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Cap on Interest

July 10, 1988

The blatant cupidity of some of our elected state legislators never ceases to amaze me. After reading The Times article (Part I, June 30) on the Senate-passed bill that removes the cap on interest rates that stores can charge consumers, I felt that I was being raped by the state Senate. This, say the bill proponents, will benefit the consumer. Say what? Since when does the California Retailers Assn. worry about how high interest rates are and that consumers are paying too much? And since when does raising the limit produce something less? Have the laws of mathematics been scrapped?

The crowning touch on the fallaciousness of the arguments in favor of this bill is contained in the statement about the six largest department stores losing money on their charge accounts. As a shopper, I have been wheedled and exhorted, in person, by mail and by telephone, to please open a charge account in their stores. In their newspaper ads, they continually promote the charging of goods by waiving payments for up to a full year. (Of course, interest rate charges still apply!) With all these concerted efforts to obtain charge customers, and pleas to customers to charge their purchases rather than pay cash, how can the stores make such a ridiculous statement?

HAIG HAYDOSTIAN

Northridge

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