Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Taxes Were for the Little People, But Her Dog Totally Made Out

It's appalling and amusing at the same time ...

NEW YORK (AP) -- Leona Helmsley's dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley's grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate billionaire's estate. Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was made public Tuesday in surrogate court.

But then, when you think about it, ordinary people, me included, spend more on their dogs in a month than parents in the Third World spend on their children in a year. Check out these links to see what I'm talking about. (I can hear David wailing, "The poor, the poor, always the poor." Yep, it's some sort of curse, to constantly think along these lines. If you're not into self-reproach, don't become a social worker.) Anyway, lavishing money on our pets rather than other people's hungry children doesn't exactly tip the ethical scales in our favor, no matter how much of an ass Leona was. (While definitely Not a Nice Woman, I bet she still gave more to charity than I'll ever be able to give.)

A condundrum. Peter Singer, some input?

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