Businesses Exploit The Poor For a Buck.

If you really want to help the poor, you have to go after the businesses that exploit them.

According to a recent article over at Alternet, there are several billion-dollar industries whose sole purpose appears to be exploiting low-income families for profit. And, without some big changes to our United States Congress, scamming poor people for money will remain a lucrative business model.

The author of that recent article, Bill Quigley, listed six examples of these businesses, and explained how each industry preys on vulnerable Americans.

For instance, Mr. Quigley explained how pawn shops make billions of dollars worth of small loans, despite knowing that at least 30 percent of people won't be able to afford to come back and claim their property.

Another way poor people are taken advantage of is through predatory payday loans and car title loans, which lure desperate Americans into taking out loans with interest rates that often exceed 100 percent of the amount they borrowed.

And, as if those industries were not enough of a threat to most low-income Americans, they still have to face the unethical behavior of debt collectors and banking monopolies.

This is why so many Americans get trapped in a cycle of poverty. When you make minimum wage, or near it, it's not uncommon to need a little help paying your bills.

But, if you turn to one of these predatory industries to find that help, you're more likely to end up worse off than you started. If you don't lose your car, your bank account, or your personal belongings to a pawn shop or pay day loan, you will probably still wind up with more debt, less money, and a lower credit score. And, good luck finding your next job or apartment in that scenario.

This is what people mean when they say that the system is rigged, and it's why we need Congress to fight for laws that put people ahead of corporate profits. Let's break this immoral cycle and un-rig the system by casting a vote in November.


Intermittent Instigator's picture
Intermittent In... 8 years 14 weeks ago

D. Wasserman Schultz needs to take her payday loan loot and get out of our political process.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 8 years 14 weeks ago

It seems the Mob has taken over America... I read Quigley's article..and sadly, I am not surprised..

Thom, glad to know you finally stopped listenning to the Brain cell killing corp. media. Amy Goodman sums up a day's worth of MSNBC in a 3 second sound bite in her headlines, and then moves on to real news. Watch her at night instead and it will keep your head from exploding.

Bernie or Bust!.. but, Dem or Die! ...and never put party over principal.

Here's a great interview with a couple who were American expats living in Libya who narrowly escaped w/ there lives durring the coup. Fascinating..

Also interesting.. An article about Libyan society before the coup..

ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 14 weeks ago

Kenyatta's statement is one of the best I have ever heard:

"When you say you don't see color, you don't see me!"

ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 14 weeks ago

Intermittent, how did she sneak in from the Republican Party? Our party standards have never been lower!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 14 weeks ago

Living in a rural area I get to witness first hand how very real and extensive poverty is in the most wealthy country on the planet. Many of my neighbors are not only vulnerable to the business exploitation Thom speaks of, they've also already been suckered in by Trump.

I tell them this: Look at what Trump has actually done....not what he says he has done or will do. Once you look at what he has done, things such as outsourcing his own business, buying politicians, anti-union, and anti living wage, etc., then you will know who he really is. He is as right-wing/establishment / conservative as any of his so called establishment foes. If you don't believe me, Richard Trumka has the facts regarding Trump's right wing establishment ways. Thom needs to get Trumka on his show.......he has enough pertinent info to stop Trump in his tracks right well as the rest of the establishment Teapublic scoundrels.

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 8 years 14 weeks ago

The longer I deal with the Asset Addiction / "doing business" class, the less inclined I am to believe that it's really about money as the primary motivater at all, and that the real incentive underlying the anti-social personality disorder syndrome is a free pass to be as sociopathic in an ever escalating pattern as they can get away with under any, and preferably all, circumstances. And that the role of money and asset acquisition is the silent supporting partner which justifies that what they do is Right, right and alright.

Once an individual has passed having a couple of million dollars to meet his needs, but continues to pursue asset accumulation aggressively and more and more compulsively, then it becomes a power and abuse addiction. (One of my axioms is: too much of anything and it becomes something else.)

If we look at history, it seems that the same cycle plays itself out:

(1) people create a content and functional societal infrastructure in which the many are able to meet their needs without an excessive, abusive or unsafe amount of effort,

(2) a group of men jockey themselves into postitions of control over the various areas within the infrastructure,

(3) they block others with differing views from participating,

(4) these controllers become fabulously wealthy and go out of their way to assure that a nepotism exists for only the approved,

(5) instead of sharing and caring with and for the 98%, they become vicious, narrow minded, corrupt, abusers; mentally, physically and economically.

This underscores the true value of a democracy versus a fascist/totalitarian/dictatorial state; the rights of all individuals within that system and freedom from intrinsic corruption versus the objectification of others as a first step in descent, coupled with an evolving pattern of increased abuse wrapped in a might makes right mandate.

This is why we have to get rid of these cancerous invaders who have metastasized over the last 30 year, who are poisoning minds to believe that their way actually has any redeeming values; social or economic.

I am amazed and appalled that the Corporate Court section of the TPP did not put this country out into the street as France so often does. But no, there is something fundamentally wrong with Americans these days. They have been taught to lay down and accept and accept and accept everything that is toxic and vile under the banners of religion, patriotism and being a far superior (White) human being than all the rest when the truth is, people who are drawn to ideas of grandeur, the nepotism of certain groups while barring others, and ending with a need to harm others is the worst kind of hubris any society could promote.

Go Bernie, go!

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 8 years 14 weeks ago

This, the human equivalent of Exxon Valdez or Deepwater Horizon, is merely another example of why capitalism is the most malignant evil our species has ever inflicted on itself.

Indeed capitalism is so evil, its malevolence can only be described in religious terms. Capitalism is, in fact, the elevation of infinte greed to absolute virtue. In other words, just as religion exalts faith and piety above all other values, so does capitalism exalt selfishness and greed above other values. As holiness is to religion, so greed is to capitalism.

What this means in practice is the deliberate rejection of every humanitarian value our species has ever articulated. Which, in turn, mandates the deliberate cultivation and imposition of moral imbecility -- the psychological state that defines serial killers.

Thus capitalism is the mentality of a Ted Bundy or an Elizabeth Bathory deliberately and with malice aforethought applied not just to economics, but to governance and indeed to every other aspect of human consciousness.

No greater evil has humanity ever knowingly inflicted on itsself, and no greater evil has ever more relentlessly threatened human survival.

ChristopehrCurrie's picture
ChristopehrCurrie 8 years 14 weeks ago

It would also help tremendously if we start taxing so-called "unearned income" at the same rates as "earned income." The arguments used to justify taxing "unearned income" at lower rates than "earned income" have proven to be BS! All they do is to use our tax system to transfer wealth from poor and middle income workers into the bank accounts of the already wealthy.

forestandtree's picture
forestandtree 8 years 14 weeks ago

Only Bernie Sanders will go after these businesses that prey on the poor. Not Republicans and for sure not Hillary.

Ronin's picture
Ronin 8 years 14 weeks ago

in the broader perspective regarding exploitation of the poor.. etc.. we have to look at our "civl religion" albeit our American "theology." If one truly believes in a "higher calling" and it's duty to promote universal respect/caring for other, we must change our civil religion's secular foundation. IE we were put here as humans to love each other and use things... our civil religion is based on the converse.. we are taught from early on to love things and use people to get more things. That is by no accident as the founders of this thing we call America were by in large Calvinists and to this day, it's followers... Republican "theologians" enbrace the belief in the expolitation of the "not chosen" among us... the poor. It also follows here in the "Bible Belt" among "christain" true believers... that they would rather own guns than have a job to buy one. The NRA uses that tenet of the faith to sway votes by supporting candidates that the NRA has financed. Thus, here in the Bible Belt the refrain is "we-ah got jee-suz, y'all sum beeches ain't" as they exhasut their unemployment benefits.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 14 weeks ago

I can think of a few more. Casinos, lottery. Nothing takes advantage of the poor more them. Truth is nothing can stop anyone from getting taken advantage of. The best thing is good parenting. Odds of living a life of poverty increase drastically if you come from a single parent family. Although most of the poor are born into poverty, many create it. Over spending, drug use, alcohol, just being lazy, having children you can't afford, put them in the position they can be taken advantage of. I wish I was a liberal, it would be so much easier to blame billionaires and corporations than our selves for all our problems.

rick1960 8 years 14 weeks ago

I have become extremely disappointed lately with Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller. I have followed them for years, and always felt they were true progressives, yet, they are advertising for Uber, which is just as responsible for destroying the middle class as Wal Mart, NAFTA, or TPP.
I have decided not to listen to their show, until they stop advertising for Uber. I am sure they won't stop for little old me, so I imagine it will be a long time. Stephanie's show always has been heavy on the ads. As much as I love her line up though, I will be listening to Pete Dominic when she is on, and John Fugelsang when Thom is on.

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