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.

•…[more]

November 27, 2023 • 03:57 PM

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Obama’s “Hope” – The New Tramp Stamp of Political Decals Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, February 25 2010
The omnipresent 'Hope' bumper sticker now possesses approximately the same value as the secret formula for New Coke.

“Oh, no…  What have I done?” 

That is the lament of innumerable people staring into a mirror at the garish tattoo they added to their lower backsides the previous night during a spell of misjudgment. 

Such tattoos are often referred to as “tramp stamps,” a term that has gained such cultural currency that it was named one of the “Words of the Year” for 2009 by the New Oxford American Dictionary.  Perhaps the best definition, however, can be found at www.urbandictionary.com

2.  Tramp Stamp:  “Tramp Stamp” is a derogatory term referring to a tattoo which a woman places on her lower back.  It is especially popular among women born in the late ‘70s, ‘80s, and even early ‘90s.  Fair or unfair, these tattoos have a socially constructed connotation associated with them.  Although these are often biased and generalized claims, there have been sociological studies done by the American Psychological Association, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and other demographic researchers showing strong correlative evidence associating tattoos with high-risk behavior, illegal substance abuse and sexual promiscuity.  These risk factors are greatest in the age range which these types of tattoos are gaining mainstream popularity.  Some have also jokingly stated that by 2050, the “tramp stamp” will be renamed the “gramp stamp.” 

What thus seemed at first a hip, daring way of demonstrating individuality to the world quickly becomes a lasting and unsightly cliché of indiscretion. 

It seemed so cool at the time.  But now, the cool is gone and all that remains is a silly permanent mark. 

Today, one can travel down any busy American street or highway and usually spot the new political equivalent of the tramp stamp.  Namely, the ubiquitous 2008 campaign decal with the cartoonish stenciled portrait of Barack Obama gazing wistfully into the distance above the nebulous term “HOPE.” 

Created by “street artist” and George W. Bush antagonist Shepard Fairey based upon the 2006 photograph of Obama by Associated Press (AP) photographer Mannie Garcia, the image became synonymous with the Obama hysteria. 

Apparently unconcerned with the sinister association, Laura Barton of the left-wing Guardian newspaper gushed that “Hope” had “acquired the kind of instant recognition of Jim Fitzpatrick’s Che Guevara poster, and is surely set to grace t-shirts, coffee mugs and the walls of student bedrooms in years to come.” 

Humorously, Fairey’s imagery ultimately became the subject of a lawsuit when the AP claimed unfair use of its photograph and demanded compensation. 

Irrespective of the legal imbroglio surrounding “Hope,” Obama’s disastrous first year has obliterated the cachet the image so recently possessed.  Obama has performed so poorly after entering office with such high (albeit unfounded) accolades that his approval among the American electorate has plummeted more steeply than any elected President in the history of scientific polling. 

And justifiably so. 

Obama promised to reduce the federal debt by scouring the budget “line-by-line,” but he has instead dangerously inflated spending and debt.  He promised to usher in a new era of international peace and cooperation by literally and figuratively bowing to foreign counterparts, but instead dangerous regimes like Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Russia have increased their influence and belligerence.  He promised a reversal of the Reagan Revolution that brought a quarter-century of unprecedented prosperity and a peaceful end to the Cold War, but has instead failed so miserably that he managed to see a Republican elected to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.  He promised to bring bipartisan healthcare reform, but has instead been forced to roll out multiple “one last time” speeches and summits to sell ObamaCare to an unwilling nation.  Just this week, he unveiled ObamaCare 1.0, or 3.0, or 7.0 – it is simply too difficult to keep track. 

As a result, the omnipresent “Hope” bumper sticker now possesses approximately the same value as the secret formula for New Coke. 

Unfortunately, though, there’s one important distinction between the faded and tattered “Hope” decal versus the larger Obama agenda that it came to represent.  Passé bumper stickers and other fads like the pet rock can simply be relegated to the attic or recycle bin.  In contrast, a garish tattoo is more permanent and removal is painful. 

Even more painful will be reversal of whatever items from the Obama agenda America allows to become law. 

Notable Quote   
 
"It's just shoplifting, what's the big deal? Everything is insured. The stores just write it off, right?But anyone who has ever stood in front of a locked case of toothpaste, waiting for someone to free the Colgate, knows it's far more than that.Worse, anyone who has lived in an area that shops are abandoning en masse due to the shoplifting problem knows what is lost.The impulse to dismiss shoplifting…[more]
 
 
— Karol Markowicz, Author and Columnist at the New York Post and Fox News
 
Liberty Poll   

What grade would you give the Biden administration thus far regarding all aspects of its approach to the Hamas/Israel conflict?