Economics

Pentagon Wants Big Gubmint to Catch a "Predator"

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I want to … SELL YOU A CAR?

One day we will all wake up from this nightmare, and ask ourselves when exactly did we get to the point where the first, second, third, and 99th reaction to every problem, real and imagined, was to have the government do something about it? On that Day of Judgment, we will be pointing bony fingers at seemingly routine stories like this:

Pentagon brass want a new consumer watchdog agency to regulate auto dealers so they don't rip off troops with predatory sales and shady financing deals. Democrats are hoping it'll be hard for Republicans to oppose something Pentagon leaders want, at a time when troops are in harm's way.

What the living frack is a "predatory sale"?

NEXT: Nancy Pelosi on Health Care: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

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  1. That would explain why that guy I know smears mud over every part of his body before going to a used car lot.

  2. GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!!!

    1. If it bleeds, we can regulate it.

  3. “What the living frack is a “predatory sale”?”

    Forcing a Private to buy the TrueCoat.

    1. A predatory sale?

      How about a 2002 Kia sportage with transmission problems (NADA value 2000 bucks) that some snake sold to a mildly retarded women for 10000 bucks at 25% interest? Or another lady who ended up owing 40000 bucks on her Ford Focus?

      The problem with libertarianism, indeed any utopian scheme, is the existence of assholes and idiots. They are always screwing stuff acting in improper ways, either through cupidity or ignorance, or worst of all, being greedy AND stupid.

      1. So you mean, stuff that is already illegal, but apparently some people think that we need a special law for soldiers?

        1. Is it illegal?

      2. a contract signed by a mentally incompetent person is not valid, so yes, there are other existing ways to deal with this

    2. A predatory sale?

      How about a 2002 Kia sportage with transmission problems (NADA value 2000 bucks) that some snake sold to a mildly retarded women for 10000 bucks at 25% interest? Or another lady who ended up owing 40000 bucks on her Ford Focus?

      The problem with libertarianism, indeed any utopian scheme, is the existence of assholes and idiots. They are always screwing stuff acting in improper ways, either through cupidity or ignorance, or worst of all, being greedy AND stupid.

      1. True. Some people need to live in padded rooms and wear helmets all the time. The only way to be fair about it is to put everyone in padded rooms and make everyone wear helmets.

        1. straw man much?

  4. Dude, if I see a perfect triange of three red dots anywhere on me, I’d buy too!

    1. triane=triangle.

      I will preview.
      I will preview.
      I will preview.

      1. You couldn’t even accurately repeat your typo. Fail.

        1. Triage would’ve been a funnier typo.

          1. That was worth about two.

            1. Aaaaand, I’ve been Nelsoned twice today! Fuck!

  5. Why doesn’t the Pentagon just issue an order forbidding service members from buying vehicles they can’t afford?

    1. Makes sense. They can tell them to go anywhere in the world and do things that will kill others or get them killed. “Don’t buy a car until you have a down payment and with payments no more than x years at x% of your income”.

  6. Who the hell thinks these ideas up? Its unfreakingbelievable at this point…

  7. The Feds vs. used car dealers: whoever wins, we lose.

  8. Why don’t they just ban used-car dealers? or should I not be giving them ideas?

  9. Matt,

    I actually some experience with this. What they do is send people down to the barracks and get kids just off the bus. They then sell them a car for twice its price at some ridiculous interest rate. Yeah, I know it is the soldier’s fault for being stupid. But, it really does happen. And I say some unbelievably bad loans in my time in legal assistance. Worse still, they will pay off NCOs at post in-processing centers to send kids to these dealerships. It is really sleazy shit.

    That said, there is no reason to create a new consumer protection agency. They have handled this problem for years. Posts used to have a moral and welfare board that had the power to declare certain businesses off limits to soldiers. The post or base commander can just sign an order that says every person on the post is no longer allowed to shop at business X. This solves the problem. In a big military town declaring a business off limits is pretty much a death sentence. The threat alone keeps businesses from ripping off soldiers.

    But, somewhere along the line the boards have been shut down. And commanders have stopped using their authority. And these businesses have thrived. So, rather than go back to the old simple effective system, DOD will create a new bureaucracy that will nothing but fuck everything up. Figures.

    1. John — Thanks. I do not doubt that scammers eye the seemingly guaranteed revenue stream from greenhorn vets (in fact, that is a major source of revenue for Paternity Fraudsters). But I’d be much more interested in remedies of the latter rather than the former, since the latter depends on illiberal and hyper-strict filing deadlines and non-registered mail that guys have trouble receiving, let alone returning, on time.

    2. Huh. When I was in, our First Sergeant would routinely spend a few minutes during Friday formations insulting men who’d bought cars they couldn’t afford. The rest of us would insult them all the time.
      It never stopped idiots from buying cars they couldn’t afford, but it kept everyone else entertained.

    3. “Worse still, they will pay off NCOs at post in-processing centers to send kids to these dealerships.”

      So the problem is the NCOs.

      A coworker of mine has a son in the marines. He’s 20 and the sense I get is that these kids are mostly idiots.

      1. A lot of them are. Or they are just really inexperienced. It is amazing the sheltered lives kids live today. These kids go off into the military at 18, having never done much in life beyond play video games. The maturity level of the average 18 year old in 2010 is worlds away from what it was in even 1990 let alone 1970 or 1940. And the ones who go in the military are often the most mature of the lot. Sad and scary.

        1. Said the old man on the porch shaking his fist at the youth. 😉

        2. ‘EZ CREDIT E-1 & UP’ predates either of us.

      2. at 20, weren’t we all idiots?

    4. John,

      I was this close to buying a 1972 Kawasaki 750 Mach III while in tech school in the AF but my orders came thru before the deal could be completed. Because of the uniform they were ready to sell an 18yo kid a brand-new bike, basically no questions asked.

      But, still, we don’t need no steenking watchdog group from Congress.

      (now riding a Vulcan cruiser, btw)

      … Hobbit

      1. You know I would mind having that old Kaw now. I bet that thing was cool.

        (I ride a BMW R1150)

      2. Had a friend w/one of those when I was in high school – scared the sheeeeit out of me.

        Now I have a ZX14 🙂 Keep the shiny side up.

    5. John, I have read pay day loans are an issue with soldiers because too much debt leads to the loss of their security clearance. Did you see this problem?

      1. I saw this a lot when I was a security mananger. The cause though was generally not the debt itself, but not coming clean with it on your application form. So it became a question of honesty and integrity, not just judgment.

        My personal opinion is that they went overboard quite a few times. When you’re broke and in debt and need a job, that’s when the recruiter’s office starts to look pretty good. And having also worked for military recruiting back in the day, the enlisted recruiters had a habit of saying ‘don’t worry about it and just sign it’ in the gluge of forms one gets when signing up.

        There was a new law passed a few years ago (while Bush was still Prez but after the Dems were in Congress) that among things, capped the interest rates on loans that could be offered to service members (and IIRC, further limits them for the duration a person is delpoyed to one of designated combat exclusion zones)

    6. John, you said it much better than I could.

  10. What the? Why don’t we in the military just do more mandatory training (powerpoint slides) for this like we do everything else?

    1. Or gasp expect commanders to do their jobs. If a place is ripping people off, declare it off limits. It is not hard.

    2. Why not simply decimate those who buy overpriced cars? Worked for the Romans.

  11. Perhaps if we raised the legal age at which a person could serve in the military, we would have a smarter, more savvy soldier who wouldn’t allow him/herself to be “a victim”.

    “Thirty. It’s the new 18”. Old enough to drink, old enough to vote, old enough to die.

    CB

    1. Or, better yet, if we just defined the legal age and IQ at which you can buy anything.

      Gotta be 25 with an IQ over 120. If not, you just do what you’re told.

      That sounds OK, right?

    2. Perhaps if we didn’t have an elaborate bureaucracy whose sole purpose is to miseducate children, 18 year olds (or even 12 year olds) would be responsible enough to avoid these scams.

  12. Silly Rabbit, it’s pronounced pre-DATE-ory.

    Just a way of saying “Early-Bird Special.”

    You guys make an issue out of everything, I swear…

  13. This is an example of a predatory sale:

    Local used car lot in York County, Virginia wants to sell used crap to the recently enlisted (and not so bright).

    So they post flyers in Fort Bragg, NC using a local telephone number. Flyers state that the dealer will come pick you up and take you the lot.

    Enlisted dude calls said number, dealer picks dude up, drives dude over 4 hours away to lot in york County, VA. High pressure sales antics ensue. “Gee, it would be shame if you were considered AWOL. We could make sure you get back in time if you sign this high interest loan for this overpriced piece of sh*t.”

    Green enlisted dude freaks out and signs loan paperwork. Goes broke on payments for car that doesn’t run.

    Of course, the aforementioned dealer was convicted on fraud charges and sent to jail USING EXISTING LAWS, but that fact always escapes Congress.

  14. I ain’t got time to bleed.

    And Matt, please, please don’t use BSG pseudo-curses. Please.

    1. Gorram it, if I have to ruttin’ read “frack” one more time I’m gonna go bibbledy.

      1. It’s in the news this week! (Otherwise I’d never’a known about it.)

        1. That doesn’t make it right. Now go frack yourself.

          1. In my neck of the woods, fracking means hydraulic fracturing. Very exciting stuff.

            1. Well, loud, anyway. Aside from the 150 decibel pumps, being on-site for a frac job is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

              1. I love receiving the checks.

  15. Gosh, I’m sitting in big building full of testosterone-charged young men trained to break things, and some guy is victimizing their buddies.

    What to do, what to do?

    I mean, you couldn’t possibly pay a “social call,” during which you would compliment the car dealer on his business, could you?

    “Nice dealership you got here . . . .”

  16. I’m so sick of hearing that everyone has to go along with what the Pentagon wants or else “you’re not supporting our troops who are in harm’s way.” This is why Congress is unable or unwilling to address all the waste and fraud in defense/homeland security spending (plus the political pull that defense contractors have due to contributions, lobbying, etc.).

  17. “What the living frack is a “predatory sale”?”

    That’s when a dealer sells a used Predator drone – a low mileage one that’s only launched 10 insurgent missle strikes in the last 3 years.

  18. What the living frack is a “predatory sale”?

    Why, it’s when the salesman sells the poor ignorant slob the Mustang he lusts for, when what he really *should* be buying is an Odyssey.

  19. HOLY CRAP.
    Fleecing the monumentally stupid ranks of the US Military has got to be at least one fifth of the entire economy. Regulations against ripping off soldiers and airmen would threaten the security of this nation.

    1. Been to Clarksville, TN, lately? The number of pawnshops per mile is STAGGERING. What a shithole. Oh, it’s an Army-base town and survives on the stupidity of those stationed there.

      My brother was smart enough to own his stuff when he was stationed @ Fort Campbell. Some of the others? Evidently not so much…sad.

  20. Why don’t they just ban used-car dealers?

    A few more rounds of Cash-For-Clunkers, and that might not be necessary.

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