Group in Abingdon, Va., protests payday lending and supports limiting legislationHmm. The Virginia Organizing Project? What's that? Let's go to their website.
By Debra McCown, Bristol Herald Courier
Abingdon, Va. – About 15 people gathered Friday afternoon in front of Abingdon Shopping Center to protest payday lending practices in Virginia.
None of the demonstrators said they had been personally victimized by a payday lender, but they said the interest rates that are charged by the industry take advantage of the poor.
Brian Johns, of the Virginia Organizing Project, said similar demonstrations are being staged around the states to encourage legislators to regulate the payday lending industry. (link)
Here's "Who We Are":
... Virginia’s diversity has long been used to advantage some and disadvantage others. Poor Virginians have always lived in the shadow of great wealth, their needs overshadowed by the desires of the powerful elite. Virginia is also known as the cradle of American democracy; here, it was first argued that all citizens should participate in the decisions that affect their lives. It is this latter heritage that the Virginia Organizing Project is determined to reclaim. (my emphasis)Uh, give me that again? "All citizens should participate in the decisions that affect their lives"?
Isn't that exactly what you're trying to prevent?
If one understands that "payday lending" involves a monetary transaction that is entered into - freely and openly - between an institution in the business of lending money and a person in need of money, and these protesters want to interfere in such "participatory" transactions, isn't this group doing just the opposite of that which it supposedly advocates?
These do-gooder types (this bunch headquartered in Charlottesville, naturally) truly make my head hurt.
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By the way, nowhere on the website do I see where the Virginia Organizing Project offers poor people interest-free loans, proving that the members aren't completely stupid.