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Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

May 17th, 2019 No comments

 

UltimateProvenContrarianInvestingEthicalvsUnethicalLegalvsIllegalManufacturedHousingIndustryStrategiesMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews

For the next few minutes, imagine a hedge fund or deep pockets investor. In the following blend of the hypothetical mixed with numerous significant linked elements of evidence formed by reality, picture in your mind the following.  Reflect on an outsider looking into why Warren Buffett – or other lesser known, yet successful investors – are into manufactured housing in the first place.  Manufactured homes aren’t normally viewed as a ‘sexy investment.’

 

Cool or sex-appeal aside, are the manufactured housing industry’s various segments potentially good investments?  If so, why – in some measures – is the industry underperforming?  Is underperformance an opportunity in disguise? Let’s review to gain perspective, before diving into the headline topics.

There are scores of other investment opportunities. There are speculative, but sexy items like: AI, technological, internet, automation, robotics, and whatever is after 5G.

There are tried and true fields of investment like automotive, restaurants, entertainment, health, sleep, furnishings, electronics, gaming, or anything that deals with the necessities of life: food, drink, clothing, transportation, and shelter.

There are also human emotional needs, physiological, sociological, and spiritual demands that could be described or explored.

What follows isn’t per se why affordable housing is potentially ‘the best of the best.’ But like the other basics of life, people routinely do their best when they have at least adequate shelter. So there is an obvious potential for a fine ethical development of investing successfully in affordable housing.  There is always a need for affordable homes too.

That begs the question, what’s the most proven form of affordable housing?

The most proven form of affordable shelters aren’t tiny houses, apartments, or any of the emerging technologies in shelter. For example, a 3D printed housing professional has told me they see turn key costs about $72 per square foot, plus land costs, not the lower shell house cost per square foot that some headlines hyperventilate over.  When reports – like the one below – sounds too good to be true, it often is.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t promise.  It does mean that the claims are incomplete at best.  Manufactured homes are still lower in cost, and have other benefits.

Media Claims New Story/ICON Builds 3D Printed Housing for $4000, Fact Check & Analysis

 

Prefabricated and modular, they all have their places in the housing puzzle, which is why Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Softbank, Revolution, and others are investing in that space.  There are also opportunities in maintenance of conventional buildings.

So, with that outline, what’s the most proven form of affordable housing in America?

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAmanufacturedhomesmobilehomesMHProNewsThe most proven form of permanent, safe, greener-by-design affordable homes are perhaps the least sexy from much of cultural or societal viewpoints. The most proven form of affordable housing are HUD Code manufactured housing, and the millions of mobile homes and trailer houses that came before them.

Yes, the terminology matters, because the terminology determines what code a home was built to meet. Hold tight to those thoughts. Don’t skim, or you’ll miss the investment bonanza that has savvy billionaires salivating.

 

Sam Zell

Investment mogul Sam Zell articulated the contrarian investor formula like this. “While others are going left, look right.”

It’s noteworthy that Zell told MHProNews news that they have “never lost confidence” in manufactured housing and manufactured home communities. Indeed, Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) routinely out-performs other REITs or equities.

Ponder Zell and those factoids, but don’t get locked into what others are doing – yet – until you have a more complete picture.  The problem for too many is that they don’t research carefully enough.  Too many presume they know something, when in fact what they ‘know’ are outdated or mistaken claims.

Warren Buffett has said that he only wants to be in industries that make sense. His Berkshire Hathaway is the largest player in manufactured housing production, retail, and finance today.

Buffett also believes in long-term investing in good companies, that he prefers to own.  He’s also known for so-called ‘value acquisitions.’ To Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger, an acquisition is a value if it’s ‘intrinsic value‘ is less than he paid for it.

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF)  are just 3 of many investments Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway has made in manufactured housing starting in 2003. Berkshire has invested billions into manufactured housing since. Those actions by Zell or Buffett – their ongoing investments, despite negative headlines –  speak louder than words.

Hang onto all of those points as we explore why manufactured homes are so misunderstood, and why the industry is underperforming. Because crisis spells danger, as well as opportunities in disguise. Before Buffett invests, he reads a lot. Some of what the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ reads is historic in nature, so let’s follow that cue.

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

Manufactured Home Policies, Realities Revisited Through the Lens of John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video

The debate over manufactured home lending regulations was raging in July 2015. The Hill in the nation’s capitol published a column about the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, linked here.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes, and their manufactured housing (MH) related lenders of 21st and VMF backed the never-enacted Preserving Access.

Stating the obvious, the need for affordable housing with reasonable, sustainable lending has grown. HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently praised the way the need can be met by the “amazing” evolutionary value of manufactured homes.

The Washington Post published articles about manufactured housing, linked here and here.  The second WaPo link predated the satirical hit by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral video, errantly named “Mobile Homes.”

 

 

WaPo and Oliver’s video referenced a white paper co-branded by an activist group known as Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction). Oliver’s video obliquely spotlighted that each firm shown was a member of/connected to MHI, Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes, or 21st Mortgage Corporation.

Hindsight can be 20/20.

In retrospect, it made no sense for MHI, Clayton, and 21st to pursue Preserving Access. MHI’s own SVP said as much.

 

JasonBoehlertPhotoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHISVPGovtAffairsQuotePreservingAccess

 

Before proceeding, some of what follows might appear partisan. Facts are what they are. We are non-partisan, and affordable housing ought to be bipartisan. Our platforms are frankly pro-industry as well as pro-consumer, and we will work with anyone that is keen on ethical practices and reality. Democrats and Republicans In Minnesota came together to praise in a bipartisan way the value of manufactured homes, which they first studied in depth.

 

 

That said, let’s look at some well-known facts.

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosMastheadLATonyKovachMHproNews> Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett backed Barack Obama’s candidacy twice.
> Former President Obama vowed to veto any change to Dodd-Frank.
> Buffett backed Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
> She similarly pledged opposing changes ‘weakening’ Dodd-Frank.

That begs several questions.

  1. Why did then-MHI Chairman Tim Williams – President of Berkshire-owned 21st – spend years and millions pursing Preserving Access when it was doomed to fail?
  2. Why did Williams’ back a bill his boss Buffett effectively opposed?
  3. Why did Nathan Smith of SSK Communities, the prior chairman to Williams at MHI, back the opposition presidential candidate to Preserving Access?

Hold those thoughts.

MHAction activists disrupted HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s speech at MHI’s 2018 event. MHAction previously protested controversial MHI member Frank Rolfe, and other MHI member MHCommunity operators.

The Golden State Manufactured-Homeowner League’s (GSMOL) president informed MHLivingNews that MHAction was funded by the Tides nonprofit. Double-checking, the GSMOL claim proved correct.

Who’s funded the Tides? Buffett-funded NoVo Foundation was the Tides’ top donor for years.

Millions of Buffett’s bucks – via so-called ‘dark money’ channels – funded attacks by MHAction, plus other nonprofits on MHI and Berkshire’s manufactured home (MH) industry’s brands.

 

What’s Going On?

Let’s be clear. Several business practices alleged by Oliver, WaPo, and MHAction are troubling.

But why does MHI – the national trade group supported by Berkshire – tolerate members engaged in embarrassing business practices?

Meanwhile, Buffett-Tides-supported nonprofit MHAction attack MHI members for irksome practices?

Investigators use basic questions and principles. Cui bono? Who benefits? Plus ‘follow the money’ and evidence.

 

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) code of ethical conduct encourages calling out the powerful. SPJ encourages public corrections as needed. This writer was technically correct in supporting Preserving Access. But in hindsight, my widely-read The Hill analysis was incomplete in the light of new evidence. The facts linked herein address amendments to correct-the-record, per SPJ standards.

Let’s step back to when Berkshire bought Clayton Homes.

Clayton’s production market-share of new manufactured homes was some 13 percent in 2003 when Buffett-led Berkshire purchased Clayton.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

 

A 2010 letter from Williams/21st, Buffett’s annual letter that year, and a subsequent video interview with Clayton CEO Kevin Clayton are provided. William’s/21st letter went to thousands of independent retailers. cutting-off lending to independents that failed to buy Clayton Homes products. In the wake of the 2008 housing/financial crisis, that 21st letter’s impact devastated independents.

 

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

This graphic is a snapshot of the industry at about the time of the Kevin Clayton in-depth video interview, posted on this linked page. In that video Kevin said what “Warren” teaches his managers about competition and the Moat.

 

Thousands of independent retailers failed. Meanwhile, Clayton grew.

Depending on the source you cite, by 2018, Clayton’s market-share of manufactured housing production hit some 48-50 percent, which included using the undisputed tactics documented here.

 

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEnd2017MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

While several allegations of monopolistic practices have been made against Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway, this website and our sister site are the only one to date known to have produced evidence, using their own documents and words.  But the Nation, Atlantic, Seattle Times, and Guru Focus are among others in media that span the left-right divide that make similar points; namely, that Clayton and their related lenders behave in a monopolistic fashion.  The Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) have made several such references over the years too.  What makes MHProNews and MHLivingNews unique is that we’ve dug deeper, and documented how it was arguably accomplished, using Berkshire’s own documents and information.

 

I’ve asked antitrust and other lawyers to examine the linked evidence. An antitrust case could be forged. Investors, media, and public officials, please hold that thought.

Later, controversial MHI member Frank Rolfe accused the association’s former chairman Nathan Smith of “hypocrisy,” pointing to harmful mainstream headlines Smith’s SSK Communities sparked.  Rolfe also alleged that MHI failed to defend the industry from bad news or to promote good news. Odd? Is Rolfe – who has his own vexing image issues – correct?

As noted above, Minnesota lawmakers decided in a bipartisan report that affordable housing and manufactured homes go hand-in-glove.  Secretary Carson and former HUD Secretary Julio Castro both praised manufactured homes too. Why aren’t those items on the MHI website?

Why are there numerous third-party, university level, nonprofits, or federal research that praise manufactured homes missing also missing from the MHI website? The screen captures are collages from MHI’s search tool. They seem to support Rolfe’s claim.

Buffett gets into businesses he believes make sense. An arguably Machiavellian ploy is coming into focus.

It includes a ‘Rope-a-Dope’ ploy with respect to Preserving Access.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

Berkshire machinations arguably includes Buffett’s minions deploying ‘Castle and Moat’ ‘sharks in the waters’ tactics in manufactured housing.

Complex:

are all more difficult for smaller firms to navigate than a larger one with deeper pockets.

In hindsight, MHI’s “big boys” led-the-charge for a Preserving Access bill that was doomed to fail. The bill created the Illusion of Motion.” But Buffett’s bucks funded both the pro-and-con sides of that effort. It was arguably a rope-a-dope ploy, another shark in “the Moat.” Wear out independents fighting a rigged match.

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Using the logic of Secretary Carson and the report linked here, this scheme arguably harms millions, and costs our economy hundreds of billions a year – what researchers said is the harm caused by a lack of affordable housing.  That’s an aspect of the opportunity in disguise.

Now, this same picture points to numerous opportunities in manufactured housing by using ‘white hat’ strategies vs ‘black hat’ ones. Meaning, Smith, Rolfe, Clayton, Williams/21st and others are going to be who they are. Use that by being different than they are. Think and be Contrarian!

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuoteMastheadMHProNews

Quote from an MHI member, business executive.

There are good laws on the books that make manufactured housing so appealing. Those good laws are not being properly enforced or implemented. There is a case to be made that the industry’s Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, there allies and surrogates have worked to suppress the usefulness of those good laws. If so, that’s a short term tactic.  Once they’ve obtained their own perceived ideal combination of political and economic scenarios, they will take their foot off artificial breaks.  At that point, the industry’s production could soar.  Why?  Because as the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told Forbes, there is a need for some 8.3 million housing units.

Only factory building can logically close that gap. For the reason, Yun asked Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton – Certified Business Economist (CBE) – to research manufactured housing. She did.  That expert NAR research, is linked here.  In her first footnote, on page 48, she kindly named this writer in her acknowledgements.

The evidence for that is subtle, but real. For example, why doesn’t Berkshire use their dozens of newspapers to each do an article every other week that debunks the misconceptions about manufactured homes? Or why doesn’t Buffett allocate money for a real image campaign for Clayton, instead of fig leaf efforts or a continuing stream of controversies? Or why does MHI – on their own website – fail to promote the numerous good news reports about manufactured homes that could lead more to invest in the industry, or buy more homes?

Who will argue that Buffett, Berkshire, Clayton, or MHI have made 15 years of mistakes?  Isn’t the more plausible argument that the axis are deliberately NOT promoting manufactured homes, so that they and their comrades continue to consolidate the industry at discounted values?  How to explain that the savvy, connected Nathan Smith admits the association’s past mistakes, but they continued to make them?  How to explain how he laughs as he says he wants others to stay out of the industry, so he can have all of the communities – his part of the industry – all for himself?

 

 

Learn yourself, contact or hire experts that can help you navigate the complex world of an arguably rigged manufactured housing industry.

Why bother chasing the manufactured home rainbow? Why go through the brain damage? Because the industry is underperforming. That’s proven by public companies investor relations packages.  That means the upside is pretty obvious.

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017MastheadManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

20 years ago, manufactured homes outsold RVs by about 3 to 2. Today, RVs outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1. Manufactured homes are normally purchased for full time living, many RVs are for recreational or part time living. Many RVs – which are towable as well as motorized – can be higher than a manufactured home. The cost per square foot for a manufactured home is routinely lower.

 

Each of these factoids paint a picture of an industry that should be roaring instead of snoring. The dark money trail of Buffett bucks fueling both sides of various fights – like Preserving Access – should tell the savvy that there must be something huge here, or why bother going to all that trouble?

Indeed, housing is a multi-trillion dollar field. How high might manufactured housing go? Consider what Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) Eric Belsky said not long before Buffett entered the industry that manufactured housing was poised to surpass conventional building.

 

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Was Belsky wrong? Or how about the numerous other third-party studies that came to similar observations?  Isn’t the better argument that Belsky and others never imagined Buffett reversing growth, so they could consolidate the industry at a discount?

Why has HUD Secretary Ben Carson said it is time to take manufactured housing out of the darkness of limestone into the brightness of the limelight? Could it be that he gets it that forces within the industry have hobbled the most proven form of affordable housing?

 

 

Let me say that having spoken personally with a number of federal investigators, I have no doubt personally – speaking as a 25 plus year proven, award-winning expert in this field, long-praised by some of the very people we now critique – that manufactured homes are underperforming not due to the ineptness of MHI.

 

 

Rather, the evidence suggests that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies are behaving as they do as a subtle manipulation of the system.  Only a handful of people need to be in the know to pull this off, so no grand conspiracy is needed.  It is what Senator Bernie Sanders or President Donald J. Trump fans might aptly call, “a rigged system.”  What’s this compared to what happened to Bernie in 2016?  Or to President Trump in 2016-2019?

Even Clayton’s local home town media has been pushed into admitting their are several ongoing federal investigations.

 

 

We’ve had the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune flung at us.  For example, MHI outside attorneys and other surrogates have threatened us in writing for publishing such revelations over time. But they’ve never filed suit. Why not?

We’ve given the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, their attorneys, and their allies numerous, documented offers to refute, explain away, or disprove any of those linked allegations. We’ve offered public, moderated discussions on camera – prove any of these fact elements wrong, or explain a different interpretation of these linked items. At each stage, they’ve declined. They’ve ducked it for some 2 years. Why?

Alan Amy essentially explains it in this short video. Manufactured homes are the future of housing. That why the billionaires and multiple billion dollar firms want their arms around this industry.

 

 

That should speak volumes to investors, as should this focus group. These participants almost all owned a conventional house first.

They love their manufactured homes. They were given $20 in gas money, and a meal to spend over four hours just so they could participate in this focus group. They had no other incentives, Dave their own self evident convictions. That too speaks volumes.

 

 

The video above and below are part of a series.

 

 

Advocates, lawmakers, and reporters should hold specific MHI-connected ‘Black Hats’ accountable, not the ‘White Hats’ of the much-needed manufactured home industry.

Let’s close by noting that some of the same people who’ve previously praised our work, have – perhaps understandably – turned on us since we’ve began exposing their alleged treachery.

 

 

It is also important to stress – not because of ego, but for outsiders looking in – that this is the largest, and most read medium of their kind in manufactured housing.  We’ve been praised by the big and small, for years, and while they may now jeer, companies of all sizes read us faithfully.  See the first of two videos that make the point, from those who’ve said so that were given no incentives to proclaim what they did.

 

 

A few deep pocket brands in the MH industry arguably rigged the system to the detriment of millions. Federal regulators – already investigating Clayton, 21st, and VMF – should investigate MHI and others for antitrust, fraud, and possible RICO violations.

 

 

And investors should consider the many ways how they could be a white hat brand that profitably performs a much needed service, while the black hats play their sad games.

See prior Masthead’s related to Buffett, Clayton, and the related reports below the bylines and notices for more details. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Industry news, commentary, fact-checks, and analysis.) ##

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Ross Kinzler Confirms Allegations, MHEC Peer Claims “Association Malpractice;” Member Backstab, MHI Failure Concerns

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

May 1st, 2019 No comments

 

MultibillionDollarOpportunitiesKnockSolvingAffordableHousingCrisisLATonyKovachManufacturedHomeMHProNews

In a truly free enterprise system, various needs are identified. Then a means of profitably yet honestly serving those needs are established. Ideally, both the customer and product/service benefit. The happy customer(s) then tell or send their friends.  That pattern repeated often enough yields success.

 

For millions, perception is reality.

For millions, the words “manufactured homes” – if understood at all – brings up images of old mobile homes. Properly understood and acted upon, that is both an obstacle and an opportunity in disguise.

To make a point about misunderstandings about manufactured homes, let’s first step back and consider a few subjects that are divisive and raise widely differing views and reactions.

 

  • Climate change.
  • Abortion.
  • Income inequality.
  • President Donald J. Trump or former President Barack H. Obama.
  • Socialism.
  • Immigration and the U.S. Mexican border.
  • Democrats or Republicans.
  • CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News.
  • Big Tech and Monopolies

 

The list could go on and on. But that is enough to make the next point. Millions of intelligent people are on either side of those issues, organizations, or personalities.

So why is it a surprise that there is a wide disparity of views on manufactured homes?  By the way, to us, manufactured homes – like affordable housing – are non-partisan or bipartisan issues.

 

Opportunities Knock

Applying the point above, there are stark differences between how some insiders involved in manufactured housing view the following.

  • The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Arlington, VA.
  • Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders, based in the Knoxville, TN metro.
  • Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, in Omaha, NE, where their annual meeting is about to be held.
  • Prosperity Now (formerly CFED)
  • Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction)

to name but a few.

Interestingly, the central bullet listed – Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway – are tied by investments, traceable donations, or other financial/advocacy interests to all of the above.

It should go without saying that Buffett, Berkshire, their BH Media Group and other media access, plus their billions could promote a clear and compelling case for modern manufactured homes.  It is the most proven permanent form of affordable housing in U.S. history.  So properly understood, investing in manufactured housing is a safe bet.

 

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Each photo is of a modern manufactured home, which can be 2400 sq ft or more in size, 1 or 2 levels, set over a basement, or can be as modest as 320 sq ft. These homes are all built to federal construction and safety standards that went into effect on June 15, 29176, administered by HUD, and are thus known as “HUD Code Manufactured Homes.”

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

 

Buffett enters an industry precisely because he thinks it is a good bet.  So the fact that Buffett and Berkshire could use media and marketing to successfully break through the noise about manufactured homes – leads a clear-thinker to this interesting possibility. They arguably don’t want to clear up the misinformation about manufactured homes at this time.

If fact, sources that have received directly or obliquely funding from Buffett and Berkshire have attacked him and his manufactured housing business units. It is a fact that MHAction is listed as having co-authored a white paper that Last Week Tonight with John Oliver used as a central source for his viral “Mobile Homes” video.

Buffett/Berkshire on a variety of examples have been on both sides of an apparent fight. Beyond the John Oliver/MHAction example, let’s look at one more instance.

The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act aimed at amending Dodd-Frank. It was authored and promoted by MHI, Clayton Homes, and their Berkshire Hathaway manufactured home lenders.  Yet Berkshire Chairman Buffett himself backed candidates Barack Obama for re-election to the presidency, and Secretary Hillary Clinton, both of whom opposed any changes to Dodd-Frank. Prosperity Now – then known as CFED – opposed those changes. MHI, and dozens of state associations supported Preserving Access.  These are easy to document facts.

Buffett backed forces were on both sides of the Preserving Access fence. The reasons that can be profitable to him are many.

Th objective mind is left with this impression. Buffett and his allies have a motivation to obscure the truth and performance of manufactured housing at this time.

 

Behind Every Deception is a Motivation

Stating the Obvious can clarify an issue. When intelligent, successful people are behind some deception, there must be a motivation.

Further, good marketers know that you either define yourself, or others will define you – often to your detriment.  But what if you funded undermining the message, precisely to harm the interests of smaller players?  What if that allows you to consolidate at a discount other firms?  Doesn’t that – in a cunning fashion – fit the ‘value investing’ principle Buffett himself portrays?

There is evidence that we won’t dive deeply into in this column that suggests that Buffett and his allies know precisely how valuable manufactured housing is, which is why he entered the industry in the first place.

Using Buffett’s strategic Moat principles, the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are slowly building a monopoly that would have been barred by federal antitrust regulators had that been done swiftly. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t violated antitrust laws.  Berkshire connected documents and their own words are linked here, which lays out the trendlines.

That hypothesis must be proven in a court of law, or by some sort of pleading between the harmed parties and those accused of market manipulations that arguably violate multiple laws.

So how can those who have strong evidence against them respond?  They have been given multiple opportunities, and they don’t respond at all, not directly. Rather, they seek to undermine those who dare challenge and expose their #RiggedSystem.

 

 

Opportunities in Disguise

Every problem that is properly understood in a free enterprise system is an opportunity in disguise. The fact that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their nonprofit surrogates are on both sides of several issues can dissuade some from getting into manufactured housing.  Perhaps wisely so.

But others will see or discover that if they are willing to lawfully use such insights, the opportunities to prosper while honestly serving potentially millions of Americans arises.

Restated, this revelation means that those willing to challenge Buffet/Berkshire may find the key that unlocks the door that solves the affordable housing crisis. Doing so is good for federal, state, and local budgets. Addressing affordable housing needs are good for taxpayers.  It is good for those stuck in a lifetime of paying for rental housing.

Such efforts to buck Buffett and his minions can be successfully done at the local, regional, or national levels. It doesn’t require infinite resources.  But it does demand serious resources, will, and staying power to cut through the Moats around the Clayton and their lending castles that Berkshire brands have established or allowed to exist and expand.

The evidence that they can be beaten is in or linked from this very article.  The irony is that these same point-people allied with Knoxville and Arlington praised our work for years.  Right up to the point that we began grasp, unravel, and then to publicize their questionable activities.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

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One of over 1000 endorsements and recommendations, most of which were given without being requested. We thank each sender for that honor.

 

We are more than publishers here at MHProNews/MHLivingNews. We’ve been acknowledged and praised by some of the very people that now seek to oppose our pro-industry and ethical pro-growth work. Our parent operation and related business units have had documented success at turning around previously struggling or even failed situations in manufactured housing.

That may be seen as a threat to some, but as a blessing in disguise to others.

Just as there are a range of viewpoints on the hot button issues noted above, or on

 

  • manufactured homes,
  • land lease communities (a.k.a. ‘mobile home parks’),
  • manufactured housing financing,
  • or other aspects of the broader factory built housing industry

 

there are a range of views – past and present – about this writer, our publications, and our business development and related training, recruitment, and consulting services.

Given a highly polarized America, where hidden agendas often are at work, is it any surprise that there are differing views about myself or our proven systems?

 

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

You may or may not agree with Danny Glover on a range of issues. At MHProNews, we use a ‘wheat and chaff’ principle. That statement by Glover is demonstrably insightful. This quote is wheat. We buck the monopoly of obscured information that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have purportedly fostered. 

 

The truth has been weaponized by some, hoping to push an agenda they believe benefits themselves. To some, it doesn’t matter how many independent businesses are harmed, or how many millions of lives are being cheated of an opportunity to own and build personal wealth.  Secretary Carson said in 2017 that the average rental household has a net worth of some $5000.  The average homeowner household, per Carson, has a typical net worth of some $200,000.  Some of the very nonprofits that Buffett’s largess is aligned with have made similar arguments. Prosperity Now and the Ford Foundation, to name but two, have made the case that manufactured housing is a proven path to building personal wealth.

It requires an expert to discern what is real news and what is ignorant, fake, spin, or weaponized news when it comes to manufactured housing.

See the related reports, linked below the byline and notices for specifics.

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We believe in this industry, its potential, and know it from the inside out.  Buffett and his buddies believe in manufactured housing too, and they deploy their methods to keep others at bay.  We believe there are several proven ways to foil them profitably.

Time is money. Knowledge is potential power. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

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LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

B2B Statistics, Trends 2019 – April 2019 Snapshot of Manufactured Home Professional Readers

 

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

 

 

 

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

March 23rd, 2019 No comments


ProfitingCorrectingManufacturedHousingTrapsPitfallsSwindlesMastheadBlogManufacturedHomeIndustryLATonyKovachMHPronNews

Think triple damages potentially worth millions to some pros that you know, and billions collectively as you read this. You, a friend or colleague may be entitled to it, and you may not even know it. It may be easier than you think. That will be explained further below.

 

I can picture in my minds eye a couple I met at an Illinois Manufactured Housing Association meeting some time back. They were seniors. They were pleasant, well spoken, and successful for decades in the manufactured home community ownership arena.

But at the time we met, they were facing a crisis with their community. For years, occupancy had trended down. Their business model, as was true if thousands of other community owners for decades, depended upon so-called ‘street retailers’ to sell homes into their community.

When thousands of street retailers vanished in a matter of years, land-lease community owners like them lost a leg in their business model’s 3 or four legged chair. A series of other events in the late 1990s into the 2000s hurt them as it did others.

With dwindling occupancy, deferred maintenance became critical. Those often turn into headlines that for some years now are among those that has haunted land-lease communities – and by extension, the rest of the industry – in news stories and headlines like those shown below.

Mainstream media reporters may or may not be aware of those background dynamics. All they know is that sewer lines that once worked fine, are now a problem. Or water systems may need updating, but haven’t been properly care for due to such economic challenges.

Rephrased, take out retailers, and a series of other events created a cascade effect that continues years after those ‘street dealers’ vanished. Factories that supplied those retailers were shuttered. Lenders and financial services firms lost a once steady and dependable stream of business. Suppliers, transporters, installation, workers of all kinds are harmed.

Nor can manufactured home resident impact be overlooked. Resale values, the entire normal supply and demand chain equilibrium is disturbed.

All of that occurs by removing thousands of independent manufactured home retailers.

Much of the industry and its home owners has yet to recover. Headlines like the ones below hit mainstream news. Of course, it’s a turn-off to prospective manufactured home buyers.  

ManufacturedHomeCommunityMobileHomeParkNewsMHProNEws

Then, ponder the effect of a vertically integrated firm like Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway sister companies. When you have essentially an unlimited pool of capital, you can afford to lose money at dozens of locations. Never forget that Kevin Clayton said on camera that it would be okay with “Warren” if he lost money for five years, as long as Clayton was widening its “Moat.”

It is simply impossible to fully grasp the impact that kind of strategy has on the industry, until it is carefully understood.

The problems mentioned above then create “value acquisitions” for consolidators. So while Berkshire Hathaway benefited, because Clayton Homes expanded its Moat from some 13 percent to about 50 percent of the market in just 15 years, it also made it easier for several larger community operators to buy distressed communities. Those distressed communities may have operated just fine for years.

The residents in those once properly operated, but years later turned into distressed neighborhoods were suffering the impacts too.

A few “won.” Thousands of independent businesses lost. Millions of Americans were impacted.  But even big boy companies are harmed today, because the image of living in a manufactured home community was shifted over time from happy to problematic.

That’s just one part of the cause and effect of the traps, pitfalls, and swindles that have cost Americans tens of billions of dollars. A few benefited, but at what harm and cost?

This is a topic worthy of debate. Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, their attorneys ought to explain or refute the evidence, if they can. Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, a former president at Clayton Homes ought to stand before their industry peers and explain the documents, direct quotes, and video recorded statements if they can.

They and their purported puppet association in Arlington, VA have the right to remain silent. Never forget that for years, they each promptly responded to questions from MHProNews. It was about two years ago that all that publicly changed. But what they can’t erase are the impacts on the industry. Nor can they erase the times they publicly praised MHProNews in writing, verbally, or even on video.

These problems are opportunities in disguise. Time will tell if Clayton et al will appear before their industry colleagues next Thursday afternoon and explain the documents, quotes, money trail, trend lines, and evidence compiled here or on MHLivingNews over the years.  

But if they come or not, be one of those who see, listen and learn how the pains of the past and present can become a silver lining to a dark cloud.

How so?

Several ways. We will mention only one today, but more ground will be covered next week, in person and live. The opportunity for class action lawsuit that are handled by plaintiffs attorneys who will sue those responsible on contingency.

That harm artificially caused could logically extend to millions of manufactured home owners, because their resale values have been impacted by such purported market manipulation.

That harm also extends to those whose businesses were sold at a discount or failed all together.

Manufactured housing has seen several large class action lawsuits over the years. It remains to be seen if the SEC, which won’t confirm or deny that they are studying market manipulation in the Cavco Industries case, will dig into such matters. It remains to be seen if shareholders attorneys are going to look into these issues. Why should they? Because if Stegmayer as a former Clayton executive understood all this, and did it didn’t do certain things at Cavco, it obviously impacts business performance and share holders stock value.

It may not pay independents and others on the spot to be at the Tunica next Thursday, March 28, starting just after 12 noon. But it could be worth millions to some businesses, thousands to millions of home owners.

On my personal library’s bookshelf is a chess book. It’s title includes the phrase, Chess Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles. It never dawned upon me just how much that title may apply to our industry. “Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles.

 

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles
You or a Colleague’s Opportunity to Collect 3 Times What You Lost

Plaintiffs’ attorneys inform MHProNews that such cases can bring triple damages.  As most readers will know, a contingency lawsuit means that the attorney bears the brunt of the costs and risks. The only reason they take on such a case is because of their confidence in winning it.  You or other victims don’t even have to know how it happened to you.  You only have to have been a victim in order to participate in such a potential landmark case.

 

Speak No Evil, Only Evidence. Tunica Show, Feds, Clayton, 21st, MHI, MHARR, Public Debate, and You

 

Please RSVP for Tunica next week for session 1. It’s open to legitimate industry members who are coming to participate or learn. We are seeking to expand the meeting room space from what was originally reserved. Details will be updated via our emailed headline news, so make sure you are signed up. 

Here’s that email link.

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

 

 

There will be a Q & A after each session. To learn more, click here the linked article above or further below the byline and notices.  

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Speak No Evil, Only Evidence. Tunica Show, Feds, Clayton, 21st, MHI, MHARR, Public Debate, and You

 

“November Rain” – DoJ’s Top Antitrust Cop – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim ABA Speech on Antitrust Enforcement for Americans

Tim Williams, PBS News’ Bad Bargain, Manufactured Housing Institute, Buffett’s Mirror, and Clayton’s Costume

Minnie Driver, Millionaires, and Billionaires – Debunking “Housing for the Poor” Image of Manufactured Housing

“Tug of War” – Manufactured Home Community Legislation – “Vicious Cycle Goes On,” Impacting Industry, Home Owners, and Potential Buyers

Warren Buffet’s Quotable Quotes on Business, Institutions, Behavior, and News Reporting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prosperity Now, Protests, Indivisible Project, Warren Buffett, George Soros, POTUS Donald Trump, MHAction and Manufactured Housing – Following the Money

November 9th, 2018 No comments

IndivisbleLogoProsperityNowLogoMHActionLogoGeorgeSorosWarrenBuffettDonaldJTrumpMHProNews

Prosperity Now. MHAction. Indivisible Project. Billionaires George Soros and Warren Buffett. Each of those are all interconnected. Each of those are involved in protests against manufactured home businesses, President Donald J. Trump, and his supporters.

 

Who says?

Let’s follow the facts, evidence, and the money trail.

1)    The billionaire George Soros funded “…Open Society funds are only a small percentage of Tides‘ total…” budget, says the Tide Foundation’s own website.  It’s in a post by Tides on their own website entitled “Why does the right hate Soros?

Rephrased, the self-proclaimed progressive Tides Foundation admits the connection between Soros, the Open Society and George Soros.

2)    As MHProNews and MHLivingNews have previously reported, the Tides Foundation also has major funding via other foundations by Warren Buffett.

Buffett, as focused manufactured home industry pros and observers know, is Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns giant Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, 21st Mortgage, Shaw Carpeting, and other firms that are in or supply housing and factory-builders. Berkshire is widely seen as the dominating force behind the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Thousands of industry professionals were no doubt surprised that Buffett’s money flowed through Tides to anti-manufactured home community protesters, MHAction.

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

 

ICYMI, or want to refresh your mind, see two of those reports documenting ties between Tides, Buffett and MHAction, see the above and below.

 

Expose! Why Has Warren Buffett/BH Funded Anti-MHC Activists, MHAction? Why Fund Attacks on ELS, Frank Rolfe, Blackstone Group?

 

  1. Thanks to Tim Williams, 21st Mortgage Corp, There’s More…

We believe in giving credit where it is due, whenever possible.

Tim Williams, the prior MHI Chairman, and the 21st Mortgage Corp president and CEO, mentioned something a couple of years ago in a conversation with me that will connect to this picture.  We’ll spotlight that tie-in to this follow-the-facts, evidence and money report in the days ahead.

But my hunch is that when he reads this – and our sources say that he will – Tim just may recall what we’re teasing as the next shoe to drop for the MH Berkshire brands, MHI, et al.

Tim, thanks again.  In hindsight, that was a very insightful conversation.  Thank God for the gift of memory, right?

While some can’t be roused by anything, for others that report will be an earthquake for many in MHVille. We hope to have it in time for Thanksgiving. If you aren’t yet on our email list, you can sign up at the link shown on the banner.

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

Moving on now to the balance of the headline topic.

 

  1. Influence Watch, and The Indivisible Project, Soros and Buffett

Influence Watch is one of several organizations that track the often befuddling trail between various non-profits, foundations, and deep pockets like billionaires Buffett and Soros. Here’s what their research reveals.

The Indivisible Project (or Indivisible) is a left-of-center 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., and created in late 2016 as a response to the election of President Donald Trump. The Indivisible Project was established to provide liberals a practical guide about “Resisting the Trump Agenda.” [1] Despite connections to elite donors, Indivisible claims to be a grassroots movement. The organization was founded by two left-wing activists with congressional experience and ties to the left-of-center economic policy advocacy group Prosperity Now.[2] According to a spokesperson within the organization, Indivisible’s goal for 2018 is to replace all elected officials who don’t reflect their views with “diverse, progressive, local leaders.”[3] [4] Indivisible claims to represent over 5,800 groups and has a website that has been viewed over 18 million times.[5]

I can almost hear the sweat rolling off a few foreheads in Knoxville, Arlington, and Washington, D.C. based Prosperity Now. Some industry friends and colleagues of mine should also take notice of this too, because they know where these dot-connections are leading.

Here’s what they say about funding.

 

  1. Indivisible Financial Overview

Indivisible has published the nonprofit’s revenue from both its 501(c)(3) Indivisible Civics, and 501(c)(4) Indivisible Project for 2017.[9] In 2017, Indivisible raised “a total of $7.5 million,” with “$2.8 million” through the 501(c)(3) and “$4.7 million” through the 501(c)(4). Over the course of 2017, Indivisible was fiscally sponsored by the Tides Foundation and the Advocacy Fund (a Tides affiliate) until it “was granted 501(c)(4) status from the IRS” during the tax year.[10]

Of Indivisible’s 2017 revenue, 35 percent was raised through small dollar donations, and 65 percent was received through major gifts and foundation grants. [11] Of the $7.5 million raised, $3.4 million was spent on organization expenses,” according to Influence Watch.

 

  1. Founders of Indivisible

Established by left-wing activists Ezra Levin and Leah Greenberg in December 2016, Indivisible was originally organized as a movement along the lines of the conservative Tea Party opposition to President Barack Obama’s administration. [6] To that end, Levin and Greenberg’s first project was a 26-page political organizing manual entitled “A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda. The manual highlighted the best methods to “beat back” President Trump and defeat the new conservative majority in Congress.[7]Since that original document was distributed, the movement has evolved into an effort to disrupt civil discourse and “sustain a powerful progressive movement.”[8]

Keep in mind that Prosperity Now is pro-manufactured housing, progressive operation, but is also favorable to issues like rent-control and has taken other problematic positions.  Prosperity Now used to be known as CFED. More on them in the days ahead.

 

  1. What Kevin Clayton said…

Now, with the above in mind, you see:

  • Non-profits
  • Foundations
  • Deep-pocket billionaires, including George Soros and Kevin Clayton’s boss, Warren Buffett.

 

With the above in mind, circle back to that video of Kevin Clayton in Smoking Gun 3.  Recall how Kevin was virtually gushing in that video about Clayton working with foundations and nonprofits?

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

 

Is the bigger picture coming into focus?

 

Facts & Analysis – Senator Elizabeth Warren re: Manufactured Housing Institute Memo to MHI Members, 10-3-2018

Now, keep in mind that companies associated with MHI, including but not limited to, Clayton and Cavco, are under various kinds of federal investigations.

 

Cavco Chairman Joseph H. Stegmayer Steps Down Under SEC Cloud, “Personal, Confidential” SEC Document, Cavco Industries’ Statement

 

News of Cavco’s SEC woes just broke this week.  But MHProNews has been reporting for some years about Clayton-Berkshire related federal investigations. Certainly, people are innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty.  That said, when there is smoke, is there a fire?

 

Much, Not All

The manufactured housing industry has been gamed by a rigged system for years.  Our industry once had hundreds of manufacturers, and literally tens of thousands of independent retailers. Some of those vanished due to natural events.  But others have arguably fallen due to unjust manipulation of regulatory, capital, political and other forces.

It is now becoming clear that protesters are just part of a broader plan. We’re political independents, and we strongly assert that most of the Democrats or MHI members that we personally know are fine people.  But they have often been mislead into believing certain things harmful to their interests.  A decade ago, the same could be said about swaths of the GOP too.

President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump is disrupting the rigged system.  That’s why elites in both major parties opposed him tooth and nail.  He is arguably taking the Republican Party, and turning it into a small-to-midsized business, white and blue collar workers party. He’s taken elements from both major parties, and is blending it into something new.

That’s a threat to everything that billionaires who control the Democratic party stand for, because the rigged system has purportedly made them billions of dollars. That’s why the invest so heavily in it.

We’re all for bipartisanship, and working with people of all backgrounds. But that starts with facts and evidence. If you or anyone you know can find any factual errors in the above, by all means, let us know.

 

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LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquoteBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Related References:

Divisions in America, and Manufactured Housing – Reality Check 1 – 11.9.2018

 

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GIGO, Esther Sullivan, Clayton Homes, Boston Globe, GSMOL on ‘Manufactured Insecurity-Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place’

October 17th, 2018 No comments

 

GIGOEstherSullivanPhotoClaytonHomesLogoGSMOLlogoBostonGlobeManufacturedInsecurityMobileHomeParksAmericansTenuousRighttoPlaceMastheadMHProNews

Like millions of others, during my high school days and at the university, computer geeks used the acronym, GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out.” It simply means that if your input is bad, then the output is bad.

 

Similarly, when using logic, if the premise is flawed, then the conclusion is flawed too.

The GIGO principle holds in business or every other aspect of living. Someone like Professor Esther Sullivan – or those who cite her – may have grand intentions. But mistakes in her facts or a premise lead to false conclusions.

Esther Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Denver,” is the bio brief for her book, “Manufactured Insecurity Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place.”

Let’s note that your Masthead writer is not endorsing Sullivan’s tome, which I’ve not yet read. Rather, this is an analysis of points raised by Sullivan, in her TED Talk. Such talks normally distill the key points of a writer’s research. But to be fair, one should also consider varied viewpoints.

Here is what one fawning reviewer of Sullivan’s ‘Manufactured Insecurity-Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place’ said:

Through a beautifully executed ethnography, Esther Sullivan deftly details how for many living in manufactured mobile homes the façade of the American Dream often turns into displacement and disillusionment. Not only is this work a meaningful contribution to housing studies, it also advances our understandings of social inequality reproduction. For those interested in America’s private-market affordable housing challenges and how they perpetuate vulnerability mainly, but not exclusively, among disadvantaged whites, this is a must-read.” — Derek S. Hyra, author of Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City.

EthnogoraphyAnthropolgyUCLInfographicMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNEws

 

Here’s another reviewer praising her work:

Esther Sullivan has produced a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of manufactured housing in the United States. This is an outstanding and unique ethnographic study of park closings that deserves wide readership among policymakers, advocates, and scholars.”—Edward Goetz, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, author of The One-Way Street of Integration: Fair Housing and the Pursuit of Racial Justice in American Cities.

From those quotes of praise, and what they’ve published, you begin get the idea.

Here’s her publisher’s own plug for her book.

Manufactured Insecurity is the first book of its kind to provide an in-depth investigation of the social, legal, geospatial, and market forces that intersect to create housing insecurity for an entire class of low-income residents. Drawing on rich ethnographic data collected before, during, and after mobile home park closures and community-wide evictions in Florida and Texas—the two states with the largest mobile home populations—Manufactured Insecurity forces social scientists and policymakers to respond to a fundamental question: how do the poor access and retain secure housing in the face of widespread poverty, deepening inequality, and scarce legal protection? With important contributions to urban sociology, housing studies, planning, and public policy, the book provides a broader understanding of inequality and social welfare in the United States today.”

Sullivan says in the video posted below that she lived in communities marked for closure.  Hmmm, okay, but how does that give an authentic look at manufactured homes or communities?  Closures are obviously troubling and disruptive for many.  But thankfully, it is still the minority of communities where that occurs.  GIGO.  Her input is flawed, thus her premise is tainted too.

 

GSMOL, Clayton Homes, and the Boston Globe…

We don’t have to agree with all the policy points that the GSMOL (Golden State Manufactured Home Owner League) stand for to understand why some of their leaders might think Professor Sullivan has talking points useful to their cause.

 

EvictionsMobileHomeParksInsightsTexasFlordaGSMOLManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryAnalysisMastheadMHProNews

 

But then ask yourself this pressing question.

  • Why would Clayton Homes commission the Boston Globe article by Jon Guber that cites Sullivan and her work?

Shouldn’t community owners, and manufactured home owner groups alike sit up and question Clayton Homes motivations in spotlighting Professor Sullivan?  Is it possible that the wool is being pulled, to block vision?

 

AmericasMostInvisbileCommunitiesMobileHomeParksDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsTedXMileHighEstherSullivanManufacturedInsecurity

 

MH Industry Colleagues on Sullivan

Let’s begin with Sullivan. Manufactured home industry colleagues have said they tried to engage her, without success. Be that as it may, Sullivan needs to have an authentic dialogue with someone who will respectfully yet authentically test and challenge her premise and conclusions.

A careful look at the infographic below reveals just some of the factual errors found in her TED Talk.

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

 

Further, Sullivan mixes and misuses terminology. How can a serious university professor misuse terminology with a professional straight face?

 

Terminology2HarvardFreddieMacNeighborworksManufacturedHomeDefintionMobileHomeTraileModularPanelizedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Typically, an author of a book distills in a talk some key points from their research. Her video is posted below.

 

 

SteveDukeLMHATheTerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDefinesTheConstructionStandardsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

 

Then, please read the Daily Business News report at the link below.

 

News Tips, Manufactured Housing Industry Comments on Big City’s Manufactured Home Promoting Commentary

 

Then read the original on Boston.

 

Are we ignoring — or outright banning — an easy affordable-housing fix?

 

Sullivan’s work is a mishmash of the accurate and inaccurate information. Because of the GIGO principle, the same is true of what Jon Guber published in the Boston Globe too.

Again, why would Clayton Homes commission that Guber advertorial?

 

 

Concerns Over Clayton Homes, and the Esther Sullivan Nexus

Once an objective scientist or serious researcher discovers a fact, spotting that point again later becomes easier.

Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway have attracted and/or generated numerous types of controversies.

 

NBC Video – Federal Authorities Investigating Clayton Homes, Maxine Waters Denounces Lending “Discrimination” Against Minorities

 

The articles linked above and below are just two examples.

 

Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

 

Thousands of manufactured home professionals ignored or overlooked such stories for years.  Why?  Haven’t they just continued to pop back up?  Does ignoring the periodic problems for the image of our industry help or harm manufactured home professionals and home owners?

Until recently, who was tracking the ties that Buffett’s money has with activist group, MHAction, via the Tides Foundation?

 

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

 

It can’t be said too often. Berkshire Hathaway has numerous media assets. Warren Buffett can get on TV almost anytime he wants. If they wanted to honestly and honorably grow the manufactured home industry and its reputation, why not run one legitimate article a month from each of their 31 BH Media Group outlets?

If the BH Media Group did that, there would be a parade in Google News that could rapidly change the way our industry is perceived.

Instead, they purportedly commissioned this article in the Boston Globe’s real estate section, that cites Sullivan? Excuse me?

Manufactured home industry pros and investors, do you see any good reason for Clayton to support Sullivan’s work, if they want growth?  For manufactured home owners, the terminology and several of her statements make manufactured homes look at best like a questionable investment.  How does that help your cause?

Finally, Claytons money connection in the background of the Taylor Swift campaign controversy reveals more evidence of mistyfing behavior – if they wanted a surge of growth at this time – that the industry’s pros should consider.

Some MHI member tell me they have no choice, they are ‘compelled’ to be members. If so, that speaks volumes.

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

 

Once the midterms are over, and God-willing a red-tide is the result on the night of November 6, there will next steps needed.

They should include, but not be limited to, federal antitrust and other investigations of:

  • MHI,
  • Berkshire Hathaway,
  • Clayton Homes, and their related lending.
  • Amazon, Alphabet (Google, YouTube), Facebook, and Microsoft.
  • Concerns over FHFA, and the GSEs handling of the Duty to Serve manufactured housing must also be part of the mix.

Isn’t it increasingly clear that there’s as many internal as external reasons that the industry is at such historic lows?

As a manufactured housing industry pro posted on LinkedIn about the latest Clayton scandal, “Wow…Sad.”

So true. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhotoBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Related References:

Truth, Trump, Tragedy, Triumph, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

Principle of ‘The Lesser of Two Evils,’ and MHVille’s Future

To Educate – “Leading Forth” – for Affordable Manufactured Housing Success

October 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

LarryPArnnHillsdaleCollegeToEducateLeadingForthForAffordableManufacturedHousingSuccessMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews600

It’s unbelievable how much you don’t know
about the game you’ve been playing all your life.”

– Mickey Mantle

 

Every state has its heroes and heroines. Mickey Mantle is a favorite son from Oklahoma, where I began my manufactured home career some years ago.

 

Hillsadale College’s president says that the word education means to lead forth.  Education and information which leads to an ever better understanding about manufactured homes are at key to what the industry needs to achieve its potential.  Rephrased, education – information done correctly – is leadership.

 

From the outset – which is now approaching 9 years since our launch in mid-Oct, 2009 – MHProNews has strived to challenge, motivate, and lead in the needed ways.

Call me slow, naive, or steadily evolving, but every year we’ve adapted, and then done things no one else in our industry’s trade media has previously done. 

 

Don’t Do It! 

Don’t be political,’ said some industry pros. Sorry, but problematic, bad and even corrupt policies at the local, state, and federal level are key factors restraining manufactured homes.

Don’t touch on religion or morality.’ Excuse me? Is this America, with freedom of speech and freedom of faith? How do you do what’s right, unless you first know what’s moral or ethical?

When Jesus walked this earth, he was a highly controversial figure. He still is. “Who do people say that I Am?” – the Jewish Jesus asked his 12 disciples. That very question Jesus – the carpenter/builder – asked is still debated today, and has been for approaching 2,000 years.  It’s amazingly relevant.

Jesus picked Peter, and handed him the “keys to the kingdom,” yet Peter denied Jesus three times. Does that mean Jesus goofed, or does it mean that Jesus was reminding everyone that even ‘chosen’ people make mistakes.

Perfect human leaders before or after Jesus of Nazareth don’t exist. So, every mature adult makes allowances for each other, knowing we need that mercy and understanding too.  That said, some people will smile at you, while they rob you blind.  Recognizing that trait in others is useful as an adult. Then there are controversial figures that may not communicate as you or I would, but once understood, are surprisingly spot on. 

President Donald J. Trump is human, and has flaws. But he’s arguably the best President of the United States (POTUS) since Ronald Reagan. As an award-winning history major, I’d say, he’s already at least as good, if not better, than POTUS Reagan in his first two years.  That was a different time, Democrats and Republicans then were able to compromise.  Today, not so much.

Our manufactured home industry – and a host of other professions – need President Trump, if we are to have any hope of breaking the chains that previous politicians, bureaucrats and their big money backers have foisted upon us.

ItsUnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouveBeenPlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballHallFameMastheadManufacturedHousing 

Our nation, not just manufactured housing, has been moving steadily toward oligarchy. Monopolistic maneuvers unethically enrich a few, at the expense of the many. I’m all in favor of free enterprise. It wasn’t news, but I’m increasingly aware to the high degree that Vulture and Crony Capitalism are not free enterprise 

The answer is to break up the monopolies and oligarchies. Not regulate them, break them up under a combination of civil litigation and federal antitrust laws.

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

For the president to succeed, he needs a Congress and Supreme Court that work with him, not against him.  While laws are on the books that are useful, if his political opponents keep him tied up by winning the midterms, the opportunity for POTUS Trump to liberate American Workers and Businesses narrows.

MHI is demonstrably often wrong, and arguably often lying, deceitful, dishonest tool of Berkshire Hathaway and a few others. We’ve offered to debate their positinos, results, and methods.  They run for the hills. Why? If they are right, why not debate the issues, and practices?  

That doesn’t mean that everyone in MHI, much less every one of their members, are corrupt or evil. Some are scared. Some go along, to get along. Some hope to be the last one eaten. My sense is that the majority are nice people, but the organization they pay dues too is corrupted at its core. But those who can, should stop feeding the hand that bites them.

Danny Glover, Presidents Barack Obama & Donald Trump, Promises Kept, and Affordable Manufactured Housing

We’ve documented time and again, false and misleading statements made by MHI. They posture one thing, but often do another. 

For some examples, please see the links herein and below. 

The industry must break free of those who control MHI. Oddly, some of the like minded politicos and fellow travelers of Warren Buffett – for example, George Soros – also support in various ways MHAction, per our sources.

Enemies of Manufactured Homes, Communities; Rent Control, MHAction, George Soros, Ignorance, & Entropy

Jimmy Carter wrongly blasted President Trump, while overlooking the failures of the Obama Administration.  The report below covers that topic. The charts below the linked teaser shows just how badly the Obama Administration preformed on housing issues.

President Jimmy Carter Blasts Trump Administration on Affordable Housing, Carter’s Manufactured Home Ties

HomeOwnershipRatesUSCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-1USCensusBureauMedianAskingRentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

How could MHI have failed to move manufactured housing ahead, given the facts implied in the above? Both of those trend lines are historic reasons for manufactured housing to advance.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-666x768

The facts are unmistakable.  A new alliance in manufactured housing must be forged. One that works for happy home owners through good, honest business practices. MHARR does fine by their members. They are at the head of the line cheering on the creation of a new, post-production trade group.  

Clayton Homes Ripped by Customer Complaints Spotlighted on ABC News

How can an industry trade group have dignity, when some of its most prominent members are plagued by scandal after scandal?

Has the Manufactured Housing Institute Accused Former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith of Federal Law Violations?

The industry is only slowly recovering from the disaster of 2008. Berkshire, Clayton, MHI, and people like Democratic supporter Nathan Smith are at the crux of the issues. That’s my considered view, based upon facts, evidence, reason, and analysis. MHI, Clayton, Clayton’s Attorney, Nathan Smith – they’ve all been given a chance to respond or debate.  Silence. They fail to defend the industry time and again, on issues like the one linked below.

Rumble over Anti-MH Law-State Association, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and MHARR

To educate or inform is to lead forth.  The short-term focus must be to get candidates that will support the Trump Agenda into office or re-elected. Once that’s done, a new trade group must be forged, that can work with MHARR and independents of good will to advance the industry. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

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The Rich, Famous, PreFab Homes, Manufactured Housing, Hypocrisy, and You

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FEDs, MHI, Buffett’s Berkshire’s Clayton Homes Moat, Affordable Housing, and Billion$ in Manufactured Home Market Manipulation

 

Principle of ‘The Lesser of Two Evils,’ and MHVille’s Future

September 11th, 2018 No comments

 

NationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssocLogoMHActionLogoMastheadManufacturedHomeCommentaryMHProNews600x315

There’s a simple but profoundly useful concept taught be ancient to modern thinkers who ponder business, ethical, moral, political or other issues.

 

It’s called the principle of ‘the lesser of two evils.’

It’s simple.  When confronted with a choice, neither of which is perfect, by definition each is a some level of ‘evil’ or imperfection. Which choice does the thoughtful person make?

Morally or logically, the lessor of the two imperfect or ‘evil’ choices.

1)    The featured image above, are MHAction and the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA). Both of those groups purport to be working on behalf of the interests of the owners of pre-HUD Code mobile home owners, as well as the millions of owners of manufactured homes.

2)    There are currently two, and an emerging third, national trade association.  There is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). They each have a different mission statement, with MHI claiming to represent both production and post-production interests, and MHARR plainly stating that they work for the interests of mitigating regulatory issues that face independent producers of manufactured homes.

3)    There are two major political parties. As almost any American adult in the U.S. would know, there are Democrats and there are Republicans (a.k.a., the Grand Old Party or GOP).  Each major party, plus minor parties like Libertarians, advance their candidates for local, state or national offices.

4)    For fun and fairness, we could point to ourselves as trade publishers, and say the same thing. Compare what we do, with what any other remaining or new trade publisher does in manufactured housing.  Who brings you pablum, platitudes, or thinly veiled promotions vs. who brings you news, facts, analysis, and commentary that can be used to navigate the waters that businesses, professionals, and investors face?

Note none of the above – including ourselves – are perfect. By definition, any lack of perfection in philosophical jargon is some degree of ‘evil,’ not pure evil, but an imperfection.

Between imperfect choices, which choices from the above will people make?

 

Decisions, Decisions…

Elections are about choices.  Decisions. On a practical level,

  • one votes for a Democrat,
  • a Republican or other party, or
  • one doesn’t vote at all.

Those who don’t vote, have ‘voted’ not to participate, and have thus yielded to those who do.  The resident groups are right about this.  Their power is at the ballot box.  Just ask long-time industry professionals in states like CA or Delaware – not to mention a number of other states in between the east and west coasts – and they’ll tell you that resident groups have caused bills at the local and state level to pass that include measures such as rent control or “rent justification.”

The industry often opposes these.

Resident groups are engaged at the state level by a number of state associations. MHI and MHARR have engaged at various times and ways with NMHOA, though on differing topics. MHARR is not directly involved in community issues, but they do promote a robust entry by the GSEs into manufactured home lending, as one of several topics that are important to communities, retailers, and thus producers.

 

With the Table Set Above…

There are good reasons to believe this the upcoming midterm election could be the biggest in years, perhaps, in a generation or more.

Rob Weymouth, has been claimed as a member by the leadership of Delaware Manufactured Home Owner Association (DMHOA), which affiliates with both NMHOA and MHAction.

Weymouth, perhaps not realizing his illogical argument, in several letters to the editor in his area, has written arguing that Democrats needed to be elected, even though he admits in his own column, that the Democrats who passed a rent-control bill was “useless” to manufactured home owners.  Useless legislation, but vote for those that passed it?

MH Communities, Owners, MH Independents Alert – NMHOA and MHAction Next Steps? – Part 1

That said, Weymouth is urging manufactured homeowners to vote Democratic.

Tim Sheahan, is the president of the NMHOA. He had a lengthy submission to the FHFA on the topic of the Duty to Serve (DTS) by Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In it, he made several interesting points, which wittingly or not, he later logically contradicted.  See the report, linked below for specifics.

Tim Sheahan, NMHOA President, Controversial Points of Agreement with Marty Lavin, George Allen on Communities

The tactics and positions taken by NMHOA or MHAction tend to align more with Democratic than Republican politics.  If they see that differently, they’re leadership is welcome to send me a letter to the editor to clear up any confusion on that point.  But so far, what’s been communicated privately and publicly led us to that conclusion.

Let me be clear.  The analysis we’ve done are not put-downs to Weymouth or Sheahan. Manufactured home residents deserve respect.  There are few in the industry who’ve done more to lift up the image of manufactured home owners, as what we’ve done on MHLivingNews.com. For years, we’ve spotlighted morality tales of what not to do, when we publish articles about businesses that have gotten in legal hot water for wronging one or more residents.

So, the purpose of public discourse – there’s, our’s or other’s ideas – is to advance concepts.  Those visions ought to be examined and tested logically, using our God-given common-sense.

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMar

No formal training in logic or debate is needed to analyze someone’s perspective.  What is needed, is objectivity and common-sense.  What’s helpful is applying simple principles, like the lesser of two evils.

For some time, MHProNews has systematically examined numerous issues that impact manufactured housing and manufactured home owners.  It has led up to this moment.

 

What’s the best way to advance the interests of manufactured home owners and businesses alike?

Let’s keep it simple.  Some respond to emotional appeals.  Set aside pure emotions, which can be manipulated.  As Poverty Inc demonstrated, what sounds big hearted can in fact be harmful to the very people that people of good will intend to help.

Let’s give NMHOA and MHAction the benefit of the doubt for now.  Let’s say, for discussion’s sake, that they want the best interest of hundreds of their members or millions of MH residents.  Let’s further say they aren’t working – as MHAction’s ties suggest – for the interests of billionaires like George Soros.

If that is so, then who is doing more for manufactured home residents?  Is it Democrats, as Weymouth and his DMHOA leadership think?  Or is it the emerging new GOP, under President Donald J. Trump?

 

Compare – and Decide

What precisely did the administration of President Barack H. Obama do for MH residents during his 8 years in office?

Compare that to what the President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump has already done to raise millions of more people out of poverty?  Think about how in 20 months millions are off of food stamps, have new jobs with higher pay, have lower utility bills, more take home pay, and more.  Better paying jobs that President Obama said would never come back, are back under President Trump.  Set aside style or tweets, etc, and look at results.  Considered objectively, isn’t it an easy comparison between Mr. Obama and POTUS Trump?

Former President Obama, unable to stand on his actual record, is now back on the campaign trail.  He’s trying to imply or claim in recent days that the increasingly booming economy is due to his policies.  That’s easily debunked nonsense. Coal, manufacturing, and other jobs that Mr. Obama said would never come back, are under President Trump’s pro-growth policies.

The fact that Mr. Obama even feels the need to make such obviously false claims should speak volumes.  Don’t let the supposedly soaring rhetoric carry your colleagues off.  Because a growing number of the former 44th president’s supporters left him for the Trump movement.

In fact, about 1/3 of the counties that candidate Obama won, where won years later by candidate Donald J. Trump.

Under President Obama, starting with his first midterms, Democrats lost a net of some 1,000 seats at the federal, state and local levels.

Keep in mind, that President Trump, much like the late President Ronald Reagan, is a former Democrat. That fact caused concerns for many in the GOP power structure.

President Trump has been:

  • good for job creation ,
  • Blue collar workers,
  • Good for minorities,
  • Good for women,
  • has reduced the numbers on public assistance,
  • has boosted investments in American businesses, which is good for owners, investors, and professionals.
  • It is those investors that could – under the right policies – begin building more communities that could rebalance the supply-demand equation for manufactured home community residents.

Here’s the bottom line.  Democratic policies since the Great Society some 50 years ago, spent over $22 trillion dollars until 2014, with no appreciable difference in poverty rates.

UCDavisUnitedStatesPovertyRateSince1959to2015DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

The principles of Poverty, Inc – applied to the U.S. – will tell us that what’s needed is to clear the path for small businesses to open, operate and do business that lift people out of poverty and create opportunities.

Acclaimed Poverty Inc. Video, MHVille – Why Left & Right Should Listen, Learn From Each Other

Superficial thinking has arguably gotten:

  • manufactured housing professionals by the thousands, and
  • manufactured home owners by the hundreds of thousands,
  • both into less than ideal or even problematic positions.

It will take clear thinking, facts, and evidence to correct what’s gone wrong in manufactured housing.

MHARR, outspent by some 7 to 1 by MHI, has routinely picked the correct positions time and again on issues that face the industry.  By contrast, MHI has repeatedly taken positions that they claim are good for many, but in fact work for the interests of a few ‘consolidators’ of smaller businesses.

FEDs, MHI, Buffett’s Berkshire’s Clayton Homes Moat, Affordable Housing, and Billion$ in Manufactured Home Market Manipulation

It is hard to find something good to say (sorry) about the public positions and actions of MHAction.  There is clear overlap between MHAction and NMHOA.  That said, both NMHOA and MHAction, along with their state affiliates need to be engaged, as some professional associations have tried.  But it is resident group’s thinking that must be engaged, analyzed and put on display, as we have in articles linked from this column, above and below.

Ishbel Dickens said she was open to a public discussion debate of the issues with me, but never actually did so.  We’ve more recently made a similar invitation to NMHOA and MHAction’s current leaders.  We’ll see what they do, but so far, there’s no one jumping at the chance.  Why not?  Do they lack confidence in their positions?

If they are not willing to defend their positions, perhaps they should consider changing them?  In fact, that’s the purpose of analysis and debate. To discern through testing what’s true, what’s not, so that people can make the best decisions moving ahead.

The answer for residents is demonstrably not rent control,  Nor is it Democratic policies.  Frankly, it isn’t purely Republican policies that will fix things either.  As an independent, President Donald Trump’s policies – which blend elements from both major parties – are what could prove to be the path ahead.

MHARR’s president and former president said as much.  See the video, below.

Looking back, isn’t it clear that they were right?

Life is full of decisions, as we all know.  It often comes down to two imperfect options.  Pick the better of the two, which the ancients called the principle of the lesser of two evils. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

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