If you don't like meanspirited posts, stop right now, and please continue to read the more even tempered and insightful commentaries of my big-souled colleagues. O.K. Let's move on. The Washington Post is running an article today about rich kid heirs who feel guilty about being "privileged" meeting at something called Resource Generation to whine about their burdens. Look, if your parents gave you their money, as far as I'm concerned you can fritter it away on diamonds or the destitute. Your choice.
But a specific example of moral posturing really irritated me. From the Post:
Janelle Treibitz, 28, a part-time waitress who performs with the Puppet Underground performance group, which raises money for grass-roots organizations, could relate.
"In Vermont [this year], I broke my finger and didn't have insurance," said Treibitz, whose father is chief executive of a Colorado company that designs visual presentations for court trials. "I got my X-ray and gave [the hospital] a fake name and walked out. Is that okay that I am doing that -- taking up resources because I am refusing to take money from my parents?"
Let me help Ms. Trebitz with her moral quandary: NO! IT IS NOT OK!
Just how much might a visit to a Vermont emergency room have cost her? Vermont offers a price list of outpatient diagnostic services available at acute care hospitals. A level 1 emergency visit averages a total of $207. A level two visit costs an average of $309. Maybe Ms. Trebitz would have had to take some time off from her protest puppeteering to work full time as a waitress in order to pay this off, but these charges would not have bankrupted her. Her lying to get free medical care was simply, hmm, how shall I say it? The act of an irresponsible overprivileged morally smug rich kid.