'NY Times' Columnist Laments Woes of Rich Kids

Are you sick and tired of the poors getting all the attention and sympathy? Are you afraid you might end up living near scary, thuggish brown people? Then don't miss New York Times columnist Ron Lieber's work!

Let's start with the travails of those woebegone rich people and their kids, using the murder case of Thomas Gilbert, the 30-year-old trust-fund baby and Princeton grad who murdered his father when his father cut his allowance.


Twitter responded as Twitter does. He was a “trust fund kid.” The “most spoiled brat.” The whole affair was “morbidly disgusting.”

But at the same time, parents all over my own social media feeds and in out-loud discussions throughout the week were having a more searching conversation.

So uncouth Twitter was making fun of the situation, but his rich friends were like, "woah, that's just like us!"

Before you roll your eyes and mime the playing of violins, let us dispense with the nasty term “rich people problems.” The well-off are human, too, and if some of their children are hurting, it’s indecent to mock or ignore them.
Ha ha, no, it's not. When your 30-year-old Ivy-League grad is living off mommy and daddy and getting an allowance, that's perfectly mockable, no matter how much that asshole moocher and his idiot-enabling parents are "hurting." Ignoring them would be too kind.
Using a variety of data that included families with median household incomes of about $150,000, she found that the adolescents in higher-income families had higher rates of substance abuse of all kinds than those in lower-income ones.  

Yeah, more substance abuse. Because they have more money to buy drugs. And oh, by the way, how many of these substance-abusing rich kids go to jail? How many of their poor peers go to jail? Let's compare that stat, why don't we?

The more affluent suburban youth stole from their parents more often than city youth with less money ...
Because those affluent suburban families have money. You can't steal what you don't have.
... and were more likely to experience clinically significant levels of depression, anxiety and physical ailments that seemed to stem from those mental conditions.
It's nice when you can afford to go to a shrink to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for these mental issues. In poor communities, cops just assassinate these troubled kids. But really, it's the rich kids who are the real victims, because their parents have the resources to steal, and because they can get the proper mental health care they need. Except when one of them blows off the head of his enabling dad, which is a tragedy beyond belief ... in Ron Lieber's social circle.

Now if you want advice on how to avoid the blacks, keep reading because Ron Lieber has you covered there as well. You ever find yourself needing to move somewhere, but want to make sure you are surrounded by the right kind of people? Ron Lieber jotted down the 43 questions you should ask, with all the dog whistles necessary to avoid explicitly asking about race. Now, that's not me putting words in his mouth, it's what he himself admits:

Not every real estate agent provides that sort of information. Specialists in a single area don’t have much incentive to offer the warts-and-all download, or they may fear being accused of violating federal law that forbids steering buyers based on race.
Those damn real estate agents won't give it to you straight, because if they told you about the blacks, they'd violate laws against racism! What's a poor rich white fuck supposed to do? Well, Ron Lieber has you covered with all the ways to determine whether a town is right for you:
“We park them in front of the nursery school at drop-off time to see who is going in and out,” Ms. Bernstein said. “Nannies? Dads? Working moms? How are they dressed? If it’s chicks in yoga pants and you want that, great. Just know what you’re getting into.”
Park yourself in front of a school and check out the chicks with yoga pants. Only if you want that, though. And if you happen to check out the color of those people, that's cool too, because that politically correct real estate agent won't give you the straight dope.
Then, the high school — again, outside, since some towns won’t let you take tours without a signed contract to purchase a home in the community. Where are the students going when they leave? To team practice? To smoke cigarettes just off campus?
"Who is that creepy dude following us around?"

"Beats me, let's call the cops."

Now, a stroll down the street or over to the biggest park. “I’d probably want to see if I met anybody,” Mr. Kasser said. “Will people talk to you, or do they seem rushed?”
You can judge an entire town or city by whether the random people who happen to be at the park at the exact moment you stop by decide they have time to talk to a stranger? On the other hand, you can get that, er, demographic intel that your conniving real estate agent wouldn't share.
Next, the sidelines of the kiddie soccer games to overhear on purpose. “What dominates the conversation?” Ms. Bernstein said. “Politics? Work? SoulCycle? Babysitters?”
In Berkeley, the parents are talking about the game. Then they're talking about whether someone can take their kid to practice on Wednesday because they have to work late. Then they complain about having to drive all the way down to San Jose for next week's game. Then they talk about how they're trying to fit a camping trip into their schedule, but there are too many soccer games on the calendar.

Oh, and they also say things like "Who is that creepy dude standing over there? Does he have a kid here?"

"I don't think so. I saw him stalking chicks in yoga pants at the daycare yesterday. Let's call the cops."

If you don’t know anyone in town, find a way to invite yourself to homes of friends of friends. What are they reading? Are there any books at all? What about books for the children?
Please, judge an entire town based on what a stranger is reading. Stupid, sure, but beats stalking chicks in yoga pants, high school students, and soccer-playing pre-teens. On the other hand, if that stranger is reading Ebony  ...
Are the local children garden-variety pot smokers who have a little sex and a bit of angst at a reasonable age, or is something more troubling going on?
I guess we're back to stalking teens, peeking into their bedrooms during nooky time.
Who better to ask than the area’s leading child psychologist? Buy an hour of that person’s time and get the lowdown.
Please, go to a shrink and ask her if she knows any troubled people. You know, people who might need therapy or other psychiatric treatment. With luck, she might know a person or two.
The local police may be able to help with some of this too. Drug dealing? Heroin use? Shoplifting, among children or parents?
Call the police and ask them if they've seen any crime. You might get lucky there too.
There’s probably a pool nearby. Is it a town pool? Do people use it? Or do most people join a country club? If so, will the members at the local ones think you are their kind of people?
Make sure that the people at your local swimming locale are "your" kind of people, you know, wink wink. All this would be so much easier if your real estate agent could just be racist, but hey, given the law, you just have to improvise. Stupid law.

So there you have it. Spoiled rich kids who have every advantage in the world, and the resources to avoid accountability when they get in trouble, are people too and we should feel sorry for them. And if you need a place to live, avoid real estate agents who refuse to be racist, and do your own investigation of the color of people at local swimming pools and other civic institutions like schools. Check out what some random person is reading, because that's important, and please, get your stalk on, because how can you really know a town without searching out chicks in yoga pants and prepubescent athletes?

Thanks, New York Times, for helpfully publishing this manual on how to be the biggest, most insufferable dick.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.