This River Oaks Playhouse Is Better Than Your Crappy Apartment

Categories: Spaced City

playhousenytime.jpg
Megan Thompson Lovoi for The New York Times
Of course it has genuine hardwood floors.
Swamplot points us to a New York Times article that would make any normal person either cry for America or just throw in the towel on humanity.

Kristi Schiller of River Oaks loves to talk about how much charity work she does, all of which apparently gives her carte blanche to let the rest of the world eat cake.

She and her oil-bidness husband have built their four-year-old daughter a two-story Cape Cod playhouse featuring hardwood floors, running water, air conditioning and a 32-inch flatscreen TV.

At least the kid won't be spoiled like she would if it was a 38-inch flatscreen.

"I think of it as bling for the yard," Schiller told the Times, finding perhaps the perfect way to make the whole thing even more obnoxious.

At 170 square feet, the thing also features vaulted ceilings. Party guests just looove to visit it, we're told.

The Times quotes someone who builds such playhouses, which can go from $26,000 to $54,000.

"Childhood is a precious and finite thing," Barbara Butler said. "And a special playhouse is not the sort of thing you can put off until the economy gets better."

No, you certainly can't.

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unconcernedmommy
unconcernedmommy

I dont get why everyone is mad, if they have the money to build their kids a huge playhouse, so what??? its their freaking money they should spend it how they want. They have money to do that, if i had their money I would probably do the same thing. get a life people envy is a deadly sin you know.

DamianEE
DamianEE

 ignorance and apathy should be deadly sins, as well. especially for a 'mommy'.

World Financial Group Inc.
World Financial Group Inc.

Public spending can create some jobs but not many and not for very long.Only companies innovate and increase the size of the economy.

Elgreco54
Elgreco54

(Brought to you by: Republicans Talking Points to Save the Day, Inc. , a 401-3c corp).

PetersonPP
PetersonPP

Wonder why this story is a story? One US Nobel-winning economist writes makes it relevant:

"This, ultimately, is the most pressing question we face as a society today: Will the United States go down the path that Latin America followed -- one that leads to ever-growing disparity in political power as well as in income? The United States doesn't have Third World levels of economic inequality -- yet. But it is not hard to foresee, in the current state of our political and economic scene, the outline of a transformation into a permanently unequal society -- one that locks in and perpetuates the drastic economic polarization that is already dangerously far advanced."

Floriandupuis
Floriandupuis

Agree. Some have said that this blog post and the thread displays a wealth 'jealousy'. Or alternately, that the commenters who find a $54,000 child's playhouse rather gauche and symptomatic of what's wrong here, are communists or socialists or somehow un-American.

To me, it's perfectly understandable. If 90% of the wealth gains during the past 3 decades went to the wealthiest 10%, while my earnings were flat or dropped, I'd be pissed off as well. And I'd use more florid language than most of these milquetoasts.Sadly, most of the commenters on this blog earn well I assume; the invisible rest, who are not online, or in this forum, are just toiling away....wondering what's happening to their paychecks, and spending power.

Soon, they will wake up. This shit would never stand in Europe, where the populace is more educated and informed. Maybe the debt ceiling antics will bring this to a head?

Windlebird
Windlebird

Needs an appropriate white picket fence, serious help with the landscaping, and a maltese certainly wouldn't hurt! Ha! Lighten up people. Somebody had to build that play house and they made some money (a profit) doing it. Somebody got an order for the lumber, the shingles, the windows, etc and they made a profit. Are they complaining about the "rich"? Get over it, you whiny bunch of one world commies! One family's excess is another's supper. I wonder if the kiddos have HD or surround sound?

VonMittelsdorf
VonMittelsdorf

...now if only these generous 'job creators' would just stop whining about paying a historically low income tax, we'd be set. And if they'd sacrifice just a tiny bit during the economic contractions, we'd even be happy that they build nice $50,000 playhouses and provide their kids $100,000 chariots.

Badeley-Bent
Badeley-Bent

How's that kid going to pay the property taxes on that dwelling?

BettyHolcombeIV
BettyHolcombeIV

Why what a silly question! Volunteer work of course.

FaganD
FaganD

I live in midtown Manhattan and while playhouses like this are cool, they're sorta small ball. Some of my friends are building their kids play-scrapers: seven and eight story buildings with doormen and elevators.

I think it's just wonderful, and would do the same if I could.

Elgreco54
Elgreco54

Funny, my son's classmates have lately been given chariots of gold, mahogany and ivory. One of the fathers even erected a Roman forum so they can race on weekends. I would do the same if I could afford it. It aids the children with their grasp of world history, as well as architecture. 

Kathy H.
Kathy H.

I think it's a beautiful thing! I would do the same thing for my grandchildren, if I could.  I just wish I could see the inside of it, I bet it's lovely!! Congratulations to your daughter for having amazing parents! :))

MamaJ
MamaJ

You think HCAD is going to appraise it?  It looks like its worth more than my simple fourth ward  digs. 

Gdcraic
Gdcraic

One can only hope for a good hurricane.  

Evan
Evan

Estate Tax?

Fugetaboutit
Fugetaboutit

How many people did it take to build this? Let's see..

...the carpenters, the people that manufactured the materials, the people the delivered the materials, the people that built the vehicle to deliver the materials, the people that insured the vehicle that made the deliveries, etc.

The point being is that all these people were employed because somebody spent money. Who cares what they spent it on.

Flibbergibbet
Flibbergibbet

The same point could be made when the government spends money on stimulus. Please keep that in mind. And when business isn't spending, and there aren't enough rich people building playhouses to stimulate the economy, the government is the spender of last resort.

Fugetaboutit
Fugetaboutit

Not even remotely the same point. This family spent their own money, not somebody else's.

Fugetaboutit
Fugetaboutit

You state that the government cannot report accurate unemployment numbers but you want it to take in more money just so it can redistribute it? Governments have shown to not do this very well.

Tax breaks are one of many arrows in the governments quiver. Without good aim the arrow won't hit its target. A good example of a tax break that missed it's target is cash for clunkers.

The president chose to keep the Bush tax cuts yet quadrupled spending. I agree this was not a good idea.

Class warfare tax cuts never work. One of the luxury taxes passed in 1990 focused on luxury yacht buyers. Guess who suffered when the yacht industry tanked? The yacht builders and their families because the yacht buyers stopped buying.

Capitalism works. Capitalism creates jobs. The BRIC nations have embraced capitalism and are thriving. We should embrace capitalism again so people can get back to work.

H_e_x
H_e_x

1) Our unemployment is much higher than 10%. The problem is that the government stops tracking people once they stop applying for benefits or looking for jobs. http://articles.moneycentral.m...2) If tax breaks work so well, then why isn't employment higher? Trickle down economics has never been shown in the history of any country on the planet to work. It just doesn't. Recent extensions of tax cuts for the rich haven't lowered the unemployment rate at all.3) Taxes and regulation help people. Taxes are uses to pay for things we all use every day, like roads and street lights, and also go to help people who need it because they have fallen on hard times or are elderly or disabled in some way. They do have more cash than ever, but they are not dragged down by regulation. I haven't read that anywhere. Not in The Economist, that's for sure.That is nothing more than a lie perpetrated by people who would rather the government do nothing for people. God forbid we regulate air quality. I don't know about you, but asthma blows. This belief that we should take away help from the needs and give more to the rich doesn't make any sense. Why take it away from those who need it the most just so some rich person can squirrel it away? How is that the right thing to do? It's not as if they are going to go out and magically create millions of jobs.

Alwingr
Alwingr

No moron.  They need to spend less of other peoples money on crap and buying democrat votes.

Fugetaboutit
Fugetaboutit

The economic bubble of the 90's burst in March of 2000 when the markets gave back nearly 75% of the gains made in the previous ten years.

The only person with a net gain from 1990 to 2000 was Mark Cuban.

GilletteRinas
GilletteRinas

Really? Then explain why the economy grew much more and added many more jobs under Clinton, when taxes were higher and regulations were stifling.

The main reason companies sit on cash is lack of demand, not some abstract notion of regulations; that's just utter talking-point nonsense. However, there is a problem with some policies to induce companies to produce here long term...green energy, specifically.

Fugetaboutit
Fugetaboutit

We (the USA) have 90% employment. Tax breaks are a tool to encourage companies to grow and encourage people to spend.

Regulations and taxes prevent companies from growing and people from spending. The government is currently more focused on regulating companies than encouraging companies to grow. Companies have more cash than ever but won't hire people due to the uncertainty created by all these new regulations.

Deltoidsbig
Deltoidsbig

Of course tax breaks are someone else's money. It's like doing your budgeting a home: you have a fixed amount to spend, right? If you make a "gov't decision" to increase your entertainment spending by 50%, you have to cut 50% from somewhere else to hit your number.

So, in the same way, when the gov't makes a decision to accept less money (a tax cut) from group A, they are going to have to take an equivalent amount from group B or C, in order to make budget.

Same with loopholes in the tax code. 

H_e_x
H_e_x

Where are all the jobs these tax breaks have created? If they had been taxed that could have gone to paying for children's lunches, medication for HIV positive patients, and several more teachers.

Fugetaboutit
Fugetaboutit

Tax breaks are not someone else's money. Tax breaks are a decision by the government to accept less money than the law allows from people and companies. This is typically done to encourage investments or alter a behavior. Only after the money has entered the government does it become somebody else's money.

The sum of your argument is that the government doesn't do a good job at making financial decisions. But at the same time the government needs more money.

This family made a decision to spend money. Their decision directly and immediately benefited dozens of people. If, instead, the government had taxed this amount of money, who would benefit?

Donna451
Donna451

Tax breaks aren't someone else's money? Really? Where does that money come from? When there's a budget shortfall, where do we turn to make up for the shortfall that those tax cuts produce? Lately, it's laying off teachers, cutting scholarships and services...stuff like that...all things that impact the middle and lower classes. So, yes, it is someone else's money. What the rich get in tax cuts means that someone else less fortunate loses.

Gov't subsidies aren't someone else's money? Really? Where does that money come from? 

Regarding innovation and jobs, you say only the private sector creates both of these.  Silly, only a couple items among many are needed to rebut this: NASA, University research departments.

Fugetaboutit
Fugetaboutit

Tax breaks aren't somebody else's money. Public spending can create some jobs but not many and not for very long. Only companies innovate and increase the size of the economy.

Flibbergibbet
Flibbergibbet

What if his oil company was heavily subsidized? And given large tax breaks? Wouldn't that also be someone else's money?

My point is, you're right. Spending DOES create jobs. But you can't say private spending creates jobs and public spending doesn't.

Sib
Sib

I absolutely detest envy. I'm not rich, but I don't begrudge other people how they live their lives. You people posting here are the reason this country is in such decline. Stop being jealous of other people and start getting off your lazy butts and EARN what you want. Bringing other people down doesn't lift you up. Just remember that there is someone else in world less fortunate than you who is eyeing YOU as the rich jerk.

Personally, I think the playhouse is pretty cool. If any of you want a playhouse like that, then build one. If you did it yourself and found bargain materials, it could probably be done for a couple of thousand.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Sweet baby Jesus, it has been said by myself and several other people that pointing out obscene displays of wealth is not jealously. But no, you have to make the same lazy, tired argument that it is. Way to go for being the lapdog of the rich, oops, I mean" job creators."

Benjamin Bookbinder
Benjamin Bookbinder

Likewise, I detest the presumption that any negativity == jealousy, or envy, without any proof.

Especially when the arguments made are more from a standpoint of EITHER "I thinks it cool, but does it need to make any headlines, really?" or "I think the money could be used better, or to teach their kids important life lessons," neither of which have ANYTHING to do with envy or lack thereof inherently.  They can be tied to those emotions, but don't carry those emotions in of themselves. 

Zippy33333
Zippy33333

Bunch of jealous queers.

Benjamin Bookbinder
Benjamin Bookbinder

...

Nice namecalling, chump.

Personally, I think this is pretty cool, but like others, making it into a news headline is quite overdoing it for me.

yoyo
yoyo

So what?

Rickishouse
Rickishouse

If I had that kind of money to throw around, I would build my kids one. That thing is awesome. Don't hate, ppl.

Bill Worden
Bill Worden

I have no problem with this family having this. I have a problem with it being promoted or sensationalized in any way. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the obscenely wealthy in this country were actually buying and moving entire European castles overseas to the east coast, having them rebuilt block by block. I wonder how many people that employed? ...or pissed off? People have a right to anything they want, but if I see another version of "Real Housewives of (who cares?)" telling people to be rich or else, I'm going to puke...

DaynaSteele
DaynaSteele

Kristi is and has been a friend of mine for longer than either one of us would admit to. Playboy Playmate turned blogger was a cheap shot to hype the story. Kristi had a long career in broadcasting on television and radio. Yes, she and her husband have more money than dirt as we say here in Texas. They also have hearts the size of Texas, having funded more charities than you could even begin to imagine. There are children with school supplies (Escape Center) adults learning to read (LiteraryAdvancedHouston) cash-strapped police departments with new canines, www.k9s4cops.og - two dozen dogs themselves this year to Houston alone. Because of the Schiller the wounded warriors with hope, homeless people now with homes...and the list goes on. So, get off your righteous high horse until you've given an equal amount. Then we'll chat, perhaps over tea in the playhouse. DS

MDowd45
MDowd45

....a face, and mind, perfect for radio....

DaynaSteele
DaynaSteele

Kristi is and has been a friend of mine for longer than either one of us would admit to. Playboy Playmate turned blogger was a cheap shot to hype the story. Kristi had a long career in broadcasting on television and radio. Yes, she and her husband have more money than dirt as we say here in Texas. They also have hearts the size of Texas, having funded more charities than you could even begin to imagine. There are children with school supplies (Escape Center) adults learning to read (LiteraryAdvancedHouston) cash-strapped police departments with new canines, www.k9s4cops.org - two dozen dogs personally themselves this year to Houston alone. Because of the Schiller's the wounded warriors with hope, homeless people now with homes...and the list goes on. So, get off your righteous high horse until you've given an equal amount. Then we'll chat, perhaps over tea in the playhouse. DS

Marieszoo
Marieszoo

And didn't she contribute $100,000 reward for the return of Lisa Irwin? Little missing girl, cadaver dogs hit in the parents bedroom, ninja kidnapper took her, parents don't knmow when they last saw her, mother was drunk and she disappeared ,etc. Lisa Irwin. 

Dudley "Booger" Dawson
Dudley "Booger" Dawson

stop using charitable causes as an excuse for this.  great that she helps out alot ofpeople but it doesn't excuse that this is just over the top for anyone.  maybe if it was set up in a park with kids from all walks of life having access to it would make a difference, but probably not by much.  if i did this everyone i know would be kicking my ass over spending so much money over something which is frivolous and will be outgown in a matter of a few years.

KW
KW

"Stop using charitable causes as an excuse...".   So had she built this playhouse in a park with public access for kids from all walks of life, it would make a difference?  That be considered a charitable cause too...  something obviously frowned upon.

This playhouse is really no different than anyone installing a swimming pool for their home. 

An article in The Times gets the attention of some third-rate blogger because cloaking sites is his weapon for daily chatter.  And those replies including ill words and name-calling toward a 4-year-old child?  Shame on you. 

Dudley "Booger" Dawson
Dudley "Booger" Dawson

Who the hell is calling the kid names?  I think everything is directed at the mother and her insanity.  Why don't you type up nice list of regular folks who have a 50k swimming pool in their back yard and maybe we can talk.  if not then pull your head out of your ass and be on your way.

Alwingr
Alwingr

You don't get it, do you? This is their money to spend as they see fit.  What you or anyone else thinks does not mean a rat's ass. You and a bunch of other losers are plainly jealous of their success and unwilling to work hard at your own.  Spend more time working and less time criticizing the life choices of the successful and wealthy.

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