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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Stupid is as stupid tests

    When this column goes into print, I will be 7 months, 14 days and 30 minutes away from being able to order a beer. I don’t have to do anything except wait it out. But what if I could pass a competency test and then walk over to Dirtbag’s and have a beer tomorrow?

    In his book “”The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen,”” Harvard professor Robert Epstein argues that a kid of any age who can pass “”an appropriate test of maturity”” or “”pass one or more relevant competency tests”” should be allowed to have adult privileges.

    The test would replace the arbitrary age assigned for the rights that kids get with each birthday. Essentially, if a kid could pass the test or tests, they could vote, sign contracts, drive, drink, smoke, have sex, watch porn and get a tattoo.

    In many ways there is something to be said about choosing an alternate form of judgment instead of depending on age to grant kids with new privileges. Epstein is on to something, but I think we should expand this idea to where it is needed most – incompetence. There are plenty of grown individuals with all of these privileges who probably couldn’t spell their own names on the top of a competency test.

    Now, please don’t get upset with me, I realize some people can’t help it if they’re idiots. But they can stay home.

    And let’s face it: Some bozos never could pass a “”maturity”” test, no matter how many times they tried or how many birthdays passed. So should we really allow them behind the wheel or, worse, to populate the world?

    I propose an “”immaturity test”” to be administered to adults who abuse their “”adult privileges.”” This, in theory, could fix traffic issues, drinking issues and ultimately, rid society of stupid people.

    Now, please don’t get upset with me; I realize some people can’t help it if they’re idiots. But they can stay home.

    Let’s break this down:

    Traffic. If you have ever driven through the university and around Tucson around 5 p.m., well, then you’ve probably wanted to get out of your car and hurl yourself into oncoming traffic.

    I am a firm believer that there are plenty of individuals who suffer the same frustrations. And I realize that there is already a driving test. But I passed that test four years ago, and if I remember correctly, it wasn’t a test of competency but rather of memorization. And to top it off, according to my license I don’t even have to renew it until 2051. Whoever thought that was a good idea didn’t pass a competency test.

    Drinking. There are people who simply should not be allowed to consume any amount of alcohol. This goes beyond people drinking too much, stumbling, saying things they probably shouldn’t or thinking that a two-story beer bong is a good idea. No, I am talking about something much more serious: Reproduction.

    According to a study conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Columbia University, 23 percent (5.6 million) of sexually-active young adults in the United States report having had unprotected sex because they were drinking or using drugs at the time.

    So they’re not only drinking, they’re reproducing. Perfect.

    With a competency test we could prevent stupid people from drinking. This will lead to fewer stupid people having unprotected sex, which will lead to fewer stupid people reproducing. This, I feel, is really where the root of the problem exists. If we can stop stupid people from reproducing, we wouldn’t need a competency test anymore. Problem solved.

    I like to think that today’s youth are making better decisions, are becoming more responsible individuals and are worthy of such a testing process. But with standardized testing as it is these days, it wouldn’t take long before there were tutors, online practice exams and a Kaplan study guide. And I am just not willing to accept that some people might slip through the cracks and some stupid people might get a head start.

    Let’s just stick to age for now. I’ll just wait it out and order water. But in a few months I’ll have a beer, competent or not.

    Chelsea Jo Simpson is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at

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