Advancing a Free Society

Billy Jones wants a bigger allowance

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Irresponsible Billy Jones is once again spending more than his allowance.  He is running up huge bills on the credit card his parents gave him.  His parents cut his allowance nine and then again seven years ago and now Billy’s sister Suzy is debating some family friends whether a scheduled automatic increase in Billy’s allowance should be allowed to take effect January 1.

Self-anointed Wise Family Friends David, Fareed, and even Alan all argue that Billy’s parents should increase his allowance as planned.  “Billy’s credit card debt is too big and it’s only going to get bigger,” they argue.  “The responsible move is to increase Billy’s allowance as planned, and for Billy to use that higher allowance to reduce his monthly credit card borrowing.  Eventually he needs to cut back on his spending as well, but this is a responsible first step.”

Eight-year old Suzy shakes her head because she’s heard this many times before.  “Give Billy more money and he should use it to pay down his credit card,” she says.  “But just look at what he’s done since January of last year.  He has massively increased his spending to levels this family has never seen before.  Sometimes he demands (and gets) more moneyfrom Mom and Dad to pay for his new spending.  He has the gall to call that responsible since he’s not running up more credit card debt.  He forgets that every dollar he takes from Mom and Dad is a dollar they cannot spend on the rest of the family’s needs.”

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