The sharks are circlin’ — loan sharks, that is

sharkZelda here.

I have a math-like question for you: Let’s say you get paid on Friday, but on Tuesday you get a flat tire. You could ask a friend to give you a lift to work for the rest of the week or you could borrow $75 until payday.

Now let’s say you borrow the $75, then when you go to pay that loan back, you find you owe $100 or more.

Seems like that adds up to thievery of the first order, don’t it?

Well, it is.

But that ain’t stoppin’ those Raleigh crooks from tryin’ to make it legal.

The sharks are called “payday” lenders because they lend you enough to get to payday, when they proceed to clean you out. They can charge 300 percent interest.

We booted these sharks out years ago, and a new poll shows only 7 percent of people in this fair state want to let them back in.

But the sharks’ buddies in Raleigh don’t care what folks think or what’s best for us out here beyond the Raleigh city limits.

More and more of us are livin’ paycheck-to-paycheck, and the legislators — and the loan sharks — know that.

You probably don’t remember the “company store,” but mill owners used to put their employees in company housing and make them buy their necessities at the company store, where prices were just a little too high for people to pay. So you owed money to the company store — probably for the rest of your life.

Well, there are no more company stores, and as of 2001, there have been no payday lenders in North Carolina.

Since more than 70 percent of folks in that aforementioned poll would want to vote for a legislator who agrees to open the door to these loan sharks again, one would hope they won’t go ahead and do it.

But they don’t seem to be real smart out there in Raleigh.

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