Who’d guess that my worries about the political power of the financial sector and Jaya’s concerns about misleading ballot initiative wording would converge? Easha Anard reports on the trend:
Payday lenders are spending millions of dollars to back ballot initiatives that challenge state restrictions on their cash-advance practices. . . . [In Arizona], Yes on 200 is financed by the local affiliate of the Community Financial Services Association, a national payday-lending group. . . . . [T]he wording of the ballot initiative suggests it would impose further regulation on payday lenders; in fact, it would roll back much tougher rules. Yes on 200 is promoting the initiative with a counterintuitive strategy: spending money on ads that depict payday lenders as unscrupulous. One ad says, “Arizonans agree: Payday lenders who rip off hard-working Americans need to be stopped,” and asks voters to support the ballot initiative.
Now those are people you can trust! No regulation needed for them.
I wonder if Bryan Caplan would consider those who want to regulate payday lending financial illiterates–and approve this “noble lie” as a way of promoting better policy?