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Documentary on Successful 36% Payday Lending Rate Cap Gets June Showings in Sioux Falls

Last November I mentioned Let My People Go, a nice little documentary video about the successful David-vs-Goliath initiative that South Dakotans passed to cap payday lending rates at 36%, despite the ridiculously false and thuggish tactics employed by vile and deceptive loan sharks like Chuck Brennan.

The documentary is getting two showings in Sioux Falls next month:

Bring a friend, see how direct democracy works for the good of the people!


  1. Steve Pearson 2019-05-24 09:54

    First off, I’m glad that payday lending is over. People make stupid decisions daily so having an industry that makes ridiculous money off of it seems inhumane.

    But, watching interviews and people saying how they were trapped is also bunk. Both sides playing the payday game are at fault. Places like Dollar Loan Center explained the loans regardless. So the people utilizing it were at fault also. Both played equal parts.

    We blame payday lending and call it predatory lending…shame on us. Consequences for actions have become nothing now in today’s society.

  2. leslie 2019-05-24 10:29

    as usual pearson your political bent belies reality. desperation spending of little people in an eat their young capitalistic greedy reality of America leaves little room for stupidity. Addicted choices are like choosing to have cancer. Capitalism preys on weakness for profit. simple. not a people friendly system. life or materiality. I’ll bet your “boat” on the curb is your biggest passion. not that there is anything wrong with that. I would have loved to raise my kids on the lake, but life can get more demanding. You grumble in the checkout line when folks use their SNAP lifeline too? just spit ballin’ a little. keep posting though. maybe it’ll help

  3. Debbo 2019-05-24 20:24

    Getting that limit passed, the 2 abortion referrals, IM22, etc. Those showed the power of the citizens of South Dakota.

    That’s exactly what G Marky Michelson and the rest of the SDGOP leadership hate, hence their draconian and dishonest rules for petitioning. Folks really need to get behind the People Power Petitions because it may be their last chance to own their state.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-25 09:46

    Steve always has time to take a gratuitous poke at people he wants to believe are inferior to him. He also posits a false equivalency between individuals in desperate financial situations, situations that may have arisen through a variety of external causes instead of or in addition to personal choices, and rich payday lenders who build their wealth through continual and deliberate choices to prey on vulnerable people.

    Debbo is right: the payday lending cap shows the power of ballot questions to do real good for the people of South Dakota. The Legislature didn’t care enough about this issue to take action, so Steve Hildebrand, Steve Hickey, Reynold Nesiba, Cathy Brechtelsbauer, and other good South Dakotans did. They didn’t wallow in blaming the victims of predatory lending for some moral failing. They didn’t feel the need to boost their own egos by disdaining their own neighbors who happen to be in tough financial situations. They said, “Let’s help our neighbors,” and they shut down a predatory industry that survives by violating the moral rules of capitalism that Adam Smith himself envisioned. Without the right of initiative, South Dakotans would be financially worse off under the predatory practices of Chuck Brennan, Rod Aycox, and the other payday lenders. Those lenders were the real source of harm, far worse than any harm done by any of Steve Pearson’s imagined both-sides bogeyman.

  5. Debbo 2019-05-25 12:32

    Exactly, Cory.

  6. Ryan 2019-05-27 12:26

    I agree that this law was an example of the will of the people, but I also agree with the sentiment of Steve’s comment.

    As a baseline, all people need to be held responsible for their own actions.

    There are predators of all sorts out there. Casinos exist. Booze exists. Strip clubs exist. Nicotine exists. Pornography exists. People can let anything take advantage of their lives or finances if they aren’t careful. We can’t get comfortable blaming the industry or the enabler alone. We can’t let some rapist off the hook just because he had poor role models and strong unwanted sexual urges. We also can’t ban everything that might facilitate poor decision making by a vulnerable person. Life is too diverse and uncertain. Everything fun should be illegal if we need to protect the most delicate of the population from themselves to this degree.

  7. Steve Pearson 2019-05-28 12:24

    Exactly Ryan. My point exactly. Even with those above trying the usual leftist attacks of excuse. People must have consequences and that is why I do not like either in this case for a “hero” protrayal. The industry or the people utilizing it.

  8. bearcreekbat 2019-05-28 17:12

    The observation about “predators” and “personal responsibility” suggests that payday loan customers are, in large part, people that might be labeled voluntarily poor due to their particular spending habits.

    If a significant percentage of payday loan customers actually fit within this theoretical category – customers of “predators” – then the “both parties are at fault” argument makes some sense. If not, however, the “both parties” argument seems misplaced.

    I have seen no studies suggesting that a significant percentage of Payday loan customers are borrowing money because they wasted money on some vice. If Ryan or Steve have formed their thesis from actual studies or other evidence, perhaps they can share links to their sources?

    Meanwhile. the only studies I found so far that describe the reasons for borrowing payday loans and the use of the borrowed funds do not seem to directly or implicitly support the “predator” spending or “both parties are at fault” theories. For example, one article indicates that statistical studies have shown

    the vast majority (69%) of people who take out payday loans use the money to cover recurring expenses such as credit card bills, rent and food. This demonstrates that most people who take out payday loans have an ongoing shortage of cash and a constant need for more income.

    In addition, about “16% of payday loan borrowers use the money for” unexpected emergencies.

    These stats are generally consistent with other articles I found on the topic.

  9. grudznick 2019-05-28 17:36

    Mr. bat, do you know what grudznick thinks is the best way for those people covering recurring expenses by taking out payday loans? I’m leaving the “don’t buy smokes, play video lottery, and 40 ounce cans of booze instead of baby formula” arguments here.

    Better yourself, get a better job, and work harder at it. Those people can decrease their ongoing shortage of cash by working harder, and of course, not buying things they really don’t need.

    I do note that the pawn shops on East North St. seem to continue to thrive since we chased the loan sharks out of our state.

  10. bearcreekbat 2019-05-28 19:20

    While it might be good advice to encourage anyone to better themselves, seek better jobs, work harder and refrain from buying unneeded things, I have seen no evidence whatsoever that most people who have had to borrow from payday lenders exhibit contrary behavior, nor have I heard any rational reason to justify such speculation.

  11. Debbo 2019-05-28 20:48

    The #1 reason for bankruptcies in the USA is catastrophic medical expenses. It happens to insured people too. That’s when credit cards get charged up to the max and payday predators pounce.

  12. Ryan 2019-05-28 22:33

    Bcb, my comment referred to vulnerable victims due to the history of this topic on this blog. Protecting vulnerable people from predators appeared to be the consensus reason so many people supported the rate cap. I always took this same position in response – it is an unnecessary law. Not because I have specific evidence about this issue, but because I believe very strongly in personal responsibility and as few laws as possible. Adults should be allowed to enter into seemingly unfavorable contracts if they wish.

    Blaming an industry for providing a wanted service just moves the service underground, it doesn’t eliminate the service. Ban alcohol? Speakeasies everywhere. Ban prostitution? Pimps beating hostage hookers everywhere. Ban drugs? Trillion dollar industry.

  13. Porter Lansing 2019-05-28 23:06

    Demanding that all people conduct their lives with unwavering “personal responsibility” is one of the many tenets of white supremacy. All people aren’t the same nor should they be expected to act the same.
    Individualism, either/or thinking, paternalism and perfectionism are the characteristics of white supremacists that Ryan’s responsiblity credo embodies. Not to mention his history of white, male supremacy statements.

  14. Debbo 2019-05-28 23:20

    Porter, BINGO!

  15. grudznick 2019-05-28 23:37

    Mr. bat, so are you saying these people are genetically incapable of change? They can’t get better? They should perhaps be put under Big Government’s wing and had decisions made on their behalf? Maybe even institutionalized, grudznick thinks. Put them in an institution and hire some fellow to make all these decisions for them. For, as you point out, they can’t better themselves, and others whine about them not getting better. Once institutionalized, perhaps a fellow like you might be able to better manage their lives, after taxing everybody to get the funds, of course. You do have a plan.

  16. bearcreekbat 2019-05-29 10:48

    Grudz, no, no and no. Your follow-up suggestions appear to be nothing more than trolling comments.

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