We, therefore, have something that is expensive to produce but also desired by many. And our absence of excess profits tells us that loans of small amounts for short periods of time are simply something expensive to do. In this sense such credit is like Aston Martin luxury vehicles. So they cost a lot. And? People want them, and they’re expensive to provide. We might well think that someone’s an idiot for purchasing one, but we don’t actually go and ban it.
Henry Ford brought cars to the masses not by banning the Aston Martins of his day but by making transport vastly cheaper through technological innovation. If we want short-term credit to the poor to follow the same route, we’re going to have to do the same: invent a new way of providing it and out-competing the current providers.
Perhaps no such technology exists, in which case we’ll be stuck with something expensive and somewhat dangerous that 10 million people want each year. It’s a bit like drinkable wine, and we should recall what happened when we tried to ban that: prohibition of the best credit we have to offer will inevitably lead to Fat Tony and his friends running amok again.