As you know, Tuesday was Veterans' Day, the day we honor the sacrifices our troops have made in defending their country. And yet we still tolerate predatory lenders ripping off our servicemembers, including payday lenders who bury forced arbitration clauses in the contracts of their high-interest loans, which one in 10 members of our armed forces take out. Hence both Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform help you tell the Department of Defense to craft strong protections from predatory lenders for our servicefolk. The Military Lending Act, passed in 2007, had some fairly large loopholes for predatory lenders -- but the Act empowers the Department of Defense to close those loopholes, which they've tried to do before. But no one, let alone someone risking their life for this country, deserves to be mired in an escalating spiral of debt because they need money and have nowhere else to turn. Three-digit interest rates don't "promote responsibility" -- they destroy freedom. Well, except for the CEOs handing out the abusive loans, but their "freedom" isn't better than ours.
Meanwhile, WalMart has, sadly, joined big corporate efforts to destroy the residential solar power industry, through millions of dollars in donations to organizations like the notorious ALEC and the nefarious Americans for Prosperity, the main pusher of "sun tax" laws that would tax the investment and initiative of residential solar users based on the absurd presumption that such folks are "free riders." But what's that, you say? You heard that WalMart owns a solar-power corporation in Malaysia called First Solar? Well, they do -- but First Solar manufactures solar panels for utility corporations, not for residential use, hence WalMart's apparent effort to, as our friends on the right might say, pick winners and losers in the solar economy. I bet most of WalMart's shoppers would like to have solar panels on their rooftops, but if WalMart gets their way those good folks will get a "sun tax" instead. But the Big Stick of Bad PR works on big corporations too, so CREDO helps you tell WalMart to abandon its support for corporate front groups that attack residential solar power development.