Damn freeloaders. Abby included.
DEAR Jerkass: My spouse and I, after many long years of school, advanced degrees and work in the corporate world, are now retired. We are (we hope) financially secure.
Both of us have siblings who were less successful for various reasons. What obligation do hardworking people have toward their less successful siblings, especially one who has been a freeloader his entire life?
"Rusty" sponged off his aging parents to keep from having to earn a decent living. We feel sorry for him, but it's the bed he made for himself years ago when he took shortcuts. We're afraid if we give him a hand, he'll expect an arm next time.
As far as I'm concerned, only Rusty's laziness prevents him from getting a part-time job to help pay the bills. If we give him money, we'll have to do it for the other siblings on both sides.
I know this sounds uncharitable, but we worked for 40 years and struggled through everything life had to throw at us. We saved every penny we could and invested wisely. How do we deal with family members who can take care of themselves, but don't? /-- ANONYMOUS IN AMERICA
Don't loan family money. Consider it a gift, and don't expect it back. You don't have to give a gift, that's the good part.
Offer to help find them a job, give rides, etc. That way you can feel charitable and maybe they'll figure out that they can't just mooch off family. If they are sincere, they'll get their act together.
But it sounds like you've already made up your mind, and are just looking for outside justification.
This one time, I was working four jobs and trying to pay for school. I had the choice to pay rent or buy groceries. I asked my parents for $80 to cover me for two weeks of groceries, and I would pay them back. They said they would "think about it".
I called them back and told them to forget it. I went hungry for almost two weeks.
Guess who I still talk to?
That's a different situation. However the similarities are what's important. That being "Do you actually care, or do you just want to look good to the rest of the family/exert moral superiority?"
Judas' Advice Column
This is where I take a Dear Abby column, and add my own brand of advice. I started by calling it Dear Crabby, but that's taken and JERKASS seems more fun.