Friday, June 5, 2009

Letter to the Editor - South Dakota Credit Card Addiction

Good LTE in the Rapid City Journal today... couldn't agree more!

The addiction to credit cards is Bill Janklow opened the door to -- and I don't see that door closing any time soon, in a state where ANY regulation of payday lending is seen as "government interference in the free market."

After all, as then-Sen. Gordon Pederson lectured me, "money is a commodity."

Right?

Is our state delegation casting the right votes?

“We have met the enemy and they are us” is an old saying that is often true.Senators Johnson and Thune have joined Representative Herseth-Sandlin in voting against the credit card reform legislation that President Obama signed on Memorial Day weekend.

The vote was 90-5 in the Senate and 361-64 in the House to approve the bill that anyone can see was desperately needed.

Let us hope our delegation voted to show concern for the 5,000 plus jobs that the credit card industry brings to South Dakota and not because they support the practices that the bill prohibits.

We have one of the poorest and hence most vulnerable populations in the country, yet do very little to protect our citizens from credit card predators. Predators that bring us voluminous and unreadable fine print explanations, written in legalese that serves to deceive not to inform,immorally high interest rates (usury) that can change without notice, insane, trumped up additional charges based on any or on no reason at all. We need some protection, but most of all, protect those among us, to whom credit cards and the debt they can bring, are as addictive and destructive as alcohol, tobacco and narcotics.

LOU LEAHY
Spearfish

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous22:23

    Ya, its terrible. We should drive the moneychangers from the temple, to hell with the thousands of jobs in Sioux Falls. Let them eat cake!

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  2. I don't think that thousands of jobs will be lost. The credit card companies can make plenty of money by not overextending credit (mailing cards to college kids, giving new cards to folks with heavy debt, etc); by using interest rates higher than but not stratospherically out of touch with the market; and, if they have to, scrapping all the silly "bonus point" hokum and just charging a nominal annual user fee to all cardholders.

    Citi already laid off bunches of folks, before the new law was even drafted. They got in a bind because they were sloppy and overextended credit in too many risky cases.

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  3. Well, Anon, usury is a sin.

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