Aside from young teens hating the idea, do we really want our kids dependent upon us for everything? Do we really want to chauffeur our kids everywhere, up until the point they graduate high school, go off to college, or even join the military? Getting a drivers license is a ‘right of passage’ so to speak. We have to “let go” at some point or another. Most teens don’t have access to public transit. We need to let them have some freedom. We need to let them get jobs. We need to let them grow up. And learning to drive is one of the very first steps into adulthood. The world is a dangerous place, but we must “let go” at some point.
Some supporters of holding the drinking age steady acknowledge that 21, when it comes right down to it, is an arbitrary age. Twenty-five might be better, if unrealistic. But they argue that enforcement is a problem at any age, and lowering the legal limit to 18 would only mean pushing the drinking problem further down to 16- and 17-year-olds. Alexander Wagenaar, a health policy professor at the University of Florida, goes further. He believes that lowering the drinking age would be disastrous. After states set the age at 21, he says, teen highway deaths immediately dropped by 15 to 20 percent. "The people who are advocating going down to 18," says Wagenaar, "should acknowledge that they're willing to risk an extra thousand deaths per year and double that number of injuries."
LePage spoke of three projects he has been looking at that would help create jobs, and industry jobs. The first he said involved the potato industry in Aroostook County. He said of potatoes farmed in Maine, only 30 percent actually make it into the grocery stores. The remaining 70 percent end up in landfills as they are not as high quality. He said that’s because the state doesn’t have a processing plant to make starch or flakes out of these potatoes, so they could be used to make food items like powdered mashed potatoes or potato chips.