Institute for Liberty Calls Out "Thugocracy"

Destruction of Financial Businesses More Crony Capitalism

Published Monday, March 24, 2014
by Andrew Langer
March 24, 2014

IFL President Andrew Langer Calls
Obama’s Operation Choke Point a "Thugocracy" Tactic

Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement from Institute for Liberty President Andrew Langer:
“The Guardian ran an Op-Ed yesterday written by’s David Dayen, which was laden with false premises, and posits a discredited narrative that so-called 'payday lenders' represent some sort of market failure -- a market failure requiring massive government intervention in the marketplace.  No such failure exists, certainly not one requiring the total-destruction of an entire industry in the financial services sector using heavy-handed 'thugocracy' tactics. That's precisely what Operation Choke Point is: the government, acting as thugs, to do indirectly what it cannot do directly.
Progressives have always worked hard to attempt to ameliorate risks in a marketplace.  This goes hand-in-hand with their efforts to guarantee equality of outcomes in most other areas (wages, education, etc.).  But when the left tinkers in marketplaces in order to do what market forces warn not to, disaster ensues.  This is the same kind of policymaking that led to the rise of the housing bubble and its eventual collapse: well-intentioned policymakers wanted people with risky credit to buy homes, so they pressured mortgage companies into giving them loans by 'scoring' them on the number of risky loans they gave. 
The result was calamity -- and our economy is still struggling to improve.
Attempting to transfer the liability of low-dollar, high-risk loans from viable businesses to the American taxpayer is like deja vu all over again.  Worse, the idea of giving this responsibility to the U.S. Postal Service takes their collective eyes off of their primary (and constitutionally-mandated) responsibility.  Any time you take an agency's focus away from its core responsibility, it is bad public policy.”

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