Want to Control a 17-Year-Old’s Decisions? Now’s Your Chance!

A group of shareholders is voting to decide whether to take command of a young man’s life.

This is what 17 year olds look like, according to stock photography.
National Journal
Matt Berman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Matt Berman
Dec. 19, 2013, 10:42 a.m.

Mike Mer­rill is a pub­licly traded per­son. Since his IPO in 2008, most of Mer­rill’s ma­jor life de­cisions have been run by a board of share­hold­ers — from whom he can date to what kind of hair he can grow on his face. Now, Mer­rill would like to bring his share­hold­ers to a 17-year-old named Jack­son Gari­ety.

This may sound com­pletely crazy, but be­fore you de­cry the state of our poor dysto­pi­an world, con­sider this: Wer­en’t we all kind of, if we’re be­ing gen­er­ous, idi­ots at age 17? Maybe what we could’ve used, aside from an oc­ca­sion­al kick in the shins, is semi-bind­ing ad­vice from a large group of people with a stake in our fu­ture.

Just look at what’s happened to Mike Mer­rill. The reas­on he’s now try­ing to push his share­hold­ers’ de­cisions onto a new per­son is be­cause he’s been too busy since his board voted for him to quit his job and start his own com­pany this past March. The job change, which only one share­hold­er voted against, was a “huge boost of con­fid­ence,” Mer­rill told Na­tion­al Journ­al this fall. It’s the kind of con­fid­ence that could, the­or­et­ic­ally at least, be be­ne­fi­cial for a freshly min­ted adult.

Jack­son Gari­ety, like Mer­rill, wouldn’t be leg­ally re­quired to do any­thing Mer­rill’s share­hold­ers voted for. So don’t ex­pect a mor­al di­lemma if share­hold­ers ask Gari­ety to kill. As Mer­rill put it to NJ this fall, he is only be­hold­en to his share­hold­ers as much as he wants his share price to be high. And, pre­sum­ably, if he were to re­fuse to obey an or­der from his board, prices would col­lapse. So it’s in the best in­terest of every­one to make de­cisions that would ac­tu­ally be the most be­ne­fi­cial to Mer­rill’s, or Gari­ety’s, life.

Of course, a lot of what a group of share­hold­ers here would be do­ing for Gari­ety is tak­ing the ad­vis­ory role of a group of friends. Mer­rill’s rule for ques­tions he’d put to share­hold­ers is ba­sic­ally, “Any­thing I would nor­mally ask my friends for ad­vice for, I’d go to the share­hold­ers and ask ques­tions there.”

The dif­fer­ence is, un­less he wants his mar­ket to tank, he has to take his share­hold­ers’ ad­vice. It helps to make tough de­cisions a little bit sim­pler. For a 17-year-old, that could be just the right thing.

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
2 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
2 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login