Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Beyond fear of money-lenders.

A (rather paranoid) commenter on my post concerning Prop 200 thinks that Google ads for payday loans somehow diminish my credibility on the topic of Proposition 200. It's worth noting that Google places ads based on the presence of keywords, moreover, that it's a rather serious--libelous--accusation, that someone is somehow being paid to voice an opinion he wouldn't otherwise have.

The accusation of shilling for this business or that, so commonly heard from the Left, usually lacks plausibility and is a mark of immaturity. Without any evidence of payola one would have to rule out all legitimate reasons for holding an opinion, and the mind that cannot envision reasons other than payola that someone may support something that also may be in a money-lender's best interest is, at best, underdeveloped. As is the mind that reverts to the almost instinctual aversion to either self-interest--we don't live in a zero-sum world--or money lenders. I have argued that sunsetting the "payday loan" business would be bad for both the business owners and the business customers. That means passing Prop 200 is win-win. The mind suspicious of self-interest is one that doesn't understand the term "win-win". "Win-win" transactions between lender and borrower look a lot like "win-lose" transactions in hunter-gatherer society; override the caveman, please!

But back to those ads. Note that many of them are for offshore operations. If Proposition 200 fails and the legislature sunsets the "payday lenders'" enabling law, Arizonans will turn to these services, which are effectively beyond the reach of regulation and rather difficult for a person of modest means to sue.

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