Should credit-card interest be capped at 15%?

Democratic presidential primary contender Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have unveiled a plan to cap credit-card interest rates at 15%: Under the “Loan Shark Prevention Act,” the annual percentage rate applicable to any extension of credit would not be allowed surpass 15% on “unpaid balances, inclusive of all finance charges” or “the maximum rate permitted by the laws of the State in which the consumer resides.” Consumer debt, and credit card debt in particular, is something many Americans struggle with and both the amount of total debt as well as the interest rates have escalated in recent years: The median credit-card interest rate was 21.36% as of last week, compared with 12.62% a decade ago, according to Creditcards.com. Continue Reading...

The biggest beneficiaries of the success sequence

Good choices benefit everyone but, as in all of life, not all groups gain equally. The success sequence is no different. The sequence says that the vast majority of people can avoid living in poverty if they make a few deliberate life choices: finish high school, work full time, wait until age 21 to get married, and do not have children outside wedlock. Continue Reading...

How to eliminate 99% of all poverty

Can avoiding a handful of socially harmful activities virtually guarantee someone will not live in poverty? Social scientists in the United States said they have found the secret, and a new report from Canada has found it also applies across the northern border. Continue Reading...

Why everybody loses with the Powerball

When it comes to government programs for redistributing income, nothing is quite as malevolently effective as state lotteries. Every year state lotteries redistribute the income of mostly poor Americans (who spend between 4-9 percent of their income on lottery tickets) to a handful of other citizens—and to the state’s coffers. Continue Reading...