how many hours they can work and no need to schedule around school. I also don't know many teenagers whose parents would let them work 30 miles away from home. Even after I got my license, my parents would never have let me work 30 miles from home until I was 18. I'd be interested to see the stats on how many kids 16-18 work and how far the average commute is for them. I suspect it wouldn't be that far.

vaticanplum
12-02-2007, 06:16 PM
Many (most?) states now have driving restrictions on 16 and 17 year olds. Curfews abound, there are limits to how many under-18s can be in a car at once and/or rules about how many over 21s must be in a car with a 16 year old, etc. Ohio has something like that last rule, plus a curfew, I think, and New York teenagers have two separate licenses -- a day license that you get when you're 16 and a night license you can't get until you're 17.

My opinion is that these rules are more effective than just straight numbers. There are many reasons kids "need" to drive at 16. Jobs are one -- as listed above -- school is another. I personally would not have been able to attend my high school had I not been allowed to drive at 16. There was no bus service and my school was a 30 minute drive from my house. For the first two years of high school, I was chaufferred by a girl who lived nearby, but she graduated when I turned 16. Sure, I could have switched schools, or my family could have switched jobs, but that seems an awful large change for a family to have to make when I was a fairly responsible driver at 16/17. And even if kids' schools are close, they are often involved in after-school activities (which is something we all WANT, I'd wager), many of which don't get out until six, seven, eight at night or later -- and even six o'clock is dark at this time of year. You're all really comfortable with a 16-year-old girl, say, riding her bike alone in the dark on a desolate road, or on, say, Route 32 right next to Glen Este high school? Bike riding isn't always the most realistic and safest option anymore; I doubt we'd even see a decrease in teenage fatalities if we required that of teenagers.

I am a firm believer that the number one factor in making new drivers better drivers is experience. Let's be honest, a kid who is irresponsible at 16 is not likely to be that much more responsible at 18. And a kid is not going to be naturally that much better a driver at 18 than 16 -- unless s/he starts driving at 16 and has two years experience under his/her belt. A lot of kids also go away to college where cars are not needed/not permitted when they're 18, so in essence raising the driving age to 18 would put a whole lot of brand-new drivers on the road at 22 going to and from work at rush hour every day, and I for one have no desire to deal with that.

There's no physical difference between a 16- and 18-year old that makes a difference to quality of driving. The only difference is emotional, and it is my belief that expecting a drastic uniform maturity change in those two particular years is not a valid expectation. (If you wanted to talk about a drastic maturity change between, say, 16 and 26, then that's different, but that of course is completely unrealistic.) The law says kids can work at 16; then I believe the law stating that they can drive at 16 -- with certain restrictions -- is reasonable.

Yachtzee
12-02-2007, 08:12 PM
A year or two can mean a lot in terms of maturity at that age. At 16, I was definitely not equipped to handle going away to college. I know few people who were. At 18, I was a lot more equipped to handle college. Setting the driving age at 16 is pretty arbitrary. On the other hand, society has recognized 18 as the age of majority. That age wasn't just drawn from a hat, but rather was arrived at through centuries of cultural experience. Maybe there are a lot of kids who are still to immature to drive at 18. But I suspect a lot more can handle the responsibility better at 18 than at 16. I think New York is probably a state where they will move to 18 at some point in the future.

If you followed a kid from 14 to 16 and from 16 to 18, I think in a lot of kids you'd see a vast change in emotional maturity. I think an 18 year old who is a senior in high school or finished and needs to drive to make a living or pay for college is far more likely to take driving classes seriously than a kid looking to get a car so they can drive their friends to the Friday night football game. Most 18 year olds have a lot more riding on a driver's license than 16 year olds do.