How important is age diversity in a presidential cabinet?
President Joe Biden’s cabinet and key appointees will likely be the most diverse in U.S. history. He says they were deliberately chosen for “looks like america. “
Like a specialist in how age is perceived in society, I study age as a major demographic. Regarding President Biden’s cabinet choices, my question is how diverse these appointments are in terms of age, and if that matters.
Uniting baby boomers and zoomers
At 78, Joe Biden is America’s longest-serving president. Vice President Kamala Harris is 22 years younger. Most American presidents and vice-presidents are older. Mike Pence, for example, is 13 years younger than Donald Trump.
However, there are a few exceptions to recent history. President George HW Bush was 23 years older than Vice President Dan Quayle. The other notable exception is the 19-year age difference between President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden. This close working relationship can explain in part Biden’s comfort in choosing a much younger running buddy and top advisors.
As for the rest of the Cabinet, no candidate is as old as the President. The people currently checked or already in employment are aged 39 to 75, with an average age of 56 years.
Having so many councilors of different ages should – in theory – bring perspectives from different age groups and better represent voters of different ages.
For example, long-term care funding is a problem that affects all generations, although it is generally associated with the elderly.
According to a study by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, more than 50 million adults in the United States, providing unpaid care for an adult or child with special needs. Due to the reduction in family size and the fact that more seniors are living into their 80s and over, middle-aged and older adults are increasingly called upon to care for older relatives. Younger parents, on the other hand, may want to increase long-term care support for children with special needs.
Another example is the debate over student loans. College Debt Forgiveness May Not Be A Personal Priority For Seniors, But An Educated Workforce discharged from debt helps stimulate the economy. With the ratio of working-age adults to working-age adults decline rapidly, an increase in worker productivity coupled with a more skilled workforce can generate tax revenues to support social security and other government benefits for retirees.
And then, of course, there is the environment. The youngest are more likely to see climate change as an urgent issue, while the elderly could downplay environmental concerns in favor of economic productivity. Having both perspectives can balance a strong economy with a livable environment for future generations.
But political trends too change during his life.
Baby boomers, who came of age during the tumultuous Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, largely rejected traditional values in his youth. They were known for their anti-war slogans and demands for social justice. However, many have grown up more politically conservative overtime.
Born after 1996, members of Generation Z are more ethnically diverse than previous generations, more progressive and more supportive of government programs aimed at solving societal problems.
Age-based political theories are based on global behaviors. They do not predict the political beliefs of a voter or a political leader. After all, Senator Bernie Sanders, at 79, is one of the most progressive senators.
Age is particularly less likely to determine political allegiance among racial and ethnic minorities. These groups tend to vote more Democrats regardless of their age.
Looking more closely at this issue, the average age and age diversity of cabinet candidates are likely to influence policy directions. But other considerations – such as long-term identification of political parties, individual beliefs about the role of government, and demographic factors such as race and ethnicity – will also come into play.