We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Adolescence, like retirement, is an invention of the modern age. If the extension of retirement into a multi-decade government-funded vacation is largely a function of increased life expectancy, the prolongation of adolescence seems to derive from the bleak fact that, without an efficient societal conveyor belt to move you on, it appears to be the default setting of huge swathes of humanity. It was striking, during the Hurricane Irene frenzy, to hear the Federal Emergency Management Agency refer to itself repeatedly as “the federal family.” If Big Government is a “family,” with the bureaucracy as its parents, why be surprised that the citizens are content to live as eternal adolescents?
There are numerous retirement plans/systems, state, federal, private companies and individual. Most of these are based on a simple annuity model. If an annuity is set up with appropriate accounting principles the annuitant receives back from the annuity only what he put into it plus interest and minus costs to administer the system. It isn't a burden on taxpayers or the government. A simple and fair self incvested system. The problem generally comes in when special interests demand special rules for their group. Things like early retirement for policemen and firemen and full retirement benefits plus disability for injured or anyone who claims to be injured. These fall outside of an annuity model and siphon off money from the system at the expense of all the other annuitants. Generally the way the politicians handle this problem is ignore it until the system begins to fail and then they blame it on all annuitants for expecting "a multi-decade government-funded vacation". Lets put the blame where it belongs. The politicians who use retirement systems to reward special interests and potential voters and the managers who fail to follow generally accepted accounting procedures. The blame does NOT fall on the person who contributed to SS or their retirement system for 45 years.
Ahh, yes ... those busy little bee phrase-makers in the White House basement have decided that the sappy citizenry of the United States will learn to love Big Government more if they describe themselves, the government, as "the Federal Family." Gives me the cold chills, it does. Almost all of us [well, lots of us anyway] have crazy old relatives, some of whom need to be confined for our peace of mind, but this phrase is strongly reminiscent of The Godfather and the description of his 'wise guys' as "The Family." And we all know what the Mafia's "wise guys' do. It only works in Sicily.
I think that the Administration's semanticists are toying with Obama and his crowd, assuming as usual that we're not very bright and have short memories.
All mammals go through a period of adolescence, some short, some longer. Humans are no different, we just come up with a load of malarky about our adolescents, assuming they're either children or adults, when the truth is the kid is stuck in some half-way state between infancy and maturity
Just look at the functioning and structure of the adolescent brain. An adolescent in a mix of impulsiveness and maturity, with some qualities unique to teens alone. A teen is capable of being responsible, but not all the time, and expecting mature behavior from even 20 year old all the time is to ignore the adolescent's shortcomings and flaws
Maturity doesn't happen all at once, it's a gradual development. It's only fairly late in life, around the age of twenty five, when people are capable of acting consistently as adults, though some people persist in acting immaturely, apparently considering it their right to be damn fools.
So, no, adolescence is not an invention. What is an invention is the idea that adolescence is some how a right and not a stage, a phase to be gotten through with maturity the goal to be reached.