The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

Blinded by bling

January 7, 2016

Due to a community that over accentuates the value of wealth and exploits its monetary benefits, individuals with large amounts of money have contributed to the creation of a psychological disease known as Affluenza. Teens who sport Louis Vuitton handbags and recklessly drive their parents’ Porsches are now under scrutiny. Affluenza is defined as a social theory claiming that individuals with very privileged and wealthy backgrounds sometimes struggle to distinguish the difference between right and wrong, due to the nature of their upbringing.

Affluenza was first introduced to the public in a 1997 PBS documentary. The disease has now been used as a defense in many court cases. The most notorious and recent case dealt with Ethan Couch, who utilized the disease to lower the penalty for his crime involving the murder of four people while drunk driving.

Affluenza is becoming extremely popular. The issue mainly stems from parents of the individuals. At a young age, children are poorly influenced by their parents. They receive many expensive gifts and do not receive punishments for their wrongdoings. Children are led to believe that they are so wealthy that they are essentially above the law. This disease only affects those with upper class wealth. In some families, teens who have access to large sums of money abuse their privilege. There is no repercussion for breaking a parent’s rule, and they continue to enjoy their excessive freedom and benefits. Later, those diagnosed lose the ability to tell right from wrong, and break rules they do not believe they are bound by.

Many people in Miami know of an over privileged child who did not work for the expensive luxuries they flaunt around the city, including clothing and automobiles. By inheriting extravagance, laziness is created and therefore disallows traditional values and goals that the majority of people are forced to work for. For example, if a sixteen year old were to acquire a sports car without paying for it or earning it through hard work in school, it will then produce a sense of entitlement.

Affluenza can be prevented by being taught proper morals. It is a necessity to comprehend that laws apply to all people, regardless of social class. Affluenza can easily be eliminated if adults work together to teach their kids to appreciate their lives and possible inherited wealth. If this is completed, affluenza will no longer be a viable excuse to tragedies, such as the preventable and horrific murdering of innocent people.

For more information on Affluenza, click here.

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