Galley Friend CS sends along a remarkable exchange from one of those helpful Q & A online sessions set up by the Washington Post. This one's hosted by a local psychologist who discourages parents from teaching their children materialistic values this Christmas. Her interlocuter sees the situation a little differently.
what money can buy
Alexandria, Va.: I'm one of the "materialistic" parents that you talk about, a defense lobbyist who supposedly has "too little time" for my children. I give my kids the iPods and $200 sneakers so they can show these things off. If you live like you're successful, you will be successful. Other kids will naturally follow my kids, which helps my kids be leaders. My kids' teachers think twice before they give my kid a B+, or before they cast someone else as the lead in the school play. That's the extra grease I can give my kids so they follow in my footsteps and be just as successful as I am.
Pat Dalton: We probably raise kids who are a lot like us, and value what we value. It would be hard to do it any other way.
30 minutes ago