Yes you read it right.
What is affluenza?
According to this on Wikipedia, it is the confluence of affluence and influenza in this sense. That because of rampant consumerism, people get into debt, overloaded with stuff, want more and waste beyond belief.
Critics of so-called consumerism use this term to describe certain people.
And yes, they are correct. Some people have an insatiable appetite for want that is disgusting. And it shows. I can actually think of some so-called celebs that come to mind. The whole, sordid Khardashian clan for one. If that is not enough for you, it is any celebutard that shows off their excess and then rails about real and or imagined iniquities in the world around them.
But what happens when affluenza gets into the real world?
When someone goes off the rails and people's lives are at stake?
Then let's meet Ethan Couch.
Master Couch is the offspring of Fred and Tonya Couch. Mr. Couch is the owner of Cleburne Metal Works, a company that has made $15,000,000 at least within the past year.
They live large.
Mr. Couch has had some run-ins with the law. So has the former Mrs. Couch. And yes, yes, young Master Couch has too.
NONE of these people have any restraint it appears.
But what happened on June 15, 2013, it went beyond a run in with the law.
It cost four people their lives.
On that date, young Master Couch was driving his pickup truck with two of his friends in the back bed of the truck.
Oh, did I mention that he was drunk? And that it was not the first time? And that he is only 16 years old?
In February of this year, Master Couch was cited for being a minor in possession and consumption of alcohol. And he got a nice slap on the wrist with probation, compulsory alcohol awareness classes and 12 hours of community service.
So we already know he has been down the Devil's Urine road before.
And four months later, not only is Master Couch drunk but his blood alcohol level is .24 and that is twice the legal limit of .08 for an adult.
Remember, this is a 16 year old.
Ahh, but he is from a definitely upper middle-class family. Maybe even wealthy family.
And of course they hire an awesome lawyer. And that awesome lawyer finds this equally psychologist, Dr. G. Dick Miller, a perfect name for this educated fool, and he cites affluenza as a defense for young Master Couch.
The only thing that Dr. Dick Miller is right about is that the parents gave Master Couch freedom beyond belief. For they felt no restraint themselves. But after that, it is a bunch of psychobabble. Saying that because of this he had no clue as to what is right and what is wrong. Dr. Dick Miller cited an example that Master Couch was found by police in his pickup truck with a passed out, naked 14 year-old girl. Police cited Master Couch and the parents did not punish him.
Oh, that's two encounters with law enforcement up to the point of the fatal accident.
So the carnage of Master Couch in one evening.
Four dead, nine people injured and one of his "friends" from the pickup truck paralyzed to the point that he can't even speak.
So, what does Judge Jean Boyd sentence Master Couch to?
Ten years probation, no contact with the parents and he gets to be in a "rehab" facility in Newport Beach, California at the cost of $450,000 a year.
NOT ONE DAY OF JAIL TIME!
Zero, zilch, zip.
No jail time for taking four lives, all but taking a fifth life, and injuring nine other people.
Because of "affluenza".
Where to begin.
This is malarkey, pure, plain and simple.
A ticket from the police for being passed out in a car with a naked girl did nothing to straighten him out.
A no-contest plea when cited four months before the accident did nothing to scare him straight.
He kills four people and a psychologist, a so-called expert, cites a BS defense and the judge, a juvenile court judge does not assign one day in jail for this.
Master Couch will not get straightened out because he essentially got away with murder.
I do not care that he is 16 years old. I do not share Judge Boyd's comments in sentencing that he will not get treatment in jail. In reality he would get some counseling in jail. But it would not be in Newport Beach. It is another way of not assigning Master Couch responsibility for what he did. He stole the beer that got him drunk in the first place. From that moment on he violated terms of probation from his conviction of alcohol possession and consumption. That is automatic jail time right there. But no, no according to Dr. Dick Miller and the judge, he needs treatment to cure him of affluenza. And jail is not a place for it.
Well, yes it is.
Master Couch will not learn in a "rehab" center what it is like to be confined. To be with others that have committed bad crimes themselves. To see how bad his short life has become. He needs to be really scared straight.
I do not disagree with counseling and eventually being in a "rehab" center. But he needs to spend some time in jail. He could have been sentenced to serve time until at least his 21st birthday and then the probation and rehab.
All the sentence has done is say that once again, mommy and daddy will bail him out. Yeah, daddy is going to pay the $450,000 a year tab at Club Rehab.
Master Couch needed to have the fear of God put in him. That killing people no matter what is wrong. That while he does not need the death penalty, he needs to know that there are real consequences to his actions.
And that money does not and should not be a keep out of jail free card.
What this whole case shows is another sign of decay in morals in the United States. That a 16 year old can get away with killing people. Because of affluenza, you know.