March 07, 2011

I suppose it is, so long as you”€™re the woman having a celebrity’s child. Mating with someone who is intellectually superior, endearingly talented, or even merely affluent ought not be the modern-day equivalent of winning the Irish Sweepstakes. This obscene practice all but ensures that any parent ethically lower than Joan of Arc will view their offspring not as their charge, but as their charge card.

No one should cry a river of tears over a whored-up, cracked-out Charlie Sheen paying a portion of his $32 million yearly income to his children. Yet there is clearly a point at which “€œchild support”€ becomes a code word for “€œwealth transference.”€

One would like to examine an itemized bill accounting for what are the modern child’s quarter-of-a-million-dollar yearly “€œnecessities.”€ It has been a while since my own admittedly well-off infancy, but nowhere do I recall visions of child-size Stutz Bearcats racing themselves with me at the wheel or mini-Lockheed Electras buzzing through those halcyon days.

To head off any radicals whose rally cry is “€œFor the Children!”€: How many of us recall anything we ate from ages 0-5, not to mention its culinary distinction? Is being dropped off at school today in a $20,000 Ford by mother/father so much more a perilous experience than if it were in a $70,000 Mercedes-Benz? At age 12 was the size of one’s swimming pool the determinative factor for future economic growth and career opportunities?

Certainly life’s basics for one child stop somewhere short of four times the annual median income of an American family of four. It strains credulity that the “€œbest interests of the child”€ demand Gucci toddler loafers and Hermès mini-riding crops, a matching mansion for the divorcée, as well as funding whatever lifestyle they believe to be “€œcommensurate”€ with its benefactor.

There is a tendency to decry anyone from pointing out these obvious facts. Still, however wealthy one’s mate may be, it is not an entitlement to skim some cream far above one’s basic needs.

Children deserve reasonable care and provisions. However, for the successful, the intelligent, the hard-working, the innovative, the productive, the talented, and the entrepreneurial to be forced to fund the absurdity of Chamonix vacations for infants who wouldn”€™t know the difference were they sledding in their own backyards is preposterous.

Yes, Charlie Sheen may seem a touch mad, but a culture which purposefully transforms children into lottery tickets for discarded spouses is nothing less than insane.



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