Predatory Lending: Meet Jonathan Swift

plalogo.gifAt the new website of the Predatory Lending Association, aspiring lenders can find concentrations of “working poor” customers in their neighborhood, calculate effectively usurious loans, not blacklist crusaders against payday lending, including Liz Warren, and learn all the arguments that goo-goos will make against high-interest borrowing. One Q&A in particular should be familiar to contracts professors (or maybe just those, like me, who use Randy Barnett’s Perspectives book):

Myth: Payday lending is comparable to selling yourself into slavery.

Reality: Although there is a market need for slavery, people do not choose to sell themselves into slavery. Free choice is the difference between payday lending and slavery.

(There is even a neat chart to make the connection more clear.) On the discussion boards, you can share your thoughts with other predatory lenders. Sure, it all seems a little too cute, but it’s worth checking out anyway.

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2 Responses

  1. Anon says:

    I’m glad to see someone has decided that rational argument with the industry position is less effective than mockery. Reminds me of the Yes Men’s demonstration of “Vivoleum” at a recent conference of oil executives.

  2. I’m guessing the so-called predatory lending industry only survives because there is so little competition to their services. So…why don’t a bunch of well-meaning liberals set up a non-predatory lending service right next door to some of the predators. When this business model proves to be the cash cow that the rest of the business world has obviously been too stupid to forsee, a flock of imitators will rush in and the predators will be put out of business.

    This will also help provide a ready source of funds to push for other progressive causes such as an end to sub-prime mortgages (which go disproportionately to the working poor and get them too invested in an ownership society) and killing any kind of pro-school choice programs.