To the Editor:
There once was a family living here in Rhode Island, the kind of folks who live next door to you. The father and mother each worked to bring home enough to support their family. Unfortunately, with a mortgage and two car payments together with routine bills, there often was hardly enough left over for anything else.
One day, the father discovered that his son had taken out a loan with a local bank, which is now seriously delinquent. The bank manager’s attempts to collect on the loan from the son were not meeting with any success.
About two weeks later, the bank manager, a casual acquaintance of the father, unexpectedly bumped into him at the supermarket checkout counter. The conversation touched upon the Red Sox and the Bruins, until the bank manager said he had recently spoken with the debtor-son. Reluctantly, he brought up the seriousness of the delinquency and, during the course of this conversation, the father was beginning to feel, through implication, that he was morally responsible for his son’s bank debt, even if not legally responsible. His feelings grew stronger when the bank manager told him that if the loan is not brought up to date, the son would never again be able to borrow from the bank, or at least not on reasonable terms.
Later that day, the father pondered over this conversation. Should he pay his son’s bank debt even though neither he nor his wife signed the note? Should he take money away from the rest of the family just to pay this “moral obligation?”
Should Rhode Island taxpayers pay a debt (38 Studios) that is not legally due and payable from them just to satisfy a “moral obligation?”