AMERICANS UNDER ATTACK!
DESTROYING A MIDDLE CLASS THAT
LIVES PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK
AMERICANS CAN’T GET CREDIT IN
THE OBAMA ECONOMY
FREE MARKET ANALYST: Jamie Fulmer is the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for Advance America, a Liberty Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leaders Network.
THE FEDS AND BIG TECH ARE
KILLING ANOTHER OPTION
GUNS, TOBACCO, COAL, AND NOW THIS…
“Progressives have long argued that the federal government must protect the Internet from discrimination by treating service providers like Comcast as public utilities. Now we learn that the Net doesn’t have to be neutral, as long as Google is the company targeting legal businesses that are politically unpopular.
Google recently announced in a blog post that the search engine would no longer run advertisements for payday loans with high interest rates and a 60-day-repayment period. “Ads for financial services are a particular area of vigilance given how core they are to people’s livelihood and well being,” the company wrote. Google hopes that “fewer people will be exposed to misleading or harmful products.”
Google has won plaudits for serving as a force for global good, though consumers might not want financial advice from a Web company: Payday customers tend to understand the terms and see the loans as their best option. Google’s paternalism may leave some people having to go to loan sharks.
The decision doesn’t flow from a great awakening against usury: The venture capital arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has invested in LendUp, a company that offers short-term loans at high interest rates and competes with payday lenders. Google told us that the relevant LendUp ads will be blocked, which is at least consistent. Yet Google also invested about $125 million in the online Lending Club, and who knows if that firm will pick up customers from the ban.
Any company is free to nix advertising, though Google usually resists. The tech giant ignored warnings from regulators that it must yank illegal advertising from Canadian pharmacies, which resulted in a $500 million settlement with the Justice Department in 2011. Google only banned ads that show pornography in 2014. Yet suddenly payday lenders are public enemy No. 1?
Google’s timing is also curious, given that the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is finishing up a rule to wipe out the payday industry by cutting a lender’s ability to collect. This political assault includes Justice Department investigations into banks that do business with payday lenders, which are also lawful outfits.”
READ MORE: wsj.com/articles/googles-payday-lending-ban-1464643382
ABOUT: Fulmer is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for Advance America, the leading provider of consumer financial services in the U.S. Advance America operates approximately 2,400 locations in 29 states, offering credit options and financial services – including non-bank cash advances, prepaid cards, check-to-card services, money transfers, money orders, bill payment services, gold buying and tax preparation – to more than one million hardworking Americans each year.
TWITTER: @Jamie_Fulmer, @UAdvanceAmerica