@ Steve Davies 3 & various others - Re: @ Nicho - @ AC ...->
You appear to contradict yourself there. If you skimp on things to be able to afford an item that you want then you are doing it of your own free will. There is no "have to" involved, this is pure "want to". And hats off to that!
If you h a v e to go begging for your essentials because you w a n t to buy a non-essential pretty bit of kit, that's, I think, wrong.
Likewise the guys and girls that had the Lamborghini for their prom run. They're totally entitled to them, as far as I'm concerned they can have themselves airlifted with an Airbus A380 to their once-in-a-lifetime night out. If they saved for it. Which, I would bet, if I could afford it, which I can't, a grand on, they didn't. They probably niggled it out of dad, who had to get the money, which he hadn't assigned to it, from somewhere else. If that was for essentials, like rent and food, and supplied by social services, then I think it was not rightfully spent. Just my personal opinion.
Am I jealous of Mr. Brin and Mr. Page? You bet. Do I think that entitles me to have an Alpha Jet? Even just for one night to take my wife out for dinner at the Ritz Carlton for our wedding anniversary? No, it freaking doesn't, because afterwards I'd have to ask my mother-in-law to pay my bills.
So after all, I'm not even entitled to be jealous: There's no law that states that Sergey and Larry can have a valuable idea and Andy here can't. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. Do your best and live as it pays. Save up for your wants, but don't expect handouts for food and your mortgage because you blew months worth of crucial funds on a whim. If everybody should be entitled to a splendid, wonderful, sugar-coated prom ride in a Ferrari, where does that leave that poor child whose dad is only a brain surgeon and drives his daughter to the prom in his lame Audi TT that he studied, worked and actually paid for? Right idiot, him; and what a loser of a daughter?
No, I don't hate poor people. I feel sorry for them, because they can't afford shiny toys. And neither, for a certain value of shiny, can I. But if they "get", "acquire", "lift" or "liberate" themselves some shiny anyway, and that is regarded as OK, then I have a feeling that society is being made fun of.
Tanstaafl, as Heinlein wrote. No-one needs to die, but not everyone needs to bathe in asses milk, either.
And rich people usually serve a good purpose in spending their money on useless things. They keep people like me paid; they spread the wealth by spending it. One rich nitwit can keep 35 engineers paid for a year by letting them build his Bugatti Veyron. He could be stingy and only drive his 1985 Toyota Corolla until his death and keep the money under his pillow and be of no use.
So, you drive to your prom in a Rolls-Royce. A fortnight later you can't pay the food. Social services won't let you die and give you some extra out of their special reserve budget. Which was filled from national insurance contributions and taxes of the guy whom you rented the Roller from.
Did you ask him if it was OK to get a free ride from him? He might have felt in a good mood and have just done that. But no, you do it by proxy, without giving him the chance to say "no" or even have a good feeling saying "yes".
It just doesn't look right to me. But you are welcome to another opinion.
And now you made me write another three-pager. Damn.