Letters: Payday loans & free will

A customer applies for a cash loan at a Money Mart on Broadway and 20th Street in Sacramento mWednesday June 27, 2001. New legislation (SB 898) would reduce the fees associated with payday loans, improve the disclosure of borrower's rights to consumers, establish a toll-free number for customer complaints, and require lenders to report data regarding their practices to the Department of Justice. But most importantly, the bill would provide repeat borrowers the opportunity to get off the payday loan treadmill by paying off their loans in installments. The Sacramento Bee / Randy Pench /ZUMA Press

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Payday loans & free will

Why does the Standard only offer anecdotes of those who had bad experiences with payday lenders? Surely an unbiased reporter would have found good ones among the 3.6 million loans made in Texas last year.

Pastor Chad Chaddick claimed, “… the market is a poor standard for helping us measure what is good for ourselves.” Respectfully, he is wrong. People can decide for themselves.

Payday loans have been in existence for 22 years. Were they as “bad” as Pastor Chaddick would like to believe, they would’ve died at the hands of the efficient market. He likely only meets people who have had bad experiences, but never sees those who have had good ones. His sampling bias has skewed his judgment. He should visit stores and talk to satisfied customers.

Indeed, one woman said, “Am I responsible for the decision I made? Absolutely.” This is correct. But then she says, “The payday lenders help us make bad decisions.” So, if she runs a red light, does that mean the car helped her make a bad decision? If she gets drunk and injures herself, did the alcohol help her make a bad decision?

God gave us free will. We are responsible for our decisions, period. Government cannot protect us from mistakes. It didn’t stop Pastor Chaddick from rushing to judgment without reviewing the results of the free market or countless studies demonstrating consumers’ desires to have free will in choosing whether or not to use a payday loan.

Clark Reilly



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