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What an asshole.

Just because someone hasn't had the benefit of a background in which the finer points of finance were a priority, or is desperate for money and doesn't care about the long term financial risk, or has a drug/alcohol problem and isn't fully in control of their actions doesn't make them stupid. He has the stink of a man who's been priviledged his whole life and doesn't understand that not everyone has it so good. Such a man is fit to sit on a porch in Monroe, bitching about the gay, but he shouldn't be in office. I'm ashamed that he's a Democrat.

Posted by matthew | January 30, 2007 1:22 PM

Maybe if we had the CEOs pay for any interest owed by poor people beyond 1 percent of their income than they'd care?

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 30, 2007 1:30 PM

Unlike you, Matthew, I know Steve Kirby. Steve Kirby (and Margarita Prentice) are better Democrats than you are, Matthew, and have done one hell of a lot more for working people in this state than you and Angela the Hatchet put together.

That is why Democrats will continue to elect them, and why Republicans don't even bother to run against them.

The worst abuses of the payday loan system will not be solved overnight, and they won't be solved without Prentice and Kirby, whether you like it or not.

Posted by ivan | January 30, 2007 1:32 PM

Budget your money and don't let it come down to needing the help of payday lenders.

I think the obsessive materialism of our culture does more to get people in financial trouble than payday lenders do. People are still fiscally irresponsible. The payday lender dilemma is one symptom of a larger problem and capping their rates solves nothing, really.

Posted by Gomez | January 30, 2007 1:40 PM

"The worst abuses of the payday loan system will not be solved overnight"

No, they won't. Because ASSHOLES like Kirby and power rimmers like Ivan lack the balls to stand up to this horrible industry.

The answer is simple. Cap the interest at 30%. There'll still be payday loans. They'll still make a profit. It just won't be an obscene profit.

Too bad we are such cowards in this country.

Posted by Work that tongue, Kirby | January 30, 2007 1:57 PM

To ivan:

I love your post because it doesn't contain a single example of anything. You just claim more knowledge without providing any.

But that issue aside...let's say you're right, and that Kirby is a champion of the "working people"...does that mean that non-working people don't count? Kirby has to represent everybody, not just people with jobs. It's funny you should mention that terminology in fact, since one of the vicious aspects of these "payday loans" is that many of the people trying to get them don't actually have paydays. That's why they're desperate, and why they need help.

What has Kirby done for non-working people? That's the whole point of my post.

Posted by Matthew | January 30, 2007 2:06 PM

I have never taken out a payday loan because I have never had to (thank God). BUT I know what it's like to be poor, and have financial pressures that have to do with survival, not materialism.

It's easy to write this off to somebody wanting a TV or something, but that's like the people who kept harping on the people who were looting after Katrina. We weren't in their shoes, we don't know their story.

There's no way an intelligent, moral person can justify the outrageous rates these people charge folks.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | January 30, 2007 2:08 PM

Ivan's post is a mere blow job.

Margarita has done great things for say, the UFW, like, I dont know, supporting the Winery of Chateau St. Michelle instead of the farmworkers and their fight for a collective barganing agreement?

Prentice gets elected because most of her votes come from Renton and parts of unicorporated county which supports sports teams and subsidies. Her voting base is white suburban righty centrist democrats, when the poor of districts like the 11th register and vote than she will be voted out, until then, not a damn chance. And unfortunately that is not happening anytime soon. Most of the districts dont really represent their ethnic and class make up, but if people dont vote, than theyre screwed and they get what the few people that vote elect for them. Her chunk of Seattle is the industrial wastelands and a wee chunk of Beacon Hill which is mostly apartments where most people dont vote.

Posted by SeMe | January 30, 2007 2:15 PM

“The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition, when suffered to exert itself with freedom and security, is so powerful a principal, that it is alone and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often incumbers its operations; though the effect of these obstructions is always more or less either to encroach upon its freedom, or to diminish its security.”
-Adam Smith; The Wealth of Nations

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 30, 2007 2:41 PM

Bad financial decsions are not limited to the poor. How many times has The Donald blown fortunes? The problem is that the poor are not able to recover from their bad decisons, or hide behind bankruptcy in their golden gated mansions. These companies are preying on the vulenerability of the poor and profiting from people's finacial insecurity. Some checks and balances are definately in order. These reps are doing wonderful things for pay day lenders, but they are hurting their constituents in return. plain and simple.

Posted by longball | January 30, 2007 3:04 PM

All you smug little know-it-alls can bite me. I am part of the effort to get HB 1020 passed. Ask my legislators in the 34th District if you don't believe that. What are YOU doing to get HB 1020 passed?

I stand behind everything I said about Steve Kirby and Margarita Prentice. I disagree with their positions on this particular issue, AND IN ADDITION they are good Democrats who have done more to help working people than all you whiny little twits put together.

AND IN ADDITION we have to work with them because they chair their respective committees. So what are we supposed to do, go in throwing bombs at them, like Angela's hatchet job on Margarita? She should be lucky that Kirby even talked to her.

The perfect is not the enemy of the good. Grow the fuck up, the lot of you.

Posted by ivan | January 30, 2007 3:07 PM

Just to be clear, payday loans start by having borrowers write a bad check that will be cashed if they don't cover it on their next payday. The typical charge is $15 per $100 borrowed. Multiply this by 26 biweekly paydays per year and that's 390% annual percentage interest (API). However, only 2.5% of borrowers stop at one loan. The average is 5 to 10, so most borrowers are paying much, much more, and get caught in a cycle owing hundreds or thousands on a "small loan." It's a predatory business, taking advantage of desperate people, exactly like a loan shark does.

It's also worth pointing out that the U.S. military considers this business a "security threat" and a "threat to military readiness." The U.S. congress passed a law late last year that caps all payday loans to military and their dependents at 36%. Why shouldn't this cap apply to everyone?

Posted by Gurldoggie | January 30, 2007 3:14 PM

And I thought it was just Republicans who don't care about poor people. Kirby and Ivan should step in front of a bus.

Posted by elswinger | January 30, 2007 3:18 PM

Okay, ivan, I'll bite you.


Posted by Gomez | January 30, 2007 3:24 PM

This kills me: "or allegations that the businesses target the poor and minorities" - Who on earth is this kind of business going to target? The rich and white? You go where the business is - in this case your customers are those in desperate financial need. You'll find lots of them among the poor and lots of the poor are minorities. This is like faulting beer companies for targeting frat boys.

Their business is by all means immoral and predatory, but com on - you can't fault them for selling to willing buyers.

Posted by John | January 30, 2007 3:27 PM

What are you talking about John? Are you an advocate of anything-goes capitalism? "You can't fault a guy for selling crack to high school students; you can't fault a business for selling sex slaves to Russian go where the business is!"

It's the same nonsense. No one is saying that it should be illegal to loan money to poor people. What we are saying is that the industry should be regulated so that people who need help don't fall into a trap that will fuck them up worse in the long run. There is no earthly reason why these businesses should be allowed to charge obscene interest. None. We need a cap.

Posted by Gurldoggie | January 30, 2007 3:37 PM

Hey everyone, Ivan is right. None of us are allowed to express an opinion about Kirby and Prentice (the new Squatch) except him.

You know what Ivan, you insufferable douchbag piece of chicken shit, you can shove your work on 1020 up your ass for all i care. I think the FACTS that have been laid out in this post and Angela's article about Prentice are enough for me to say that they are serving coporate interests over those of their constituents. So far all you have provided is incotrovertable evidence that you are an ass hole.

Posted by longball | January 30, 2007 3:48 PM

Oh! Feel the love! So tell me, Longball, what are YOU doing to get HB 1020 passed?

So you have an opinion. Well yippie skippie and BEE EFF DEE! I'm SO impressed!

Horrors! They serve corporate interests! Like corporate interests are not their constituents?

Do we like that they take these positions? No. We do not. Do we write skewed, slanted, bullshit articles about them like Angela Valdez did, so that gullible twits like you will believe it and start foaming at the mouth? No. We do not.

We mobilize support to work around them, and we deal. When we have mustered the votes to deal, they will deal. That's what they do. They don't jump when YOU say frog, even if your position is correct, which it is.

Here's a clue. They don't jump when *I* say frog either. It takes work, a whole lot of work. There is very little instant gratification.

Did you call or e-mail YOUR legislators? Do you even know who they are? Get back to me when you hear from them, OK? Cheerie-bye now.

Posted by ivan | January 30, 2007 4:23 PM

Boy, for someone who purports to be working for the people's best interests, you sure are a dick.

Posted by laterite | January 30, 2007 4:33 PM

Ivan, thakns for the "clues". here's some for you: I may have been "foaming at the mouth" but not at Kirby and Prentice (my comment @10 was completely reasonable and limited to this issue), it was your blanket rebuke of all criticisms of them complete with list of qualifications you must meet in order to criticise them, that made me "foam at the mouth". So what did i do about that? I called you out for being a total asshat. As far as i know, there's no referendum on the ballot about that for me to work on.

While you may not "write skewed, slanted, bullshit articles about them like Angela Valdez did," you sure as hell don't give any actual FACTS to back up your assertion that these two reps are the Hewey P Long populists of the 21st century. You see Angela did give us some facts. They're compelling. You are not.

"Cheerie by now"?, Well sweetie doodle dee dums to you too, honey snoookums. glad to know this bill has a gas bag like you working so hard on it.

Posted by longball | January 30, 2007 5:14 PM

Oh my gawd, government DOES NOT EXIST TO SOLVE EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM ANYBODY COULD EVER HAVE. Yes, it sucks that there are poor people, and it sucks that there are people who don't have the education and/or mental ability to comprehend basic math. But if people want to take out payday loans, why exactly should the government be getting involved, again?

If anything, a blanket cap on interest rates could conceivably make some sense. Maybe.

Posted by Violet_DaGrinder | January 30, 2007 6:36 PM

Violet, I think that's all that anyone is asking. Just like the credit cards are limited by interest caps. Or at least they used to. I try not to use them anymore.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | January 30, 2007 8:02 PM

People who like to meddle usually frame their actions as the defending the poor little guy against the big evil rich corporation. But occasionally the frame slips, and even inveterate meddlers realize a limit on the contracts A can close with B is equally a limit on the contracts that B can close with A; these are teaching moments.

So even though I don't expect to actually disuade any inveterate meddlers, I hope you will at least take the opportunity to see who you are. Stand in front of a mirror and say: "I am a liberal nanny-state elitist. I believe that poor people shouldn't be allowed to make their own decisions about loans, wages, rents, and schools for their children. I want to use the power of the state to require their decisions to be consistent with my values. Conservative nanny-state elitists may want to meddle in the service of different ends, but I want to meddle just as much as they do."

Posted by David Wright | January 30, 2007 8:31 PM

Oh David - you're so silly.

Posted by Melinda Gates | January 30, 2007 10:20 PM

Margarita Prentice stands up for the working poor by taking their money and attempting to transfer it to sports-team billionaires.

Posted by sam | January 30, 2007 11:20 PM

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