Great News: Payday Lending Is Back!By
Imagine the conversation went something like this:
“So okay, here’s the deal,” Pope says to McCrory, “we turn the clock back until North Carolina looks like a caricature of a poor southern state from 50 years ago. You will have to own property to vote, Yankees make jokes about us all being crackers. Nuevo-poor (and nuevo-uneducated) locals get even more xenophobic, and they won’t elect a Democrat around these parts for decades. The only places people will be able to afford to shop are my stores. We’ll have it made.”
Oh, yes, they would go that far, says Rob Schofield at NC Policy Watch. He presents this early, partial list of the North Carolina General Assembly’s Greatest Hits of 2013. (It seems like just yesterday, doesn’t it?):
- State unemployment insurance: Slashed.
- Federally-funded unemployment insurance: Cut off.
- A federally-funded expansion of health care for a half-million poor people: Turned down.
- A bevy of regulatory boards designed to protect utility ratepayers and/or the environment: Soon to be gutted and stacked with conservative cronies.
- The state earned income tax credit for low-income working families: Soon to be reduced.
- Tax credits for upper income households: Soon to be extended.
- The state estate tax which is already confined to the wealthiest North Carolinians; Soon to be repealed.
- Plans to expedite fossil fuel exploitation at the potential expense of the environment as well as small landowners and communities: Fast-tracked.
And, of course, let’s not forget the NCGA has introduced a bill to bring the predatory payday loan industry back to to North Carolina to serve families without jobs and struggling to make ends meet. Banned since 2001, payday lending is being resurrected by Republicans Jerry Tillman and Tom Apodaka, and by Democrat Clark Jenkins (You’re off the Christmas card list, pal!).
Esquire magazine’s Charlie Pierce believes Deputy Assistant Governor Pat McCrory is treating North Carolina’s hundreds of thousands of unemployed as a “burnt offerings on the altar of a failed ideology.” He writes:
I am particularly struck by the governor’s logic regarding the way the “job creators” think. Naturally, if you make the unemployed even more desperate more quickly, the “job creators” will respond by hiring all of them at the same wages they were being paid before they were laid off, or even perhaps at a higher wage, because that is the way “job creators” always have operated in this exceptional country of ours. Otherwise, one might suggest that the governor has decided that it’s North Carolina’s turn to prance around in Mississippi drag.
Mississippi, you probably heard, just officially ratified the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, after voting to approve it in 1995.