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Powers Speaks Trumpese: Steve Forbes = “A Lot of People” Opposing CFPB Payday-Lending Rules

One more Powers post, then he’s out of my system for the day (I hope!).

The SDGOP spin blog offers another demonstration of Trumpian propaganda tactics. Yesterday, in his ongoing frontage for loan sharks, Pat Powers offered this headline slagging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new rules to rein in abusive payday lenders:

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau released rules regarding short term loans. There’s a lot of people who don’t like them.

Alas, as he so often does, Powers confuses plural and singular. He asserts that the CFPB’s rules have aroused “widespread opposition.” Yet he cites only “one of the voices”, millionaire publisher Steve Forbes, whose October 5 Facebook post responds to the payday lending rules but focuses more on the generic rich man’s critique of the CFPB:

Steve Forbes, Facebook, 2017.10.05.
Steve Forbes, Facebook, 2017.10.05.

Read that last line: giving payday lenders more rope to hang consumers means allowing “the American people… to take control of their financial futures again”? Ha! What part of “debt trap” and “predatory lending” don’t you understand, Mr. Forbes?

But Forbes is the only person Powers cites in a post that headlined “a lot of people”. And Forbes says nothing to substantiate that there are “a lot of people” agreeing with him, only an unnamed survey that says nearly half of Americans struggle with finances (psst—they struggle even more when payday lenders take advantage of them!). Evidently, all the Benjamin Franklins in Forbes’s pocket count as “a lot of people” supporting his view.

“A lot of people” is a trick phrase straight from Donald Trump. “Many people” rise from nowhere to make one person’s preferred and perhaps completely fabricated narrative sound like commonly accepted truth.

Powers misuses the plural frequently, trying to falsely bolster a one-off claim (notice that when I say something happens multiple times, I provide multiple links to support that claim). I could say many people are saying that Pat should stop manufacturing pluralities to justify his singular observations. But I won’t. I’m saying it myself. We’ll see how many people join the comment section to agree or disagree.

By the way, more than one person say the CFPB’s new payday-lending rules are a good idea. Really.


  1. o 2017-10-17 12:03

    Well, I suppose both Forbes and his money say that, so that would be “plural?” Although lots of voice may not be the same as lots of voices.

    In all seriousness, this does perpetuate the view that the voices and wishes of the wealthy do carry more weight by their very nature. That is a problem.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-10-18 05:35

    O, Powers certainly speaks for the wealthy point of view, so maybe there is some connection between his frequent use of this propagandistic exaggeration and the idea of wealthy entitlement to a greater voice.

    But it could also be a simple willingness to lie to boost his own political point. Consider Trump’s vile lie Monday about past Presidents not calling the families of fallen soldiers. He’s just fabricating an excuse for his own failure to respond to the death of four of his soldiers in Niger. (Hey, Donald, can you even explain why those troops were in Niger, what their mission is?) He didn’t even have one example to cite; he just fabricated a plurality of actors to justify his own failure.

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