Rich Person Writes Letter Complaining About Having To Give Candy To Poor Kids On Halloween

Slate’s “Dear Prudence” published a cringe-worthy exchange that the advice columnist had recently had with a wealthy homeowner who lamented the fact that sometimes poor kids come to her neighborhood on Halloween to get better candy. The horror!

The letter, under the name “Halloween for the 99 Percent,” asks “Prudence” — real name Emily Yoffe — why The Poors should be allowed in his or her neighborhood shipped in by “overflowing cars” and stealing all of nice people’s candy or diamonds wrapped in money or whatever it is rich people hand out on Halloween. Isn’t that wealth redistribution?

Dear Prudence,
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate.

The homeowner is under the impression that because he or she pays taxes, the rich should not be further burdened with having to trickle-down Snickers bars, too.

Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?

Seriously, why should less fortunate kids have a good holiday? They’re poor! They should be out looking for jobs (or sweeping up their school cafeteria for lunch money), not dressing up as vampires and marching into areas that were specifically built to exclude them. After all, didn’t Republicans already warn us that Halloween teaches kids about socialism? How dare these parents want their kids to go to areas with less crime and more candy?

Prudence, who probably wades through hundreds of emails from self-indulgent whiners every day, is remarkably patient with her response before eventually getting to the inevitable smack down:

Dear 99,
In the urban neighborhood where I used to live, families who were not from the immediate area would come in fairly large groups to trick-or-treat on our streets, which were safe, well-lit, and full of people overstocked with candy. It was delightful to see the little mermaids, spider-men, ghosts, and the occasional axe murderer excitedly run up and down our front steps, having the time of their lives. So we’d spend an extra $20 to make sure we had enough candy for kids who weren’t as fortunate as ours. There you are, 99, on the impoverished side of Greenwich or Beverly Hills, with the other struggling lawyers, doctors, and business owners. Your whine makes me kind of wish that people from the actual poor side of town come this year not with scary costumes but with real pitchforks. Stop being callous and miserly and go to Costco, you cheapskate, and get enough candy to fill the bags of the kids who come one day a year to marvel at how the 1 percent live.


Bravo, Prudie.

Full disclosure: As a kid I was among the moochers who, joined by friends in cheap plastic masks and ill-fitting nylon costumes, would walk an extra two blocks to several houses that we knew gave out full-sized candy bars. None of this “fun-sized” nonsense for us. Getting the “good stuff” was part of the fun every Halloween. If you didn’t feel like my street address was nice enough to deserve it, well, I’m not sorry.