Google’s War on the Poor

CascadeNewLogoBy John A. Charles, Jr.

Google announced recently that it would no longer run ads for payday loans, the short-term loans that typically have high annual interest rates due to the poor credit of customers.

Google’s decision is significant because many states (including Oregon) have effectively regulated payday lenders out of existence, so much of the business has moved online. If Google cuts off ads, potential customers will have a more difficult time getting loans.

Google undoubtedly considers this decision part of its “corporate social responsibility.” What they overlook is the adverse impact it will have on low-income individuals. A week ago, payday loan customers had few legal options for short-term borrowing. Now they have even fewer.

When the Oregon legislature outlawed much of the payday lending industry in 2007, the most striking aspect of the public debate was the total absence of payday loan customers. Borrowers themselves weren’t the ones complaining about high interest rates; it was the upper-income Progressives, who didn’t need payday loans.

Google has been one of the most successful companies in American history. The company should stick to its core business and stop trying to protect payday loan customers by censoring ads. Borrowers don’t need that kind of help.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

  • Bob Clark

    Yes, you maybe should get cash in a desperate emergency from Quido, the neighborhood godfather’s operative, instead.

  • thevillageidiot

    it is pretty obvious that the heads of Google no longer believe in a free market, tightly regulated markets unlike the environment in which they started.

    • DavidAppell

      Google can believe whatever they want (within the law).

      Don’t like it? Don’t do business with them.

      • thevillageidiot

        exactly. Got the conversation going didn’t I. but you don’t think other businesses can do the same. Government coercion forces others to do business with those they do not want to do business with. isn’t that what needs to be done with google? can’t have it both ways. one allowed one not. There are law suits going on in Europe against Googles practices that favors one business over another. it is what the algorithm does. but they (Europeans) want to force google stop doing that. Isn’t that only fair?. (within the law) are you referring to discrimination as in not doing business with those who behave against my religious teachings? the supposed “victims” could have chosen any other baker without forcing one to do business with them. if you want to go down the racial discrimination route the government was used to enforce that type of discrimination. that was within the law.

        • DavidAppell

          Google did nothing that was outside US law. The Oregon bakers did.

          John Charles Jr claims to like free markets. Then, when Google actually follows a free market philosophy, Charles complains.

          He isn’t consistent, but, in truth, I don’t think he is genuine. He runs a think tank. He depends on being in the news, and that means being controversial. He needs that to get funding for the Cascade Policy Institute.

          So I find it difficult to take him seriously.

          • Gardenhomeboy

            Lol. Such a weak, pointless argument, David.

            JC does complain about a business decision he dislikes, that’s well within his rights and doesn’t violate any free market principle. It’s not like he demanded that the USFG or Oregons government mandate that Google continue carry pay day loan ads.

            Stick to global warming, David.

          • Perfect response, Gardenhomeboy. David incorrectly assumes that just because someone supports free markets they have no right to criticize decisions made by anyone operating in those markets. I guess he didn’t catch that part of the First Amendment that allows even people who run think tanks the right to speak their minds.

          • Connie Kosuda

            minds indeed.

          • DavidAppell

            Charles Jr was complaining about Google’s action on pay day lenders. Sure, that’s his right — and it’s Google’s right to do what they want with their search engine.

        • DavidAppell

          “Isn’t that only fair?”

          That’s up for the European’s to decide, according to their values, not to you and me.

        • DavidAppell

          “if you want to go down the racial discrimination route the government was used to enforce that type of discrimination. that was within the law.”

          Sexual and religious orientation fall under Oregon anti-discrimination laws, not just race.

        • Jack Lord God

          Really all this is about is large corporations doing a PR move.

          They pick on easy targets to show moral fidelity so the left doesn’t target them.

          What these corporations count on is the lefts legendary lack of introspection.In other words, throw a soft target under the bus, so you can continue to do what you claim is morally reprehensible.

          I gave some examples above, but the tranz bathroom issue is really the best. Corporations expressed outrage at NC and pulled out plenty of business over a dopey bathroom law. Saudi Arabia killing tranz people? Perfectly ok, the corporations never pull out of countries like these.

          The reaction of the left? Completely predictable, and illustrated in my comment above. They totally miss the issue of what the corporation is doing instead to attack Republicans.

          Quite brilliant in a way. The has never been known for deep thinkers. Keeping them occupied with superficial bs is an inspired way to handle them.

          • Ably See

            Props and kudos, Jack Lord God, Gardenhomeboy and Steve Buckstein for ferreting out the Dem succor ploys en choir udder the entreats direction of Demi Wasserman Shillznik and her Sgt Shills Kinder fallows!

          • Connie Kosuda

            lay off the sauce?

  • thevillageidiot

    correction to previous post “…free market, ONLY tightly regulated markets…”

  • scatcatpdx

    Google is a private business thus I see Google decision as if I own a books store and do not allow pornography or marijuana even through both are not illegal in Oregon.
    The free market mean a business has a right in a free market to do business according owners moral conscience. In this case me and Google agree Payday loans pry on hurt low income individual. Instead of predatory lending I would encourage private charity and sober living. The government regulation angle while true, it is bad, but the argument is is just a red herring.

  • Jack Lord God

    It is ok for Google to elect not to serve customers who want to buy advertising for their payday loan business, but not ok for a business to bake cakes for whom they choose.

    It is admirable when a company expresses high moral dudgeon and pulls its business out of NC because of a bathroom policy, but continues to do business in Saudi Arabia.

    This is the score card so far? It really was a lot easier when companies acted with a bit less moral pomposity.

    • Eric Blair

      I guess one of the differences would be that the Pay Day Loan industry isn’t a protected class. I’d love to see them make that argument. Of course, with “Democrats” like Debbie Wasserman-Schulz the PDL industry has a champion.

      I’d love to see a little less moral pomposity from the Republicans who evidently feel that people in elected office, like, say, a county clerk, pretends that their religious beliefs exempt them from doing their job. Or the hysterics that surround transgendered people using restrooms.

      • Jack Lord God

        >I guess one of the differences would be

        The point here is not to find exact interchangeable examples. The point is the moral preening is getting a little absurd.

        > Or the hysterics that surround transgendered people using restrooms.

        The hysterics are absurd. Just use whatever bathroom you want, I don’t care. However again – the point here, which you seem to be missing, is the moral pomposity.

        County clerk deal? Yep, She’s a jerk.

        However none of that is on a scale of pomposity of a global corporation saying because of a dopey bathroom policy, they wont do business in NC, but will continue to do business in Saudi Arabia.

        It would be nice to see more people point this out. Corporations should get off their damn high horse and get called on this. You are for gay rights? Tranz rights? Then get the hell out of Saudi Arabia first and stop trying to score points with penny anti crap like NC.

        • Eric Blair

          Your first point wasn’t about preening, it was about how one is OK and the other is not.

          Now, we happen to agree about Saudi Arabia.

    • DavidAppell

      Payday lenders aren’t covered under state anti-discrimination laws.

      See how easy that was to figure out?

      • Jack Lord God

        This is why you are known as an internet troll far beyond this website David. The point was about moral pomposity by taking the small easy cases, like PD loans, or NC bathrooms, while not taking a stand on issues that require actual sacrifice, such as a company forgoing doing any business in Saudi Arabia as opposed to pulling a convention from NC.

        Got it now? See how easy this would have been if you had read instead of trolled?

        • Voir dire batem

          Jack knows it!

          Libtard trolls invite controls, e.g., pike minnow bounty’s enroll on Columbia River flows.

        • DavidAppell

          If you, a sex toy maniac, can’t figure out the difference, I’m not wasting time to try to explain it to you.

  • Eric Blair

    There is a different perspective on this, of course. American News X

  • DavidAppell

    John Charles Jr: Who do you think you’re kidding.

    Aren’t you an advocate of free markets?

    Are these only for you, or for everyone, including Google?