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The Latest Disease of Affluence

Living in a nation with a vibrant market economy and a predictable rule of law is generally considered a good thing. Lest we allow ourselves to be blinded to the darker side of capitalist society, though, Reuters is here for us, exposing the story the rest of the mainstream media has been too timid to tackle: unduly elaborate little kid birthday parties.

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It seems that a group of social science professors from Minnesota have decided that fancy parties for young children are "running out of control," ($25,000 sleepover nights at FAO Schwarz!) and that the moms and dads of America are in desperate need of their efforts to "start a national debate" about parenting. Truly, nothing says obxonious busybody like someone who thinks it's their job to start a "national debate" about other people's parenting methods.

I say bring on the circus animals, miniature race-cars and mountains of toys. And I would suggest that these anti-party profs not let any rich 9-year olds find out where they live. If I had found out that some sociologist with a website had convinced my parents not to spend $100,000 on my 10th birthday party, I would have been extremely upset.