John Ransom
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Rich kids are so privileged, so oblivious, that they can develop a type of mental disorder that makes them no longer responsible for their actions or aware of consequences. At least that is the conclusion of one judge in Texas who handed down a light sentence to a teen involved in a drunk driving accident that resulted in death.

“When a lawyer argued that a 16-year-old involved in a fatal drunk-driving collision in Texas suffered from ‘affluenza,’” reports Discovery.com, “or being so privileged by his rich parents that he wasn’t capable of distinguishing the consequences of bad behavior, many eyebrows were raised. But it seemingly convinced the judge, who issued a minimal sentence to the teen whose car killed four people. Ethan Couch was ordered to probation and alcohol treatment, but will not go to jail.”

While in the case cited above it helped the defendant escape more severe consequences for his actions, it sets a precedence that says that money is a type of mental disorder from which society has to protect itself.

Under this definition, might judges be able to order defendants to undergo psychiatric treatment or counseling in lieu of jail time on the basis of a their own net worth, their parents’ status or other subjective measures of success?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

In a world where race baiters, and hustlers of division now routinely push the concept of “white privilege” to explain why their liberal policies have failed the African American community; in a country where the president of the United States routinely blames rich people for the sins of the government, it’s a short distance between excusing someone for their behavior based on circumstances and accusing someone for their behavior based on circumstance.

I have little faith that our political betters, from the White House to the court system, will be able to maintain a distance between accusation and excuses now that this judge has opened the door.

“Affluenza,” as it is called, already has a dictionary definition.

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John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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