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(Duluth News Tribune)   Apparently deciding that his application to join the League of Supervillians just wasn't strong enough; WI Gov. tries to sneak language into a budget bill that will make it easier for "rent to own" shops to rip off the mathematically illiterate   (duluthnewstribune.com) divider line 271
    More: Sad, League of Supervillians, Wisconsin Gov., government budget, Wisconsin, Rent-A-Center, Glenn Grothman, Milwaukee County, Scott Walker  
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13049 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Mar 2013 at 12:13 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-05 12:31:22 PM

akula: Not to be a complete asshole, but if somebody isn't going to read the fine print or do some simple math there's ultimately not one thing you can do to keep that person from being taken for every dime they have. If your mission is to keep people from taking advantage of the stupid and lazy you're never going to have a moment's rest. You won't have any success either.


So- do you read every word of every update to every software EULA?  Do you have them reviewed by your legal council before clicking 'accept'?  No, of course not.  See, unless there are rules around the reasonableness of agreements, there's nothing protecting you.  If Apple took you for every penny, the rejoinder would be the same- it's your own damn fault for not reading the 44 pages of 8 point font before you said 'yes' to yet another iTunes update.

But there's a point where we need to inject reasonableness.  Yes, people are free to make all sorts of bad financial decisions- but the system also shouldn't enable people that prey on them.  A cap of 20% interest on any financial transaction is reasonable, IMO- if the risk is so high that more interest is needed, then the risk is too high to lend the money.

Now that said- the industry is correct that there aren't interest rates per se in the rent-to-own industry, any more than there are in the car rental industry.  But it's reasonable to stipulate that the monthly charge for an item can't be more than 20% of the value of the product new.  A 5 month ROI is a perfectly reasonable, even exceptional, rate of return.  That even goes for items that depreciate rapidly, like computers.
 
2013-03-05 12:31:28 PM

Ring of Fire: Every time I see a picture of Scott Walker his hair makes his head look crooked, then all I can think about is that corner from Anna Nicole Smith.


Coroner
God damn auto correct.
 
2013-03-05 12:32:52 PM
www.thetemplateoftime.com

See the villain's eyes? They - insinuate a slightly skewed perspective on how they see the world. Just off normal.
 
2013-03-05 12:33:26 PM

WorldKnowledge: So let's see if I have this straight - the story points out that if you wasted your free education in America, it is some how the governments fault that you are stupid enough to pay $1,500 for a $150 sofa . . .


Not at all. Looks like you wasted YOUR free education in America, interestingly enough.

What the story points out is that the RTO industry wants to be able to hide their ridiculous interest rates from the public, and Walker's on board with that. Of course, if you couldn't read the story, I'm not sure what you'll do with a rebuttal post, but we can always hope.
 
2013-03-05 12:33:35 PM
Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a furnished basement in their parents home Subby.
 
2013-03-05 12:33:53 PM

dittybopper: dittybopper: Krieghund: dittybopper: FTFY:
Proponents say the industry offers low-income people or people who need something for a short time a way to obtain goods.

That's actually true.

I don't think anyone would argue that point. But that doesn't mean the rent-to-own places shouldn't have to tell you what interest rate you're paying while you have those good for a short time.

I'm less worried about that, because I'm renting it, not purchasing it on credit.  Do you ask for the interest rate information when you rent a car or an apartment?

More to the point, though, if you *DO* go to those sorts of places to purchase stuff, you're probably too stupid to understand the significance of the interest rate anyway, or you're in such a dire situation you don't care.

/My Army room-mate bought a whole bunch of stuff at a rent-to-own place.
//He wasn't overly math-literate.


The new federal  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a whole branch devoted to protecting servicemembers from the complex ecosystem of financial products and services that have grown up to rip off gullible service people (Holly Petraeus of all people is in charge).  They are seen as uniquely vulnerable population like children or the elderly because fo the frequency with which they are preyed on.  It's sickening, really when you realize how many business in this country have been created with the sole purpose of ripping off soldiers.
 
2013-03-05 12:34:02 PM
When I was a junior in high school I was doing my schedule for my senior year.  I only needed three classes to graduate (my class only needed like 21.5 credits to graduate, but the next class needed like 24.5, so the entire school model changed allowing my class to get the vast majority of our credits saving just the senior only options for our senior years), but I had to have six classes each semester, and since one of the classes I needed was year long, I really needed to pad out my schedule.  One of the classes I picked to pad out my schedule was Math of Money.  My friends laughed at me for taking that class, saying "If you know how to sell something for $3.93 and someone hands you a $10 bill and you can make change then what good will that class do you?" I laughed and said "Course filler, easy A, what the hell do I care?"

Then I took the course.  It actually covered stuff like why you don't do rent to own.  Looking back, while it was only an elective, not even accepted as a math credit, I think it should be a required course for all high school students.  Hell, in the long run it did more for me than having to memorize all those bloody quotes from 'Romeo and Juliet.
 
rpm
2013-03-05 12:34:21 PM

dittybopper: I'm less worried about that, because I'm renting it, not purchasing it on credit.  Do you ask for the interest rate information when you rent a car or an apartment?


If it's implied that it will be owned later, yeah. People have problems with the balloon payment on leased cars too.
 
2013-03-05 12:35:17 PM

optimistic_cynic: You mean a lottery in which they clearly disclose the odds of winning? Yes they do.


Which I'm sure is read as thoroughly as rent to own contracts.

Cry me a farking river.
 
2013-03-05 12:35:27 PM

Generation_D: Is it government's job to protect the stupid from themselves?


Pretty much came here to say this.   If you don't like the terms, don't sign the contract.  If the terms of the contract are ridiculous and the fees exorbitant , then people will stop utilizing the services.  People stop utilizing the service, company goes out of business.

If you want to change it, let capitalism play out.  If you run your business in such a way that makes it unattractive to consumers, you will go out of business.  If your customers are stupid, then you stand to rake in the $$$.

Government intervention on behalf of the stupid has become pretty standard though, which is why liberals have flourished.
 
2013-03-05 12:35:39 PM

Generation_D: Is it government's job to protect the stupid from themselves?


And so it begins...
 
2013-03-05 12:36:07 PM
If you can't quickly figure out a rent-to-own shop is a total ripoff, you don't deserve to have money.

I went to Rent-A-Center as a 19 year old looking for a VCR (what?).  It didn't take a PhD to figure out they would be charging me $700 for a VCR that at the time cost about $90.
 
2013-03-05 12:36:36 PM
We have a word for being "mathematically illiterate", the word is "innumerate".

Look it up, actual word.
 
2013-03-05 12:37:09 PM

Phineas: Generation_D: Is it government's job to protect the stupid from themselves?

Pretty much came here to say this.   If you don't like the terms, don't sign the contract.  If the terms of the contract are ridiculous and the fees exorbitant , then people will stop utilizing the services.  People stop utilizing the service, company goes out of business.

If you want to change it, let capitalism play out.  If you run your business in such a way that makes it unattractive to consumers, you will go out of business.  If your customers are stupid, then you stand to rake in the $$$.

Government intervention on behalf of the stupid has become pretty standard though, which is why liberals have flourished.


Too bad we don't have the same type of intervention in Fark threads.
 
2013-03-05 12:38:16 PM

Pincy: Generation_D: Is it government's job to protect the stupid from themselves?

And so it begins...


It is government's job to protect it's citizens from predators.
But,,, we are now raping the sheeple, not just shearing them.
 
jvl
2013-03-05 12:38:29 PM
Oh God, are the liberals still whining about this guy?  Maybe they should try recalling him again.

/ Fondly
 
2013-03-05 12:38:58 PM
The Pavlovian response is hilarious. "Scott Walker mentioned in article headline, must defend him!"

Next up, defend the guy who sold your kids ice cream topped with his semen. It's not the governments place to regulate what ingredients he uses or whether he has to disclose them. And if it's good enough for you, it's good enough for your kids!
 
2013-03-05 12:39:27 PM

Carn: Is he trying to go for some kind of dickhead record?


No, he is really just an ignorant ass who will dance for coin.  Any money or promise of "fame" later on will get his loyalty.
 
2013-03-05 12:40:00 PM

Great Janitor: When I was a junior in high school I was doing my schedule for my senior year.  I only needed three classes to graduate (my class only needed like 21.5 credits to graduate, but the next class needed like 24.5, so the entire school model changed allowing my class to get the vast majority of our credits saving just the senior only options for our senior years), but I had to have six classes each semester, and since one of the classes I needed was year long, I really needed to pad out my schedule.  One of the classes I picked to pad out my schedule was Math of Money.  My friends laughed at me for taking that class, saying "If you know how to sell something for $3.93 and someone hands you a $10 bill and you can make change then what good will that class do you?" I laughed and said "Course filler, easy A, what the hell do I care?"

Then I took the course.  It actually covered stuff like why you don't do rent to own.  Looking back, while it was only an elective, not even accepted as a math credit, I think it should be a required course for all high school students.  Hell, in the long run it did more for me than having to memorize all those bloody quotes from 'Romeo and Juliet.


In VA it is now.  My son, (class of 2015) is the first class for whom a financial lteracy course is a graduation requirement
 
2013-03-05 12:41:01 PM

Generation_D: Is it government's job to protect the stupid from themselves?


Well, I don't know about it being their job, but stupid people tend to be a burden on the state sooner or later, so maybe it's in the government's self-interest to protect them from the most egregious mistakes.
 
2013-03-05 12:41:16 PM

Great Janitor: When I was a junior in high school I was doing my schedule for my senior year.  I only needed three classes to graduate (my class only needed like 21.5 credits to graduate, but the next class needed like 24.5, so the entire school model changed allowing my class to get the vast majority of our credits saving just the senior only options for our senior years), but I had to have six classes each semester, and since one of the classes I needed was year long, I really needed to pad out my schedule.  One of the classes I picked to pad out my schedule was Math of Money.  My friends laughed at me for taking that class, saying "If you know how to sell something for $3.93 and someone hands you a $10 bill and you can make change then what good will that class do you?" I laughed and said "Course filler, easy A, what the hell do I care?"

Then I took the course.  It actually covered stuff like why you don't do rent to own.  Looking back, while it was only an elective, not even accepted as a math credit, I think it should be a required course for all high school students.  Hell, in the long run it did more for me than having to memorize all those bloody quotes from 'Romeo and Juliet.


I am uncertain that most "rent to own" customers have finished high school.
 
2013-03-05 12:41:37 PM

HelloNeuman


Agreed. The govenrment should collect taxes and ....well, I guess just collect taxes.


Having collected them, the government should also spend those collected funds in ways that benefit the greater good (the greater good).
 
2013-03-05 12:41:40 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: optimistic_cynic: You mean a lottery in which they clearly disclose the odds of winning? Yes they do.

Which I'm sure is read as thoroughly as rent to own contracts.

Cry me a farking river.


Yep, because a lottery ticket costs a dollar at the register and then a few months later they send you a bill for $75.
 
2013-03-05 12:41:42 PM

Phineas: Government intervention on behalf of the stupid has become pretty standard though, which is why liberals have flourished.


I used to live in Wisconsin, and teh libs are everything that is wrong with this country/

/got nothin'
//you owe me a new keyboard
///you know what else is wrong with this country?  Numbered lists.
 
2013-03-05 12:43:19 PM

Elandriel: If the name has "Scott" in it somewhere, they're probably an asshole.


Cryingimage.jpg

Leave R. Scott Bakker alone!
 
2013-03-05 12:43:21 PM

busy chillin': Dancin_In_Anson: optimistic_cynic: You mean a lottery in which they clearly disclose the odds of winning? Yes they do.

Which I'm sure is read as thoroughly as rent to own contracts.

Cry me a farking river.

Yep, because a lottery ticket costs a dollar at the register and then a few months later they send you a bill for $75.


Forget it Jake, It's Tardtown.
 
2013-03-05 12:43:49 PM

relcec: if tis furniture the item is often osb with a shiatty veneer.
more like 25x times its worth.


LOL, yeah, I was basing it on electronics. Hell, I'd buy my furniture on the WalMart clearance racks before I'd buy it at a RTO store...
 
2013-03-05 12:44:09 PM

you are a puppet: The Pavlovian response is hilarious. "Scott Walker mentioned in article headline, must defend him!"

Next up, defend the guy who sold your kids ice cream topped with his semen. It's not the governments place to regulate what ingredients he uses or whether he has to disclose them. And if it's good enough for you, it's good enough for your kids!


well, apparently that's totally fine because he'll eventually go out of business or something.
 
2013-03-05 12:44:15 PM
So anyone who knows more about this, do they really not tell you the interest rate? Is there an interest rate? Are we talking the equivalent if it were interest, but it's rent?
 
2013-03-05 12:44:18 PM

Phineas: Generation_D: Is it government's job to protect the stupid from themselves?

Pretty much came here to say this.   If you don't like the terms, don't sign the contract.  If the terms of the contract are ridiculous and the fees exorbitant , then people will stop utilizing the services.  People stop utilizing the service, company goes out of business.

If you want to change it, let capitalism play out.  If you run your business in such a way that makes it unattractive to consumers, you will go out of business.  If your customers are stupid, then you stand to rake in the $$$.

Government intervention on behalf of the stupid has become pretty standard though, which is why liberals have flourished.


The whole point of this is that the terms are NOT spelled out in the contracts.  Capitalism can only play out when the consumer knows what they're signing.
 
2013-03-05 12:44:29 PM

Elandriel: If the name has "Scott" in it somewhere, they're probably an asshole.


Hey, fark you, my middle name is Scott.

On second thought, I'm a complete asshole most of the time, carry on with your studies, they seem to be accurate.
 
2013-03-05 12:45:10 PM

rpm: dittybopper: I'm less worried about that, because I'm renting it, not purchasing it on credit.  Do you ask for the interest rate information when you rent a car or an apartment?

If it's implied that it will be owned later, yeah. People have problems with the balloon payment on leased cars too.


You don't have to pay the baloon payment on a leased car.  At least I didn't the last time I had such a contract many years ago.  The baloon payment was just there to pay if you wanted to keep the car, rather than go lease/buy another one.
 
2013-03-05 12:45:59 PM

untaken_name: Mikey1969: The RTO places are claiming that they don't have to disclose anywhere that in the long run, you pay a minimum of 3x what the item is actually worth.

So, they're like mortgages, then?


I don't know... WHen we were last looking at houses, the mortgage people were pretty up front about the price of the house, the total we'd be payng in interest, all of that stuff. I haven't seen any shady ones yet, but maybe I've gotten lucky. I do have a friend that's a realtor, so I've used his personal recommendations, as opposed to just opening the phone book, closing my eyes and pointing at a name.
 
2013-03-05 12:46:05 PM

busy chillin': Dancin_In_Anson: optimistic_cynic: You mean a lottery in which they clearly disclose the odds of winning? Yes they do.

Which I'm sure is read as thoroughly as rent to own contracts.

Cry me a farking river.

Yep, because a lottery ticket costs a dollar at the register and then a few months later they send you a bill for $75.


And if you skip this week's jackpot, they come and take your couch.
 
2013-03-05 12:46:31 PM

unyon: But there's a point where we need to inject reasonableness.  Yes, people are free to make all sorts of bad financial decisions- but the system also shouldn't enable people that prey on them.  A cap of 20% interest on any financial transaction is reasonable, IMO- if the risk is so high that more interest is needed, then the risk is too high to lend the money.


No argument. But mind you, skipping over a EULA is one thing. It wasn't that long ago we saw people complaining about how they didn't see the need to read things like mortgage documents. The former tends to be nothing but boilerplate with no continuing financial relationship. The latter is a massive expenditure that is not only the largest bill you'll pay but also intimately related to your own home.

I fully agree that the fine print should be made available. But if people think that just having that there is going to put an end to people getting screwed by these places they're living in a fantasy land. Even without the fine print you can tell that the $20 per week for 104 weeks for that computer is enough to pay for that shiatty laptop four times over, well, I fail to see what else we can do. We can try to limit charges for things like interest rates, but I wonder if those folks would just run someplace else to get fleeced.

We can provide education for people, try to place caps on usury, but finally it's up to the individual to take responsibility for one's own affairs. Short of taking away people's ability to enter into contracts we have to know that there's always going to be a danger.
 
2013-03-05 12:46:36 PM

Gosling: akula: Not to be a complete asshole, but if somebody isn't going to read the fine print or do some simple math there's ultimately not one thing you can do to keep that person from being taken for every dime they have. If your mission is to keep people from taking advantage of the stupid and lazy you're never going to have a moment's rest. You won't have any success either.

At this point, Scott's finished going after every dime people have and started work on the dimes he thinks they might be able to have in the future.


Um.  I live in Wisconsin and my local and property taxes went down.

Oh, you mean the dimes that the government takes from me and gives to other people?
 
2013-03-05 12:47:28 PM

busy chillin': Dancin_In_Anson: optimistic_cynic: You mean a lottery in which they clearly disclose the odds of winning? Yes they do.

Which I'm sure is read as thoroughly as rent to own contracts.

Cry me a farking river.

Yep, because a lottery ticket costs a dollar at the register and then a few months later they send you a bill for $75.


if the problem is harm created, then I'm not sure you have an argument. the lottery is far worse for the poor.
 
2013-03-05 12:48:04 PM

Mikey1969: untaken_name: Mikey1969: The RTO places are claiming that they don't have to disclose anywhere that in the long run, you pay a minimum of 3x what the item is actually worth.

So, they're like mortgages, then?

I don't know... WHen we were last looking at houses, the mortgage people were pretty up front about the price of the house, the total we'd be payng in interest, all of that stuff. I haven't seen any shady ones yet, but maybe I've gotten lucky. I do have a friend that's a realtor, so I've used his personal recommendations, as opposed to just opening the phone book, closing my eyes and pointing at a name.


It's not just interest - you have to factor in that you're responsible for property tax and upkeep during the life of the mortgage as well. I was more going for the 3x what it's worth part than the not up front part, anyway.
 
2013-03-05 12:48:06 PM

FARK rebel soldier: So anyone who knows more about this, do they really not tell you the interest rate? Is there an interest rate? Are we talking the equivalent if it were interest, but it's rent?


Curious too.  I thought all loans, of all kinds needed (by federal law) to have the interest rate/APR/all that in BIG HUGE TYPE.
 
2013-03-05 12:48:29 PM
Oh god, something just snapped inside my head...

I think I'm going to buy stock in companies that mistreat and take advantage of consumers. Apple might not be king five years from now but people are still going to be stupid.
 
2013-03-05 12:51:23 PM

midigod: The whole point of this is that the terms are NOT spelled out in the contracts. Capitalism can only play out when the consumer knows what they're signing.


Then it's not a contract
 
2013-03-05 12:52:25 PM

Magorn: The new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a whole branch devoted to protecting servicemembers from the complex ecosystem of financial products and services that have grown up to rip off gullible service people (Holly Petraeus of all people is in charge). They are seen as uniquely vulnerable population like children or the elderly because fo the frequency with which they are preyed on. It's sickening, really when you realize how many business in this country have been created with the sole purpose of ripping off soldiers.


From a scumbags perspective, Soldiers make great victims:

Salaried job with an employment contract, you know they are going to get the money to pay you back and Security Clearance requirements mean that many/most servicemembers can't afford to tank their own credit rating mean dollar signs to predatory lenders and other unscrupulous businessmen.
 
2013-03-05 12:53:15 PM
Some of you dudes must have skipped out on Econ and History in high school, there are reasons that measures are in place for the "government to protect the public" from con men and snake oil salesmen. This stuff doesn't just pop up overnight without precedent.

Every human out there is interested in their own well being and (generally) accumulation of wealth. Many will gladly take yours if you aren't armed with the experience or education to protect yourself. I don't think any attempts to publicize this behavior (eg RTO publishing interest rates) is a bad thing.

I know many here carry the attitude that you and you alone are responsible for protecting yourself from the unscrupulous, which ultimately is absolutely true, but I don't get why that makes any attempt to mitigate such people a horrible thing.
 
2013-03-05 12:55:30 PM
my cousin got this approval. Awesome right? She passed on the chance.

s21.postimage.org


$1000 loan from a Tribe at 349.05% interest paying $141.11 for 24 months.

= $3,386.64
 
2013-03-05 12:55:39 PM
If TV size wasn't a status symbol in some socio-economic groups, this would go away.
 
2013-03-05 12:55:54 PM
His application is under review.
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-03-05 12:56:24 PM
It's pretty well documented that all these ALEC governors want public ownership of anything and everything abolished so we all answer to their corporate puppeteers.  Apparently they're going for personal ownership now too.  Why anyone would still be on board with these privatizing dicks is beyond me.  Self fulfilling prophecy to need those guns to protect against the government you elected I suppose.  Idiots to the 10th power.  Personally I'd like to see everyone involved publicly hanged as the traitors that they are.
 
2013-03-05 12:56:58 PM

relcec: busy chillin': Dancin_In_Anson: optimistic_cynic: You mean a lottery in which they clearly disclose the odds of winning? Yes they do.

Which I'm sure is read as thoroughly as rent to own contracts.

Cry me a farking river.

Yep, because a lottery ticket costs a dollar at the register and then a few months later they send you a bill for $75.

if the problem is harm created, then I'm not sure you have an argument. the lottery is far worse for the poor.


not really. there is no signed legal contract forcing them to keep paying stupid amounts and playing every week.
 
2013-03-05 12:59:13 PM
Disclosure is the enemy of free enterprise only when you are looking to cheat and swindle.

Disclose, and let the market decide who they want to do business with. It's pretty much in keeping with sound business practice, and encourages businesses to engage in ethical behavior, and be rewarded in the marketplace.

But somehow, I'm certain, there is someone out there who will complain that it hurts the job creators, and capitalism at its core...
 
2013-03-05 01:01:06 PM

i upped my meds-up yours: villians

Does anyone else pronounce this vill-ee-ans like I do?


I thought Supervillians meant people who live in Superville.
 
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