About this excellent report about the predatory lending practices of the “payday loan” racket is that not only is it a truly outstanding piece of journalism, but that it appeared in the WSJ of all places. There really can be a great divide from the fact free zone known as the WSJ editorial pages and what appears in the rest of that paper.
By the way, one of the reasons people on the right don’t understand why people are feeling the pinch despite the “glowing” economic news of the previous few years is the number of ways the banking and credit card industry (with an assist from their partners in congress) have found to well and truly screw people on the lower end of the economic spectrum. I am not going to say that those in their position are totally innocent, as they are not (read the story about the woman who had NO business buying the computer that exacerbated her economic problems), but the system has them set up to fail (older posts on the subject can be found here and here).
And while we are at it, read Robert Reich’s depressing assessment in the NYT today:
WE’RE sliding into recession, or worse, and Washington is turning to the normal remedies for economic downturns. But the normal remedies are not likely to work this time, because this isn’t a normal downturn.
The problem lies deeper. It is the culmination of three decades during which American consumers have spent beyond their means. That era is now coming to an end. Consumers have run out of ways to keep the spending binge going.
I really think the economy is melting down. I hope I am wrong.