What's more prolific than 7-11, more dishonest than a Vegas bookie and more expensive than a loan from that guy named Vinnie? Nothing more than a payday loan company. I watched these blights on society start popping up on every street corner when I lived in Las Vegas (ironically across the street from the new bar/casino) with disgust. How could a business exist to charge triple-digit interest on people who can barely open a checking account? Even worse, how is it that this kind of business is legal and thriving?
It's with disgust that I see these same predatory lending businesses setting up shop all over Utah looking to sink their claws into the poorest of the poor, draining them of what little money they do have with slick ad campaigns and well-spun contracts. I don't quite understand how it is that these loan "businesses" can do this kind of thing while a bank attempting the same would be in court so fast it would make your head spin. Why don't states have the guts or impetus to take on these legalized loan sharks and give them a whatfor?
I guess we can just follow the money. Payday loan owners have big bucks to spend to make sure their "enterprise" is legal. They've even got a friend in the legislature. (Sen. Evans, that's you, you cad.) The folks getting the screws put to them are too poor to do something about it and get sucked into the promises of easy money with low weekly payments while being charged well over 15 times what an exorbitant credit card issuer would.
I don't like regulating businesses any more than has to be done to protect consumers from outright fraud. Well, we have an entire industry built on fraud, they're gouging thousands of Utahns, and we shouldn't be standing for it. Can we close them all down? No. Should they be forced into a rate cap and have to adhere to many of the same rules as a bank? I think so. Letting these blood-suckers continue as they have been is immoral and despicable; we should have the human decency to do something about it.