I don’t think I’m telling you anything you don’t know if I note that I think a lot of Governor Daugaard, and believe him to be a good an decent person. But, I’m truly, truly disappointed in him for a statement he made this past week.
South Dakota will be fine without payday lenders that pay excessive interest rates, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Friday.
The statement came in response to the news that dozens of short-term lenders across the state plan to shutter following the implementation of a voter-approved cap on the industry’s interest rates.
“Certainly to the extent that they were only economically viable because they are subsidized by the earnings from excess interest charges, it’s certainly unfortunate, but I don’t think it justifies unreasonable interest charges,” Daugaard told Argus Leader Media. “So if we have to do without those things, then we have to do without them.”
It’s not the first time it’s happened, where the Governor has seemingly substituted his personal morality in an issue and expressed a desire to limit freedom. If you recall the 2013 fight over changing laws to allow MMA fights to happen in South Dakota:
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he opposes a bill that would create a state athletic commission because it would legitimize mixed martial arts fights, events he says are so violent they don’t deserve to be called sports.
But Daugaard says he is offended that the state would legitimize what he calls cage fighting. He says it’s absurd to call such violence a sport.
Along similar lines as his opposition against Mixed Martial Arts bouts because he likened them to “violence,” we again had the Governor speaking out because he believes businesses charging a sufficient amount to cover the costs of loaning money for a matter of a few weeks or months is not something they should do in South Dakota.
For long-time readers, I don’t think I have to express my personal disdain for the nanny state.
Why would we spend millions in tax dollars through state government for economic development to attract businesses, when the Governor declares that we only need certain businesses that he approves of, and we’ll do fine without them? I think it’s an incredibly dangerous thing for the Governor to say.
Because what happens if another Governor comes along and decides they dislike a certain type of mining? Or wants to ban energy production from the use of coal?
I’m sure I could argue until I’m blue in the face that there are going to be a number of people of common means affected by the loss of short term lending, as very few (or no) banks are going to want to take on the high risk/low return lending activity at an unsustainable lending rate. Because now, those disenfranchised people are going to be stuck.
But as big an issue as that will become, there’s a bigger one. We’ve established that sparsely populated South Dakota’s is a little less free. And we’ve started down the road our chief executive telling us we’ll be “fine” without a certain type of business.
Personally, whether or not I chose to patronize them is a decision I would have rather made myself.