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Old men in Congress vs. Math and Facts

Posted by alexr (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 14:48

I made on off handed remark about old white men in Congress on another thread.
Elvis then wrote : "BTW, the median age in Congress is 53. I don't consider that "old"."

So where do we start? With the math or with the facts?

First, what is a median? It's not an average, just a middle. Still, I think Elvis' number is wrong. I don't know where she got it. I believe the median age for the House is 57 and for the Senate it's 62.(61 years and 313 days as of March 19th of 2013) That means that half the Senate is older than 62 and half the House is older than 58.

That's old in my book.

Mike Crapo and Al Franken hit the median for the Senate and they are only a day apart in age. Ted Yoho is the median for the House, he will be 58 years old this month (April ).This according to Wiki. I can't find a median for the combined house,

However, the average age for the incoming 113th Congress is 58 for the House and 61 for the Senate, or about the same as the median at this time.
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http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/01/meet-the-new-congress-facts-and-figures-about-the-113th.html
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In fact, the last 3 Congresses have been historically old. See the link below- Is Congress getting older? (snip)

"The average American is more than 20 years younger than the person who represents him or her in the House."

Here is a link that might be useful: Democracy or Gerontocracy


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more youthful Congresses of the past

The average age in the First Congress (1789) for senators was 46.1 & the average for the representatives was 43.5.

The average age of the 41st Congress , after the Civil War, (1869-1871) was 44.6 years

For the 100th Congress, (1987), the average age of
senators was 54.4 & for representatives was 50.7.


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RE: Old men in Congress vs. Math and Facts

I don't consider the median age to be "old" but I do consider it too old for Congress, or Parliament for that matter.

Unfortunately though I don;'t see it changing anytime soon. It takes money, big money, to run for Congress and , once there, the game is to stay as long as possible by pandering to the lobbyists. term limits would help.

I would guess the median age for our Parliament is less but will have to do some homework on that.


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RE: Old men in Congress vs. Math and Facts

Chase, don't you remember "Don't trust anyone over 30" ?

Anyway, the guy who said that during the Free Speech Movement would be about 73 now.


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RE: Old men in Congress vs. Math and Facts

Term limits would be a way to clean out the deadwood but then what would be the age/intelligent factor of the replacements? Having the experience balanced by an ability to see new ways to get things done for the people represented is not critical to age but to being able to asses the true needs of those represented. This is not the case for most of the politicians as they have too many favors to return.


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RE: Old men in Congress vs. Math and Facts

Voting out who you don't like is the best term limit.


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RE: Old men in Congress vs. Math and Facts

It is said too often that "with age comes a certain wisdom"... and we know this isn't always the case. We also know that the young aren't always the best purveyors of wisdom or logic.

So... I don't necessarily think age should be the biggest consideration... though I do find it odd that so many politicians are older... and male... and white...


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