Actually, my point is (and I’m pretty sure Wallace’s would be), you don’t know what a “beater” is, Mateo. You’re making that judgement based on cultural accretion to upper-middle class standards and status-quo norms.
But in the lives of others, a “beater” might be their car for any number of variables you haven’t remotely accounted for. They might be among the most successful creative, generative minds and hearts of humanity, and for other reasons entirely be in that car, in that moment. In general, people who consciously engage in substance abuse do so from a desire to escape painful over-perception and heightened sensitivities. That can produce people ill-adapted to status-quo society, making them ill-equipped to work in the world, adding to or exacerbating mental and psychological issues, and that fundamentally leads to levels of social isolation and economic stress if not poverty. There are geniuses like (but far less fortunate than) David Foster Wallace, living in/out of their “beaters”. They not only didn’t make their cars that way, their cars are their saving grace and the only things standing between sleeping on the streets and having a chance to get on their feet again.