Ethics Quiz: Marie Osmond’s Formula For Responsible Parenting When You’re Filthy Rich

Pop star Marie Osmond, seen above apparently being eaten by the same plant mass that devoured Barack Obama in his awful portrait that became a source of a scandal narrative, has announced that she will not be bestowing any of her current wealth, estimated to be about $20 million, on her 8 children or 8 grandchildren.

“Honestly, why would you enable your child to not try to be something? I don’t know anybody who becomes anything if they’re just handed money,” she said last month in an interview. “To me, the greatest gift you can give your child is a passion to search out who they are inside and to work. I mean, I’ve done so many things… I love trying. I wanna try everything,” she added.

Further parenting wisdom from Marie, whose plan is to spend what she has with husband Steve Craig and give whatever is left to charity when she goes to that big Osmond Reunion in the sky: “I just think all [an inheritance] does is breed laziness and entitlement. I worked hard and I’m gonna spend it all and have fun with my husband…” and she says she doesn’t want to set the stage for her heirs to fight over her estate. Marie has said that her role model in this conviction was actor Kirk Douglas, who reportedly left none of his wealth, estimated to be three times Osmond’s, to Michael (who was rich already).

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Is Marie correct that this is the responsible way for rich parents to treat their children?

[Here in the Marshall family, half the grandparents adopted Marie’s philosophy; the other half scrupulously saved and accumulated as much wealth as possible to pass on to the their children and grandchildren.]

16 thoughts on “Ethics Quiz: Marie Osmond’s Formula For Responsible Parenting When You’re Filthy Rich

  1. In these matters, Andrew Carnegie adopted the same position as la Osmond now has. Also, there is a variously attributed statement in a will to the effect of “I spent most of my money on booze, drugs and women… the rest I wasted”.

  2. This is an issue where there is no universally correct answer.

    Her position is defensible.

    The alternative is also defensible.

    Her position is not as clear as it initially appears (it sounds like she is fine using her wealth to help her children under the right scenarios)

    There are situations where her approach is the best approach.

    I am not rich enough for that to be the right approach to my children.

    • I agree with Jut’s sentiment insofar as it applies universally (i.e., too much of anything is poisonous). You cannot universally say that leaving *any* money to your children is unethical.

      I would argue though, and perhaps Jut doesn’t disagree, that leaving $20M, which is enough to allow someone to have a significant lifestyle change, is inherently unethical. At the very least, it’s giving someone something (a whole new lifestyle) that they didn’t earn, and hence will not appreciate or understand, creating all sorts of problems, both temporal and spiritual. At its worst, it will be poisonous, creating miserable people who think happiness is found in consumption.

      For most people, leaving behind their whole estate is not enough to create these types of problems.

      • Partly I would concur with Other Bill in that her estate, if split 16 ways, is actually not a gigantic inheritance for any one person, given the value of the dollar these days (and probably less valuable when she does die).

        But how many tales have we heard of someone winning the lottery and then he or she is broke again in a relatively short period of time. If you have lived a wastrel life, suddenly acquiring a wad of cash is not going to cure that. You are likely to go on as you started.

        Plus, of course, whenever someone gets a windfall, it is not uncommon for needy relatives and ‘friends’ to pop up out of the woodwork.

  3. Personally I don’t give a damn what she does with her money when she dies, the problem I have is her virtue signaling to the world by telling them and her offspring what she’s going to do. It’s no one’s business but hers, she should have kept her pompous mouth shut.

    I just lost any respect I had for her.

    • Bingo.

      Enabling your descendants to be better off via inheritance is honorable, and so is philanthropy so strangers can be better off.

      Broadcasting your choice to the world seems like sticking your thumb in your kid’s eyes.

      Even worse is advocating that governments prevent others from choosing either choice by claiming your philanthropy would be better taxed away into government coffers to be spent on who knows what.

      • Chris Marschner wrote, “Why should we care?”

        We really shouldn’t but most of these rich and famous people think they have to virtue signal to everyone because they think that their opinion is sooooooo important when they’re really just a bunch of pompous asses.

  4. Isn’t wealth supposed to be generational? Granted, $20m is quite a bit more than most parents will have when they die, she hasn’t said whether she’s going to leave any non-cash resources for her offspring to start off better than she did.
    How about a Trust, lady? I’d do as much as possible to avoid the taxman. Unless you’ve got drug addicts and other derelicts á la Hunter Biden, this announcement is just a virtue signal to the other rich weirdos in her orbit.

  5. I agree with Jut that a range of choices is defensible. I’m fairly sure that her descendants have already benefitted greatly from her affluence and should be well-positioned for success even without inheriting her cash. I recall reading that some wealthy person said (and I paraphrase) he was going to leave his offspring just enough money to give them options, but not enough to permit them to avoid working. I think this is a wise course if you choose to leave substantial wealth behind. Tales of rags to riches and back to rags within a few generations are too common to commend the passing-on of unrestricted great wealth.

  6. Sixteen heirs divided into twenty million less federal estate tax on the non-exempt portion comes out to about a million dollars for each heir. Given the current shredded value of the dollar and the Left’s inflationary expertise and glee, a million-dollar nest egg to help a younger person through life is not going to be debilitating. Sing the songs, Marie and stick to your extensive cosmetic surgery and hair dye and keep selling stuff on TV. But lay off the estate planning advice.

  7. Lame… never liked the Osmonds. Too saccharine sweet for me. This confirms it. Yuk. Gonna go rinse my mouth out with some black coffee.

  8. I agree with Jut that there are many ethical ways for rich (and not rich) people to handle possible inheritances. If, after all, one of the many goals of a parent is to leave the next generation better off than the parent was, it’s not unethical to leave money. How much money is left should be at the discretion of the parent and based upon a number of factors, up to and including the maturity and worldview of the children in question.

    • Right. It’s called “privilege.” It’s what responsible, loving parents try to do for their children: privilege them, give them a leg up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.