Quinn Rallins is the Executive Director for Birmingham Faith In Action. This young gentleman has decided to devote himself to “build a better Birmingham by working to ensure skilled, committed leaders of faith can effectively organize on issues of concern in their communities and to build relational power across racial, denominational, and regional lines.”
This comes directly from the organization’s page on Mission, Values, and Vision. The problem is that this includes a set of values that can send well-intentioned folks like Mr. Rallins down the wrong path. Here’s another quote from their page: “We see a world of economic and racial injustice.”
Many people in this country feel that they are not being treated properly by society, by their peers, by policymakers, and – to be blunt – by those of a different race. The problem is that, rather than endorse a value system that brings people together, Mr. Rallins has chosen to follow Barack Obama’s philosophy of class division.
And that dreaded phrase, “social justice,” is in play with Mr. Rallins. A system of justice already exists. It is called the Judicial System, established by the Constitution. Instead, those two words are, as David Mamet points out in The Secret Knowledge, what Hayek means by “State Justice,” which is nothing other than Marxism.
Here, though the Left will not follow the reasoning out to the end, the State (operating upon what basis it alone knows, and responsible to no law enacted by the people), confiscates wealth accumulated under existing laws and redistributes it to those it deems worthy…
I appreciate, admire, and respect Mr. Rallins for advocating for the disadvantaged and the poor. However, as Mamet says:
Proverbs informs us that the poor will always be with us; that, just as one may not, as a judge, favor the rich, neither can one favor the poor, but must do justice according to the law – that is to say, that one must judge whether the law has been transgressed, a consideration in which the state of the offender must play no part.
Hence, the folly of “social justice.” It’s Hayek’s, and the left’s, way of reinterpreting the Constitution so as to better fit Marxist ideals.
So, what form does Mr. Rallins vision of social justice obviously take? The same as Barack Obama’s – anti-capitalist policy advocacy. This past week it was on display in Alabama.
I’ve written extensively on payday loans. In brief, they are neither the most nor least expensive form of short-term credit. Ninety-four percent of loans are paid back on time, as verified by SEC filings by public companies. The myths are legion.
Mr. Rallins wants the city of Birmingham to extend a ban on new payday loan stores. Now, even if one doesn’t like a particular brand of business, it is fundamentally anti-American and anti-capitalist for any town to pass a law that prevents a business from opening. It is not the State’s decision to limit legal commerce – in this case one that is regulated by both state and federal law – simply because it wants to.
There is a sad irony in another piece of the organization’s mission. It claims, “The real abundance of the world is only shared by a few, and this injustice is upheld by a myth of scarcity.” Setting aside my view that “the real abundance” is God’s love and therefore shared by those who seek it, is Mr. Rallins aware that attempting to limit access to one option of short-term credit merely moves other more expensive options to the forefront? Scarcity raises prices. That’s basic economics.
Mr. Rallins would rather enjoin the rights of businesspeople and American entrepreneurs than truly bring the community together by doing something that actually might help everyone: inviting lenders and citizens together to engage in financial education. Heck, he doesn't even need to invite the lenders if he’s that prejudiced. Just teach basic financial education.
Better yet, come up with a different product that costs less and run those evil payday lenders out of business.