Libertarian blogger Ken Santema is available for comment. Even a guy who supports keeping government out of the free market recognizes that Amendment U (for Usury!) is a self-serving lie, one industry’s attempt to hijack the South Dakota Constitution:
At its core Amendment U would appear to create an 18% per year interest cap on loans. But that only applies to loans where no written contract exists. In other words it doesn’t apply to any loans in the payday lending industry. Basically this amendment would codify a wish-list item for the payday lending industry. I can understand the industry trying to protect itself against IM21. But that does not excuse the attempt to riddle the SD State Constitution with industry specific protectionism. If the payday industry truly wanted to end intervention they should have proposed an amendment that would prevent any codified law from interfering in the free market (that would be great!), instead of an amendment specific to them [Ken Santema, “18% Ballot Measure Becomes SD Constitution Amendment U on the 2016 Ballot,” SoDakLiberty, 2016.01.04].
I’m not sure what an amendment forbidding laws from interfering with the free market would look like—ban school attendance laws for keeping potential young workers out of the labor force and customers away from the stores? ban sales tax for depressing demand? ban appropriations for the state tourism department and the Future Fund and all other economic development programs for interfering by definition with the free market?—but Santema says Amendment U (for Usury!) is not it.
Amendment U: liberals say vote it down, Libertarians say vote it down, honest South Dakotans say vote it down.