I am not a member of the Republican Party, but it is my understanding that they tend to prefer free markets and personal responsibility. They would like to tackle poverty by lowering taxes and deregulating businesses. And they don't want a nanny state. Or at least that is what I thought.
Lately I have been perplexed and disappointed by the activities of Racine Alderman Greg Helding, a Republican. Helding has been leading the effort to limit the number of payday loan stores. In todays Journal Times, Helding has urged the city council to impose a ninety day moratorium on pawn shop openings. Though he doesn't think the city can ban pawn shops, he stated "I will certainly find out."
Helding justifies his actions by saying "I think though (a pawn shop) can be run in a way that provides a service to some folks... you can have people taken advantage of. The last thing you need when they are hurting for cash is to take advantage of them."
No, the last thing you need when you are hurting for cash is for a politician to limit your legal options. Helding is making it more difficult for poor people to borrow money, and now he is making it more difficult for them to sell their possessions for needed cash. With fewer legal options for obtaining money, crime will become a more attractive option.