I watch the news every morning... well, it's usually just background noise while I'm trying to find the spunk I need to start my day. Every so often a story will catch my attention and the other morning this story definitely made my ears perk up. Maybe this is a hot button issue for some and I normally try to avoid controversy on my blog but I just HAVE to give my opinion. I would love to hear what everyone thinks too!
Donald Bren, who apparently is a real estate billionaire and one of the richest men in America, is being sued by his adult children for back child support. It's not as though he never paid child support. As a matter of fact, their mother testified that he never withheld support and paid out nearly $3 million between 1988 and 2002. They are suing because of the amount... apparently they feel, or the law dictates, that they should have been paid $400,000 a month. That's equivalent to about $100 million!
Now, I'm not going to comment on the relationship Donald Bren has with his children or the mother of his children but $100 million for child support?!? When you've already received $3 million for child support?!? Do these people have any idea how absurd those numbers are? Could you imagine?
I know I come from a family who has had it's share of financial hardships to say the least but it always shocks me to learn that there is such a HUGE difference in income levels across the country. I don't want to get into a numbers game because statistics can be a tricky thing but I think it's safe to say that if the average American made $3 million in their lifetime than we wouldn't be in the economic crisis we are in.
I understand that these two grown children probably have a way bigger problem with their dad than money. I also can understand that if he's living a certain lifestyle then he should be taking care of his responsibilities and affording them the same. But all I can think is, are these people serious?!? We are talking about a ridiculous amount of money and it just comes off as greedy to me. To put this into perspective... the $18,000 a month that they received is more than my mother made in a year and she was raising 5 kids!
I also want to make it clear that I am not saying that people should be limited to the amount of money that they earn. I feel that if you work hard then you should reap the rewards. However, there are millions of Americans that work hard everyday just to get by. These are the people who are working every weekend and holiday while the higher earning execs are spending time with their families. There is a huge inequality here. The average person does not make what they are worth.
Aside from that, these kids didn't earn this money. They were born and they were taken care of. They did not go with out. So, maybe their dad was an a**hole. Maybe they were entitled legally or morally to more money. But it's not like they were living in poverty while their dad was living the good life. They had food, shelter, and apparently he even paid for their education. They need to move on and live their life in a way that ensures their children will have better then they did.
My hope is that these two people understand that wealth has nothing to do with money or material things and that if they do win their lawsuit they decide to donate that money to children who really need it.
Ok... I'm going to step off my soapbox now. What are your thoughts?