I don't claim any special insight into the current financial distress, but this email exchange forwarded to me by a friend captures my internal conflict.
Ted: I still don't know what I think about this. It seems like my teenaged kid - who I have previously suspected of being irresponsible - crashed his car while drag racing, and now wants me to buy him a new one. My initial reaction is HAYUL NO, but I also know that if I don't, he won't be able to get to school or work and will be slouching on the couch all day. It's in my interest to ensure that he has transportation, but it just doesn't feel right to reward his irresponsibility.
Maybe I should get him a bus schedule instead...
Bill: I'm with you...Except that your entire family is depending on the bucks he makes at his after school job, so you gonna ground him out of principle and reduce your family to mac&cheese for the next 6 years?
I do like the bus pass idea, though. Maybe you get him a dodge omni and put the rest of that cash directly into groceries.