Letter to the Editor of 48 Hours (CBS)

48 Hours is a weekly news magazine on the CBS Television Network. The following is a letter to 48 Hours, regarding a recent broadcast on “troubled” teens, by Alice Lillie, a Libertarian Party activist in Las Vegas.

“Thank you for Thursday’s episode. [October, 1998] I found it very, very biased in favor of the mistreatment of underaged persons, who are anywhere from second class citizens to downright chattel, and out of the hour only about 5 minutes were given to the anti-mistreatment side.

I would like you to do an episode on those who are on the youths’ side. I have copied this to youth rights organizations that I know of. Since you reported (and I do appreciate it) that these “schools” dole out psychiatric medications at the drop of a hat, I have also copied it to psychiatric freedom organizations.

I am not going to make this long. All I want to say is that:

1. Everyone has rights. And that includes the young. These youths never broke any law (at least no Constitutional laws). They have the ‘right’ to be free unless a ‘jury’ has found them guilty of a crime.

2. The parents are spoiled rotten baby boomers. As for the generation of baby boomers, the operative word is “baby.” We boomers are whiney and immature, and we want what we want when we want it. These parents who have their teenagers locked up are looking for a vacation for themselves. I am no better, but at least I was forward looking enough to not have children.

3. The solution? To make first class citizens out of younger people. To include them under the Bill of Rights, by repealing laws that exclude them from the Bill of Rights. Also, to make them take responsibility for their own actions. This can be done by lowering the age of majority and/or (preferably “and”) make emancipation easier. We do not need to regulate the schools if the teens were allowed to use their God-given right to walk away. The snakepit schools would have to close for lack of funds.

4. An additional solution? Raising children would be a lot easier on parents if the size and scope of government were greatly decreased, so that so much of parents’ productivity did not have to go into taxes. Maybe one parent would be able to stay home again. If parents had ‘time’ for their little kids, things would be a lot different when these little kids grow up to be young adults.

Thank you. Please do consider giving this other side an airing.”

Alice Lillie

Alice is currently studying Austrian school (free market) Economics at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and offers a libertarian e-mail zine, which is yours for the asking.

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