We at CFIF have consistently highlighted the peril of federal, state and local government efforts targeting…
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New Study Shows How Overregulating Short-Term Lenders Harms Consumers

We at CFIF have consistently highlighted the peril of federal, state and local government efforts targeting the short-term consumer lending sector.

Less than two years ago, we specifically sounded the alarm on a New Mexico law artificially restricting interest rates on short-term consumer loans.

Well, a new study entitled "A New Mexico Consumer Survey:  Understanding the Impact of the 2023 Rate Cap on Consumers" that surveyed actual borrowers confirms our earlier warnings:

Key findings include:

•Short-term,small-dollar loans help borrowers manage their financial situations, irrespective of the borrower’s income.

•The rate cap has failed to improve the financial wellbeing of New Mexicans, specifically those who had previously relied on short-term, small-dollar loans.


November 27, 2023 • 03:57 PM

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As If Non-Interventionism's Record of Success Is Any Better Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, February 19 2015
Both history and current events, however, suggest that the consequences of non-intervention can be even worse than the unintended consequences of applying American power.

Is non-interventionism's record of success any better than that of American projection of power? 

It's a question that must be confronted at a moment in which the globe appears progressively aflame, our 2016 presidential campaign begins to take form and foreign policy concerns increasingly dominate our political discourse. 

In the aftermath of the Iraq and Afghan wars, of course, the American public, its political leaders and popular commentators remain understandably wary regarding projection of U.S. force, particularly "boots on the ground."  As an unfortunate consequence, from Rand Paul on the right to the usual political and media group-thinkers on the left, a lazy reflexive opposition to application of American power abroad often prevails. 

Both history and current events, however, suggest that the consequences of non-intervention can be even worse than the unintended consequences of applying American power. 

Consider what is perhaps the most prominent recent example:  Afghanistan. 

Throughout the 1990s, the murderous and primitive Taliban was allowed to commit mass slaughter, destroy ancient cultural artifacts, impose suffocating societal prohibitions and provide haven to international terrorists.  Meanwhile, sporadic attacks against American targets, including the New York World Trade Center in 1993, provided previews of others being perfected over the course of a decade while America averted its gaze. 

On September 11, 2001, we finally witnessed an attack concocted and perfected over that period in that dysfunctional country. 

During that same period in Rwanda, Bill Clinton has said that the failure of his administration to take action against genocide was perhaps his worst regret as president.  "If we'd gone in sooner," he reflected, "I believe we could have saved at least a third of the lives that were lost ... it had an enduring impact on me." 

Contrast that disastrous example of non-intervention with the Balkans where, despite the controversy that surrounded it at the time, our intervention appears highly successful and beneficial by comparison. 

We obviously learn similarly terrible lessons from the 1930s. 

Still scarred by World War I and fatigued by economic hardship, America and most of the world negligently turned away while the German, Italian and Japanese menace grew.  Had allied nations acted sooner, as Hitler himself admitted, those threats would have been stopped before they caused unfathomable destruction and tens of millions of deaths. 

Back then, a prophetic Winston Churchill was too often labeled a belligerent crank.  Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu too often receives the same treatment. 

Back then, Hitler was too often disregarded as a junior varsity malefactor.  Today, our president clumsily affixed the same label to ISIS. 

And just as the lessons of World War I distorted our wisdom then, our post-Iraq and post-Afghanistan mindset may be distorting our wisdom today. 

After all, what theater of the world is better off today due to American non-intervention than it was when Barack Obama took office?  Where is our power more respected today than it was just six years ago?  Where do our friends stand emboldened, and our enemies in fear? 

Isolationists claim that the ISIS onslaught results from our decision to invade Iraq and topple the world's most aggressive dictator in 2003. 

Nonsense.  ISIS initially flourished in Syria, a nation in which we did not topple its murderous dictator.  And to the extent that ISIS has flourished in Iraq, that's a consequence of Obama's unwise withdrawal of residual forces after the surge strategy had largely pacified the nation. 

That Iraq troop surge, by the way, was an enormous political risk for a president with dwindling political capital, and the exact opposite type of strategy advocated by non-interventionists today.  But it resulted in one of the most astonishing success stories of recent decades. 

Isolationists also falsely claim that our Iraq invasion toppled a critical counterbalance to Iran's rogue regime.  The reality is that Iran's record of oppression and malfeasance long predated Saddam Hussein's removal from power.  That record includes the hostage crisis of 1979-1981, perhaps America's most humiliating experience at the hands of a foreign regime. 

Meanwhile, Russian aggression continues in the wake of Obama's failed "reset" and promise of "flexibility" prior to the 2012 election.  North Korea continues to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities, while China's trajectory of increasing aggression also continues. 

It simply cannot be denied that our enemies now respect us less, and our friends now distrust us more, than they did six years ago. 

Americans rightfully and understandably remain reticent to project our power and, when necessary, even commit our armed forces to overseas conflict.  Unfortunately, we must remember that some alternatives are even worse. 

Notable Quote   
"As lawmakers race to strike a deal before the end of the year that could unlock billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, they are struggling to find consensus on U.S. border and immigration policies, a critical piece of the bill in order to gain Republican support in both chambers.Senate Republicans want to see a crackdown on asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border in exchange for their…[more]
— Samantha-Jo Roth, Congressional Reporter at Washington Examiner
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