Let's be clear on one thing: Payday loans, like the pawnshops they supplanted in our economic infrastructure, ought to be considered a last resort.
But they shouldn't be a nonexistent resort.
However, if the payday loan lobbyists are to be believed, the state legislature's recent action to restrict interest rates and other lending practices unique to the payday loan industry will have the effect of legislating an industry out of business.
That's the part we're against.
Good riddance, you may say. It's an industry that makes its money off people in dire economic straits.
But for some people, the interest rate is an acceptable alternative to bouncing a check for a bill and owing the bounced-check fee on top of that.
A bad option is still an option, when you have no other options.
Yes, there are people who treat payday loans as a convenience, that any kind of loan is really some sort of free money. Those people pay for that attitude in lousy credit ratings and the sort of high interest rates charged to high-risk borrowers. Waste no pity on them.
Live within your means, or better your means, others argue. We say, let those high interest rates serve as an incentive to do just that. Believe it or not, a great many people prefer to pay their own way in life, and work their way out of the depend-on-daddy cycle as soon as they can.
A payday loan can be bitter medicine, taken only as needed. But there are those who, when they need it, genuinely need it. Bitter as the medicine is, it shouldn't be withheld.