Ethan Couch, an American known as “the young man with affluence,” has just been arrested in northwestern Mexico, near Puerto Vallarta.
Mexican police found him with his mother, Tonya Couch, 48, and gave both to the US authorities.
This was reported to local media Dee Anderson, the sheriff of Tarrant County, Texas.
And is that the teenager, of 16 years, was in search and capture for having allegedly violated his conditional freedom.
That was the penalty imposed on him by a Texas court in 2013, after he hit and killed four people and wounded nine others.
The incident took place in June of that year.
Couch was driving his truck at 110 kilometers per hour on a street whose maximum speed is allowed 65.
It was clinical psychologist Dick Miller who reinforced the defense argument by testifying in favor of Couch.
The expert explained that the accused, a member of one of the wealthiest families in the state, was the victim of irresponsible parents who had spoiled him.
According to the psychologist, Couch’s parents let him practically grow up alone, without any rules or limits, and never punished him.
As an example, he said that he had been given the truck at the age of 13, even though he had already had problems with the law.
Shortly before the police had found him with an unconscious and half-naked teenager in the vehicle.
But he did not face any trial for it, and his parents did not subject him to any punishment either.
As a result, the expert said during the trial that Couch suffered “affluence “, a condition for which he was not able to measure or understand the consequences of his actions.
Nothing to do
The first record of the word affluence is from 1954.
The term is a neologism that is born from the English combination of influenza (flu) and affluence (affluence, wealth).
It became popular in 1997, following the publication of two books: The Golden Ghetto: The Psychology of Affluence (Jessie O’Neil), psychologist and great-granddaughter of the ex-president of General Motors Charles Erwin Wilson, and Affluence: The All-Consuming Epidemic (Influenza: the epidemic of those who consume everything), from the experts John De Graaf, David Wann and Thomas H. Naylor.
There is no agreement on its definition, but it has been described as a social phenomenon by which it is consumed in a sick way without ever achieving satisfaction.
Thus, the affluence would be the modern version of ennui (boredom, in French), a psychological illness suffered by rich Victorian children for having too much free time and no profession.
According to the experts who defend its existence, this vacuum would be filled today by consuming and abusing drugs, sex and alcohol.
Thus, the affluence would be the consequence of being spoiled by a high class family, with a lot of money, which does not demand responsibility or punish the wrong acts.
It would be, then, a derivation of privilege.
And it is at this point that the concept of affluence and the condemnation based on it becomes controversial.