Sunday, May 16, 2010

LeAnn Rimes, Macaulay Culkin, Gary Coleman, Shirley Temple, Jackie Coogan, and other unfortunate children of irresponsible parents

I recently drove past  the theatre where they put on Johnny High's Country Music Revue.  It's a traditional country music show, very old school, and would probably fit better in Branson, Missouri, than Arlington, Texas.
Seeing the place reminded me of LeAnn Rimes.  (This is a stream-of-consciousness post.  Sorry.)  LeAnn Rimes got started at a very young age, singing in the Johnny High Revue and anywhere else she could find a microphone.  Then she had a mega-hit with Blue, a song written by WBAP disc jockey Bill Mack.  She earned a fortune.   

Unfortunately, her father spent most of it, and she had to sue him

You might be more familiar with Macaulay Culkin, the child star of the Home Alone franchise. Culkin earned a fortune as a child star, but had to sue his parents to get control of his earnings.

Gary Coleman, of Diff'rent Strokes fame?  Same song, different verse.  His parents and manager were on the losing end of a 1.3 million dollar lawsuit.  They were found guilty of ripping off the child star. 

Shirley Temple didn't sue her parents, but they spent most of her money. 

Jackie Coogan, a child star whose career began back in the silent film era, eventually sued his mother and stepfather for spending most of his earnings on jewelry, furs, and cars.  (Here's Coogan with Charlie Chapin in The Kid.) 

The Coogan incident became a media sensation and California eventually passed something called The Coogan Act to protect childrens' earnings from their parents. 

Most people don't have a problem with the actions of the Rimes, Culkin, Coleman, Temple, or Coogan parents.  They do something worse every day, and the kids have absolutely no voice in the matter.    
Most people continue to vote for Republican and Democrat politicians who, through cooperative, bi-partisan efforts, have managed to get every American child chin-deep in debt. 
If you look at the current debt, the children born tomorrow have a $50,000.00 hole to dig themselves out of.  If you add the unfunded liabilities, and believe me, these liabilities are unfunded, the children born tomorrow already owe $330,000.00 because of their parents' spending. 

It's as if Papa Culkin had signed Macaulay to an iron-clad contract for Home Alone, Part 4, plus Home Alone, Part 5, all the way through Nursing Home Alone, Part 37 to pay off the family gambling debts. 
Which is really the only way to look at it.   

The celebrity pics in this post came from the links by their names.  The pic of the little girl protesting her debt level came from here and is, of course, out of date, since it was taken 6 months ago.  Oh well.  All numbers in this post will be off by 20% in another 6 months. 


Joseph L. said...

I stumbled across this little bit while trying to re-remember who Macaulay look at his picture and it all comes back. God, those Home Alone films were horrible. Anyways, to the meat of the matter. Our financial debt. Because it really isn't just our parents..or just the governments fault. It is ALL of us. Not like that stupid little sign on that poor girl "Thank you, Mr. President". I'm sick of hearing that. Some figure head is not completely responsible for our national debt. People in this country are so ready to pass the blame up the stream (or ladder..pick your business model analogy) and not realize that their stupid lazy butt is just as responsible. I realize it is hard. It really is hard not to charge that credit card, or to get a mortgage that I don't deserve (none of us do), or to rely on "Insert name here" bureaucratic programs instituted to make my life easier (we all do in one way or another..and it is because of us as a nation that these program was created), or, God FORBID, actually participate in the political process (waving a sign is not participating by the way, since that is just a tiny part of what you have to do).

Anyways, there is my rant. So, I completely agree with you. Completely..with just with a bit of rephrasing to emphasize that everybody is a part of this problem.
Thank you for reading my little bit and great blog!

Anonymous said...

LoL,I came across this post while looking up who Culkin was aswell, and I totally agree. We live in a consumer life style and when it is so easy to put this & that on card, you're right, our grandkids will still be paying off our debts as well as their own!

Anonymous said...

Well that makes three of us all trying to re-remember Macaulay Culkin. I'm noticing an interesting pattern here.

The big problem with the current version of capitalism (particularly in the US) is that the wrong people are spending. People who earn billions and billions of dollars are keeping money from everyone else because that number attached to your bank account is a status symbol. I'm not saying that they're too greedy. I'm saying that I don't care how they use their money as long as they use it. As much as a solid gold house seems a bit extravagant, it provides money to the people who built it who spend it on other things and so on. "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good" - Gordon Gecko

On the flip side the average Joe spends more than they should, but how can you blame them? They are bombarded with messages saying that they can have this and that when it's really just out of their price range. Credit card companies are designed to rip people off. Everyone says that people should know better but that's not the case. The first rule of advertising is that people don't think they can be fooled by advertising, yet here we are buried under a mountain of debt. Obviously ads are a little more powerful than we thought.

With such a dodgy healthcare system that actually forces patients to pay for emergency surgery and health insurance agencies that are designed to weed out all but the most determined claimant a single slip can lead to a lifetime of debt.

It's no wonder debt is so prevalent.

Anyway that's my rant for tonight. Great blog and (as a Law student) I'm quite curious about the Coogan Act in case there's any truth to my threats of suing my parents. :)

gabby said...

haha that makes four of us.

Anusha said...

Actually, five of us.. :-)

Anonymous said...

I thought The Home Alone movies are fabulous, Joseph L. They are a classic Christmas set. Oh and by the way, some of the best movies are the ones that dont have foul language and violence

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more:)
I have to say, though, it really starts at home, training people ot see beyond the hupe of advertising. I am a 32 year old mom of a toddler, and I stay at home because husband and I saved for years to be able to do so. We only owe on our mortgage, no credit card debt. We have credit cards, in case of emergencies, but we keep a stockpile of saved cash to try and avoid using them. I am bombarded with the same messages as everybody else to buy buy buy but I don't listen because I was taught to know better from a young age. My parents were raised by Depression babies and they passed those lessons on to me: use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. My daughter is being taught this all well. I think the big problem is that we are all chasing happiness, which is elusive, when really we should be after contentedness, in our perosnal lives and in our nation.

Jóna said...

well... guess everybody is looking for macaulay culkin... loved the home alone movies :D

Tariq said...

I Need You – Leann Rimes (Cover)

S/A said...

I was also looking for Macaulay Culkin. Unlike the other commentors though I realize that the National Debt and personal debt are not the same thing. People spending too much on their credit cards has nothing to do with Congress and the alphabet agencies spending too much on their China card. If everyone in the US cut up all their credit cards RIGHT NOW and paid for everything including cars and houses with cash the national debt would still exist and grow and we'd still be sticking future generations with paying it off.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA I was looking to see who macaulay culkin was too .. heard it in some show ( workaholics ) and wondered who it was ! LOL this webpage is getting hits offa google methinks

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you people don't know who Mccauly Culkin is. You can whine about how people are the reason for the debt crisis but, you don't k ow of an actor. You all sound like politicians. That would explain why you all are trying to shift the blame away from the true money wasters in this country.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight:

In America, you have to have millions, if not billions, behind you to get elected president. And being a woman is not a great idea either.

In America, greed is good (money, food, whatever) to the point where the people who facilitate healthcare have an interest in pinching every penny they possibly can from you- all at a time when you may be suffering from medical conditions that are made worse by stress (such as the stress of being told your insurance won't pay out, or will fight you)

In America, if you are not religious, you're not allowed to play with the other boys and girls in congress.

Someone remind me why they call this the land of the free? Cos I think I got lost somewhere along the logic line...

Anonymous said...

There are many reasons why we are in the shape we are in, here in what was once the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Three of the main contributors to Americas decay is:

1. Republicans
2. Democrats
3. lobbyists

These are in no particualr order.