A case of the 'Affluenza'

A 16-year-old in Texas was sentenced to 10 years probation after admitting to driving drunk and causing an accident that killed four - four - people. During his trial, he was apparently "diagnosed" with Affluenza.

Affluenza is basically a term to describe the sense of entitlement that some (not all, of course) children who come from rich families have. I also think it's an absolutely genius word, and I wish I'd been the one to make it up - especially when I was in school.


We all knew/know them - kids who have rich parents and think they're invincible. They laugh in the face of authority, and the law - and sometimes, they're the kids who have access to drugs and alcohol, in part because their weekly allowance is much larger than normal. Some throw wild parties in their big homes when their parents are away on vacation. Some also drive nice cars - often fast and reckless - and they are usually very, very popular with their peers. But, not for the right reasons, because quite often, these kids have zero personality. Their peers just seem to use them for what they can get out of them.

The more I thought about the term "Affluenza", the more I realized it doesn't really stop at childhood. Adults have it, too. I thought about interactions I've had, where I knew the person with whom I was dealing with was affluent, and as a result, they exhibited "I'm entitled" behavior. 

(Some) doctors and their wives don't need to fill out paperwork when visiting another doctors office. They put on a "Don't you KNOW WHO I AM?!" look on their face. Sometimes, they even say it. Oh - and they also don't need to pay their copay. There's no vaccine for Affluenza Influenza.

Better get that cough checked out

Better get that cough checked out

A woman with the most pretentious "accent" ever, once came into a store I worked for: "I'm paying with cash today. I'm bad, but I must hiiiiiide these things from my husband. He's a surgeon. You don't give discounts for cash, do you? OK, just thought I'd ask, ha haaaaaa." This woman has Affluenza, with a touch of Cheapitis.

In my early twenties, I worked with a guy who had a luxury sports car, which was a gift from his parents. He liked to drive very recklessly, and under the influence at times. His father was a police detective. He would often brag about how he "owned the roads" and could get away with anything. I once heard him advise a girl leaving a bar, "If you get pulled over, use my dad's name, and then call me, 'k babe?" Affluenza douchenza.

I'll never understand why people who walk around acting this way, are the same people who seem to get the red carpet treatment everywhere they go. Money rules the world, I guess - and people can become sick with greed.

Here's hoping Affluenza doesn't become an epidemic.