On the first of April, I wrote a piece entitled "I WARNED YOU: NARCISSISM RUINS COUNTRIES," spinning off an article on, "But Enough About You …What is narcissistic personality disorder, and why does everyone seem to have it?" by Emily Yoffe.

The news is chock full of stories about how rampant narcissism has ravaged everything from our financial lives to our love lives, and how impulsive, soulless acquisitiveness and immediate gratification have replaced integrity, creative productiveness and a genuine sense of self.

In his op-ed piece in today's NY Times, for example, Frank Rich wrote: "In the bubble decade, making money as an end in itself boomed as a calling among students at elite universities like Harvard, siphoning off gifted undergraduates who might otherwise have been scientists, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, artists or inventors. The Harvard Crimson reported that in the class of 2007, 58 percent of the men and 43 percent of the women entering the work force took jobs in the finance and consulting industries."

Also in the Times is an article about a sad trend in dating services that's really booming: "At first glance, the Web site seems like any other dating site, but Seeking Arrangement is a down-and-dirty marketplace where older moneyed men and cute young women engage in brutally frank transactions. They’re not searching for longtime soul mates; they want no-strings-attached 'arrangements' that trade in society’s most valued currencies: wealth, youth and beauty. - connecting 'Sugar Daddies' and 'Sugar Babies."

And of course, we've all heard the stories (The New York Post was all over it!) about how scores of professional New York women stripped of their six-figure jobs on Wall Street are now working at upscale Manhattan strip joints. Former Wall Streeters, fashion executives and real-estate agents are pole dancing and stripping for as much as $1,500 a night. What a perfectly appropriate professional segue that is, huh?

Yes, all you baby boomer parents who overindulged your children (and still are), read your 401K's and weep as the hopelessly orally fixated children you created drain your savings and use their sexuality to get more and more stuff to stuff their bottomless egos with.

You did this, parents.

Every time you treated your sons and daughters like princes and princesses (costumes and all!), every time you gave up your sex life with your spouse to allow your children into your bed, and thereby sexualized (inadvertently or not) your kids as a result, every time you made your kids the center of the Universe in their own personal fairy tales, you were creating the narcissistic, impulse-ridden, discipline-deprived hedge fund criminals and high class hookers who perhaps could have been making the innovations, inventing the technologies, or creating beauty in our country instead.

Here's more from Frank Rich:

"On Wall Street over the past decade, money came first, last and in between. There was no 'thing' being made at all unless you count the slicing and dicing of debt into financial 'products,' the incomprehensible derivatives that helped bring down the economy, costing some five million Americans their jobs (so far) and countless more their 401(k)’s."

How much more damage is yet to come? How much more damage will parents do to their children, the "prisoners of childhood" once written about by Alice Miller in her landmark book, DRAMA OF THE GIFTED CHILD, about how parents create narcissistic children, gutted of any true self esteem by the vicarious needs of their insecure, immature parents?

Here's Alice Miller:

Quite often I have been faced with people who were praised and admired for their talents and their achievements. According to prevailing attitudes, these people - the pride and joy of their parents - should have had a strong and stable sense of self-assurance. But the case is exactly the opposite. They are plagued by anxiety or deep feelings of guilt and shame."

Indeed. And what is the quick fix sought after by these kids to ameliorate those negative feelings? More stuff.

So, folks, now that your "gifted children" have stolen your stuff, maybe you'll finally work on getting a life of your own?

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