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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Cultural Confusion

I’m reading this very interesting article on Wal-Mart leaving West Virginia and there’s a sentence I don’t understand. It must be something cultural:

Already, she spends half her $1,200 post-tax monthly salary on car insurance and repayments.

What are “repayments”? $550 a month sounds like an enormous expense. It’s more than 1/3 our mortgage payment. Does anybody know what it is?

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6 thoughts on “Cultural Confusion

  1. Pen on said:

    Repayments generally means loan repayments in my mind. People often have to take out a loan to buy a car. Those loans can be expensive and are best paid off as soon as possible. They’re monthly payments, too.

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    • Stringer Bell on said:

      That’s what I thought too. You have all these predatory pay-day loans that charge enormous interest rates (the effective APR being in the neighborhood of 600% and above ). Once you’re in, it’ll take you a lifetime to pay them off.

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  2. TomW on said:

    I grew up not too far from there. It’s a beautiful, but very sad part of the world.

    I think a repayment is just a loan payment, it isn’t necessarily something predatory, though it could be.

    The article mentions the population decline in the county, but I would recommend looking at the Wikipedia article for McDowell County which has the census data since 1860. There is a real boom and bust story in those numbers.

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  3. West Virginia (and Mississippi) is a lovely disaster. Poverty, low education, low income, poor healthcare, shorter life expectancy, high unemployment — if there’s a problem, they have it. The economy was based on coal and that’s not coming back. Like Pen, I assume repayments refer to car loans and credit cards, but many of the residents are dirt poor and the state provides limited support services. Sadly, there actually was an effort some years back to abolish the WV State Board of Education and public schools, led by a religious freak group. For most impoverished rural areas (not just WV), the ladder up runs through sports or the military and not through education. WV is currently ranked 51st in population growth (behind all other states and Puerto Rico) in population growth, having lost 0.5% of its population between 2015 and 2016.

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  4. paranoid on said:

    My first thought, without the context of the rest of the article, was car repayments from a shady loan, but the paragraphs just before it refer to health issues and lack of insurance, so it could be for medical care.


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  5. paranoid on said:

    The paragraphs just after that statement mention a college degree. Student loan repayments are likely, or it could be several types of loans combined.


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