June 25, 2012

The Current Week 06/18/12 - 06/22/12

Justin Katz


Tuesday: Uncertainty over ObamaCare Supreme Court Ruling Bedevils Business Community, Kevin J. Mooney - Analysis
The economic drag of legal uncertainty surrounding ObamaCare may be resolved with the Supreme Court's pending ruling on its Constitutionality, but longer-term effects remain a concern.

Justin's Case

Monday: Payday Loans and Government Expertise - Opinion
An unspoken assumption of advocates for payday loan reform leads Justin to question the ability and right of government to meddle.
Watching the Choice of Decline Being Made - Opinion
Reviewing the latest budget in terms of RI's rankings according to various criteria puts the state's choice of decline or turnaround in clear terms.

Tuesday: Ev'rybody's Talkin' 'bout ALEC-Seein', Rep. Jon Brien, Taxes Bein', Workers' Pleadin' - Opinion
A New York Times mention of Woonsocket's problems has the state buzzing; Justin suggests that everybody should look a little more deeply into the heart of Rhode Island's problems.

Wednesday: The Ever-Growth Unfunded Liability - Analysis
Various national organizations have attempted to calculate unfunded liabilities for Rhode Island and other states across the nation. The differences are dramatic and indicate reason for concern.
Americans Losing Confidence in Institutions, Especially Public Schools and News Media - Analysis
A Gallup poll finding American confidence in public schools at an all-time low also points to a disconnect between Americans' opinions of various institutions and the priorities of government.

Thursday: Non-Union Charters Do Better in Math and Science - Analysis
With Education Commissioner Deborah Gist recommending that the charter expire for one of Rhode Island's charter school specifically on the grounds of its math scores, the question arises whether private-sector methods and non-union teachers might underperform their public-school peers. Comparing several charter high schools in RI shows that the lesson may be the opposite.
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Pay Day Loans. We are simply seeing the re-emergence of a once thriving business. Credit cards, which never give a sucker an even break, have killed the small loan business. Not so many years ago, every town of any size had a Household Finance Company. (J.P. Morgan owned all of their operations outside of the U.S. They didn't want the stigma of owning their U.S. operations)

Go to your bank and look for a good deal on a $500, or $1,000 loan. Forget it, the "origination costs" would kill the deal for the bank.

It is not just small lenders. About 10 years ago Sears was fined $5,000,000.00 by the Boston Bankruptcy Court for egregious lending practices. So far as I know, Sears still charges a $25 "late fee" (not interest) on card payments. Get in financial trouble and it is fairly easy to load up $300 in "late fees" on a $100 debt to Sears.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at June 26, 2012 10:13 AM
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