Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"My client was too poor and disadvantaged to take responsibility." - Three Articles On Wealth And Power

Three articles today in the ADN about wealth.  Actually I'm guessing that one of them is about wealthy people, but the other two clearly are.  And while I saw them in the ADN, my links go to the original sources.

The first was originally a New York Times article about how the 400 wealthiest people have what amounts to their own private tax system that allows them to avoid billions in taxes.  And they use some of that saved money to give millions to support political candidates and organizations that support their loopholes.  I don't see anything wrong with financially supporting your political beliefs, but I do see something wrong with getting that wealth by cheating the system that allowed you to gain wealth in the first place, and I do have a problem with individuals and companies contributing such huge amounts to the political process that their political influence upsets the democratic ideal of one person - one vote. I'm using the blog here as a note pad because I need to follow up on this article.

The second article was what the ADN now labels "Talkers."  I found a Guardian article that gives more detail.  This article is about a couple who have gone to South Korea to clone their recently deceased dog for $100,000.  This is the one I'm assuming involves wealth. There are a lot of questions raised here and because dogs can be such an emotional issue, I don't want to raise them quickly and without careful thought.  Plus I want to know a little more about the couple involved.  The article says almost nothing about who they are and I'm just assuming they have some wealth if they can afford to do this.  And if there isn't significant wealth here, there certainly is an issue here about power.  But I do want to note this for now.  And if any readers have reactions, please leave a comment or send me an email.

The third article, again tracing back to the NYT, was about the young man who escaped a prison sentence after killed four folks in a drunk driving accident when his lawyer made up the 'affluenza' defense -
"he was too rich and spoiled to take responsibility"
The only way a court should accept such a plea is if the parents then become responsible for their kid's crime.   This sounds like the Twinkie defense. (The link says Twinkies played no role in the verdict, so maybe we should be skeptical about the role a affluenza too.)

I guess that public defenders are too rushed, too uncaring, too overburdened, too ethical, or not creative enough to come up with the 'poverty' defense - "my client was too poor and disadvantaged to take responsibility." 

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