I never quite understood the Payday interest rate controversy until today when, like clockwork, I felt the first rumble of my daily, late-afternoon hunger pangs.
In Pavlovian fashion, I hastened over to the vending machine and began depositing change. Then it hit me: I was about to pay almost twice the price for a Payday bar now than I would have had to pay for a Payday bar in two hours. You see, the drugstore on my route home sells the whole suite of vendible goodies, and the drugstore charges a price much lower than the vending machine.
Since originary interest is merely a reflection of “the ever fluctuating ratio between values assigned to want satisfactions in the immediate future and those assigned to want satisfactions in the more distant future,” I willingly accept an apparently onerous rate of interest in order to satisfy a passing desire for sugar. Or, I should say that I am forced to accept an onerous interest rate by a vending business that takes full advantage of my current desire. And, amazingly, government and its minions allow this to happen.
Where is my do-gooder advocate? Where is my politician stumping to end unfair Payday interest? Can’t these folks remove the vending machines and end this interest rate nonsense?
Yes, that’s the solution: legislate in order to stop the voluntary exchange, as if legislation and the strong arm of government can change time preference with the stroke of a pen. Huh!