Comment 97016

By RJanssen (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2014 at 14:06:00 in reply to Comment 97009

Hey Sherman,

First: thanks for the great tone here! I feel like our culture has lost the ability to separate agreement and acceptance in our conversations and discussions: thanks for accepting my position without necessarily having to agree with it!

You've got a point - "lets love each other" is rather idealistic and, if we look at how it's worked out over history, tends to fall pretty flat. Especially against places with as much economic and political leverage/power as loan agencies, settling for "getting to know your neighbours" might not make much of a change.

Especially - and I know I'm 'arguing' against my point here, but I'll keep going anyways - when the marginalized demographic we're talking about here has a higher chance of mental illness, or of being a "shut-in" with little to no social capital. These people might be rather difficult to find, and who's to say that THEY really want to get to know me? The vision of a local community who all shares a meal every whatever night might be my vision, but that's probably not theirs.

So I wouldn't disagree with you that we might need to search out alternatives. Lobbying for legislation against these cash advance centres might be a legitimate alternative, but I would say that it should include direct involvement by the very people that this cash advance centre does a disservice to (but, that being said, if you've already recruited those affected, then they're probably not using the loans anymore... in which case the legislation might be a bit redundant). Whatever action we chose, I'm of the opinion that the solution should involve as much input as possible from those affected, which means getting to know them. That way, like I said above, I can avoid the pitfall of "fight[ing] to banish this service, leaving my still-unknown-to-me neighbours left with a need and no means or knowledge to rectify it."

Long answer for a short question. I'm looking forward to getting to know a few of the earlier posters, who are involved with organizations that help individuals get out of debt incurred by places like these... they've probably got a lot more experience with these issues than I do!

Thanks for the discussion!

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