Sunday, September 29, 2019

Bill Crawford: Predatory v. Preposterous in Mississippi

Choosing to appease the insatiable desires of grasping businesses and consumers, politicians spew ever more promiscuous policies from our nation’s capital.

As noted in recent columns, hindrances to unscrupulous businesses preying on consumers are diminishing while preposterous promises of succor to consumers are expanding. Predatory practices are the dark side of Republican pro-business policies on the one hand while preposterous promises are the dark side of Democratic pro-consumer policies on the other. Regrettably, there is no third gripping hand present to yank the other two back from intemperance.

These dichotomies will be great theater throughout the presidential election next year. But will promiscuous predatory and preposterous policies be in play in the Mississippi gubernatorial election now through November 6th?

Certainly, but to what degree?

No question Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is the pro-business candidate and Attorney General Jim Hood is the pro-consumer candidate. For example, Reeves has championed tax cuts for business, passing $620 million in such cuts during his tenure as lieutenant governor. Hood has now proposed cutting the sales taxes on groceries, the state’s biggest tax on consumers, and has championed consumer issues as attorney general.

Let’s look deeper.

As I wrote two weeks ago, one of the more egregious examples of Washington policies allowing businesses to prey on consumers was the Trump administration rollback of protections established to make payday loans less onerous. “Payday lenders have a predatory business model where they profit while families are plunged into an unaffordable debt trap of loans at rates that reach 400 percent APR or higher,” CNBC said.

In 2016, the Mississippi Legislature under Reeves’ leadership loosened rate restrictions on payday lenders, in particular allowing them to charge up to 263.4% in finance charges on some 30-day loans. Mississippi's Catholic Bishops called such rates "predatory."

As I wrote last week, Democratic presidential candidates are making preposterous promises to provide free or reduced costs for higher education, from making college and university attendance free for many students to forgiving student loan debt up to $50,000 for others. “It's one more step toward an America where the people who benefit from something get somebody else to pay for it,” said

Hood has called for a state-funded program that would provide tuition-free community college to Mississippi’s high school graduates.


Reeves’ position on payday lenders matches that coming from Washington Republicans. Hood’s position on free tuition sounds similar to Washington Democrats, but there is a difference. Hood’s proposal closely resembles a Republican proposal put forward by state Rep. Jerry Turner of Baldwyn that passed the GOP controlled House in 2014. (It was killed in Reeves’ Senate.) It also resembles the "Tennessee Promise" program championed by Tennessee Republicans in 2014.

While revealing, this “promiscuous policy” analogy is not the only perspective voters may consider. For example, Reeves has taken a more pro-consumer stance on gas taxes than Hood. Reeves has said that under no circumstances will he increase gas taxes to pay for roads and bridges. Hood has said he will consider doing so as a last resort.

Nevertheless, the Washington analogy will take center stage when President Trump and/or his disciples show up to tout Reeves and his allegiance to their policies.

“Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously," 2 Cor 9:6.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

Both parties have benefitted from the divisiveness they have help to create and which the Russians and Chinese have easily exacerbated.
Americans (who have woefully little free ferret fact from fiction or to follow the money as our 40 work week as all but disappeared and both man and wife must work to tread water) rely on political shills parading as news reporters. Relying on people whom you never met and who get paid to cater to your beliefs, however unfounded) is a recipe for disaster.

Thank you, Mr. Crawford. You've picked examples that should ( but probably won't) cause pause for thought. It won't because the " kill the messenger" self-interested or hired assassins will start insulting ( or already have if my post doesn't appear first).

Anonymous said...

Neither party has the interest of common people at heart. They are both the havens and cartels for professional "advocates' who will say anything necessary to advance their own careers and greed. They simply employ a different technique. One likes the electric chair the other likes the gas
chamber. The results are the same.

Anonymous said...

I live here in ne Jackson and my brother and I have 16 Payday lending locations in Mississippi... as well a 9 in Alabama... who is willing to loan these individuals monthly loans unsecured? They're using my business because no one else will give them money. Family banks credit unions friends etc... until the Catholic bishops and politicians and social justice warriors pony up money like I have to these people just keep your mouth shut!!!

Anonymous said...

Tell em what they want to hear. Ain't that politics? It's their fault if they want to hear stupid shit.

robert redd said...

11:57 likes to put a spin on their response (he & brother that own several payday lending shop) but any sane and fair minded individual knows that such practices are STILL PREDATORY

Anonymous said...

It's a unsecured loan... we take all of the risk and it sometimes goes uncollected... send me your information and I will let you pay the customers light bill and Entergy Bill before they face it being shut off then an additional 75 dollar reconnect fee. My clients are here for conscience and simple small loans.

Anonymous said...

I was in North Carolina three days ago and saw a big sign above a payday lending and cash for titles place that advertised.."Open 24/7". Who, at 3:30 a.m decides he needs to trade his car title for six hundred bucks or is desperate to the point of begging for a midnight loan for a couple hundred?

11:57 has an orgasm when these people open the swingin' door. Yet he whines about his risk.

Anonymous said...

Want free college: Dial 1-800-GO-GUARD

Anonymous said...

"Choosing to appease the insatiable desires of grasping businesses and consumers, politicians spew ever more promiscuous policies from our nation’s capital."

Is it just me, or does that comment mean absolutely nothing to anybody walking upright on this planet?

Anonymous said...

Listen... if other businesses would give these clients a loan they wouldn't walk through my doors. Problem is they have been turned down by all others. What's your point? Your mad I offer a service that is in demand bc all others said no and I said yes!!! Seems like your mad at the wrong individual. I'm Catholic also and like I said the bishops can complain all they want but they aren't offering what these people need. Also my son attend a Catholic school in Jackson yet the school and church deposit my tuition gladly and my tithe as well.

Anonymous said...

That payday lender control is a joke. So long as they are honest about the rates, it's not the government's business. Suppose you had cancer, couldn't pay all your bills on time and your credit was shot. your car breaks and you need $500 ASAP. Otherwise you will lose your job. You can pay back $150/week. Interest rate is an outrageous 200%. What will it cost? 200% of $500 is $1,000. That's one year of interest. One week would be $19.23. So you pay $150 and $130.77 goes to principal. Next week the balance is $369.23 and the interest is $14.20. New balance would be $233.43. And so it goes. You pay it off in a month and pay whatever, (you do the math) about $50 interest. That's outrageous BUT you kept your job. It was worth it for certain. What the price control crowd is saying is that folks are too dumb to know when you use these loans. If that is true, why do we have casinos? On balance the customer is going to lose. It's likely that many people who can't afford these losses get them anyway. Why do we allow it? Bottom line, it's pretty much a free country and people are allowed to make their own choices. Keep in mind that when you limited these payday rates your are pricing someone out of the market. It's possible that our cancer survivor could not get a loan at 50% APR because of his credit history and how the math works out. Another thing, just because loan company A charges 200% doesn't mean if company B can't open across the street and charge 180% for the same thing. And C charges $160%. And if no one charges less, why not? Because it's not profitable. The loan business has to make a profit or they won't be there. The market place sorts all this out.

Anonymous said...

To say that Tate's position on the gas tax for road maintenance is "pro-consumer" is just stupid.

Anonymous said...

In all my payday loan operations the rates are posted in red large print on a 4×6 ft sign. No hiding or fine print here. Unlike a bank. Sure regulate us out of business and over 4,000 people will be out of a job as well as peoples lights and water bills will go in pain and utilities chase a 75 dollar reconnect fee. So you tell me who's wrong.

Anonymous said...

Suppose there were legal brothels employing thousands of people to take the money from the johns and hot mop the floors and fine pleather furniture. These thousands of people put food on their families in part by laundering all the dirty sheets and towels weekly. Suppose this was all a perfectly legal business...and then some people propose to shut all these legal brothels down.

"No hiding or fine print here. Unlike a bank. Sure regulate us out of business and over 4,000 people will be out of a job as well as peoples lights and water bills will go in pain and utilities chase a 75 dollar reconnect fee. So you tell me who's wrong."

See how that chit works?

Anonymous said...

The difference is this. By shutting us down you have made it impossible for these individuals to get a loan... like I asked earlier... are you willing to pay the utilities, mobile phone bill, heat and gas as well as car note most have tote your note so I guess shut down these car lots also. Your obvisly one that isn't very hungry or makes the decision of what Bill will get paid this month. So solve the problem of these people not having access to cash loans and the business will cease to remain open. This is the free market.

Anonymous said...

What do suggest to the tens of thousands of payday loan customers that use the services... how are they to get money loans when they need it on the spot? Just curious what you would tell them?... who's going to provide cash unsecured instantly to pay urgent bills...

Anonymous said...

11:57 am You are rationalizing what is Biblically known at "usury" and what used to be criminal " loan sharking".

The highest credit card rate today is 20%. So if you want to pretend you are " helping" those who are already so in debt that they can't even get a 20% rate by charging them 50-250% more, it isn't justifiable.

Worse, you charge these rates to those 18 year old, some of whom are privates or ensigns or airmen in our military, who simply haven't yet established a credit history and that's the only reason they can't get loans. Dealerships and banks want them to pay bills for lodging,etc. and they want a car, probably more car than they could get, the day they finish basic.

I doubt you ask those who come to you why they need the loan so your conscience doesn't bother you that they can get the help they need without getting deeply in debt. Even fly by night furniture store or used car dealers don't charge the rates you charge.

And, if that weren't bad enough, operations such as yours are good for money laundering . I hope you don't knowingly do that or aid those who are using you for that purpose.

I live in NE Jackson as well, and frankly, I may be checking with the Secretary of State's office to see if what the names of the businesses entities are that own these payday companies so I can avoid you. I suspect you picked some benign sounding name when you incorporated! You wouldn't need to do that , of course, if you were proud of what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Your misinformed... payday loans are prohibited from military personnel... Also you say no one will lend to my clients bc they want credit history... tell me what are they suppose to do if PDL stores close? You have solved nothing as we are there only option.

robert redd said...

I was challenged by the actual owner of payday lending stores, to put up or pay the bills of some of folks that borrow from them and welsh on payback. So I will issue you and other owners of Payday stores a CHALLENGE!!
Why can't you REWARD your 'sheep' uh customers that perform flawlessly with a respectable Rebate. Then those of us that think there's some predatory rates here. PLUS it would be GOOD for business and the Community at large; you Reward those few, word gets out, you get more business- what could be wrong with this game changer approach.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen honest data on payday loans. Seems worse than a bail bond fee.
The issue on who is best for Mississippi economy as Governor, neither.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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