Magic Johnson in a Tough Spot

Magic? You mean Magic Johson? He hasn't been in the news for who only knows how long. That was my reaction too when I saw Magic in Jackson Hewitt's new ads for payday loans. JH is one of the largest providers of the service, which charges customers a few percentage points in interest for a loan to cover the few days between when they get paid and when the money becomes available in their account.

There is a long argument we could have about whether such operations should be legally permitted. It is the ultimate free enterprise on the one hand; on the other hand, you're lending to the people who can least afford it money at rates well above (like 1000% above) the norm.

I was disappointed to see Magic in these ads because his other work, the Magic Johnson Foundation, Magic Johnson Theaters, and investments in local food service restaurants, etc., were all efforts to bring quality goods and services to black and other minority communities. This does the opposite - taking a money out of those communities. If there is any ideology to Johnson's business, I thought this would conflict with it. Magic isn't commenting...but I sure hope he does. The rest of his brands rely on that sterling image.

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