Friday, March 30, 2012

Regulation Goes Medieval

by Andrew A. Schwart
Cato Institute
March 29, 2012
Section 301 of the Credit CARD Act, which denies credit cards to those age 18–20, should be repealed. After much discussion in the 1960s and 1970s, our society rejected the ancient common-law rule that one is an infant until age 21, and coalesced around the view that legal adulthood begins at 18. That consensus has not changed. Hence, by raising the age of contractual capacity to 21, section 301 contradicts the well-established preferences of the public as well as the strong public policy favoring entrepreneurship. Just as 18-year-olds are deemed by the law to be sufficiently mature to enter into any other contract—and mature enough to be drafted, vote, serve as a juror, and be sentenced to death—then, a fortiori, they are mature enough to hold a credit card.

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