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Pastor Hosts Press Conference Saturday on Religious Principles Supporting 36% Rate Cap on Payday Lenders

Jennifer, Lisa, and others who’ve been roped into the payday lenders’ exploitative schemes, here’s an opportunity to come to Jesus and renounce your sins. Anna Madsen, Sioux Falls pastor gone Omaha, is hosting a “Press Conference for People of Faith in Support of the Petition to Cap the Rate at 36%” on Saturday morning, October 31, 10 a.m.

Here’s Madsen’s invite:

There is a long history against usury and usurers across faith traditions. Presently, in South Dakota, there is no cap to interest rates on payday loans. The average, therefore, in SD is 574%! That’s just the -average.- The industry preys upon the poor and the desperate and the vulnerable–precisely the people for whom people of faith are called to advocate and to protect. In keeping with cross-denominational and cross-faith traditions of speaking out for economic justice and on behalf of those who are victims of poverty and exploitation, we welcome people of faith to a press conference this Saturday, October 31. There we will speak in unity in favor of the petition to Cap the Rate at 36%, and out of our religious principles, the very ones which call us to not just speak about, but to actually act on behalf of the Least of These [Anna Madsen, FB invite to press conference, 2015.10.26].

The event takes place at 2609 South 6th Avenue in Sioux Falls. Come hear the Word, then do the Word by signing and circulating a real 36% rate cap petition!


  1. troy 2015-10-26 12:28


    I’m always amused when Scripture and religious principles are selectively invoked to serve a secular purpose. Both sides do it. But, maybe because of my perspective, it seems liberals are mostly strongly critical when religion is used for a purpose contrary to liberal orthodoxy. Can’t help myself. :)

    That said, people of both sides are always well served to search for Truth in places where our preconceived views might be different vs. only going where our preconceived views are reinforced and allow ourselves and the application of our Prudential Judgement to be challenged . If I didn’t have a prior commitment that can’t be changed, I’d be interested in hearing her views. Will you be posting her presentation?

  2. Steve Hickey 2015-10-26 12:38

    Both sides can’t use Scripture on this issue, Troy. There are passages that expressly forbid charging excessive interest and usury and a bunch others that speak of exploiting the poor and elderly. Openhandedness to the poor is what is called for, and if anything we are to lend to them and not expect payment back. isaiah says break every unjust contract .

    The Pope is right for calling out these financial sins.

  3. troy 2015-10-26 13:40


    Until I hear from you or anyone supporting your idea how the working poor with poor credit can access emergency cash, I find your sanctimony disingenuous and effectively anti-poor. I’m not going to take the time to restate my argument since you are fundamentally dishonest on this issue and have failed to respond to my offer to give you a forum to explain yourself.

  4. Steve Hickey 2015-10-26 13:58

    Some people shouldn’t be borrowing anything. And it’s a proven fact that these loans leave them far worse than before. We’ve posted various creative alternatives to loan sharking (the dakota credit union association is stepping up to meet needs of those who next short term small dollar Loans . But it’s responsible lending. If you have no capacity to pay it back you don’t get a loan. The only reason loan sharks loan to these people is because they get paid back when the person takes out a second loan there or elsewhere. But the most important fact is that the poor are getting along just as well in the 16 states where the rate is capped. Even more the poor soldiers who previously were targeted. So continue to turn a deaf ear to all that, but don’t turn a deaf ear to the Pope’s leadership on the financial sins of the West. Filter out all that smacks of socialism and he still dead right on the sins of high interesting banking and greedy lenders.

  5. leslie 2015-10-26 14:04

    troy-would micro lending work for emergency cash?

  6. Rorschach 2015-10-26 14:09

    How can the working poor with poor credit access emergency cash, Troy? Churches. Pawn shops. Family. Friends. Government. Nonprofit agencies. Is your imagination so lacking that you couldn’t think of these things yourself?

  7. troy 2015-10-26 14:17


    Besides being arrogant (some people shouldn’t borrow anything), dishonest (proven fact), you are stupid:

    1) If these cheaper alternatives were viable, they would have already driven the pay day lenders out of business.

    2) “The only way they get paid back is via a second loan or elsewhere.” If they pay it back, they prove themselves credit worthy and can handle the debt. If they “get paid” back because of a “greater fool lender” that lender goes out of business.

    Finally, I take comfort I don’t spiritual direction from someone so fundamentally dishonest and stupid. I’m quite comfortable with examining my prudential judgment on matters with regard to my call for a preferential option for the poor and the Pope’s counsel and admonitions with a firm vigilance to Justice. (P.S. Your interpretation of the Pope’s counsel is ignorant of its context to the faithful).

  8. troy 2015-10-26 14:29


    Pay day lending is a form of micro lending.


    People who have assets to pledge may have access to emergency loans. The problem are those who don’t have assets to pledge* and all they have to offer is their next paycheck. I’m all for any other entity to provide a cheaper alternative. If such an entity exists, it will drive payday lenders out of business. I too struggle with those who take such loans and get into a spiral that is often overwhelming. At the same time, I can’t bring myself to eliminate this resource in such a hatchet manner. I do think there are reforms that would take out much of what is “unjust” (my subjective opinion of what is unjust). These reforms don’t go far enough for Hickey et. al. who have made it clear they want to eliminate the industry. Thus, since the choice is “as is” or “elimination,” I come down on “as is” because I believe it will do more harm than good to the working poor. For example, a person who needs their car to get to work and it is in the shop HAS to get the car fixed. Losing their job is worse than paying high interest.

    * This bill will have significant repercussions on car title loans as well.

  9. mike from iowa 2015-10-26 14:30

    Troy acts and sounds like one with skin in the game. Keep it up Troy and Steve. This where the lions should be able to watch kristians tear each other apart.

  10. Rorschach 2015-10-26 14:53

    Troy. If you think Rep. Hickey is dishonest, what’s your position on the 18% cap?

    After you answer that one, do you believe a payday lending provision belongs in the state constitution?

  11. Rorschach 2015-10-26 14:55

    And what’s your position on whether Rep. Hickey should be prosecuted like Bosworth/Haber for 2012 petitions he allegedly signed as circulator that were allegedly circulated by Bob Deelstra at a Hartford city council meeting?

  12. leslie 2015-10-26 15:05

    thx troy.

    Guardian, 11.19.13- “Just as in microcredit-saturated Latin America, the programmed diversion of South Africa’s scarce funds into microcredit applications has been a first-order development disaster in the post-apartheid era.***

    Like Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, far too many high-profile microcredit supporters and policymakers also naively bought into the myth of the free market, including its particular aversion towards robust regulation. There was hope that for-profit microcredit institutions would dutifully stick to their allotted mission and responsibly lend to the poor. However, just as in the wider economy, where the actions of the financial institutions on Wall Street brought on a global recession, the widely-held assumption that private banks and microcredit institutions would be responsible also proved to be spectacularly wrong.***

    Bombarded with microloans in such a way that today they simply cannot repay even a fraction of what they owe (estimates are that 40% of the South African workforce’s income is spent on repaying debt), South Africa’s poor are now caught in a microdebt-trap of unimaginable proportions. Only now are people realising that the real aim of the private banks and microcredit institutions in South Africa – exactly as in the case of Wall Street’s infamous sub-prime lenders – was not to help their poor clients, but to extract as much value from them in the shortest time possible before leaving the sector and moving on to other fields of business.

    Unfortunately, the very worst impacts of microcredit in South Africa have taken place in the poorest and most vulnerable regions, especially around the mining district of Rustenburg. Here, many of The result…was massive profits for the private banks and microcredit institutions and, of course, huge financial rewards for their high-profile CEOs, but personal devastation for the vast majority of already heavily indebted mineworkers and their families.

    South Africa’s microcredit model and its supporters – much like their counterparts around the world – have been widely discredited.***

    But the alternative is to leave things as they are and deal with an inevitable Arab Spring-style uprising, the end result of which one simply cannot predict.”

    Applicable in the US?

  13. Steve Hickey 2015-10-26 15:12

    My goodness Troy, enough with the insults. They should be below you. These are viable options that are working elsewhere. My favorite idea is to encourage South Dakota employers to offer the benefit of 3 payday loans a year for an employee at zero interest. It’s the least we can to in our low income state. Hildebrand does this and I’ve done it many times. It cost employers dearly to have employees getting these loans and dealing with varnished wages. Have you ever employed anyone?

    No, are not able to pay them back with out borrowing more money from the lender or another lender. It’s not paying back a loan when you borrow more.

    It’s not arrogant to say some people shouldn’t be lent money. It’s responsible lendering. A person on an 1100 fixed income cannot pay back a $300 payday loan in two weeks. And so these lenders are taking seniors social security checks. An ex employer told me working in a Genry Finamce shop was the work year of her life, felt the need to shower at the end of the day it was such a dirty job. Especially because how the elderly are exploited and how they are expected to make sure the loan is a debt trap and they borrow more.

    Spin the Pope’s words to suit yourself.

  14. Steve Hickey 2015-10-26 15:19

    Rorschach. I volunteered for a lie detector on the petition matter and was told before I left there was nothing to charge me with.

  15. troy 2015-10-26 15:22


    First, I know I often spell your name wrong. Just want to make a blanket apology.

    Second, the issue has no place in the State Constitution. For different reasons, I think both bills are fundamentally flawed and wouldn’t make it out of a legislative committee without better drafting (not making a statement on the merits of either cap just drafting).

    Third, I don’t have enough information to pass judgment on the accusation regarding Hickey’s petitions. Based on what I know, it is he said/she said, reliance on long-ago memories which could be hard to sort out, my gut is any charge would be hard (if not impossible) to prove beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt. Unless the evidence is similar (basically irrefutable based on information solely from information publicly available from Bosworth/Haber, I’d understand why prosecution wouldn’t be a good use of resources and without more information, wouldn’t support prosecution.


    I can’t even figure out all the nuance of the best balance in the US. I’m not even going to hazard a guess on whether that the African experience is applicable to this discussion.

  16. Rorschach 2015-10-26 15:25

    “Having bad credit shouldn’t prevent you from getting a new car.” (Local dealer radio ad).

    My out loud response whenever I hear the ad: “Yes it should!”

  17. Rorschach 2015-10-26 15:39

    Offering to take a lie detector test is no proof of innocence. Lots of people who are lying offer to take lie detector tests. Some of them avoid the test simply because of their bravado of offering to take it. Such tests do cost time and money after all. Others take it and pass though they were lying. Still others take it and the results are inconclusive. Some fail, then claim the test was wrong because they were nervous, or … (insert the excuse). Everyone who takes a lie detector test knows it’s not admissible in court.

    Rep. Hickey, I have just never heard you say, “Yes I went to the Hartford City Council meeting and got those signatures myself.” Most people if they circulated their own petitions – which needed under 50 signatures – would begin any defense with that statement. For some reason you did not. Your tactic of not addressing the issue directly raises more questions than it answers. Once again, offering to take a lie detector test doesn’t answer the question.

  18. troy 2015-10-26 15:41


    If it were me, I would have worked on my “favorite idea” in lieu of terminating the existing alternative since if it were viable, the payday industry would disappear overnight without passing a law because 0 interest is better than any interest.

    That said, I suggested a reform to you specifically along that same line which allowed an employee/borrower to pledge a certain percentage of their pay-check and payment would go direct to the pay day lender. This would significantly reduce default risk and collection costs, allow longer amortization, and thus significantly reduce the interest rate required to cover defaults and collection costs. Tell everyone here your prior response and why this wasn’t acceptable to you.

  19. bearcreekbat 2015-10-26 16:06

    An important, legally mandated, resource for the poor individual in need of emergency cash is one of SD counties’ best kept secrets – County Poor Relief. I would like to see a requirement that any lender, payday or otherwise, has a duty to disclose the nature of this resource and obtained a signed statement from the borrower than he or she is aware it it, but declines to use it.

    SDCL 28-13-1 provides:

    “Every county shall relieve and support all poor and indigent persons who have established residency therein, as that term is defined in §§ 28-13-2 to 28-13-16.2, inclusive, and who have made application to the county, whenever they shall stand in need. Each board of county commissioners may raise money by taxation for the support and employment of the poor. If a person is receiving benefits from the Department of Social Services, the board of county commissioners may determine if he is eligible for county relief.”

  20. Steve Hickey 2015-10-26 16:12

    I don’t remember your suggestion or my response. Why would an employer want or need to have a payday lender in the middle? Whatever your idea was, I’m not for a bill to make employers offer certain benefits. It’s a culture change. We need to celebrate good corporate citizens.

    The idea works because some of us already do it. We value employees. We know emergencies come up. We know loan sharks will make it far worse. We know the pain of garnished wages and the cost to us. We are happy to cut a check early a few times a year.

    Somewhere along the way you’ve decided I’m dishonest. You have no basis. You have a picture of you and Chuck Brennan on your Facebook page, or at least you did. Why should we believe what you tell us?

  21. Rorschach 2015-10-26 16:22

    That’s a good idea for legislation, bearcreekbat.

    If Rep. Hickey were still a legislator perhaps he would borrow a tactic from anti-abortion activists – seeking to impose burdens on payday lenders and borrowers not unlike the burdens he imposes on abortion providers and seekers. Maybe a counseling requirement before taking out a payday loan. Then a 24 hour waiting period between appearance at a loan business and taking out the loan to think it over. Heck, link the two issues directly by requiring borrowers to sign an affidavit that the money won’t be used to pay for an abortion.

    I suspect the overlap between those who want to burden abortion and those who want to burden payday lending is small. Using anti-abortion tactics against payday lenders in the legislature would likely provoke some interesting and potentially hypocritical statements from people on both sides.

  22. troy 2015-10-26 16:39


    There a multitude of reasons for employers not to want to make loans some of which is because of current laws (e.g. employment law):

    1) If they do it very often, there is a question if the activity becomes subject to regulated lending laws.

    2) If they are a regulated lender, except for loans specifically for job related expenses (uniform or vehicle or computer, etc.), the loan has to be approved at the highest level or by the board of directors.

    3) If the employee quits, they then have to expend collection efforts.

    4) As it outside their normal course of business, it might violate a loan covenant with their bank as it could be considered a distribution of assets specifically prohibited. Technical violation but some borrowers are diligent about every single covenant causing them choose not to do it. If they were my client, I’d advise them to get specific permission to make such employee loans at specific terms and up to an approved amount. And, if making loans isn’t a technical violation, not making the loan at market rates is more likely a violation with regard to their general obligation to safeguard assets.

    I could probably come up with more reasons. By having a lender involved where they just agree to partition a percentage of wages (similar to how they do so for child support) is likely to overcome all if not all the above potential objections.

    BTW, I never had a picture of Chuck Brennan on my Facebook page and have never so much as shaken his hand. I had a picture of me, my wife, Alice Cooper and his wife (I might have edited out both wives on my Facebook page, I don’t remember) taken at the grand opening of the Boy’s & Girls Club Brennan Rock & Roll Academy. I was an Alice Cooper fan in high school and stood in line like every other person who was there. I’ve done the same thing when sports celebrities have come to town.

  23. crossgrain 2015-10-26 17:56

    I own a small mom-and-pop, and we’ve got around a dozen employees at any given time. I’ve often “loaned” my employees money for emergencies. Sometimes it’s $100 for groceries, or $500 for unexpected medical bills, or whatever. Usually it’s just an advance on their pay, and we deduct maybe $20 from each check til it’s paid off (at 0% interest), or I just write them a bonus check (and deduct proper payroll taxes, add it to the W-2, etc.) depending on circumstances. I don’t have a problem with it. The problem is greedy bastards who don’t understand the value of their people. They’re not cogs in the machine, they ARE the machine. Without them, you’re screwed. Treat them well, pay them well, help them out, and they’ll return the favor. Just my 2₵… I’ll deduct 1₵ from your next 2 checks.

  24. mike from iowa 2015-10-26 18:11

    No matter how much you spin and chew and regurgitate this subject,payday lenders will never disappear overnight. The money they can legally steal is too great to just walk away from.

  25. grudznick 2015-10-26 18:18

    It will be very bad if they go back alley and pool hall again. The people who make these bad decisions will keep making them and there will be no legitimate businesses to go after. Better to regulate these people in the open and make sure they don’t go back to leg breaking. That is an argument you probably won’t hear the robber barons make because they don’t want to admit to what they will do, but I think that is why most of their customers will vote against both the generous %36 limit and the half-as-big 18% limit. The customers don’t want the loans to go away, or don’t want the loans to have to be made in a back alley by the dumpster.

    This is about people who think they know better trying to jam it down the maw of the poor and the people who intentionally make bad life choices of all sorts. Both of these law petitions are anti-freedom.

  26. jana 2015-10-26 19:04

    The GOP is filled with cafeteria Christians. Jesus speaks directly to usury. Yet the GOP worships the very institutions and passes laws that don’t just give tacit support, but seek to build an economy with it.

    GOP leaders crave the stage at Buffalo Chip and embrace the debauchery, sex trafficking and drug dealing that is a part of the Sturgis Rally.

    GOP leaders love gambling and work to promote not just its existence, but its growth.

    They’ll shriek about the evils of communism, but jump into bed with them for money and trade.

    GOP leaders suffer the little children when it comes to education.

    The GOP has put money and false idols as their platform and still want to preach to the rest of us.


  27. troy 2015-10-26 19:53


    BTW, I’m spinning nothing the Pope says. Your statement only highlights how little you know about what the Pope says, in what context and with what particular authority he making the statement. Sometimes the Pope speaks “ex cathedra” which is binding on the faithful, sometimes he speaks as a Bishop with regard to the Pastoral care of his flock which is a lesson on how we are to live as a Christian which we must take seriously and aspire to live up to, sometimes he speaks as a particular Bishop in which his words are equal to those of all other Bishops (e.g. in context of a Synod of Bishops), and sometimes he speaks as a person trying to solve problems in the world from which his primary influence is related to the expertise he has on the issue where he is as likely to not get it right as another.

    Any particular prescription on this particular issue the Pope has made, it is not a Teaching but an expression of his prudential judgment with regard to addressing the Teaching on the preferential option for the poor. The Pope’s prudential judgment is not a matter of Faith and Morals of which I’m called to abide. In the particular setting of South Dakota and the situation of the poor here and now, I am called to apply my prudential judgment in my particular setting as I discern according to the Teaching on the preferential option for the poor where it is wholly possible my prudential judgment may actually be superior to his. And, if I think either his expertise, experience or perspective is lacking, I’m free to disagree and remain fully within the Teachings of the Church so long as I do it thoughtfully and properly motivated. In fact, the Church adamantly teaches following any cleric blindly without regard to his particular authority (especially one outside his particular charism like economics) is contrary to Church Teaching.

  28. Jana 2015-10-26 20:03

    So Troy, you know I’m slow.

    Are you saying that A) The Pope is wrong B) He took his Pope hat off and is just being a regular guy C) The Pope is theologically wrong on this one D) You made a choice between the “money changers” and the leader of the Catholic Church and are now rationalizing that choice E) The whole usury thing in the Bible has to be an error in translation and should not be take literally like the stuff I agree with.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-26 20:30

    Troy, do you think Pastor Madsen is selectively invoking Scripture for secular purposes?

    If I get a copy of the presentation, I will most certainly post it here for everyone’s analysis and enjoyment.

    And what fun! We have the anti-poor charge again! Troy, providing poor people with emergency cash does not justify trapping the poor in radical long-term debt any more than helping the poor forget the troubles of the day justifies addicting them to heroin.

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-26 20:34

    Besides, Troy, we have working models of the short-term emergency lending you say the poor need that charge only 25% interest: see my October 5 post.

    Now, Troy, dishonest and stupid? I’m not sure that’s fair to Hickey. I don’t think he’s lied in this discussion. He’s certainly not lying about the petition he’s sponsoring (you’ve confused Steve with Lisa Furlong and her fake circulators). As for stupid, well, he’s managing to do graduate work in Scotland and still keep up with our conversations here. That takes some brain power.

  31. Rorschach 2015-10-26 20:34

    I saw Bishop Swain at a confirmation the other day. He did part of it wearing his mitre (bishop hat), part with his zucchetto (skull cap), and part with a bare head. He kept changing back and forth between headgear during the ceremony. Not sure why.

    Fascinating that a Methodist lawyer can end up a Catholic bishop. What should I be in my second life?

  32. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-26 20:36

    And on the “arrogance” of claiming that some people shouldn’t be lent money… Don’t mainstream banks tell some people that regularly, when they reject mortgage applications? In those cases, are the banks arrogant or wise?

  33. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-26 20:39

    (By the way, anyone here gong to the press conference Saturday to here the local Lutheran perspective on why payday usury is bad?)

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-26 20:40

    County poor relief! Forget lending; just just people in real need and call it good! Interesting reminder, BCB. Must we privatize emergency assistance to the poor?

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-26 20:44

    Crossgrain shows us the non-regulatory, community-based solution: people just looking out for each other and looking at each other as people, not objects. Crossgrain doesn’t want to get into long-term lending. He doesn’t want to file for a lending license. He just wants to help the people who make his business possible. Crossgrain, I appreciate your respect for the humanity of your employees

  36. Troy 2015-10-26 23:35


    I assume Madsen will present the moral case for her position and will select appropriate Scripture to open one to that position. I would expect nothing less. It is what Pastors do and legitimate. I also have little doubt she is more honest and smarter than Hickey. And what makes him a menace is he has no concept of his limitations, only his sanctimony.

    I understand in this imperfect world the problem Hickey claims (I do not believe him to be sincere because of his willingness to be wantonly deceptive and with impunity) to be concerned about is real. I also understand the status quo is far from perfect.

    I also believe the proposal is worse than the disease. Access to capital is a path to a better future for those who use it correctly. When Thoreau wrote Walden, people lived in log homes (or easily could have), could walk to their work, and knew every one of their neighbors. Today, the choice is a house, apartment or trailer house, for most a car is a necessity, and we are strangers to the person who lives next to us. To pretend this isn’t true and we can take away paths to people who already have too few paths (limited greatly because economic growth is at best anemic) is more than poor policy to me. I find it harmful to those intended to be helped, regardless to good intentions. But, I also believe there is a better way that throw out the dirty bath water but keeps the baby.

    A proper solution with balance is hard work but won’t come from the hateful rants of a guy who has chosen to retaliate against an industry because his ideas weren’t received with the praise he coveted but were met with giggles from his colleagues.

    P.S. Before we get totally excited by the solution of employer loans, remember company stores, company housing, and company loans were common.

  37. Heidi Marttila-Losure 2015-10-26 23:38

    I happened to hear Anna Madsen speak earlier this month on this topic. She’s passionate and knowledgeable. I recommend going to the event if you’re in the area.

  38. Steve Hickey 2015-10-27 03:29

    Reread what you write Troy. Sanctimonious fits you well on any topic you are taking on. And then you stoop to the personal level in your barbs. You are better than us all – that’s the message you project.

    It was on the death penalty repeal I decided you were just empty words. You had chances and credibility to pull Republicans our way but you sat quiet. At least I’m out there in the trenches. Easy to takes shots at me from the safety of where you sit. Get involved in an issue for once and make the state better.

  39. Steve Hickey 2015-10-27 06:30

    Did I miss Troy’s answer to Jana’s multiple choice question, the one about him being his own moral authority?

    If I’m a menace to his party, a compliment actually, he’s an accomplice, a skirted cheerleader, to their poor stewardship of their supermajority. He’s not on the field in the game but only rah rahing about whether or not Rev Madson is smarter than I. No doubt she is.

  40. Jenny 2015-10-27 07:01

    I am disappointed in you, Troy. I had thought of you as well-mannered and very polite when in disagreement. Your treatment of Hickey, a man that has a grim prognosis, is horrible.
    The social policies of your Catholic church is ALL about taking care of the poor and you know it. Debt is an ugly thing and has caused many people to commit suicide. It has broken up families, breeds domestic violence, gambling, theft. What is so god awful bad about capping interest rates?
    You worry more about fetuses than the stressors poor people have everyday! Try taking off the business face and have some compassion for the low wage earners. Just try it some time. The Catholic Church demands it, and I’m not talking about serving in some soup kitchen. Go out and live the life of a poor person, it’s not fun.

  41. Donald 2015-10-27 09:06

    Steve wrote:
    “The only reason loan sharks loan to these people is because they get paid back when the person takes out a second loan there or elsewhere”

    This is absolutely true. In my past, I worked for a company that provided tech to payday loan companies in various states, including SD. I know from experience that these companies can get very creative when it comes to keeping customers for the long term. “Can’t pay the loan back? No prob. Just pay the interest due and we’ll ‘renew’ (extend) it for another 2 weeks.” Similar to running up a credit card and just making the minimum payment, except the interest rate is much higher. If people only got payday loans on rare occasions and were able to pay them off as they are originally written (2-4 week term), they would be comparable in cost to having someone ‘wire’ them the money through Western Union in an emergency situation. Unfortunately, most of these loans drag on indefinitely and the borrowers pay ridiculous fees and interest.

    Steve wrote:
    “Filter out all that smacks of socialism and he still dead right on the sins of high interesting banking and greedy lenders.”

    Steve, are you talking about the Pope, or the New Testament in general? ;) I am honestly interested in how you define socialism. Do you feel that helping the poor is a socialistic ideal? Do you believe that there are some things that should be socialized in our society?

    I know there is good in you. The Emperor GOP hasn’t driven it from you fully!

  42. bearcreekbat 2015-10-27 09:37

    Troy’s comment “remember company stores, company housing, and company loans were common,” brings to mind that great old Merle Travis tune made world famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford:

  43. mike from iowa 2015-10-27 09:48

    You dig 16 tons and what do you get?
    Another day older and deeper in debt.

    Great voice. Used to watch his telly show every week. Bless your little pea-pickin’ heart.

  44. troy 2015-10-27 10:41


    I just noticed your questions:

    A). The Pope may be “right,” “wrong,” or neither. Matters of right and wrong have both a moral dimension which goes to intent (I think his intent is good) and a question of whether it will achieve the intent (which is the heart of where I may disagree). He is expressing his personal prudential judgment. Mine is different. Neither of us are infallible on such matters.

    B) The Pope never takes off his hat. But, not in all things does he speak with infallible authority. Matters of prudential judgment or in his own personal sinful failings (we all have them) are such matters we are not expected to follow.

    C) He isn’t speaking theologically on a matter of Faith and Morals (caps have a distinct definition in the Church where he is speaking authoritatively. some “f” and “m” are in the prudential judgment realm.

    D) I have no sympathy for the “money changers” except to the degree all people are entitled to Justice (being given their due). I’m convinced the elimination of this option for the working poor does more harm than the good it will do.

    E) I think the language in the Bible is clear. Charging an unjust interest rate is unjust. In fact, not being just in all things is admonished. Besides the subjective question whether an interest rate agreed to by two adults is inherently unjust, there is the question whether this remedy to an injustice (if it objectively exists) is the best option. Just because one disagrees with a remedy does not mean one endorses injustice (general injustice or a particular injustice).

    Sidenote: There are some who interpret Scripture that any interest is inherently and objectively unjust. But, that isn’t the matter at hand as this initiative is only about capping the interest rate and not abolishing interest all together.

    Jenny, I hear you. I really do. I don’t relish responding so specifically. To the degree it is sinful, I know I’ll be held to account.

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-27 22:11

    Hickey a menace? Well, at least Troy now agrees with those of us who believe women’s reproductive rights (sorry, Steve—the irony is too delicious).

    Troy, the problem with your assertion that the proposal is worse than the problem is that you misrepresent the problem what the proposal would take away. Payday lenders aren’t offering access to capital and a path to the future. They are handing people some cash that disappears almost immediately, then trapping their main customers in loans that they can’t pay back. The payday lenders extend misery and block opportunity for better futures. The 36% rate cap whacks more misery than it creates (if it creates any misery at all).

  46. Jana 2015-10-27 23:43

    Let’s try this again Troy without your linguistic rationalization.

    Is usury a sin?

    Is gambling a sin?

    Is greed a sin?

    Just a yes or no would be good here.

    Good grief, you can rationalize a sin so well that Donald Trump should hire you to explain his marital track record.

  47. Jana 2015-10-28 00:05

    Sorry to personalize this to you Troy, but you are the SDGOP spokesperson here on the blog.

    Lee Schoenbeck, you have been a big part of legislating these sins into action. Care to weigh in?

    What the heck, Charlie Hoffman or any of the rest of you GOPers that read and comment on the site…can you honestly answer the above questions?

  48. leslie 2015-10-28 00:53

    troy-thx. it appears paydayloan models across the world scream out for reform and regulation from the “free” market.

  49. Troy 2015-10-28 10:07


    I dont answer yes or no questions as I may not understand the question’d context from your perspective and you may not understand the context of my answer. Sin is more than a wrong act but requires context and intent.

    That said, by definition, usury (excessive interest) is objectively unjust. By definition, participation in games of chance are amoral as context is critical. By definition, greed is sinful as it goes to heart and intent. An act may or may not be motivated by greed.

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