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Published: Saturday, 6/2/2007

Payday firms are helpful, not predatory

Payday-advance companies each year help thousands of Ohio families overcome unexpected financial circumstances.

When an air conditioner breaks or a car battery dies, Quik Cash and other responsible lenders provide convenient access to small amounts of money to cover those costs. Banks don't.

While critics, including The Blade, have rushed to label payday lending as "predatory" without ever having defined what "predatory" means, recent studies debunk that myth and underscore the fact that, before restricting or eliminating such short-term credit options, public officials should better understand the consumer demand for such products and the unintended consequences any such restrictions might create.

Indeed, a January study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found not only that payday loans were not predatory but that by increasing the supply of credit to an under-served market, they actually enhance the welfare of the households they serve.

Another study found that further regulation of payday lending has the adverse and unintended consequence of reducing credit options for those who may have few alternatives, and that policy makers should encourage competition in the small-loan market, as competition controls prices.

The payday lending industry's largest trade association, the Community Financial Services Association (CFSA), last month launched a Customer Pledge that includes a $12 million public education and financial literacy campaign and an Extended Payment Plan granting any customer - at any time, for any reason - more time to pay off the loan at no additional cost.

Let's give reasonable, hard-working Ohio consumers access to a variety of regulated credit options and trust them to make financial decisions based on what's best for them and their families.

Keith Jernigan

Regional Manager

QC Holdings

Vogel Drive

Greensburg, Kan., has gone through an incredible loss, one that I will never understand. My heart goes out to them.

I was born in Kansas City, Mo., and still feel that Kansas is my neighbor.

I am ready to make a donation to help. I know that donations have already started coming their way. America has a huge heart; show us a need and we will fill it. The people of Toledo are willing to dig deep to help others.

Here is my idea: This is Greensburg's opportunity to go green! Rebuild Greensburg with natural renewable materials. High efficiency heating and cooling systems, bamboo floors, natural fiber wool carpeting, and high E radiant floor heating could all be used.

I am willing to donate more to help the town of Greensburg rebuild energy efficient, environmentally friendly homes and public places.

They should show the rest of us how to Go Green!

Leah Hafemeister

Commonwealth Avenue

Never lacking for another black hole to throw our tax dollars into, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner now wants to Wi-Fi Toledo with a municipal communications network.

Steven Titch, in his May article in Infotech & Telecom News, called municipal broadband "financial disasters."

He explained how they are oversold and of the 52 broadband systems how they have sucked up more than $840 million of taxpayer money.

He went on to explain that after these systems are installed, politicians, never wanting to admit their mistakes, continue the hemorrhaging of tax dollars through creative accounting.

In a Pacific Research Institute article, "The Disaster of Municipal Communications Networks," Sonia Arrison, Dr. Ronald Rizzuto, and Vince Vasquez told how 77 percent of the time even with the power of the government purse municipal networks fail.

They go on to tell how these muni-networks demand constant reinvestment.

Hopefully someone will convince the mayor to trash this idea and stop his forays into the private sector.

Unfortunately, this is just one more ludicrous idea and is one more reason why the city of Toledo should return to a city manager form of government.

Not only have city-manager governments been proven to be more effective and efficient, but also it would put a barrier between mayors like Carty with their wild, expensive dreams and the cash drawer.

Jim Boehm

Drummond Road

It was nice of The Blade's editorial staff to compliment Medina County for thinking outside the box and passing a half-cent sales tax increase for school funding.

In light of all the failures of local school levies, you seem to recommend this type of thinking for the Toledo area.

How creative of those folks to come up with another way to tax the local citizenry for schools.

I wonder if they even considered how many different kinds of taxes we are already paying, like gas tax, phone tax, luxury tax, sales tax, property tax, income tax, etc. The list is almost endless.

I have a humble suggestion. Perhaps better thinking outside the box would involve saving some of the taxpayers' money by finding ways to operate the schools more efficiently.

Perhaps there is a limit, even for worthwhile causes, to the amount of tax dollars the public has to spend.

John F. Weber

Swanton

A Blade editorial asserted that British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been a friend and ally to the United States.

While Mr. Blair was giving unequivocal support to President Bush's invasion of Iraq, Americans racked up 3,400 troop deaths and tens of thousands of injuries, while saddling our children and grandchildren with the $500 billion cost of the war and plunging Iraq into chaos.

Tony Blair may be the administration's friend, but he has been no friend to the American people.

Josie Setzler

Fremont

Another "town hall-meet the mayor" community gathering sponsored by Carty Finkbeiner and accompanied by his signature, superfluous request for citizen input in order to resolve Toledo's problems.

Aside from the free publicity for His Honor, not much benefit is to be derived from these events because Carty just doesn't listen. He knows what the problem is and he's a part of that problem, just like every other "retired" politician, city employee, fireman, policeman, judge, sheriff, teacher, and political appointee that's still working the same job they "retired" from and milking the system by double-dipping.

He brings nothing new to the table.

It's the same old people, with the same old ideas, doing things the same old way, only for a lot more money while Toledo goes nowhere. While these "retirees" now make six-figure incomes, many talented young people full of energy and new ideas who would make a difference have to relocate to Portland, Columbus, or Seattle to find employment all because the greedy "retirees" won't relinquish their stranglehold on jobs here.

Toledo would not be struggling with a budget deficit or a "brain drain" problem if public sector retirees would just stay retired.

William Poznanski

Melvin Drive

The recent arrival of three new polar bear cubs at the Toledo Zoo is a wonderful thing for Toledo. They are truly a precious resource to the zoo and the city. I hope, however, that everyone who goes to see them decides to do more to fight global warming and climate change. Global warming leads to the melting of ice caps and prevents the seas from freezing during the winter. Polar bears need the seas to freeze in order to hunt and feed. Great as the zoo is, it would be terrible if all the polar bears natural habitats were destroyed by global warming.

Spencer Trumm

Orchard Road



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