Equal Opportunity Lender
Payday lending might be off-limits for military personnel, but it’s fine for New York City firefighters—at least, that’s the message a website that facilitates payday loans appeared to be sending when it sponsored a cobblestone at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in downtown Manhattan.
Congress effectively outlawed payday lending to military personnel in 2007—capping interest rates that can be charged to active service members at 36 percent, and prohibiting loans to military borrowers secured with checks, electronic access to bank accounts, vehicle titles or allotment of military pay—after the Department of Defense reported that “predatory lending undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and adds to the cost of fielding an all volunteer fighting force.”
The Neverending Story
These days, a certain jolt of excitement takes hold gazing at Lower Manhattan from a far. Maybe you’re crossing Greenwich Street in the Village and look south, or corkscrewing out of the Lincolln Tunnel helix in Jersey. Even stepping off the plane at LaGuardia or JFK, 1 World Trade Center is plainly visible. It may not be the most beautiful building in the city.
Yet like its twin siblings, the tower has become an undeniable landmark, the sort of symbol of rebirth—or at the very least progress—politicians and planners had long hoped for with the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.
But get too close, and the landscape quickly turns from inspiration to depredation. Still.
If we were Mark Wahlberg‘s handlers this week, the absolute last thing we’d want to give him was another platform to talk about the September 11th. He’s already apologized for the comments he made to Men’s Journal– you know, where he implied that if he’d been on a plane that was hijacked in 2001 (which he should have been, had he not switched his ticket last moment), “it wouldn’t have went down like it did,” and that “there would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, ‘OK, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don’t worry,’” –which really should be the end of the matter. Let’s all forget about Mark Wahlberg and any (fake) connection he has to that tragic day in U.S. history.
Except that some of the families who lost a member on September 11th think that a more fitting way to make amends would be to use his star power to attract visitors to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.