Politicians need an Age Limit - The Daily Reckoning
The Daily Reckoning by Bill Bonner
On This Day - 6 September 2013
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- By Asad Dossani, Author, The Lucrative Derivative Report


Asad Dossani
Most of the time that we think about age limits, it is usually about restricting young people from certain activities. For example, we have a minimum age for alcohol consumption because our view is that alcohol is damaging to those that are too young.

When it comes to politics, we have too few young people. In fact, 80% of India's politicians are above 70 years old. This problem is particularly true at the highest level of office. Our current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is 80 years old. Our previous prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was 79 by the time he left office. In contrast, the current US President Barack Obama is 52 years old. The current UK Prime Minister David Cameron is 46 years old.

By the time someone is reaching their 80s, their ability to perform at work is diminished. Even a healthy 80 year old will not be able to work as hard as they could when they were 50 or 60. Being a Prime Minister is a demanding job, and it should go to individuals who have the capacity to put in high levels of effort and work hard. Manmohan Singh accomplished more as finance minister in the 1990s (when he was 20 years younger), than now as Prime Minister.

The easiest way to fix this problem is to impose an upper age limit on politicians. The current retirement age for government employees in India is 60 years. Politicians are also government employees, so this age limit should apply to them as well. There is no good reason why politicians should not be subject to the same rules as other government employees.

Politicians that are younger will better understand the desires of the population. They will have more energy and a greater capacity to work hard, and are less tolerant of corruption. Finally, because they have a long while to live, they have a vested interest in taking decisions that benefit our country in the long term.

The new RBI governor Raghuram Rajan is 50 years old. In just his first day at work, he announced a whole series of reforms for the financial sector. We need this kind of youthful energy in our politicians too.

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is a financial analyst and columnist. He actively trades his own and others' funds, investing primarily in currency, commodity, and stock index derivative products. Prior to this, he worked at Deutsche Bank as an analyst in the FX derivatives team. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics. Asad is a keen observer of macroeconomic trends and their effects on global financial markets. He is deeply passionate about educating investors, and encouraging individuals to take part in and profit from financial markets. To put it colloquially, he wishes to take Wall Street products and turn them into Main Street profits!

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56 Responses to "Politicians need an Age Limit"

Dr Jagadish

Sep 16, 2013

Assad sorry for commenting so late, yet will try to make up and make it worthwhile for your time. As a professional Doctor (Cardiac Anaesthesiologist by qualification and practice), i can give lot of inputs about our politicians health or illhealth, who come to undergo surgical procedures with my team but my professional ethics will forbade that.

Instead let me give a cursory look at our PM Manmohan singh's health as i think i can talk about him as an outsider not involved in his care.

Dr Manmohan Singh who has undergone four cardiac procedures till date, two Angioplasties and two major coronary bypass operations. It is a known fact that after major cardiac operations patient's experience cognitive disturbances and will find it difficult to perform simple tasks like adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, near term memory is a casualty and analytical skills become hard or non existent. Yet here we have our beloved PM clinging on to his chair when he knows he is not fit to be there. Or is he made to sit there by other clever people holding the strings while he in his incompetence allows them to loot the country - the answer is there for all to see.

Anyone who has seen him functioning can make out the difference in him after he came back from his second Bypass surgery( It was performed in AIIMS by Dr Panda in the last phase of UPA1 regime - if you remember Pranab da was acting PM at that time as External affairs minister)nothing against the Doctor he is an excellent surgeon but the nature of the disease process is such that now if our PM is now subjected to MRI of brain you will find atrophied brain with lacunar infarcts or even bigger infarcts. In effect we are having a medically unfit PM and no wonder he has lost control in UPA 2 completely and is a puppet without strings.

Like (1)

B.Prabhakar

Sep 16, 2013

I can`t agree with you more.But who will bell the cat? People already in politics have no interest in changing the status quo and as voter`s will be forced to elect these same politicians again and again. If at all, a new generation from the same politicians family will stand elections. Change is too slow to come in our democracy. Yes, age 60 should be the limit just like any government employee. It wil bring fresh blood and new ideas into our politics.

Like (3)

manoharkantak

Sep 13, 2013

I fully endorse your views , but this has to be changed by the voters. Again if 80% elected members are above 70 years, then the same situation will continue. Politicians do not retire for another reason, while in power they can hide their misdeeds.

Like (2)

Chandramohan Menon

Sep 11, 2013

Age should be decisive factor (as in the case almost all professions)to have required proper reflex and response to the needs of the general public.Old people generally will be more condiderate and compassionate.But we want quick action at the appropriate time.Follow the pattern practiced elsewhere in the world.My suggestion is to have a retirement age of 60.

Like (1)

K.PALPANDY

Sep 10, 2013

I agree 1000%.
AGE SHOULD BE FIXED @ 65.
Also it should not be allowed to hold any office of public like MP/MLA/MINSTER in STATE/CENTRAL not more than twice.
Their immediate family members/kids should be included in the above catagory

Like (1)

r v iyengar

Sep 10, 2013

This will be most desirable. For this to happen, young people have to get elected to top posts.
Slowly this is happening, and we see more and more young people coming in.
However an age limit of 60 years is rather restrictive. I think the human species has been evolving over a period of time and currently it is believed that middle age ends around 60. If a person is fit enough one could go on up to 70. But that should be the absolute upper limit.

Like (1)

P V Samuel

Sep 10, 2013

I FULLY AGREE, ESPLY AS AN ELDERLY PERSON OF 68 YEARS. WHY NOT A CAMPAIGN BE LAUNCHED AND TAKEN TO ITS LOGICAL CONCLUSION, AS MOST OF THE PEOPLE WOULD AGREE TO HAVING AN ENERGETIC POLITICAL ADMINISTRATION.
I WOULD SUGGEST 65 AS THE UPPER AGE LIMIT FOR POLITICAL LEADERS AND 70 OR 75 FOR NON-ACTIVE FUNCTIONARIES LIKE THE PRESIDENT OR GOVERNORS.

Like (1)

Dipak Kumar Kundu

Sep 10, 2013

Many thanks to Mr. Dossani for this article.Politicians should have some retirement age fixed like government employees.I strongly think the retirement age should be 70 for MP's and 75 for MLA's.

Like (1)

Dr.B.K.Mahadev

Sep 10, 2013

I agree that politicians should have some retirement age fixed to them. not necessarily that of govt. employees but looking to the theory of their gaining wisdom in later stages in my view it should be cut off age of 75. At later stages if at all is necessary their wisdom can be rendered to the concerned by many ways. However I strongly feel that the age limit for politicians should be fixed. If this kind of enactment is brought before the parliament voting should be beyond party lines.

Like (1)

C.V.Rappai

Sep 9, 2013

You have very correctly suggested to get the upper age limit of politicians fixed. Maximum age of politicians who hold an office in connection with Ministry or legislature should be limited to 70 [including those in local bodies]However persons above 70 can be confined to workers / office bearers of political parties.

Like (2)
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