Payday Lending Demonstrators March In Harrisonburg

Brent Finnegan -- November 30th, 2007

Here’s some video I shot with a little digital still camera on Carlton Street about an hour ago.

A few organizers from the Virginia Organizing Project and CAP America came to Harrisonburg today, and were joined by several local activists to hold signs, inform borrowers of their rights, and encourage passers-by to contact Senator Obenshain and Delegate Lohr and tell them to put a 36 percent cap on payday loan interest rates.

Here’s an archive of what I’ve written about payday lending on hburgnews before.

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94 Responses to “Payday Lending Demonstrators March In Harrisonburg”

  1. David Miller says:

    I’m glad to see the video project is up and running. I haven’t been able to listen to the audio yet (at work) but the vid quality is not bad at all. This opens up whole new worlds.

  2. David Miller says:

    Brent

    Can you interview the management tomorrow to “Fair and Balance” the story?

  3. finnegan says:

    The lenders themselves won’t talk. Did you notice the last sentence in today’s DNR story?

    “Managers from both businesses declined to comment.”

  4. Deb SF says:

    Thanks for this, Brent; this is a great compliment to the kinds of coverage we get about this kind of stuff from the local news. I can’t help but wonder if you’ve found a subject for your next documentary?

    I really wonder what proportion of customers end up rolling over their loan after the first payment period expires.

  5. David Miller says:

    Finn
    That’s really to bad that they won’t talk, then they can’t put their foot in their mouth. In my opinion this is another BKOA protest issue. Change the law so that these predators can’t con people who are un-able to get out of this vicious cycle. Same reason there are loan-sharking laws. These businesses just found a loophole.

  6. David Miller says:

    Today, the committee reaffirmed a consumer’s right [to choose] by defeating an attempt to effectively end payday advances in the Commonwealth.
    Ken Comp, Chief Executive Officer, Advance America
    source: http://www.rtoonline.com/content/Article/Dec06/VirginiaPaydayLoanLaw120506.asp

    This is the committee responsible for maintaining the status quo for Payday Lenders.
    Virginia House of Delegates Commerce and Labor Committee
    Chairman: Morgan, Harvey B.
    Vice Chair: Hargrove, Frank D., Sr.
    Members
    Callahan, Vincent F., Jr.
    Tata, Robert
    Purkey, Harry R.
    Kilgore, Terry G.
    Byron, Kathy J.
    Ware, R. Lee, Jr.
    Dudley, Allen W.
    Griffith, H. Morgan
    Nixon, Samuel A., Jr.
    Suit, Terrie L.
    Hugo, Timothy D.
    Abbitt, Watkins M., Jr.
    Plum, Kenneth R.
    Johnson, Joseph P., Jr.
    Jones, Dwight Clinton
    Joannou, Johnny S.
    Melvin, Kenneth R.
    Alexander, Kenneth C.
    Sickles, Mark D.
    McClellan, Jennifer L.

    • Here’s who voted for and against the repeal (of the 2002 lifting of the 36% cap)
    HB 619 Payday loans; repealing Act referring thereto.
    12/05/06 House: Failed to report (defeated) in Commerce and Labor (8-Y 10-N)
    YEAS–Morgan, Tata, Purkey, Griffith, Jones, D.C., Joannou, Alexander, McClellan–8.
    NAYS–Callahan, Hargrove, Kilgore, Byron, Ware, R.L., Nixon, Suit, Hugo, Abbitt, Sickles–10.
    ABSTENTIONS–0.
    NOT VOTING–Dudley, Plum, Johnson, Melvin–4.
    Source: “http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?071+vot+H14V0005+HB0619”

    Here’s how much money the Payday Loan companies contributed to the Nays (the representatives responsible for defeating regulation of the industry)

    Callahan, Vincent F., Jr.
    $2,000 CheckSmart Financial Co (Dublin, OH)
    Hargrove, Frank D., Sr.
    $1000 Check into Cash of Va (Cleveland, TN)
    Kilgore, Terry G
    $4000 Ace Cash Express (Irving, TX)
    Byron, Kathy J.
    $2,000 CheckSmart Financial Co (Dublin, OH)
    Ware, R. Lee, Jr.
    $3,500 CheckSmart Financial Co (Dublin, OH)
    $1,500 Ace Cash Express (Irving, TX)
    $1,000 Anderson Financial Services/LoanMax (Lynchburg, VA)
    Nixon, Samuel A., Jr.
    $2,000 Advance America Cash Advance (Spartanburg, SC)
    Suit, Terrie L.
    $2,500 Anderson Financial Services/LoanMax (Lynchburg, VA)
    Hugo, Timothy D.

    None found by upfront labeling of donors.
    Abbitt, Watkins M., Jr.
    None found by upfront labeling of donors.

    Sickles, Mark D.
    $3,500 Anderson Financial Services/LoanMax (Lynchburg, VA)
    $3,000 CheckSmart Financial Co (Dublin, OH)
    $2,246 Ace Cash Express (Irving, TX)
    Source: http://vpap.org/index.cfm

    I don’t have the energy to search to see if anyone whom voted yea received funds from these organizations.

  7. Legalized loan sharks.It’s criminal.

  8. David Miller says:

    Just one of those thing, lobbying + no concern for public interest + Newly legitimized business model = citizen victims (with the unfortunate inability to read fine print)

  9. cook says:

    For those of you who are strongly oppposed to the current scheme but in favor of allowing adults to to borrow money against their next paychecks, is there a satisfactory arrangement that allows payday lending while avoiding many of the acknowledged problems?

  10. finnegan says:

    I’d say limiting the number of loans per borrower would be a start. The situation (as I understand it) is that lenders are allowed to charge exorbitant interest rates AND borrowers take out multiple loans per year, and can’t catch up. If it were a one-time deal, I don’t think you’d see the opposition you’re currently seeing in Virginia.

  11. Lowell Fulk says:

    Why not simply put the caps back into place? So many proponents of the cap removal maintain that people who ordinarily wouldn’t qualify for a loan now have borrowing ability that they didn’t before. But you see these are not loans for long term investment… People are borrowing money to buy groceries. I don’t see it as a particularly good thing to extend credit to someone who for what ever reason will be unable to pay off the loan. If the possibility of making a killing on interest against people not in a position to pay back the loan, or “high risk” as the case may be doesn’t exist, then the lending institution would be far less likely to “loan” money to poor risk individuals. This would require the poor risk individuals to conduct their business in a more responsible manner if they wish to incur debt in order to better their lives.

  12. Gxeremio says:

    I don’t see a huge difference between borrowing from payday lenders and borrowing from the mob. The rates are about the same. Both prey on desperate folks and if you borrow from either your future is in jeopardy. I guess I’m not so much interested in forbidding the practice as in making it impossible for the mafia goons payday loan collectors to ruin your life if you can’t pay. Why should the law fall on the side of the predator?

  13. John says:

    Hate to sound like I’m taking the side of management again, but here goes….

    First, the VA State CORP Commission publishes a yearly report on the consolidated activities of payday lender in the state. It is on their website. It has all kinds of interesting data on industry averages.

    Second, Payday loan collectors can not ‘ruin your life’. The maximum amount of a payday loan in VA is $500. Not a huge sum of money. If the lender cannot locate the borrower after default, there is generally no lawsuit (as the borrower would need to be served). Therefore, no judgement. I’d guess that only about 25% of defaults are pursued in court. If the debt is turned over to a collection agency, they must abide by the Fair Debt Collections practices act (which is HEAVILY weighted in the favor of the debtor). The lender has NO recourse other than court or collections. Kind of hard to ruin a life with one of those things. Beyond that, the VAST majority of payay loan customers have abominable credit anyway. Another judgement doesn’t really mean a whole lot.

    The lender is also required to give the borrower a disclosure to sign EVERY time they get a loan stating that this is not a long term solution, what the APR is, and several referral sources if they are having debt or credit problems.

    No one forces these people to get the loans. Beyond that — they have NO OTHER way to get short term money to buy things like groceries. The alternative might be to go hungry. Not very attractive. Anyone who would loan this demographic money at 36% is out of their mind. Perhaps a great solution and business idea is to gather together all of the detractors, and stat up a new payday lender that’ll loan at 36% APR. From an economics standpoint, they’d put everyone else out of business. The REALITY is that it is perhaps the worst business idea ever formulated, which is why it hasn’t happened and won’t happen.

    Everyone who is beating down payday lenders might be surprised to learn what the average margin is for any given company. And how about some interviews with people who have GOTTEN the loans? I’m sure they are not overly happy about paying that rate, but at the same time, if they were honest, they’d probably admit there isn’t a soul on earth who would lend them a penny otherwise.

    And what about beating down car title loaners? The state doesn’t even regulate that, yet no one seems to be in a fluff about it.

    I’m not a fan of the this industry at all, but the people making a ruckuss are not the customers, generally. Let the people decide where they want to get their loans. Trust me — if these borrowers had another source, they’d use it. They might not be rich, but they have more intelligence than anyone is giving them credit for. People against these loans seem to think that he borrowers can’t make decisions for themselves. They are CHOOSING to get these loans.

  14. Kyle says:

    John writes, “No one forces these people to get the loans. Beyond that — they have NO OTHER way to get short term money to buy things like groceries. The alternative might be to go hungry.”

    A little contradictory You could give a good arguement that they are “forced,” to use these services If they have no alternative but to go hungry,

  15. Kyle says:

    I would also add that the fact that these folks “CHOOSE” to get these loans isn’t justification for the predatary lending practices.

  16. JGFitzgerald says:

    I’m not reading closely, perhaps, but I’m not clear what the proposed solution is: the gov’t not letting lenders make such loans, or the gov’t not letting debtors borrow the money? I’m personally in favor of the more direct route, i.e., bulldozing the lenders’ buildings, after hours of course. Any half-competent lawyer could get you off with some judicious jury-picking. As to those borrowing the money for groceries, the gov’t could operate groceries that give away staples (not cokes and pop-tarts, but staples) for less than it takes to run a food stamp program.

  17. John says:

    Predatory lending implies illegal activity. Folks love to throw that term around. Charging 391% APR (or whatever it is) is fully endorsed by the State of Virginia. That doesn’t make it ‘moral’ but it sure as heck makes it legal.

    Bottom line: If you reduce the APR to 36%, this industry will cease to exist. While that’ll make all of the picketers and naysayers cheer, the CUSTOMERS have one less option.

    If, in fact, the people who patronize these establishments have ‘no choice’ but to go there to get loans – don’t forget all of the other prior choices they made that put them in a situation where they were not credit worthy. They didn’t just wake up one day and get deemed to be a bad risk. That is a designation that is ‘earned’.

    I am all about free markets. Let the consumer decide if they want the product or not. If they don’t it’ll cease to exist on it’s own merits, or lack thereof. Truly free markets tend to work a heck of a lot more efficiently when you leave them alone.

  18. Bubby says:

    Bottom line: If you reduce the APR to 36%, this industry will cease to exist. While that’ll make all of the picketers and naysayers cheer, the CUSTOMERS have one less option.

    Do you have any basis for this comment or is it just your opinion?

  19. Deb SF says:

    Truly free markets don’t care if your teeth rot, or if Grammie shares the Alpo with Fido for the evening meal.

    Societies, though, do care. We don’t don’t have free markets for organs, or children. And we constrain markets for more mundane stuff all over the place with price supports or price floors.

    I have no problem with free markets allocating corn flakes and IPods without limits. Payday loans? Not so much.

  20. John says:

    The basis is fact. 36% interest on these loans does not provide enough of a margin for anyone to be in this market but fools, who will soon be parted from whatever money they had to loan. 36% will not provide enough of a margin to remain in business. I have been in this business in the past – I know this for a fact.

    This is not a societal issue. It is not about children or body parts, or some group that need to be ‘protected’. It is about regular folks who have been irresponsible with their credit. It is about loans to people with really bad credit and assessing how risky it is to loan them moneyin order to make a reasonable profit. No more.

    I think everyone is operating under the false assumption that these companies are making a killing on these loans. Generally this is not true.

  21. Bubby says:

    36% interest on these loans does not provide enough of a margin for anyone to be in this market but fools

    Well, we agree on that. As do the states of Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont and West Virginia, where Usury law and rate caps have put an end to the charade.

  22. Deb SF says:

    John, I think where we differ is that a lot of people think this *is* a societal issue. Everyone understands that Payday Lenders are making loans to people with really bad credit by assessing how risky it is to loan them money, setting the interest rate they charge and estimating the likelihood of default in order to make a profit (we can quibble over the word reasonable).

    The question is one we ask as a society; should they? If someone really has to borrow money to buy groceries, isn’t there a better alternative than being captured by debt for who knows how long at loan-shark rates? We regulate to protect people from their own stupidity all the time (these would be the irresponsible folks), and provide help to those with bad luck (the working poor, also captured by PD Lenders); why not here?

    And more options aren’t always better. From a financial markets perspectives, there are parallels to draw here with the sub-prime mortgage mess. Just because we *can* create all these esoteric financial instruments combining sliced-and-diced old and new-style mortgages, sell them all over the world, price them in ways even Ben Berrnanke doesn’t quite understand, doesn’t mean we should. A lot of people borrowed money to buy homes they couldn’t afford using mortgage instruments they didn’t understand and took on an enormous amount of risk. There will be a host of new regulations coming out of this train wreck, with at least 2 more years before it unfolds completely. Likewise, I don’t think the payday lending option should be on the table, so I’m content with regulating them out of business.

  23. Bubby says:

    Continuing on Deb’s point: When the final bill comes due on all this free-marketing hoo-haa, just like the mortgage loan meltdown, and the Savings & Loan bail-out before that…it will be the taxpayers who will be asked to step in and pay. More people on food stamps, needing medicaid, living in subsidized housing, unable to support their families – dead ass broke. We don’t need to prime that pump.

  24. Gxeremio says:

    John, it’s easy to ruin your life by taking out payday loans. When you’re making $150 or $250 a week, and take out a revolving door payday loan (or several such loans), you never improve your lot in life because what little amount could be expendable income is going to ridiculous interest rates. God forbid you are unable to pay because of sickness. Alternately, you don’t pay it back and ruin your credit, which plenty of people know if a life-ruiner. Here’s some interesting reading on the industry, which rakes in billions every year. For 36% interest to not be enough, they’d have to be in a situation where more than half of their “customers” were defaulting.

    The Dept. of Defense, recognizing the horrible impact of predatory lending on servicemen, successfully pushed for a cap of 36% on such loans…but only to members of the military. Let’s see if the industry indeed becomes so unprofitable that they move out of areas where there are military bases.

  25. Jeremy, the reason why payday lending won’t pull their businesses away from military bases is that, I believe, that law is not binding upon a servicemember’s spouse, who would likely go in and take out such a loan in lieu of the servicemember as the legislation applied only to active duty service members.

    Assuming that the overwhelming majority of the readership of this blog has neither served or would serve in the military, it may surprise you all to know that much of the lower-enlisted grades (E-1 through E-3) actually qualify for food stamps — 25% of my squadron was actually on foodstamps when I was on active duty almost 25 years ago.

    Aside from that, very few in society are stuck in jobs where their weekly salaries are $150-$250…most fastfood restaurants start at over $7.00/hour, which surpasses the salary range you’ve posted. Those who are stuck in that range are either high school students working part time, or those truly on the lower end of the ability scale. There’s no excuse for making that little bit of money.

  26. Lowell Fulk says:

    And see John, this whole kettle of fish was only opened in Virginia in 2002. Between Deb, and Bubby, and Geriximo (wtf?) and Brent, and Christa, you are being argued to a deficit. You should quit while ahead…

    The Bible teaches against this practice (predatory lending) as well.

    And I do include car title/loan businesses as well as pawn shops and the like which take advantage of people’s poor judgment.
    I believe we should all hold everyone to a higher standard than “what makes me feel good at this moment”

    I suppose that liberal Democrats like me expect people to be responsible for themselves,
    and expect those in a position of power over others to have compassion at the same time.
    Rather than simply take advantage of a person’s weakness and vulnerability when they are down or poorly informed in order to make a profit and thereby gain from someone else’s misjudgment or misery.
    But I am after all a Democrat, so what else should one expect…

  27. republitarian says:

    “I suppose that liberal Democrats like me expect people to be responsible for themselves.”

    HA!….Lowell you’re no liberal democrat. You may be a democrat but you’re not liberal.

    Unfortunately, many policies of the liberal democrats are in fact bail-outs for people who fail to plan or use bad judgement on a consistent basis. Then these people vote for the person who offer the bail-outs at other peoples’ expense.

    It is how liberals get elected.

  28. Barnabas says:

    The same people who go and get payday loans, and cash on Cartitles are the same people that think renting a house full of furniture is a good idea.
    What it boils down to is, that people make stupid descisions that lead to other stupid descisions. I know a guy who used a car title lender becuase he sudenly decided he needed a pair of hand guns. A week later when his child needed food and diapers he sold the guns.

    I see people driving Escalades and Lexus SUV’s that shop at Sharp Shopper and Ollies.
    I wonder, are they thrifty or did they get in over their heads with their debts?

  29. Bubby says:

    Unfortunately, many policies of the liberal democrats are in fact bail-outs for people who fail to plan or use bad judgement on a consistent basis. Then these people vote for the person who offer the bail-outs at other peoples’ expense.

    It is how liberals get elected.

    Is there some vault where Republicans keep actual facts behind this kind of wisdom and insight? I’m asking because all kinds of silly ideas are being bandied about as “truth” by Conservatives and it isn’t. So I’ll need to check your references.

  30. JGFitzgerald says:

    Dear Mr. Republitarian,

    The biggest bailout the government is now proposing would be to resolve or ease the sub-prime mortgage crisis. The proposer is the secretary of the treasury, who is not generally believed to be a liberal Democrat. Please clarify, with the prior understanding that I shall probably mock whatever you say.

    Sincerely yours, etc.,

  31. David Miller says:

    The facts of the matter are as follows. If you believe that charging people over 36% interest is moral, we differ greatly. If you believe that using the “legitimate business model” is a valid argument, then why did your industry have to lobby VA so hard just to exist here? Fact is, the industry bought our politicians so that these companies can extract the last little bit out of our working poor and ship it to Ohio, SC and TN where this type of “legitimate business model” was legitimized before VA. We all know that service men and women don’t make enough, same as our teachers, policemen, firemen, and the rest of our civil servants. That’s not the discussion.
    Let me put it this way. Many people who are conservative (this is not a curse word in the same way that liberal is not either) believe that you should pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Fine, me too. Unless your mental capacity does not allow for such a technique. This is why politicians with a conscience have attempted to put a floor on how low people are allowed to wallow before being helped. If you have no conscience then just say so and tell me right here and now that these people deserve to have a company take the last of their money by using their IQ against them and then starving to death. Otherwise consider that if you can’t make money off of 36% loans, maybe you shouldn’t do it at all.

  32. republitarian says:

    Hey Joe, you need to face facts. Our government is into the redistribution of wealth business.

    They consistently promote laziness and reward irresponsible behavior. Look at our prison system. Look at welfare.

    Dave, right on.

  33. chrisfb says:

    I hate to stray so far from the original topic but it seems to me that this argument boils down to this: either these people are unintelligent and they need our help, or these people chose to be dumb, and they are getting what they deserve.

    Correct me if i’m wrong, but how is there anyway of knowing which side is right?

  34. David Miller says:

    chris
    I see where you’re coming from but don’t think that it is necessarily that simple. I think that the long standing practice of 36% caps on APR should be upheld. Thats all. I think that no amount of lobbying should be able to overrule the general welfare that our reps are sworn to uphold

  35. David Miller says:

    Republitarian

    Face facts, you’re a nice guy in person (in spite of being sexist), the problem is that you say things with no factual basis and make up thinks like “They consistently promote laziness and reward irresponsible behavior. Look at our prison system. Look at welfare.” with no basis in fact nor do you make these “arguments” in the proper place. This is not the proper place for you to baselessly say that all people on welfare are lazy and irresponsible (nor do I care to argue this with you). Out of respect for the dialogue that we are attempting please keep this type of discussion on your own page.

    Respectfully yours,

    David Miller

  36. JGFitzgerald says:

    Oh my stars and garters, gov’t is redistributing wealth!! What are we going to do?? And here I thought the main goal of gov’t was maximizing incumbency.

    The laziness of the heiress-style rich is, granted, legendary, and the behavior of Countrywide and the like in granting sub-primes was indeed irresponsible. So we should look at prison for Countrywide folks and welfare for the rich? Sounds like the anti-thesis of liberal Democrat and just about half what we’ve had for the past six years or so. Nobody’s going to jail but street-level crack dealers, but we have some magnificent corporate welfare.

    Think of it this way. Just down the street is a credit service, most of whose clients don’t quite understand it but think they need it. This is called payday lending. Down at the end of Broadway, where Wall Street dead-ends, is a credit service whose clients didn’t quite understand it but thought they could get rich off of it. It’s called the sub-prime risky-financial-instrument hedge-fund mortgage market. Add or subtract a hyphenated adjective, it will say the same thing.

    Now hold that thought for a moment.

    It is said that if you owe the bank one hundred dollars, that is your problem. If you owe the bank one million dollars, that is the bank’s problem.

    So if you owe the red-roofed loan shark five hundred dollars, that’s your problem. If you’re about to screw several hundred, or thousand, small governments, institutional investors, mutual funds and mortgage holders, that’s the government’s problem.

    See how that works.

  37. Phil C. says:

    Being someone who has actually used payday lending, paying my $15-per-$100 extra in fees has never been a problem for me. Nor has it been a problem for the vast majority of people who use payday lending. You just budget accordingly…sometimes that may mean you take out a smaller payday loan once you repay the first one to “stair-step” your way out of the debt in a less-harsh-on-the-wallet way, but most people don’t have a problem with this.

    And it’s not like I make that much money…in fact, I probably make less than most of the people who have posted in this thread before me.

  38. David Miller says:

    Phil

    I’m glad that you have had a positive experience with your payday loans. I’m not against them. I’m against interest rates above 36%.

  39. Phil C. says:

    The only way those interest rates really hit you is if you don’t make your payment on-time or not at all and completely default on it.

    Nonetheless, there are many people calling for payday loans to be completely dismantled from operation…and that would be absolutely wrong. I understand the reason people want a cap placed on the interest…but those interest rates don’t really come into play unless you pay late or not at all.

  40. David Miller says:

    Your fee was 15 for 100, for one week? That’s 780% APR

  41. Lowell Fulk says:

    Must…..Control…..Impulse…..To…..Be…..Logical….. In…….Response…….To…….Shallow…….Comprehension….
    Must…..Be…..Patient….

  42. Lowell Fulk says:

    Phil,
    I must ask you. How can you possibly think that paying $15.00 in order to be able to spend $100.00 only several days before you get paid is in any way an intelligent move to make?
    What could you possibly have to have with such immediacy?
    I’m not picking on you, I simply don’t comprehend.
    But I must say, knowing you to be a strong Republican supporter, that I’m not really surprised by the thought process. Kind of what has gotten our country into this present situation where our children and their children will be paying off debt they had nothing to do with creating for the rest of their lives….

  43. republitarian says:

    Miller, are you have “blog power-play” issues? What was I thinking posting here….you are so much smarter than me.

    I NEVER said that all people on welfare are lazy. Many people on welfare have learned to take advantage of it. Bill Clinton vetoed two previous attempts at welfare reform until 1996 when the republicans basically forced Clinto to sign it.

    Child poverty has fallen. Although opponents of reform predicted it would increase child poverty, some 1.6 million fewer children live in poverty today than in 1995.

    Decreases in poverty have been greatest among black children. In the quarter century prior to welfare reform, the old welfare system failed to reduce poverty among black children. Since welfare reform, the poverty rate among black children has fallen at an unprecedented rate from 41.5 percent in 1995 to 32.9 percent in 2004.

    Unprecedented declines in poverty also occurred among children of single mothers. For a quarter-century before welfare reform, there was little net decline in poverty in this group. Povertywas only slightly lower in 1995 (50.3 percent) than it had been in 1971 (53.1 percent). After the enactment of welfare reform, the poverty rate for children of single mothers fell at a dramatic rate, from 50.3 percent in 1995 to 41.9 percent in 2004.

    Welfare caseloads were cut in half. The AFDC/TANF caseload dropped from 4.3 million families at the time PRWORA was enacted to 1.89 million today.

    Employment of single mothers has surged. The employment rate of the most disadvantaged single mothers increased from 50 percent to 100 percent.

    The explosive growth of out-of-wedlock childbearing has come to a near standstill. For thirty years prior to welfare reform, the percentage of births that were out-of-wedlock rose steadily by about one percentage point per year.The out-of-wedlock birthrate was 7.7 percent in 1965 when the War on Poverty started; by 1995 it had reached 32.2 percent.Following welfare reform, the long-term rapid growth in out-of-wedlock birth rate ended. Although the rate has continued to inch up slowly, the increase is far slower than in the pre-reform period.

    CATO thinks that welfare reform didn’t go far enough:
    http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-25.html

    ….and yes, I am very sexy.

  44. David Miller says:

    Myron
    “They consistently promote laziness and reward irresponsible behavior. Look at our prison system. Look at welfare.”

    That would be you saying it. You have strayed off topic. I have no interest in hearing your diatribe during our attempts to better understand one another’s perspectives. Currently I’m trying to understand Phil’s perspective because it will shape my understanding of this topic. Thanks for trying. Your information is wrong and so are you. May I join you back on Republitarian. I’d love to argue you, just not here?

  45. JGFitzgerald says:

    Myron,

    The first two sentences of the section beginning “decreases in” are lifted directly from this link. Either that or you’re the victim of a great coincidence. How do you spell “attribution”?

  46. republitarian says:

    I believe it was his testimony….but not from that site.

    “All we ask is that you address others the way you’d like to be addressed. No defamatory, accusatory, or name-calling comments. Please limit yourself to a single screen name and a legitimate email address. Thank you.”

    Dave, I now realize that you called me a sexist instead of sexy. I’ll have you know that I am a strong supporter of women and love them very much. For the betterment of this blog please refrain from name calling….it makes this site seem trashy.

  47. JGFitzgerald says:

    I believe I used it without attribution … but not from there.

    Oh.

  48. Kyle says:

    Comment from republitarian
    Time: December 4, 2007, 12:15 pm

    “Hey Joe, you need to face facts. Our government is into the redistribution of wealth business.”
    =====================================
    Yeah, redistributing it from the middle class to the wealthy where in the last 20 years we have seen the largest tranfer of wealth in HUMAN HISTORY from the lowest 97% to the upper 3%.

    Of course while NEOCONS are crying about the few people who do abuse the welfare system to the detriment of those who really need it, you’ll NEVER hear them cry foul about corporate welfare which far exceeds individual welfare.

    In fact, The $150 billion for corporate subsidies and tax benefits eclipses the annual budget deficit of $130 billion. It’s more than the $145 billion paid out annually for the core programs of the social welfare state: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), student aid, housing, food and nutrition, and all direct public assistance (excluding Social Security and medical care).

    The Office of Management and Budget estimates that, as a percentage share, corporations pay about 1/4 what individuals pay in taxes.

    But to NEOCONS that’s ok because thats the “free market”……..yeah, free to corporate america.

  49. Kyle says:

    Oh, And what are those costs? The equivalent of nearly two weekly paychecks from every working man and woman in America–extra money that would stay in their pockets if it didn’t go to support some business venture or corporation.

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