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Your Opinion: Let free market deal with payday lenders

by Bert Dirschell, Centertown | June 7, 2015 at 6:20 p.m. | Updated June 7, 2015 at 6:20 p.m.

Dear Editor:

A group of pastors want the god of government to put more restrictions on payday lenders. While I applaud those offering financial counseling services, I question the need to get government more involved. Why not let the free market deal with the problem? Those who find current payday loan costs so egregious should find it easy to provide loans at no, or reduced costs.

I was the treasurer of a small, rural Midwestern church for many years. The income of the majority of the members was quite limited and yet every time someone was led to start a ministry the funds became available. If these pastors worship the same God I do then ceding more authority/responsibility to Caesar should not be the answer. If God is putting this on their hearts then He will provide the resources needed, they need not bow down to the god of government.

A admit to being a skeptic. I wonder if the real issue is that these pastors just don't want to delve too deeply into the issue of Christian, personal financial responsibility nor the concept of "living beyond your means." According to a survey by the Federal Reserve, 47 percent of Americans say they don't have personal access to $400 for an "emergency" expense. Seventy-three percent of all households have cable/satellite TV. Perhaps some of the people with "pay TV" should have it shut off until they have saved enough for an adequate "rainy day fund". (On the bright side, 45 percent said they have at least three months of expenses saved in a rainy day fund.)

Charity is when we willingly choose to share our resources with others. Extortion is when the government threatens to imprison you unless you give them your money and let them redistribute it. For those who disagree, please inform me of chapter and verse examples where Christ sent the poor, including the poor in judgment, to Caesar for assistance.

If you are not a Christian complaining about the astounding current interest rates perhaps you should start your own lending business. If you charged only half of the quoted 455 percent rates people should flock to your door for loans. If you paid investors half of that (a return on investment of over 100 percent), you should have no trouble attracting capital.

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