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magic-large1Why is Magic Johnson in cahoots with American corporations to make black folks’ money disappear? Signing on with both Jackson Hewitt and Rent-a-Center, Johnson legitmates these predatory lenders. And that is really what they are: Jackson Hewitt operates one of those skimmy-skammy Refund Anticipation Loan programs that advances people money based on what they estimate clients will get as a tax refund. Fourteen states have passed laws in an attempt to regulate these 77%+ loans that target low-income folks looking for fast cash.

And Johnson’s shill for Rent-a-Center is no better. Trading on his achievements to allege that folks can get what they want instantly, or as the RAC people put it, “the best things in life” is disingenuous. Excuse us, but if you’re paying $18,000 through the end of a RAC contract for $9,000 worth of goods, you are not getting the best in life. You are getting played and extorted.

BUNA’s Officer of Devil’s Advocacy keeps chirping up, “What about the people renting and using those refund loans? Are they innocent? Can’t they read terms and conditions? Blah blah blah, regressive politics blah…” True, no one needs a fuckin’ matching living room set at 77% interest. But, then, no one needs to be convinced by trusted spokespeople that the best way to prove one’s hardworking citizenship is by signing on with these moneylenders in the marketplace. WWJD, indeed.

Too, it’s hard to hate on people like sixteen-year-old students, at the start of their financial life and not fully fiscally literate, who end up facing a $5000 bill for a $340 laptop. BUNA thinks financial literacy should be a priority, even for people who don’t have a lot of money.

Thanks to service workers union SEIU Local 32BJ for the info and being on the case.

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