Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Should I Still Defend Diddy?

This article is dedicated to Brent Bowie, who is a wonderful father to his son.

Happy early Father’s Day everyone!

Five years ago, I defended Diddy in my article “P. Diddy’s Case” on May 24, 2005. I felt that the mother of one of his children was asking for too much money to raise their child. She wanted $21,782 per month to support one child. Doing the math, that comes out to $261,384 per year. I stated in my article that, “Even if I was a millionaire, I would not want over $200,000 spent every year on my children because it could make them spoiled.” Here is the link to the article:

Now it’s five years later and Diddy (formally known as P. Diddy and other names) has decided to purchase a $360,000 Maybach for his son’s 16th birthday. Can I defend this? No. I believe in my opinion that spending $360,000 for a Maybach is very similar to an ex-girlfriend wanting over $200,000 to spend on the child for a year of care. Both are excessive. Let’s face it, I don’t think that anyone would believe Diddy’s ex-girlfriend would spend the entire $261,384 per year on the child. Most likely that money would be taking care of the ex-girlfriend as well. After a few years, she would probably have enough money left over to retire. In this situation, the entire $360,000 Maybach would go to one child. Diddy’s justification could be that he’s giving directly to a child and not to support an ex-girlfriend. At the same time, I believe that both the child support and the Maybach are far too excessive.

Diddy not only has a lot of money, but obviously loves all of his children and wants to spend money on them to make them happy. Unlike Diddy, there are extremely wealthy people who are not generous with their money. I think that Diddy’s generosity could potentially have negative consequences. In my life, I have had a few minor accidents with my car. None of these accidents came from reckless actions. At the same time, I have known people who have totaled their vehicles. I have known young people who have caused so much damage to their cars that the cars could not be fixed. Imagine being 16 years-old and your first car is a $360,000 Maybach. What if you crashed your car? What if Diddy's son completely totals this car? Will he get a new Maybach, or many a more modest car under $100,000?

I’m not worried as much about the price of the car as I am about how the son will turn out if he is spoiled. Some children of rich parents turn out well and some don’t. One of the best examples is Ivanka Trump. However you feel about Donald Trump, he did an excellent job raising his daughter. She has a college degree from the Wharton School of Business, works for her father, and has not done anything controversial that would make her family look bad. On the other hand is Paris Hilton. From her sex tape to her time in jail, Paris Hilton has done more damage to the Hilton name than a typical rock star does to a Hilton hotel room. Maybe Paris felt that she could do anything she wants in life without having to try to set an example or maybe she would be the exact same way had she been raised without wealth. Her parents are probably very embarrassed by her actions over the last several years.

Diddy’s children can turn out like Ivanka Trump (great example), Paris Hilton (bad example), or somewhere in the middle. But in this situation, if Diddy's son gets into a lot of trouble later in life, Diddy’s generosity will be blamed for the child’s behavior.

While I strongly disagree with Diddy’s choice to give his son a $360,000 Maybach, he is a better person than the parents of Abby Sunderland, who let their 16-year-old daughter attempt to sail alone across the world. Her family provided permission and financial support for their daughter to risk her life. The family tried to exploit her daughter’s work to get fame and fortune. They tried to get a reality show and they even sold products on Abby’s website. I saw shoes that had the name “Abby” on the side. Luckily their daughter is alive and all they have to fear is media criticism, the exact same thing that Diddy is getting for giving his son an expensive car.

Diddy may spoil his children, but he doesn’t risk their lives. His decision to give his son one of the most expensive cars in the world is excessive and outrageous, but he is a better father than the parents of Abby Sutherland. The safety and love of a child are more important than any material item. I think that Diddy would agree.


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