The Limits of Good Intentions

Source: Quillette
by Aaron Hanna

“It was the first time I had ever searched for reviews of a product I was not remotely interested in purchasing. After reading several news reports that were highly critical of the ‘predatory’ payday loan industry, I wanted to understand the perspective of typical borrowers. How did they feel about a financial product that consumer-protection advocates insist the federal government should heavily regulate or outright ban? My assumption was that the majority of the reviewers would be hostile. What were the most frustrating aspects of their experiences? Who bore the brunt of their anger? What startled me about the first dozen or so of the reviews I read of one of largest payday lenders in the country was the genuine affection that a majority of borrowers seemed to express not only for the employees with whom they interacted but the businesses themselves.” (02/09/24)