Rental America

I feel extremely lucky that I can afford to buy and own things that I need. Others aren’t so fortunate. A small industry of rent-to-own businesses has cropped up to service people who don’t have credit and cannot afford to pay for things up front. These businesses make their money by charging super high interest rates on furniture, appliances, etc.

By the next day, the Abbotts had a remade living room, two companion pieces, both of the same blended material, 17 percent leather. The love seat and sofa retailed, together, for about $1,500. Abbott would pay for hers over two years, though she still had paying the option to pay monthly or weekly. The total price if paid weekly: $4,158.

Fifteen hundred dollars is a lot to pay up front, so when people see monthly payments of $39 a week, it’s easy to see why some prefer to rent-to-own, even if they end up paying almost three times the cost of paying up front.

This line stood out to me.

The 37-year-old grandmother who says that pretty much everything in her house comes from this store.

I’m 34 and I have a 6-year-old step daughter and zero kids of my own.

The Urban Oil Fields of Los Angeles

By 1930, California was producing nearly one quarter of the world’s oil output, and its population had grown to 1.2 million.

Signal Hill, near Long Beach in 1937
Signal Hill, near Long Beach in 1937

Really clever how they hide oil drilling sites. I had no idea.