Murray Whitehill: Basic math on payday, car-title loans

Letter from Murray Whitehill, Ivy

Summer has now passed, and the school season is upon us. Perhaps one thing that our school system could focus on is everyday math. Our children need to be taught that when a store has a 30 percent off sale, you are not saving anything – you are spending less. If you have the mindset of spending less, you have a better chance of not falling into the clutches of one of our societies most fiscally vicious parasites, the payday and car-title lenders.

There were some laws passed recently that quieted the loudest of the complaints about this industry but it is still there, sending many into what is essentially indentured servitude. That is something most thought we outlawed decades ago. But no, our state lawmakers accepted over half a million dollars in political contributions last year from this industry, and surprise, it is still ruining lives and collecting great profits.

The industry claims it would be put out of business should it be forced to become less of a loan shark business and more like a reputable lender. They also claim that people would suffer greatly were they not able to borrow at usurious rates. I wonder how the residents of West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina, where these lenders have been banned, are managing.

Communities have an obligation and duty to help those in trouble and to educate them to avoid problems. The failure of our legislators to control this industry is making if difficult if not impossible for our communities to do so.


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