By Steve Otto
I recently attended a Payday Loans Town Hall meeting. Most of the people there wanted to reform the predatory lenders rather than banning them. My personal feelings are that people who try to profit of the most vulnerable of people really belong in jail. I would rather see those institution banned. That is possible, but maybe not what is best for the people who live around them. Maybe the people who live around the Payday Loans and other similar institutions will be better off if those institutions simply treat them fairly.
I don’t blame the people in those areas for wanting reforms rather than bans. But I have a strong distaste for those who want to profit of off those in our society who are already down. The profit off of those who have problems finding a job that pays more than minimum wage. They profit off of those who may be living in sub standard homes, which cost them a lot of money. They profit off of those who may be driving cars that are about to fall apart at any time. When they do fall apart they have to find money to fix them and that is not always possible.
These predatory people remind me of the people who try to profit off of the sick and dying. They invent drugs that can cure diseases only to charge ridiculous amounts of money. It is the profit motive, devoid of any feelings of compassion for their fellow man/ woman.
Our politicians bitch about a lack of human rights in Cuba and yet in Cuba a poor person can go to a doctor and get any medicines they need. Not here. Most of our political leaders actually want poor people to die early. They take delight at the idea that they can put a work requirement on any kind of Medicaid money. They know that a lot of selfish middle class people love the idea of saving money by letting poor people get sick or die. After all, it is not them who will die.
In the same manor I have to wonder what kind of a person deliberately tries to trap a poor person into borrowing money at such a high interest rate that they end up with their wages garnished, their cars repossessed or they lose their homes due to the fact that they lose all their rent money.
Even regular lenders take advantage of people. Our TV ads tell us how important our credit ratings are. While we do need vehicles to get to our jobs and homes to live in, there are those items we believe we need, but really don’t. Lots of debt can cause a person to stay at a job they hate. Or they may end up staying with an employer who is abusive.
I have nothing but contempt for those who want to saddle the most vulnerable people with debt.
If I had my way they would all be in jail. But this is US capitalism and that is not likely to ever happen. I am forced to go along with those who want to reform Payday Loans and the others who want to profit off the misery of others.