Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Loan Sharks

I'd heard about the obscene practices of check cashing operations. Now, thanks to a piece of paper I found behind our garage in the alley (where trash is collected), I've seen evidence of it firsthand. I've blurred out all personal information, but you can still get some of the important details. This person cashed a check for 300 dollars, paid a 45 dollar finance charge and received 255.00 dollars in return. S/he has two weeks about, then the agency cashes the check for 300 dollars. If it bounces, the person will be liable for interest at an annual rate of... well just look at the picture and see for yourself.

460%--Wow. Now we know how Advance America follows it's own advice:

Respect Your Customers
Treat them with dignity and courtesy at all times.
Respect Your Associates
Treat them as you would like to be treated.
Respect Yourself
Work hard and use good, ethical judgment in everything you do.
Respect the Law
It is there to protect us and our Customers.

Of course, I'm being sarcastic. Advance America obviously exploits hardworking people to the extent the law allows, and, unfortunately, the law allows too much. You can see who Advance America contributes to in my "home states" Georgia and California here
and here

If you click on the California section of follow the money, you'll note that Advance ("Fleece") America gives at least as much if not more to Dems as to Republicans. Those who say Sacramento is flawed are entirely correct. The unfortunate thing is that most of the voices we hear saying that are looking (à la Schwarzenneger) to exploit public sentiment about this in order to make the capital even more corrupt than it already is. This is why we need better candidates, progressive ones. MyDD and Plan get it right.