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Reverse Robin Hood: Six Billion Dollar Businesses Preying on Poor People


Reverse Robin Hood: Six Billion Dollar Businesses Preying on Poor People

Bill Quigley

Many see families in poverty and seek to help. Others see families in poverty and see opportunities for profit.

Here are six examples of billion dollar industries which are built on separating poor people, especially people of color, from their money, the reverse Robin Hood.

Check Cashing Businesses


Yes! The Dems are sometimes for the little people!

But often they are not. Here is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the DNC

DNC Chair Joins GOP Attack On Elizabeth Warren's Agency:
Payday lenders get a new ally.

WASHINGTON -- Payday lenders have been gunning for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since the day President Barack Obama tapped Elizabeth Warren to set up the new agency. They've had plenty of help from congressional Republicans -- longtime recipients of campaign contributions from the payday loan industry. As the CFPB has moved closer to adopting new rules to shield families from predatory lending, the GOP has assailed the agency from every conceivable angle -- going after its budget, attempting to tie its hands with new layers of red tape, fomenting conspiracy theories about rogue regulators illegally shutting down businesses and launching direct attacks on payday loan rules themselves.

To date, the GOP blitz has resulted in a few close shaves for the young agency, but no actual defeats. But the industry has cultivated a powerful new ally in recent weeks: Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

Wasserman Schultz is co-sponsoring a new bill that would gut the CFPB's forthcoming payday loan regulations. She's also attempting to gin up Democratic support for the legislation on Capitol Hill, according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.

And, this article by her primary challenger, Tim Canova

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Shouldn't Be Welcoming Loan Sharks Into the Democratic Party

We know that the most vulnerable among us were hit the hardest during the 2008 financial crisis. Millions of people lost their jobs, their homes, and their bank accounts. That's enough to make you sick to your stomach. But for many, it got worse.

Predatory payday lenders stepped in to profit during the financial crisis. They targeted poor communities -- and people without access to credit from banks -- by offering them short-term loans at sky high interest rates.

On an annual basis, these companies charge late fees and rates as high as 300 to 400 percent and many companies have even charged up 1,900 percent interest on loans, which is obscene. Worse, they target people -- particularly people of color -- who are unable to pay the loan back. If they fall behind, they are offered another payday loan to help cover the cost of the prior payday loan, with fees and percentages get higher and higher, trapping them in an process that never ends.

I have pushed for regulation of payday loan companies my entire career as a law professor and political activist and I opposed the deregulation of lending standards when I served as a legislative aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas in the 1980s. I worked with Senator Bernie Sanders and his staff on provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010, and I was heartened when Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to do just that -- to provide some basic minimum standards in payday loans to prevent the poorest and most vulnerable among us from getting ripped off and trapped in a downward cycle of debt. This is a reform that has been championed by Senator Elizabeth Warren and supported by President Obama.


Oh yes, Ms Schultz, the big HRC supporter, no surprise here. Does anyone honestly not see why people are disgusted with "establishment" Democratic party BS.
Go Bernie!


Add to this nemesis, the fact that several Southern States add all kinds of fees to things like traffic violations and parking tickets, then use those "additions" to create cause for jail-time; and then they CHARGE the victims for the jail time creating a cycle of debt that's impossible to be satisfied.

Welcome to the land of the New Usurers. It's not enough that the 1% are already filthy rich, and--as the Piketty Study proves--took ALL of the new income created since they jury-rigged the global economy to suit their own purposes. On top of that, they have to add more misery to the lives of those just struggling to get by!

The sadism and fundamental inhumanity are impossible to understand.

Oh, and then walking cadavers like Cruz actually push these agendas AND go to church lauding praise upon Jesus who stood UP for the poor!


Isn't this what America is all about?

Human progress: from plantation to company store, to company town, to corporate governance country.

And, they are outlawing charity. Only Bertolt Brecht could . . .

Remember: if you are poor, it is because you made bad choices, everyone else is happy.


According to people like crazy Cruz, and the rest of these vultures that prey on the poor, it is the indigent that are to blame for being lazy, dysfunctional, uneducated, black and many other pejoratives. So their rationalization is we are helping them! Because the impoverished have no one to blame but themselves!

REVERSED ROBIN HOOD. Stealing from the poor to give more to the greedy rich. Exactly!


Six billion dollar industry. Must be pretty risky. Alas.


You are the most despicable shill for shameless looting and exploitation who posts here. Your utter ridiculousness is clear to everyone here.

That's right, 1000% interest with false sales terms is fine! Anyone who asserts anything wrong is going on, actually hates the poor!

What a despicable chump.


You've nailed it! Address poverty with corruption.


"Let's say you stupidly..."

Yeah, we should treat you with intense respect, since your posts are always just dripping with respectfulness.

Yeah, you really JUST CAN'T IMAGINE any other "solution" besides stealing from the poor.

Yeah, we believe you are a sincere poster just looking for honest dialog.

GFY, despicable shill for looters.


Here's two current ideas, one exists and the other should:



The simple solution is to provide jobs that pay a living wage. Just take a look at the social democratic countries. The irony is that the selfishness and greed that is rampant in this country costs us fortunes in police, prisons, insecurity and fear and safety.

It is cheaper to educate people than to incarcerate them, but the opposite is happening in the USA. Just look at the growth in funding for private prisons versus education. If you don't believe me just go to the SEC's web site and look at a 401K of a private prison company and read how they tell you that they are a growth industry.


Don't forget to add to this article all of the small wages paid by the services industry; food, cleaning, retailing or just about any other services industry except, of course, the legal and accounting industries.


It would NOT be unprofitable to the USPS, as outlined in the article i cited. You essentially cite your ideology as a critique of USPS, but your ideology has zero to do with REAL WORLD prospects for a fair and just finance system that supports RATHER THAN PREYS ON people at the bottom of the engineered pyramid. The USPS has been undermined by your ideological allies in the duopoly for decades. That's the real story of the USPS.

Of course you can't allow yourself to think that the pyramid is engineered. We're all "free to choose" and the fact that there were intensive lobbying campaigns by the vultures, and as a result laws were explicitly changed to allow the explosion of "payday lending" vultures to proliferate, you can only see that as an advance for freedom, not an advance for looting. You can't see past your ideological blinders to even acknowledge that the billions of dollars the looters have poured into think-tanks and "campaign contributions" over the past decades have anything at all to do with the tilted "playing field" that your "free to choose" impoverished face. Or on a related note, to even acknowledge that the massive, multi-billion dollar ideological campaign by agents of concentrated wealth promoting the "privatization" of the commonwealth, has anything to do with the state of the USPS. It's just permanently and inherently "inefficient" even though it is ACTUALLY and has always been FAR MORE EFFICIENT at delivering the mail than any of the private corporate providers. Just as Social Security is far more efficient than any private retirement program, and Medicare and the VA are far more efficient than any private health care insurer or provider. Reality has no meaning to you.

Credit Unions are also far different from what your knee-jerk ideological assumptions allow you to contemplate. Credit Unions serve virtually every community in the USA, and in fact more and more CUs ARE setting up non-predatory "payday loans" and check-cashing services that are designed to provide consumers a leg up and a way out, rather than a heartless spiral into further debt.

And perhaps YOU would be so kind as to outline how it is of genuine benefit to anyone to pay (falsely represented) interest rates and fees that work out to hundreds of percent for small loans. Seriously, in real-world terms, not simply recitations of your ideological assumptions: How is ANYONE but the vultures "helped" by these predatory vultures who extract BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF WEALTH from the poorest households in the USA?

And how is the standard practice of the false representation to desperate consumers, of the cumulative impact of fees and interest, consistent with your vision of "freedom"? Free to Lie?


Here are too easy ones, big boy: Single Payer healthcare and free education. You might want to remove your hand from your pants.


You might want to check default rates on payday loans...they are very commensurate with default rates on regular short term consumer loans. The high rates just rip off people that aren't serviced directly by regular banks.


Too bad Ebenezer Scrooge isn't alive today... he could sure put a mind like yours to work for his cause.


The answer is community and state banks... and that means not the corporate banks that charge for checking, and charge enormous bounced check rates, and require a minimum deposit, etc.

As a matter of fact, your nemesis, Ralph Nader's idea about reinstituting banking at post offices is the remedy you've asked for; but you would hardly support as it would deprive the paymasters you seem to admire of their pounds of flesh.


Lifting people out of poverty has everything to do with pay day loans etc.


Actually the profit margin on payday loans is about 5-6%. Not a lot really. Selling lattes is more profitable than that. It may make the USPS profitable tho, until they finish paying into the government imposed pension plan for employees who haven't been born yet.