September 1, 2014
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LETTERS
Just say no to moral obligations

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?”

Fred Joslyn
Cranston


Comments
3 comments on this item

Fred, this is an excellent example. I would add that the parents in your example were not knowledgable or aware of the loan or the consequences prior to the son taking the loan out. They had also not agreed to be responsible for the loan by co-signing. In the same way, Rhode Islanders did not vote for the bonds or were not aware that if the loan defaulted would we be responsible, morally or otherwise.

Sorry folks....we are all responsible for the government that we elect. Buffoons or not. The debt is ours.

Please read the constitution of the State of RI, the actions taken by the legislature is not a legal action. They are not allowed to bind us to a financial obligation without our express approval by a vote on a bond. This is a fact, the debt is not ours, it is theirs and they want us to pay for it.

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