The Neon Wilderness

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Neon Wilderness
From Dollars & Sense Magazine comes a piece by Howard Karger about Americas fringe economy for the poor and what a big and very profitable business its become. The fringe economy Karger explains is a wide range of businesses
"that engage in financially predatory relationships with lowincome or heavily indebted consumers by charging excessive interest rates, superhigh fees, or exorbitant prices for goods or services" which include "payday lenders, pawnshops, check-cashers, tax refund lenders, rent-to-own stores, and "buy-here/pay-here" used car lots. The fringe economy also includes credit card companies that charge excessive late payment or over-the-creditlimit penalties; cell phone providers that force less creditworthy customers into expensive prepaid plans; and subprime mortgage lenders that gouge prospective homeowners".
The article then details the profits and revenues of these fringe economy vultures, the numbers are nothing short of extraordinary, billions upon billions, all based on the idea of robbing, exploiting, and cheating the most economically vulnerable of our society, what a country.
Dollars & Sense "America's Growing Fringe Economy"

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