I saw some articles today about payday loans in Missouri and it touched me off. Seems that in Missouri there are "325 McDonald's restaurants, 157 Starbucks coffee outlets and 1,040 payday loan stores." (as of 2010. source: Bankrate article). Now my personal opinion is that Starbucks is overpriced, but I'm thinking 10 times as many Payday lending stores as Starbucks is a little much. And you can always get things on the dollar menu at McDonalds.
In reality, the article was NOT drawing a conclusion about the number of McDonalds and Starbucks vs payday lending, it was just comparing numbers in terms that most people can relate to. The goal is to get you to say "gee, that's way too many payday lending stores." So why would there be so many? Well to quote a well-known bank robber who was asked why he robbed banks - "because that's where the money is" (Wikipedia). Payday lenders flock to Missouri because they know they can make a good profit. "The APR allowed by Missouri’s statutes of 1,950% based on a two-week loan of $10" (BBB paper)
The same BBB paper indicates there are some nursing homes that have payday lending companies at the homes. The article doesn't mention if they loan money to the residents (let's hope not), but they do loan to workers, then allow them to pay back with payroll deductions. I'm reminded of the Tennessee Ernie Ford song "Sixteen Tons" which said "I owe my soul to the company store." (Video here)