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America – the Story of US – Declaration of Independence

July 2nd, 2019 No comments
AmericaTheStoryofUSDeclarationOfIndependenceMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Still from second video, below. Collage by MHProNews.

Millions of Americans were taught or acquired a sanitized or weaponized view of American history. Even those of us who focused on history in high school and at university were to varying degrees tainted by the perspective of instructors, pop culture, or textbooks.

 

All of human history, not just American history, can be oversimplified as a struggle for increased freedom by some against the efforts of conquest or oppression by others. That’s a tonyism you may not find anywhere else. Keep that in mind, test it, and see if it proves useful time and again in understanding the past or current events.

Some never ponder conquering or oppressing others, just as some have a hard time imagining how individuals who have options might opt for a life of crime. For those, the notion of con men or manipulative forces doesn’t come readily. Thus, it might need additional information and evidence for that reality to be accepted. Mindful of it, there are times regular and longtime readers know this writer has admittedly been surprised by the truth too.

Every person or generation that opts not to accept oppression has their own unique fights for liberty and freedom. 

It’s sad that millions of youth don’t fully appreciate, for example, how unique the American revolution, the abolition movement, and the Civil War were. True, other nations had their own struggles with slavery and indentured servitude. There are several other examples in world history of a dominated people of a country fighting off the occupation forces of others.

But the Declaration of Independence nevertheless stands apart from much of humanity’s story.

The first four-minute video helps sets the table for the Declaration. Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers were well versed in history, literature, and matters of faith. None were perfect. So, it is no surprise that their declaration and the aftermath were imperfect too.

 

 

But from an objective view of history, perhaps the most famous part of the Declaration reflects a unique vision for humanity, and we should be mindful that the term ‘men’ could easily be construed in this context as humans both male and female.

We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The first draft read ‘life, liberty and property.’ The notion of privately-owned property was not new, nor were legal protections for property ownership novel. Those can be found in ancient biblical and other texts.

But stating them in such a political document as the premise for rebellion against the British monarch, that was notable. Enumerating the various ways that the English king violated those rights, that was meant to help rally support among the colonists for American Independence.

There is a stark contrast between using law as a means of safeguarding rights including property, vs creating laws that gave rulers rights and powers over the masses.

It is not a slam to say that America has never been perfect, that is just reality. 

But it is useful and inspiring to ponder that slow march and the uneven rise and retreats over the years for people striving for freedom and self-government. 

The history of America’s battle against not only British rule, but also against monopolistic power in the U.S. are useful to ponder for members of our industry. 

We never tire of celebrating the good already achieved, mindful of the traps and swindles that have also existed, past and present.  

Freedom is never free. It always comes at a price. It always requires effort and vigilance. But freedom is arguably worth the effort.

George Orwell had socialistic beliefs, so his insights were arguably somewhat flawed. But he nevertheless grasped that understanding history was important. Being detached from history makes the misinformed or the ignorant vulnerable.

Day by day we strive to authentically tell what’s occurring in manufactured housing from the perspective of industry professionals, investors and affordable housing advocates on MHProNews. On our sister site, MHLivingNews tells the tale of America’s most proven form of affordable homes in a way that makes sense for a broader audience.  

In both the public and professional instances, we are using information, evidence, and reason to combat misinformation. MHProNews | MHLivingNews are fights for economic, legal, evidence-based pride, and thus socially accepted independence.

The second video – which is a ballad – tells a tale that may technically not seem to be related to Independence Day, or is it? It has over 8.9 million views.

 


 

 

In a sense, independence day began on July 2, when the draft of the declaration was done.  But it was formalized on July 4, which is the official holiday.  The words on the Liberty Bell say, “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” (Lev 25:10).  Personal, economic, political, and religious freedom all go hand-in hand.  Happy Independence Day, an important part of the story of U.S.

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

Tony earned the Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma.  He has earned multiple awards in manufactured housing and in history. He’s a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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What Are Federal Officials Researching About Manufactured Housing?

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

 

George Orwell, All Issues Are Political Issues, Manufactured Housing Challenges, and You

The Two Gardens, America, and Manufactured Housing

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprising Non-Partisan Revelations, Opportunities, Controversies Could Decide 2020 Campaigns – Affordable Housing, Antitrust, Wealth Inequality, and Manufactured Homes

June 11th, 2019 No comments

 

SurpisingNonPartisanRevelationsOpportunitiesControversiesCOuldDecide2020CampaignsAffordableHousingAntitrustWealthInequalityManufacturedHomes

Senator Cory Booker (NJ-D), 2020 Democratic Presidential hopeful, President Donald J. Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence have used a similar phrase. “Enforce…the law.”

 

Senator Bernie Sanders, another 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination candidate and President of the United States (POTUS) Trump have similarly used a phrase, “the system is rigged,” while differing on how to unrig the system.

Warren Buffett –

  • perhaps the third richest person on the planet,
  • well known Democratic supporter,
  • Chairman of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate that includes Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and other brands involved in affordable manufactured homes –

– said the following.

 

WarrenBuffettQuoteThereIsClassWarfareAllRightButItsMyClassTheRichClassThatsMakingWarWereWinningManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

Don’t jump to conclusions.  By definition, only those with an open mind can be reasoned with.

 

The Code

People say things for a variety of reasons. Some things are said that are simply a statement of what is – or appears to be – objectively true.

The quote from Buffett – with whose strategic Moat and several other business practices this writer disagrees with on ethical and legal grounds – nevertheless spoke the bare-knuckles truth in the AZ  Quote immediately above.  It’s an example of separating wheat from chaff, with all people, organizations, and things.

Some statements are made in a more slippery fashion. It’s code.

Things are said that may sound appealing, but when carefully examined, may only be a veneer for obscuring reality or misleading people in a way that the speaker believed will benefit himself/herself, their group, or organization.

Discerning what is sincere from what is coded language is thus imperative in an era in which the majority – per public polling – now believe that the phrase ‘Fake News’ represents something quite real.

Surveys also suggest that tens of millions believe that the American system is rigged.

For an example of both of those last two sentences. Right or wrong, millions of Americans were led to believe that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election. But at least four federal investigations have disproven that claim, counting the one led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller which included a team of attorneys made up of Democrats and Clinton-connected supporters. Mueller’s legal conclusion, “no collusion.” No Americans were charged with colluding with Russians in connection to the 2016 campaign.  The claimed ‘obstruction’ item debate is for another time.

We are living in an Orwellian era. Tens of millions believe things that are demonstrably untrue. Those millions can vote with the same weight to their ballot as your vote or mine carries on Election Day.

That outlines slivers of vexing realities. But ironically, those factors hold a key to understanding how to win – or lose – the 2020 presidential and congressional races.

 

The College…

Some think the Electoral College system established by the U.S. Constitution is flawed. Others think the Electoral College represents the enduring genius of the founders. Whichever way you see it, the reality is at the state and Congressional district levels, the popular vote will rule.

America can be divided in a variety of ways. Race, gender, religion, political viewpoints, sexual orientation, income brackets, homeowners vs. renters, have vs. have nots. These are just some of the ways that political and corporate thinkers view the national scene.

Of the groups below, owners of conventional housing make up the largest category. But renters – or even owners of mobile/manufactured homes – could easily be the ‘swing vote’ in tight races.

  • Homeowners – “In 2018, there were about 127.59 million households in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a household consists of all the people who occupy a housing unit,” per Statista.
  • Renters – 111 million in 2018, per Apartment List.
  • Mobile/Manufactured Homeowners – some 22 million, per the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

 

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltManufacturedHousingMHProNews

The latest fact-check on tornado related deaths, damage, and distruction, is linked here.

 

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and 2020 Election Game-Changing Issues

The next bulleted issues have heated up. How they are handled by candidates and office holders could influence the votes of millions.

In many ‘battleground’ states, only a few percentage points are necessary for victory. As little as 1 or 2 percent in some states or districts could decide an electoral contest in 2020, as experts and keen observers know.

The 2020 game is on. It has been since the 2016 and 2018 election results were known. Let’s review some hot topics and see how they may hold the key to victory for politicos in tough intra-or inter major party – or even independently run – electoral contests.

 

  • Consolidation, monopolization, and antitrust. Monopolistic power influences markets. That in turn can harm smaller firms that traditionally create the most jobs. That means monopolization can harm the interests of workers and compensation. One must bear in mind, that per experts, there are several legal tests that may trigger antitrust law. Sheer size may or may not trigger antitrust law in America, but certain ‘bad behaviors’ can. The left and right increasingly agree that certain firms, often the so-called FAANG or tech giants, may be exercising monopolistic power that violates one or more provisions of antitrust or other laws.  In manufactured housing, beyond those tech overlords, Berkshire Hathaway – parent to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and other companies – is a topic of concern. But so is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is being credibly alleged to fostering consolidation. Given multiple opportunities to explain away evidence related to those concerns, the Omaha’s Berkshire brands that are headquartered in the Knoxville, TN metro and Arlington, VA based MHI have declined comment on issues like those documented here, here, here, here, and here.
  • HUD Secretary Ben Carson – affordable housing, homelessness, and some 1/3 of Americans renting with dramatically reduced chances for wealth accumulation. By chance and/or by intent, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., has spotlighted in recent weeks a surprising solution to the affordable housing crisis, as a video by left-of-center Bloomberg with other commentary posted here reflects. Much of what Secretary Carson has said and done is factually spot on. It should be widely embraced by the manufactured home industry’s dominant firms and MHI. Which is why it may seem odd at first that those same firms that Dr. Carsons’ recent address in New Orleans and his June 1-5th Innovative Housing Summit (IHS) on the National Mall in Washington, DC have given only a token or fig leaf support to messages and efforts that on the surface seem so useful to them.
  • There are, however, two words missing from Secretary Carson’s efforts that are legal in nature. Those two words, “enhanced preemption” could hold the key to overcoming most regulatory, zoning, and placement hurdles that are locking millions out of potential affordable home ownership, and/or lower cost rentals. The fact that Secretary Carson seems to be unaware of “enhanced preemption” – which officials at HUD have declined responding to that concern – raises a ‘swamp’ or crony capitalist question. Have major companies, MHI, and officials at HUD obscured or withheld key truths that could help Secretary Carson rapidly unlock the door to home ownership opportunities for millions? Without the need for new legislation? If so, how that topic is handled in the next few months may tilt the outcome of the 2020 races in numerous states. Why?
  • Because wealth inequality and a growing distrust of capitalism are other key issues, often more so among millennials. Notably, “enforcing the law” and properly exposing a “rigged system” that has sprouted “fake news” are keys to unlocking those doors. Because at its root, the interest in ‘socialism’ is perhaps best understood as concerns over bad behavior by uber capitalists that have manipulated the system to their own benefit.  That’s Buffett’s point, in the pull quote, further above.

 

Secretary Carson is not alone in having elevated the value of modern manufactured homes. As a report linked below makes clear, manufactured homes – properly understood – are safer, stronger, more appealing, and are often embraced in a bipartisan way.

 

 

The MHI video below captures a sense of that, by showcasing legislators from both major parties praising what they toured on the National Mall at IHS last week.

 

The report linked from the text-image box below outlines one possible case for antitrust action involving the manufactured housing industry.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHProNews


Uncontested documents, quotes in context, and video that claims to make a ‘smoking gun’ case for antitrust. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

The report linked here could potentially attract numbers across the left-right divides.  Rephrased, these concept – properly understood – can tap into millins of voters that they impact, and thus could help win elections. The strategies outlined are legal ones that don’t require changing or passing any new laws.

Let’s be blunt. Manufactured homes evoke stereotypical images that Secretary Carson is seeking to debunk, based upon demonstrable facts. There are obviously those who believe they benefit from those stereotypes of manufactured homes as ‘trailers’ in ‘trailer parks’ that they may mistakenly call ‘mobile homes’ when there have been no mobile homes built in the USA since June 15, 1976.

 

 

If millions of Americans knew the facts about manufactured homes, outlined in the 2018 reports above and below, concerns held by millions of conventional housing owners would melt.

 

 

It is in the interest of the long-term economic interests of the vast majority of Americans for their to be more affordable housing, and more affordable home ownership. Given those evidence-based truths, how does one explain the fact that the realities about manufactured homes has become so obscured?  Interesting and uncontested fact prove useful in answering that query.

First, since Warren Buffett made the decision to buy Clayton Homes, manufactured housing as an industry has shrunk in size.

 

ManufacturedHomeProductionShipmentSince1995MastheadManufacturedHousingAnalysisMHProNews

Buffett led-Berkshire Hathaway clearly has the capital, and the credit lines needed, to fund any sort of educational and/or marketing campaign that their wholly owned subsidiary Clayton Homes may desire. So how does one explain fewer manufactured home sales in 2018 than in 2003, when Berkshire first acquired Clayton Homes and their affiliated lending? How does one explain that in 2019, year over year manufactured home shipments are declining – now for 8 straight months – during an affordable housing crisis?

 

Logically, it is difficult to dispute that Berkshire Hathaway has the cash, expertise available, media assets, and media influence necessary for their organization to single-handedly debunk the very concerns about manufactured homes that Secretary Carson’s efforts in 2019 and previously are attempting.  Buffett led-Berkshire had $112 billion cash-on-hand in February, 2019, per the Motley Fool investor website. Are we to believe that a tiny fraction of that couldn’t be allocated to changing the dynamics of manufactured housing?

Which begs the question, why has manufactured housing not received that kind of support from Berkshire?

It must be noted that Kevin Clayton, President and CEO of Clayton Homes, brags in a video posted on the report linked here that “Warren” told him that they have ‘plenty of money’ to do whatever they need or want. In that same 2011 video, Kevin said they were planning an image and educational campaign.  What happened to that effort? That same video made a point that Secretary Carson made last week, about how ‘resilient’ manufactured homes that are properly installed are during a windstorm. It is often older ‘mobile homes’ that were not properly anchored that are the subject of media headlines, and those are only a few a year to a few dozen, out of some 8.8 million units. Fact – dying in a bath tub, shower, car, or boat are far more common than dying in a mobile or manufactured home hit by a tornado or hurricane.

So why is there so much misleading impressions and misinformation?  Why has the RV industry, to pick but one possible comparison, surpassed manufactured housing by some 5 to 1 since 1998, when manufactured homes used to outsell RVs 3 to 2?

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017MastheadManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

The data per MHI member, Skyline Champion, a publicly traded company (SKY).  Note the green line. Manufactured housing is demonstrably underperforming. 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 total cost than manufactured homes. The cost per square foot for a manufactured home is routinely lower.

 

To answer such questions, one must first grasp that millions of Buffett’s donations have flowed via ‘dark money’ channels through various left-wing nonprofits into efforts that have literally attacked manufactured housing business interests. See the details found in the report via the hot-linked text-image box below.

 

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

 

That in turn means that Buffett has funded both sides of several political and image fights in manufactured housing.  A closer look at the facts reveals that by 2005, controversies involving Clayton Homes have periodically sparked outrage that has cast a shadow over manufactured housing. Mainstream media videos, that span the left-right divide, are posted below that make the point.

 

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

 

No one in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis has yet to deny the evidence from the articles linked herein.

Facts and patterns of behavior, when laid out and connected in a puzzle-like fashion fit together to establish the following image.

By restricting or diverting access to capital in various ways, such as the one linked here as well as other possible examples – including possible FHA Title I and Title II, USDA, VA and other reforms – Clayton Homes has gone from 13 percent market share in 2003 to some 48 to 50 percent market share by 2018, depending on whose data you use.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

 

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 ones to date known to have produced documentary evidence, coupled with logic, and complimentary data. 

 

Rephrased, by constricting the market Buffett led Berkshire’s Clayton Homes, 21st and other lenders – with a wink and a nod by MHI – consolidated the market at a discounted value.

 

WarrenBuffettAZQuoteCriticalFactorDetermineValuePayFairBargainPriceMastheadTonyKovachMHProNews

 

It bears mention how that fits the Buffett quote above. It also has the benefit of potentially escaping regulatory scrutiny.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryAnalysisMHProNews-519x768

 

It is precisely that kind of behavior that millions of millennials and others find distasteful about ‘capitalism’ that makes ‘socialism’ seem appealing to them. But that is a distortion of capitalism, it is crony or corrupted crony or vulture capitalism, quite different from free enterprise.

There are a few relatively simple concepts that if existing laws were applied could tip the 2020 election.

There is a case to be made that certain ‘big boy’ companies that dominate MHI are battling forces that are fueled by Buffett’s documented donations to specific nonprofits. Buffett’s money is demonstrably traced to both sides of several fights. Even if it was legal, it is arguably Machiavellian. There has been no whimper from Berkshire dominated MHI about that problem.

Furthermore, the last 3 MHI Chairman have oddly all had some sort of legal scandal attached to them. Coincidence?

 

MHIExecutiveCommitee3ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoChairmanMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

 

There are candidates in both major parties that may well be willing to take on such topics that are only thorny because they deal with some of the richest people and corporations in America and the world.

We state the points herein as believers in free enterprise and the principles of constitutionally limited government that founded this Republic. We believe in equal justice under the law, which at present,

 

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

 

A variation that summarizes these issues can be found at the link here and in the hot-linked text image box above, that also cites various outside media and federal investigations into these same issues.

Perhaps no one in manufactured housing has interviewed more unpaid third-parties – including home owners – like the ones below, to provide others with an objective perspective of how the masses and experts think about manufactured home living.  While our sites and videos have sponsors, that doesn’t change what unpaid and unrewarded people have said.  The views shared below are common, not the exception.  The husband in this video is an engineer, the wife, a professional as well. Their statements fly in the face of commonly held beliefs.  Numerous such videos like these are found on MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

 

Summary

There is a growing agreement that spans the left-right political and media divisions in America that the United States faces a growing crisis in affordable housing.

There is a similarly growing agreement between voices in the two major parties that the consolidation or monopolization of varied U.S. economic sectors is occurring. Each of these trends are impacting manufactured homes, the millions who live in them, and those working or investing in the manufactured housing industry.

Some arguably believe they benefit from these trends. It is no surprise that those will raise no voice of alarm. Indeed, some of them will deny or attempt to obscure the notion that increasingly self-evident problems exist. For more on that, see some of the linked related reports, further below the byline and notices.

Stating the obvious can clarify issues. Citing facts, reasoned, and evidence-based allegations herein can orient those of good will that seek the greater good of the American public.  That in turn benefits thousands of individual business owners, and untold thousands of investors.

To oversimplify, relatively few benefit from the trends and concerns outlined herein, while the vast majority of Americans are being harmed. So, there is natural tension.

Millions in lobbying dollars and other forms of influence peddling are flowing in an attempt to avert the serious need to investigate these problems  Antitrust, and other legal measures that are already law could be used to break up and/or otherwise punish bad actors of which political parties they may be currying favor.

Why is such a scheme even contemplated?

Because housing is over a trillion dollar a year industry.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

The ‘secrets hiding in plain sight’ outlined herein could be worth billions annually to those who have purportedly manipulated the system.

Our sources tell us that these issues are on several federal agency radars. The Knoxville metro news report is but one example. Keep in mind that the Seattle Times, and our own sources, indicate that there are other federal investigations beyond those noted in the next video.

 

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren and several 2020 Democrats have raised similar issues. The Trump Administration has recently been reported to be investigating big tech, but what has not yet been reported in the mainstream is any investigation into possibly corrupt or illegal actions by Berkshire Hathaway that is costing Americans a fortune.

Congress should hold public hearings on these matters.  Why?

Because the harm that has been done is public harm. Thousands of independent, small businesses have been harmed by such challenges. Calling in leaders like Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Joe Stegmayer, Nathan Smith, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Lesli Gooch, and Jason Boehlert – among others – to testify under oath before Congressional committees in the House and Senate could prove revealing.

It may also educate the public in the various ways that Secretary Carson has been promoting, that could boost economic opportunities and affordable housing options that could lift the boats of millions of Americans.

 

 

Carson has made himself available to sources across the left-right media divide to promote both Opportunity Zones, but also manufactured homes. He’s woven these issues together, arguably because they interlace.

There are debatably 3 possible scenarios that explain how a key solution to the affordable housing crisis that Secretary Carson and others have correctly said includes manufactured homes could be so misunderstood.

  • One must either believe that one of the smartest and most successful business investors of all time can’t figure out how to support Clayton Homes and their executive team in growing the sales of manufactured housing, OR
  • One must believe that Berkshire, Clayton, and the professionals at MHI are incompetent; neither of those two bullets makes sense.
  • Or one must believe that there is a hidden agenda. That the system has arguably been rigged and manipulated in ways to obscure the truth that gives the “Illusion of Motion” without delivering any significant results. That in turn allows Buffett to consolidate the industry at a discount.

 

 

 

In fact, the recent IHS 2019 at the National Mall reveals that no BH Media group publication has as of yesterday covered the event. Why not? Why didn’t MHI strongly promote that event, not to their members, but to the general public? Why doesn’t MHI have Secretary Carson’s speech in New Orleans – delivered to their own group – posted in full and prominently on their website. Are they inept? Incapable? Coincidence — or is it bullet #3 above? See the related reports below for more on these queries and the surprising facts.

We’ve researched and documented such concerns, layer by layer, over the course of several years. We’ve given the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis repeated opportunities to respond, as they used to do promptly just two years ago. But since then, they’ve gone silent in the face of these evidence-based inquires.

The general public is arguably harmed by these challenges.  Thousands of independent businesses – some that were successful for decades – folded after the events linked here and since.  MHI’s own president took a thinly veiled backhanded slap at them, in his own exit message.

There are more than enough reasons for federal and/or state agencies, and for Congress, to investigate the concerns that are costing the nation’s citizens tens to hundreds of billions of dollars a year. It could be a scheme so bold that it makes Bernie Madoff look like a piker.

This isn’t a Ponzi scheme, as was the case of Madoff. Rather, this is arguably an antitrust violation to rig the solution to the affordable housing crisis that some 4 to 12 people could have carried out. Using Buffett’s well professed patience, their possible payoff could be in the tens of billions annually. That sounds suspiciously like possible motivation to me.

Why didn’t MHI follow this pull quote from their own prior chairman? Or was that statement just posturing?

 

TimWilliamsGoodArgumensRespondEveryStoryRefuteEveryStatisticMakeOurCaseToPublicTimWilliamsQuoteCEOthenMHIChairmDailyUBsinessnewsMHproNEws

 

After years in the trenches of this industry, having been praised by some of the same people and organizations that we now critique, we think this outline best fits the facts, logic, and the otherwise inexplicable oddities.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

 

Review the evidence.  Follow the links.

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries, MHI Chairman, Insights from Innovative Housing Showcase

 

See if you can devise an alternative explanation that better fits the facts.

 

WAVY, Mainstream TV – HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase – Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway Revelations

LinkedInExcellentCoverageInnovativeHousingShowcaseMuchsuccessDepthColorIndustryMHProNewsReader

DM to MHProNews via LinkedIn.

We’ll continue to press these reports, plus much more, aimed at helping the industry achieve it legitimate potential while honestly serving millions.  It is all right here on the manufactured home industry’s largest and most-read trade media where “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

Sign Up Today!

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Related References:

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

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

 

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

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

 

Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

 

“Toxic Trailers” – Clayton Homes, Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clintons – Exposé Videos

 

Affordable Housing and the Two Sides of Rent Control, in Two Videos – Pros and Cons

What Are Federal Officials Researching About Manufactured Housing?

George Orwell, All Issues Are Political Issues, Manufactured Housing Challenges, and You

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

June 4th, 2019 No comments

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonAffordableHousingObscuringTruthManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Hold the headline for 125 words. Poisoning the well. Salting the fields. Those are but two of several ancient methods some enemies used to harm their opponents. The notion behind those vile tactics was if you could kill off their drinkable water or their food supply, someone could effectively destroy their enemy.

 

Other devious, ancient tactics are:

  • scapegoating,
  • tapping into prejudice(s),
  • obscuring the truth,
  • the big lie,
  • making numbers of people fear doing or saying something that is normally quite natural.
  • Still other tactics are buying or enticing someone to become effectively a ‘Quisling’ or ‘Benedict Arnold.’

 

 

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All those are tools of manipulation or coercion, but they could in theory begin subtly. “Political correctness” might be viewed as an example of the deployment of a way to delicately influence millions.

 

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Before proceeding, let me stress that this writer is a political independent. Affordable housing ideally ought to be a non-partisan or bi-partisan issue. My friends and family include Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, other minor parties, and the droves that could care less about politics. While I hold personal views on matters of faith, my friends and colleagues include self-professed atheists, agnostics, Buddhist, Bahai, Muslims, Jews, New Age, and oh yes, one of several branches of Christianity.

That said, the truth, evidence, reason, experience, logic, and history are among the intellectual drivers for this writer and our LLCs digital publications. Earning and keeping the biggest professional audience of its kind in our industry didn’t happen by accident. Or as a top man of a publicly traded firm said during the Tunica Show, he’s happy his company isn’t one of those we’re investigating, a back handed compliment. He went on to say that we lay out a case step-by-step in an evidence-based fashion that makes sense once an article is digested.

That corporate leader isn’t alone. Professionals from firms of all sizes have made this the number one digital platform of its kind in our industry’s history. Not bragging, just the facts made possible by the various tips, sources, and contributions of so many others.

 

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s Affordable Housing Educational Offensive

First, let’s acknowledge that a genius in one field doesn’t make someone all-knowing about other subjects. All truth is learned from another in some form or fashion. Before one knows the truth about any given subject, one is by definition ‘ignorant.’

That’s reality, not a slur.

Before becoming a political candidate for the White House as a Republican in the 2016 election cycle, the current Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Ben Carson, MD – was a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon. This writer was among those who grew up hearing amazing-but-true stories of the accomplishments of Dr. Carson. Carson in several ways epitomized the American Dream of going from rags to riches.

His is a story of discipline, endurance to overcome the odds, and the rewards that can come in a free market society that rewards honest accomplishments. So, of course Dr. Carson opposes socialism, and celebrates the American Way.

In an era when being a black man was considered to be automatically a Democrat, Carson – not unlike Justice Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, Thomas Sowell, Alveda King, Carol Swain, Walter Williams or scores of others – came to believe that what modern Democrats embraced ran counter to many of the values that made America great. That’s not a slam on Democrats as individuals, but it is to question a party leaders that drifted from Democratic President John F. Kennedy’s professed anti-communism and tax cutting to one that increasingly embraces socialism and redistribution of wealth schemes.

Let’s note there have been GOP party issues I won’t go into now that kept me from embracing their views in toto as well. Each party – in some form or fashion – has something worthy of consideration. This writer, therefor, strives to support those who line up with proven historic principles.

 

Mocked!

There are times when we all say or do something inadvertently that if magnified and mocked, can be weaponized to create an illusion of ineptitude. Mocking someone can seemingly soil even the most gifted. Do that on national TV, social media, or cable news, and you can turn a truly wise or intelligent person into someone that can be made to appear clumsy. The “OREO” vs. “REO” item that made headlines about Secretary Carson a few weeks ago is an example of that in action.

Secretary Carson profoundly identified that mockery tactic on national TV spot posted below as borrowed from the pages of Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals. Alinsky and Hillary Rodham – the future Mrs. Clinton – were pen pals, and Hillary did a college paper on Alinsky and his methods. To dot the i on slips of the lip or honest mistakes, it’s as wrong to mock former President Barack Hussein Obama for saying 57 instead of 50 states, as it is to mock Secretary Carson for not hearing REO correctly during a somewhat raucous congressional hearing.

 

 

Stuff happens, but mature or fair-mined people don’t mock another for a simple misunderstanding.

Cheap shots at such slips are the tools of those with a weak argument. Which brings us to a reality that Secretary Carson well knows. The truth can be obscured or even turned on its head by a variety of means.

Before turning to affordable housing, let’s give but one more example of obscuring the truth. Prior to launching the campaign that led him to becoming the 45th president, try to find someone of stature who accused Donald J. Trump of racism or misogyny. The Trump Organization famously promoted women as easily as a man. There are scores of people like Tiger Woods, Kanye West, or Secretary Carson, that have or would attest to the fact that President Trump is no racist. Trump appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s program several times. Did she think him a racist then? If so, why did Oprah have him on…was she promoting racism or a racist? Of course not. But repeat a lie often enough, and a certain number will believe it.

Repeat a lie with millions hearing or reading it often enough, and millions will believe that lie.

With those useful analogies and examples, now let’s turn to Secretary Carson’s lessons on affordable housing.  Note that in the video below, as Secretary Carson speaks about manufactured homes and windstorm resistance, Maria Bartiromo makes a sound, as if his statement caught her by surprise.  One might think that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) might want this video on their website.  More on that later.

 

 

Secretary Carson and Affordable Housing

First, Secretary Carson begins with a free enterprise mindset. As a scientist – because that’s what a physician is – Dr. Carson is by training evidence, reason, goal, and solution oriented.

Reverend Donald Tye, Jr. told me something profoundly insightful, which we’ve held until now. Tye said that when he spent time working in social programs to help the disadvantaged, an odd shift can occur among those serving the needy. A job exists in government or a nonprofit in part because there are poor or other circumstantially disadvantaged individuals. Solving the underlying problem would eliminate jobs. Ouch, but that’s a deeply insightful point.

Rephrased, Rev. Tye was telling me that solving poverty was not the goal for many in a nonprofit or governmental role.  Ouch, that’s painful to ponder, but it’s a notion that at a minimum merits consideration.

 

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Carson has been asked to shrink the budget at HUD, as have others in various federal agencies in the Trump Administration. Shrinking HUD’s budget creates political enemies among those who benefit from the existence of programs and poverty. It should be common sense – besides being federal law – that illegal aliens don’t qualify for housing assistance, a topic mentioned in the first right-of-center Fox Business video above. That’s but one of many issues that some on the left have attempted to manipulate facts that creates a narrative that they can weaponize against Secretary Carson.

Carson, by a variety of means, has learned several things about manufactured housing. That’s come in part from trade associations, but also from HUD internal, and other sources.

Carson is not necessarily an expert, but he is intelligent. It is common sense that a home built in a factory is less costly than one built more slowly outdoors. Traditional ‘site building’ is subject to the weather, theft, subcontractors that don’t always show up when expected, inspections that get delayed, permitting, and a raft of issues that cost time and money. Build a single car in a driveway and see how much more expensive that one car is than one essentially identical that’s built on a factory assembly line.

Factory-building is common sense.

Secretary Carson doesn’t have to be a gifted genius to get that reality. Common sense ought to be enough.

In fairness, there is no doubt that Secretary Carson has learned some valuable insights from members of several different associations. I’d like to contemplate the good doctor as thinking for himself – as a scientist would – and not as a puppet for Berkshire Hathaway or their de facto association mouthpiece, based in Arlington, VA. Carson surely knows who Warren Buffett is better than most, because – as noted – he knows who Saul Alinsky is, of whom most Americans know nothing.

Carson, once he begins to learn the truth about manufactured homes, does what many do. He and others get excited about it. Carson seems to sincerely want to tell others, the best way his time and other demands allows him to do. That desire to share good news is common, until it is beat out of someone.

Now, sharing good news about manufactured homes as a tool in the chest for solving the affordable housing crisis may seem to fit what a manufactured housing trade association would – or should – want.

 

 

But what Secretary Carson – perhaps inadvertently, perhaps by intent – has done is reveal the utter purported hypocrisy of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). How so?

Manufactured housing is now in its 8th month of year-over-year declining production. When one grasps the reality of what Secretary Carson says, it begs the question the Urban Institute asked in January 2018. Manufactured homes could help solve the affordable housing crisis, so why aren’t more HUD Code manufactured homes being sold?

There are over two decades of third-party research that tells the story of HUD Code manufactured homes. That research is largely absent from the MHI website. Why?  Why doesn’t MHI have a page on their website with tons of third party research, as we have established on MHLivingNews?

 

 

Last year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Certified Business Economist (CBE) Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton wrote a fascinating research report that debunks large swaths of the misinformation that exists about manufactured homes. At least one MHI vice president took part in that research process, because she, I, and Mark Weiss from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform are among those that NAR’s Cororaton cited in her first footnote on page 48. That highly useful NAR research by Cororaton isn’t found on MHI’s website. Why not? Wouldn’t third-party evidence which debunks outdated or errant notions help convince more Americans hungry for affordable housing to buy a manufactured home?

Of course, it would. Third-party endorsement, by whatever terminology or nomenclature one may use, has been powerful method for convincing skeptics for ages. A genuine third-party research that debunks fallacies goes to the heart of the quotes below, from a former MHI chairman, and a controversial but savvy MHI member.

 

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Then, MHI Chairman when this comment was made. So why doesn’t MHI follow this prudent advice? Why as MHI chair, did Williams mandate doing what he said was a good argument? MHI has a full time PR person. What is that PR person doing, if not refuting incorrect reports, and promoting good news?

 

 

There are reams of quotes similar to those we could cite, but let’s just use one more quote for the moment.

 

TimeMagazineTerryDecioManufacturedHomeLivingNews

The Decio family had Art – Terry’s father – on the cover of Time Magazine decades ago, what happened to the MH Industry since then?

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Decio’s question begs the question. Why is manufactured housing a secret at all? What is the job of MHI? Don’t they claim in writing and in videos to be promoting the manufactured home industry?  Isn’t that part of what MHI’s President and CEO, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, swears to under penalty of perjury when he signs the annual IRS form 990?

 

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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, as Secretary Carson has stressed.  So why is the industry underperforming?

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryMashteadLATonyKovachMHproNEws-756x768

Since Berkshire bought Clayton after the third year, the industry has overall performed at a lower level than they year that Buffett made the deal to buy Clayton homes in 2003. Coincidence, or under-performance by design? See the smoking gun documents that purportedly demonstrate monopolistic behavior, linked here.

 

I’ve not spoken to Secretary Carson. So, there is a bit of supposition here, based upon years of my reading and listening to the famous gentleman. At some point, Carson surely must wonder – why aren’t more manufactured homes being sold?  Why didn’t his predecessor at HUD, who likewise praised manufactured homes, actively promote manufactured housing as I’m trying to do?

 

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

Seek first understanding. Don’t skim. Don’t jump to conclusions.

 

Secretary Carson is Exposing MHI and Berkshire Hathaway MH Brands

Secretary Carson has exposed MHI and Berkshire Hathaway in this fashion.  A normal trade group would be celebrating what he said to them on May 7, 2019. There are numerous, powerful, pull quotes from his speech.

But no, now almost a month after the address by Carson, that speech is still not found on MHI’s website.

 

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After weeks of our hammering that point, last Thursday, MHI finally posted a brief notice on an interior page about the Innovation in Housing event that Secretary Carson, HUD and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are promoting. They sent out a message to their members via email with a few pull quotes from Dr. Carson’s 5.7.2019 address, to let their members know how great MHI is. That’s become MHI’s photo op campaign.

But after bragging to their members about ‘getting’ Carson two years in a row, they failed to promote his fine address this year or last on their own website.  Where is the logic there?  Doesn’t that make the point that Frank Rolfe and others have raised about failing to properly promote the industry?

 

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MHI also apparently failed to use their media contacts to promote the good insights Carson has been making in mainstream news appearance exemplified by some videos shown on this page. The same was true in the run-up to the Innovation in Housing showcase that has 3 HUD Code manufactured homes on display.

It’s not the first such failure by MHI. Rather, it is only the most recent, as other examples posted above reflect.

Restated, there is a pattern of behavior that MHI has exhibited for years. It comes down to only a few logical possibilities. Pardon what will seem blunt, but let’s just state them. Among the logical possibilities:

  • MHI – their staff – are inept.
  • MHI – their staff – are incompetent.
  • MHI – their staff – posture intelligent behavior to their members, but fail to effectively do so with the general public.

 

Let’s bear in mind that the association’s staff are intelligent people.

 

 

Let’s further keep in mind that the association’s staff do what the MHI Executive Committee tells them to do. Put 3 stars next to that point.

MHI’s staff have been paid bonuses, if the IRS form 990s filings are to be believed.

 

Bonuses, Bonuses! Manufactured Housing Struggles During Affordable Housing Crisis, While Top MHI Staffers Get Bonuses

 

MHI staff have been praised by Tim Williams and other MHI Executive Committee leaders.  Given the opportunity to respond to concerns raised here or on MHLivingNews, they’ve ducked time and again for the last 2 years.

 

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Declining to take questions in front of dozens of industry professionals was Rick Robinson, MHI’s SVP and General Counsel. MHI’s president has similarly ducked publicly questions by this pro-industry trade media platform. Why begs the question, why?

 

Rearticulated, the staff must be doing what the MHI Executive Committee desires.  That doesn’t absolve them of moral or perhaps some legal responsibilities. But it causes one to look beyond MHI staff to those who pull the strings.

 

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Who helped promote those federal legislation efforts that harmed manufactured housing? Start with a presidential candidate supported by Warren Buffett.

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UMH President Sam Landy 

Sam Landy, JD, UMH Properties President and CEO, said at an MHI meeting to a half-dozen or so listening to him a few years ago words to the effect that ‘there seems to be a lot of meetings, but that not much actually gets accomplished.’

Some MHI corporate members stopped going to many of their meetings, and send a delegate instead, for the same reason Landy stated.

Note that MHI’s 990s make it clear that events and meetings are a profit center for the organization. That’s fine, so long as the organization is doing something worthwhile to promote their stated mission.

There are some who do benefit from MHI, but not in the normal association manner. The evidence suggests that MHI as it has operated in the Berkshire Hathaway era (since 2003) as a tool for corporate consolidation. By appearing to industry members to do what a normal national association should do, they can effectively collect dues and PAC contributions from independents. That also provides opportunities for larger companies to acquire smaller ones.

 

Reading, viewing, asking the right questions, observing, and listening. These are keys to adaptive success.

 

How Industry Underperformance Benefits Berkshire and “The Big Boys” in Manufactured Housing

Because the industry is de facto underperforming, based upon historic data and the potential demand, it means that those who have sold out in the last 15 years have done so at a discounted value. Doesn’t that nicely fit what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger want? Isn’t that what investors who follow Buffett call an undervalued acquisition?

 

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By suppressing the positive truth about manufactured housing, in direct and indirect ways, the powers that be in MHVille – exemplified, but not limited to, Omaha and Knoxville metro based firms – have turned the Arlington based MHI into a tool for consolidation that can readily escape normal regulatory scrutiny. It’s a slow-motion scheme. MHI appears to do what associations do.  But they don’t make significant progress. It is a model predicated on the industry underperforming.

Does anyone but this author think so? Yes, and we’ve cited examples. Recent ones are Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds, who de facto doubled down on Frank Rolfe’s quote above. See the new report, linked below.

 

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, Both Finger Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Failures, in Writing, Again

 

Or Neal Haney, who as previously was noted, led numbers of this colleagues out of MHI, saying that they failed to represent their interests.

Or Bob Crawford, who on stage and in an entirely unplanned, explained to dozens of industry professionals why MHI was at best a 5 out of 10 in performance. Where so come from, that earns you an “F,” a failing grade.  Keep in mind, this is a flashback to near the end of the Obama administration era.

 

 

Mark Weiss, JD, is the President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). He aptly called what MHI does the “Illusion of Motion.”

 

Former MHI member and award winner Marty Lavin, JD, may have shrewdly understood this well before others did. For years, he said in writing or in meetings, the following.

 

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More recently, the observant Lavin said the next potent quote.

 

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Does Secretary Carson get all of this? I can’t say, because I don’t know him personally. I do know that HUD’s press office has arguably done all that they can to keep me and our publication away from Secretary Carson. Specifically, let me point the finger at HUD’s Brian Sullivan, who is either de facto working for MHI, or for some other reason fails to do what is in HUD’s – and Dr. Carson’s – and the Trump Administration’s goals of saving taxpayer dollars best interests.  There is no logical reason that Sullivan would have, since we have be consistent public supporters of Secretary Carson since he was first nominated.

No one in MHVille could give Secretary Carson a better chance to talk directly to the largest audience of industry’s professionals of all sizes than this author and our digital trade media platforms. Furthermore, on MHLivingNews, Carson could be reaching current and potential manufactured home owners. That’s what Carson says he wants.  So, if Sullivan is smart, he knows these things.

So why has Sullivan foiled every effort to date to make that happen? We’ll let that question hang, perhaps Mr. Sullivan will tell us, but what he’s said to date is intellectual mush.

One doesn’t have to believe in a grand conspiracy to recognize that people in the public sector may someday want to work in the private sector. Who better to work for later in life than a Berkshire Hathaway brand?

Further, former Office of Manufactured Housing Program (OMHP) Pam Danner, JD, was an Obama era appointee, with similar political views as the former 44th president.  Secretary Carson said that the regulations he reviewed were “ridiculous” in Senate testimony in 2018, and praised the evolution of manufactured homes as “amazing.” That was an indirect way of scolding Danner’s leadership.

 

 

 

Danner, per our sources, was inserted into her role at HUD by allies of the Berkshire brands.

What a growing number of professionals and legislators realize is the following.

 

  • The power to tax is the power to destroy. The more complex the tax laws, the better for big businesses. The more complex the tax laws, the harder it is on small businesses.
  • The power to regulate is the power to destroy. It’s another point that controversial MHI members Frank and Dave made just days ago. It’s a point we’ve made for years.
  • Cut businesses of from capital and financing, and you limit or kill businesses off. Combined with the second bullet above, if you get industry members to fight no-win battles like the now dead Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – which Frank Rolfe said his congressman told him was a waste of time in the Inside MH video posted above – and you will over time cause some to quit, sell out, or close up entirely. All of those are useful for a stealth monopolist. This writer recently referred to that tactic as the classic boxer’s “Rope-a-Dope” tactic, and I confess that I fell for it for a time too.
  • Evidence exists that that Berkshire, Clayton Homes, 21st did cut off lending. Neither of those brands, nor MHI, have yet to debunk – or even try – the documents, direct quotes, video and related evidence that in 2009 a blatant ‘smoking gun’ style antitrust action occurred during the aftermath of the financial crisis. We use the word alleged, because that’s what’s proper. But antitrust attorneys we’ve shown this to that’s looked carefully has said there looks to be a reasonable case, learn that at the link here.
  • Last for now, but not least, Buffett’s money has been used to fund both sides of several fights, and it has routinely been MHI that ‘loses’ in the battles. We’ve followed the ‘dark money’ trail, see that linked below.

 

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

 

So with that series of examples of how to weaponize an industry, why would it be a surprise if the revolving door between government and the private sector – as well documented as that is – has also been used by the big boys of MHVille? Again, HUD’s Sullivan will be invited to reply.

But he – and perhaps HUD’s Teresa Payne, both of whom are nice people – are arguably sandbagging Secretary Carson from achieving what he claims to want to do.  The arguable alternative is that Carson is doing an elaborate head fake, and Sullivan and Payne are covering for their boss.  I’m not buying that, but time will tell.

Manufactured housing is underperforming. That harms most, save a few consolidators.

Let me hit one more note we’ve not hit before.  There are companies that may disagree with Berkshire, with Warren Buffett, or with their politics. They may go along out of fear of retaliation, because our industry readers know the purported attempts by those in league with the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to punish those who would publicly oppose them.

But some could stand up and fight, but don’t. They currently have enough capital, enough power to resist. But they don’t. Why?

Because they are willing to allow the Berkshire brands to consolidate the industry, thinking that it helps them in an indirect fashion. Ouch, but I’ve heard that with my own ears from sources who know and are doing that very thing.

And Buffet and Munger don’t even need to know the vast majority of the people being impacted, so long as their minions in Knoxville and beyond are putting the principles of their strategic Moat is being put to work.

 

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Why We Believe Carson’s at Least Partially in the Dark…

Enhanced Preemption is a provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. As the name implies, it gives HUD Code manufactured homes preemption from a host of local or state regulatory mandates. It is in principle part of how the HUD Code saves a builder money, which in turn saves a home buyer money.

MHI mentions “enhanced preemption” not at all in their website. Why not?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoEnhancedPreemption2019-06-04_1248

 

By contrast, you’d find over a dozen articles on MHARR’s website about enhanced preemption.  MHI has been online about 10x longer than MHARR.  How to explain this disparity?  Note that MHI rebuilt its website about 3 years ago, and topics that may have existed before, could have been purged at that time.

 

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What we’ve not seen any evidence that Secretary Carson is aware of the notion of “Enhanced Preemption.”

 

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On MHProNews and MHLivingNews, we’ve spotlighted “enhanced preemption” for years. We put it into our federal comments letters too. It is my understanding that MHARR has done so too.  Videos like the one below touches on the topic.

 

 

So when MHI shows all of these photo ops with HUD’s Brian Montgomery, HUD Secretary Carson, or others, do their meeting minutes reflect that they’ve raised the issue with HUD?  Because if so, in a snap, perhaps the single biggest challenge to sales growth would be remedied.

There is no need to pass a new law, when good existing laws are going unfulfilled.  The same is true on the Duty to Serve. MHI has promoted the Clayton-backed ‘new class’ of homes, but has not pushed for full implementation of the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) on all HUD Code manufactured homes.

There is no longer any rationale that the GSEs can use to avoid the implementation of DTS.  Why?  Because Triad Financial, Credit Human, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) have proven for years that they can do substantiable lending. Furthermore, the FHFA and NAR research that both say that manufactured homes can and do appreciate should be all the reasons needed for the GSEs to do what the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008) requires.

But that would cost Berkshire Hathaway profits. Who says?  Then MHI Chairman and 21st Mortgage Corp – a Berkshire brand – Tim Williams did, in a meeting in San Antonio Texas to a few dozen people, with me in the room.

Not all, but many roads that explain MHI’s odd behavior go back to Omaha and Knoxville.  But what seems ever more apparent is that MHI is – as Marty Lavin said – there for the big boys.  By keeping the industry small now, once the big boys consolidated as much as they think they can get away with, watch as they magically take their foot off an invisible brake pedal.  Berkshire’s coffers will open.  A real marketing and educational campaign will suddenly come to life.  Berkshire Hathaway’s “BH Media Group” will likely suddenly start educating the public.

There is no way that Berkshire can logically argue that they are doing their best to grow the industry.  The evidence to the contrary is stark, and growing.

In the Inside MH video above, Dye specifically says that Secretary Carson should enforce enhanced preemption. The award-winning Dye does more, like explain that there are entry level manufactured homes, and residential style manufactured homes. Both types must meet all HUD Code standards, and thus both serve consumers in very necessary and valuable ways. Dye also says that over half his customers previously owned a conventional site-built house, before buying a manufactured home.

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both said they want to enforce the law. Secretary Carson has said similarly.

But Carson if doesn’t know the law on enhanced preemption exists, how can they enforce it?  I don’t think Brian Montgomery – an establishment guy that MHI touted and was there at HUD previously for years – can make the same claim, but let’s hold that issue for another time.

The beauty of enhanced preemption is that all those local zoning and placement barriers that Secretary Carson has spoken of at times would vaporize if federal enhanced preemption were enforced.

The affordable housing crisis could be largely solved within a decade, perhaps less, largely be free enterprise. HUD’s budget could be cut without harming people, because the need for subsidized housing would shrink naturally.

That might upset for a time the apple carts of thousands of investors in rentals. But it would balance out and could bring ‘the rent is too damn high’ complaints to a halt. Because Secretary Carson is correct, the problem is one of supply and demand.  Insufficient supply is fueling ever higher housing costs. The solution is more supply, which factory-building alone can rapidly meet.

Manufactured housing is valuable to individuals, to investors, and to society. It should be respected and encouraged as Secretary Carson is trying to do.

 

 

But wittingly or not, Dr. Carson has unmasked the most logical explanations for why the industry is underperforming. MHI are not doing their claimed job.  That opens up several legal issues, which is explored in part in the linked report above.

 

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Secretary Carson’s full address in New Orleans on May 7, 2019, and other bi-partisan praise for the industry, are found at the link here.  If you’ve not already done so, why not read it.  Then ask yourself, why wouldn’t MHI want this full speech on their website? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hud-secretary-ben-carson-speech-on-manufactured-homes-manufactured-housingactive-ingredientmedicationfor-a-stronger-america/

 

Carson Opportunity Zones and Affordable Housing

Secretary Carson is also the head of the president’s “Opportunity Zones” initiative. A proper implementation of existing laws, noted herein above, combined with the opportunity zones, could fuel a growth of trillions of dollars in GDP, per third-party research.

 

 

That kind of economic growth would raise wages even more than they’ve been doing in the last 2 years.  More home ownership would ease income inequality, which is a hot-button issue.

 

 

Secretary Carson – if he properly and fully implements the law – may hold the keys to a Trump Administration second term, or not.

Finally, he’s made a good start by just striving to educate the public.  But the next step is to enforce the law, and to ask DOJ and others to investigate MHI, the Berkshire brands and others who purportedly have violated several laws in the scheme outlined above.

Unlike UFOs, the truth here isn’t elusive.  The truth is hiding in plain sight. One must peel back years of BS to get to it, but Terry Decio’s and thousands of other industry professionals frustrations are solved by simply telling the truth and enforcing existing laws.

As a multiple year MHI former member, I watched from the inside how smoothly common sense was sidelined in favor of esoteric and ineffective often efforts. This writer was praised for years, until we raised too many questions, like about Pam Danner. It was after that San Antonio meeting, after asking about Pam Danner, and questions like those noted herein, that the powers that be that once praised us, turned on us, and booted me out.  Fine.

After some 7 years of slow progress I saw all I needed to, thank you very much.  We still have sources that tell us much of what is necessary to out what is either incompetence, or a hidden agenda.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoNewClassofHomesMHIMediaClaimsMastheadMHProNews

 

Oddly, instead of MHI hiring an outside attorney:

  • to push cities and local jurisdictions to fully implement enhanced preemption,
  • or hire a lobbyist that does nothing more than get FHFA, the GSEs to do the Duty to Serve properly,
  • or have that same lobbyist do nothing more push HUD to enforce “enhanced preemption,”
  • MHI instead hired an attorney to threaten this writer and our publication, apparently unhappy with our fact checks and related – and they specifically mentioned an earlier graphic like the one immediately above, that they complained about our using properly cited under fair use guidelines for media.

We called their outside counsel’s bluff.  It’s just one of several such messages from MHI over the years.  But that’s just one of other such items that MHI has arguably been involved with aimed at a pro-growth trade media.  Where is the logic?  Why not use that money instead for doing the job they claim to do?

 

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

 

And our agenda at MHI was simple.  Ethical, sustainable growth, that is good for consumers, independents, and all.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

 

They praised that, until they didn’t.

 

AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadblogMHProNews800

 

Interesting isn’t it? That’s the rest of the story.

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.) ##

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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

 

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

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/hud-code-manufactured-home-production-decline-continues-may-updates/

 

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/hud-study-analysis-of-zoning-discrimination-against-manufactured-housing-sought/

 

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-releases-study-recommending-independent-collective-representation-for-post-production-sector/

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/independent-national-manufactured-housing-post-production-association-takes-major-step/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe

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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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

May 13th, 2019 No comments

 RopeADopePreservingAccessManufacturedHousingActMomDadYouMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews

 

There may be no one analogy that is entirely precise enough to make the point that the promoters of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act purportedly hoped to accomplish with their bill. All analogies limp at some point, but those disclosures made, let’s begin with the ‘rope and dope metaphor’ from boxing.

 

Per Google and Bing:

 

rope-a-dope

/ˈrōpəˌdōp/

nounINFORMAL•US

  1. a boxing tactic of pretending to be trapped against the ropes, goading an opponent to throw tiring ineffective punches.

 

RopeADopeWikiGoogleMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNewsLATonyKovach

 

It is fair to say that most if not all of us have been wrong or misled about several things or people at various times in our lives. To make the point relevant in manufactured housing, let me hereby point the finger at my own chest, by hereby admitting to being misled myself.

In 2015 and before, this writer in word and deed supported and encouraged others to support the Preserving Access bill. While the bill was technically correct – a point that will be made further below – in hindsight, Preserving Access was doomed from the start.

In retrospection, the bill was arguably part of a hoax perpetrated on manufactured housing independent retailers, community owners, lenders, and others who supplied or provided professional services to the manufactured housing industry’s businesses. We’ll briefly make the case that the goal was to wear out marginal players, to cause them to sell out their business interests for less than the intrinsic value of their operation, and/or to fail entirely.

Rephrased, Preserving Access fostered consolidation and reduced values.  To see a current left-right snapshot of that issue more broadly, consider the Daily Business News on MHProNews report posted earlier today.  Senator Booker is one of several voices, on both sides of the two major party aisle, that has pointed to consolidation and monopolistic concerns.

 

Senator Cory Booker – ‘We Need a President…to Enforce Antitrust Laws,’ Digging Warren, POTUS Trump

 

In teeing up the notion that Preserving Access was a hoax, that’s not to say that it was a grand conspiracy involving scores of people.  That’s not necessary, as will likewise be revealed further into this fact-check and analysis. Literally a mere handful of professionals could have arguably pulled this ploy off.  The precise numbers and names – who knew what, and when – are for legal investigators to determine.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethical Conduct encourages several useful principles.

  • SPJ says that media are to be candid about errors made by journalists,
  • another is to hold the powerful to account.
  • This column aims to do both, and more.
  • Because not only where myself and thousands of others in our industry apparently fooled, the evidence and logic reveal that the rope-a-dope nature of the Preserving Access hoax has morphed and is ongoing.  Rephrased, this isn’t one and done.  It’s an ongoing ‘enterprise.’

 

SPJSocietyProfessionalJournalistsCodeofConductMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

 

We are among the billions who believe that we are given our talents and gifts from above.  There are both a healthy and unhealthy kinds of pride. Not many would say this writer lacks intelligence, so it wounds pride to to admit that I was as fooled as thousands of others were by the Preserving Access ploy. As the managing member for the parent company of this – the single largest audience in all of manufactured housing professional trade media – I’m hereby saying I’m sorry for falling into the rope-a-dope trap.

At the same time, to maintain integrity and credibility, one must lay out the facts that are known, as the realities become evident.

 

HowardWalkerJDViceChairEquityLifestylePropELS-ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoViceChair-postedMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryResearcMHProNews

 

That said, it is important to explain how it occurred, why the lessons from Preserving Access still matters, and the steps useful in avoiding the ongoing usefulness of the ‘Rope-a-Dope’ to a powerful few.

Rephrased, what took place with Preserving Access arguably continues, only under a different banner.  It could happen over and over, so it must be understood, exposed, and appropriate corrective measures taken to stop it from occurring again. Furthermore, those who’ve deployed this stratagem should be held to account. With that prologue, let’s look deeper.

 

Examples of Who Were Harmed by the ‘Rope-a-Dope’

In one of numerous state or national association meetings over the years arranged to promote Preserving Access, I vividly recall a man who had been successful for decades in the manufactured home land-lease community business.  He was standing in the doorway to the association conference meeting room, returning from a break between sessions.  He wasn’t a young man; rather, he was an industry ‘veteran.’

That long-successful professional had a deer-in-the-headlights look to him.

  • He indicated that he cared for treated his residents fairly and that they were happy.
  • That used to be part of the recipe for success in any business in America. Identify and serve a need, develop happy customers, and let them tell others, so your business can grow.

But that perplexed gentleman who owned that land-lease manufactured home community, in a fairly short period of time, watched as the business-model for his enterprise – along with tens of thousands of other manufactured home communities like his – was significantly transformed.  There was a loss of thousands of independent retailers.  There were fewer lending options. New regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and others.  Lower net-inflation/adjusted revenues was the rule for thousands of independent retailers and communities.

There were no easy fixes in sight.

That community owner was tired.

Another professional community owner that comes to mind, whom I knew better.  He too fought the regulatory fights, attended the association meetings, made the move into selling homes in his communities. His firm got the new licenses, and did most of the things his state and the national umbrella association told him that he should do.  But he too finally wore out, and he too sold out.  He likewise grew tired of battles that for decades before previously didn’t exist.

It was just those sorts of once-successful professionals – and thousands of others like them in retail, communities, production, or you-name-it in manufactured housing – that the rope-a-dope tactic was purportedly deployed to knee cap. Consider the thousands of communities that have changed hands in recent years, as smaller operators sold out to larger ones. Wear the little man out with regulations, a lack of access to financing, or by putting out of business the retailers and factories that once supplied them.

 

Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America

 

ICYMI, or need a reminder, the reports linked above and below in the hot-linked text-image boxes provide a sense of how many firms and how much this rope-a-dope tactic harmed independents.

 

Manufactured Home Community Case Study, UMH Properties, Lessons for Independent Community Owners, Investors

 

In pondering the scheme, in hindsight, here was the obvious goal.  The aim was arguably to slowly consolidate an increasing number of manufactured housing’s independently-owned operations into the hands of a few ‘big boy’ players — or drive the independents out-of-business altogether. Wear them out, and then sucker-punch them.  Only the knock-out blow might come in the form of a smile, friendly handshakes, and a check at a closing table.  The victims may have been paid, often thanked by their buyers, and it may not be until this moment that some who fit into this scenario will realize just how much they and others were ripped off.

That a small sense of the Rope-a-Dope in action in manufactured housing.

That was years before MHI award-winner Marty Lavin told MHProNews the following in 2018.

 

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Elements of How Its Done

That outlined, let’s step back a bit more.  Because there are subtle psychological forces at play that can harmfully be duplicated.  Thus, this must be exposed, or the dirty tricks and related errors will continue.

With politics, associations, a church or charity, if you get someone to:

  • Give time, even if it is only a little,
  • Give money, even if it isn’t much,
  • Take a stand, even if only briefly,
  • Go to a meeting, and enjoy pleasant networking or conversations with peers,

and you are subtly training them to do that again-and-again.  Why are we seeing political campaigns ask for as little as $3? It is for the reasons those bullets outlined.

Big boy companies operating in the manufactured housing segment of the affordable housing marketplace are purportedly using trade associations to do the same.  It’s tragic, but one can make the case that trade groups are working against the interests of their own dues payers.  Needless to say, if professionals understood that to be so, they would not normally do that of their own free will.

 

Congressional Efforts

That said, this writer made the correct technical arguments on issues framed by Preserving Access. I personally spoke to congressional staff and politicos from both major parties, as well as the public at large. My Congress blog post on the closely followed in Washington, D.C. The Hill website on the topic of Preserving Access was praised by Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams 21st Mortgage Corp President, CEO and then Manufactured Housing Institute Chairman, and scores of others, as the linked post below reflects.

 

https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/248665-regulations-for-manufactured-home-loans

 

Perhaps Kevin and Tim laughed their heads off.  But time will tell who gets the last laugh.

Beyond admitting to being duped, and explaining how this ploy operated, this is an example of why on MHProNews is using the maxim, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice. Shame on me.”

It is not my intent to be fooled again.  To the extent possible, we hope to utilize MHProNews and MHLivingNews to prevent as many others as possible from being fooled, while holding those who did the hoodwinking accountable. Because now having confessed my error in falling for the rope-a-dope ploy, the focus must now pivot to holding the responsible parties to account.

If there was a scheme:

  • how did it occur and operate?
  • Who benefited from the maneuver?
  • Who was harmed?

We’ll aim at addressing each of those questions plus more herein.

 

 

How Rigging Preserving Access Was Accomplished

The system in MHVille was arguably rigged so that the Preserving Access bill would never pass at all. The truth was hiding in plain sight, and not enough of us understood that at the time. Let me stress that while some of the key players were clearly Democratic supporters, this was a bipartisan manipulation. As an independent, if I were a member of either party, I’d be incensed. Once more, let’s hold those who did the manipulating to account, rather than fall for the red-herring trick of blaming the messenger or whistleblowers.

Here are the factual elements of the rope-a-dope at work in Preserving Access.

 

  • Warren Buffett was a prominent supporter of 2008 candidate – and later the 2012 re-election campaign of – former President Barack Obama.
  • Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway has several of the largest brands in manufactured housing, including Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), a big stake in Wells Fargo, and ownership or stakes in several others.
  • Buffett’s brands arguably dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) along with dozens of state associations, through dues, board positions, select allies, and other forms of influence.
  • Buffett – often though so-called “dark money” channels – has been a financial donor, has ties to, and/or is influential with organizations that opposed Preserving Access in word or deed. See the report with evidence and details, linked here.

The article linked below outlines the numerous voices in MHVille that raised concerns that point to specific players and their surrogates.

 

Joe Stegmayer, George F. Allen, Manufactured Housing Institute Slogans, Slump, Slurs, Solutions

 

On the one hand, Buffett and others supported those who passed Dodd-Frank, which had onerous regulations harmful to the interests of manufactured home retailers and consumers too. That’s is why it was technically correct to support the bill, for an example, see one of several reports we published that explained why and how consumers and independents were being harmed linked here.

But as another report at that time also reflected, zoning/placement were as big or an even bigger issue.  Failure to deal with that placement/zoning issue is another element in the current downturn, per the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

 

GaryAdamekFayetteCountryHomesQuotesZoningPlacementDoddFrankPreservingAccessCFPB

 

CFPB regulations harmed the industry’s independents and consumers alike, but as the above suggests, it was one of several issues that impacted the industry. Preserving Access was fueled by MHI’s leaders in a way that it was sucking up the oxygen of the bulk of the industry’s lobbying efforts.

That said, with Barack Obama pledging a veto of any change in Dodd-Frank, the hope of passing Preserving Access law was near zero.  Who said? MHI’s own SVP of government relations.

 

JasonBoehlertPhotoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHISVPGovtAffairsQuotePreservingAccess

It was the truth hiding in plain sight. 

 

The Truth Hiding…

The panel discussion I established for the Tunica Show, where the video below was captured and later produced, was part of my evolving awakening to the farce that Preserving Access was.

In citing Frank Rolfe, it should not be construed that I’m endorsing the controversial practices of he and/or his partners. There is wheat and chaff in us all, and I firmly believe in the principle of finding the wheat and separating it from the chaff. Rolfe may arguably be wrong on several things, but on Preserving Access, he was proven to be quite correct.

Thus, Rolfe’s commentary on Preserving Access in 2016 was and still is useful.

So too were the insights shared by Bob Crawford, the President of famous Dick Moore Housing, one of the oldest and highest performing retailers in all of manufactured housing history.  Dick Moore’s business has a fine A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. He has owned retail centers and land-lease manufactured home communities, which some errantly call ‘mobile home parks.’ With that introduction, here’s the video.

 

 

 

MHI’s Chairman Tim Williams, per state association sources, exercised raw power over numbers of state executives in mobilizing them to support Preserving Access. See the report, linked below. Williams pushed state executives into supporting the 21st/Clayton and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) promoted legislation, even though many execs had concerns about its viability.

 

 

For several years, millions of dollars were spent in the effort to supposedly get Preserving Access passed. Meanwhile, problems of local zoning, issues at HUD, or other concerns festered. As manufactured housing industry success story Gary Adamek and others put it, zoning was a far more vexing issue.  Adamek wasn’t alone.

 

 

JayHamiltonZoningPlacementAffordableHousingCrisisManufacturedHomesGaManufacturedHousingAssocPhotoMHProNews

 

Despite the assurances of Nathan Smith, MHI’s prior Chairman to Williams, that the industry – often a euphemism for MHI – would be more pro-active instead of reactive, MHI in hindsight emphasized Preserving Access so much, that other issues arguably slipped.  It was as if MHI could only chew gum but couldn’t walk or talk on other pressing or festering issues.

 

 

The point is that Buffett and a few key people had arguably rigged the system in a way Preserving Access would never pass. Yet MHI continued to pursue it.

That disconnect should have been obvious to MHI.  Indeed, as was noted above, it was MHI’s  SVP in charge of government-relations Jason Boehlert said as much in 2012. Yet for four more years, MHI pursued a hopeless bill?

That begs the question, why did MHI continue to pursue a plan that was a dead end?

Seen through the lens of rope-a-dope, a plausible picture emerges.  It was done to foster the consolidation of more businesses into fewer hands, and/or drive more competitors out of business.

That concern raises other problematic issues, such as this.  Is MHI’s leadership so corrupted that the Arlington, VA based trade group has and continues to deceived hundreds of their own members?  As the evidence began to reveal itself, what to do?

 

Mom and Dad

It’s Mother’s Day as I’m drafting this article. My mother and father were both intelligent, well educated, informed people. They survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary.  They lived in the shadow of Soviet Russia for years before that tumultuous time.  When the Soviet Union’s brutal armies were pressing into Eastern Europe near the end of World War II, my parents abandoned virtually everything, took their children, and fled West to the Allied lines. They endured harrowing experiences in that trek. They finally made it to an American controlled zone. They spent years in a Displaced Persons, or DP Camp, educating others. After years of waiting after they applied to come to America, they were sponsored into the U.S., where I became the first of my parents 7 children to be born in the USA.

Two of my siblings didn’t survive the war, what my parents went through was that bad. That speaks volumes, as does what follows.

My parents faced life and death decisions. They did what they could under difficult circumstances in an enemy occupied land. Intelligent, motivated – yet they still learned only later how official deceptions – such as how the war was going for the Nazis – were just that, lies. Propaganda. Hold that thought.

When they came to the U.S., the civil rights movement was on. My parents were known supporters of civil rights for all. Later, when pro-communist speakers came to campus, they went to publicly dispute the false communist claims.

My father was a university professor.  Years after the war, he returned to Europe and was the first Ph.D. to earn his doctoral degree in philosophy “summa cum laude” – with highest honors – in the five century history of the respected University of Cologne.  My parents sacrificed as a couple so my father could return to Europe to earn that degree, and thereby make a better life for his family, while teaching others too.

During the Nazi occupation, my father had a minor governmental position. Reflecting on WWII and the Nazi occupation, several points he and my mother shared stand out. One, while Christians, they secretly helped feed hungry Jews during the Nazi occupation, at their own peril. Two, my parents said that while they knew the population was being propagandized, it wasn’t until after the war that they realized how extensive the Nazi propaganda was. 

The point is that even highly intelligent people can be deceived, but once a deception is grasped, the moral thing to do is right the wrong as best as one’s station in life allows.  They also demonstrated that you do the best you can, based on what you know and can do.

We each learn from a variety of things. Ultimately, in the natural order – meaning apart from Divine intervention – learning comes down to just two prime sources. We learn from the experiences of others, and we learn from our own experiences.

Books, articles, teaching, videos, discussions, or other forms of learning are the related experiences of others.  The simplest child can teach us something, if we are open to it, while one learns from the most profound wisdom of the greatest minds of all time.

Looking back to 2016 and that Tunica Manufactured Housing Show panel discussion, Frank Rolfe – however controversial he may be, and however much I disagree with some of his terminology, etc. – taught me something valuable. Bob Crawford did too.

Tim Williams and MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison taught me as well, albeit in an oblique fashion.  In hindsight, Williams and Jennison revealed parts of the game in manufactured housing has been played.  At the time, it made no sense, in hindsight – with the rope-a-dope in mind – the ploy and what it was used have become quite clear.

Manipulating others becomes easier, given certain dynamics. Get a group going in a certain direction, and momentum makes it easier to keep them going that way. Busy independent business people don’t have time to dig under the surface. That’s why they pay a trade organization.

Independents trusting MHI or other weaponized trade groups has purportedly been part of the rope-a-dope scheme.  There is in hindsight, as Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, an ‘Illusion of Motion.’ That illusion of activity – that MHI claims is to improve the industry – is enough to fool busy professionals that trusted the Arlington, VA based MHI trade group, while their members are focused on their business.

 

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

Not only for this writer, but for others in manufactured housing, the evidence of in hindsight of deception by leaders connected to MHI began to crop up. One big clue was an email from MHI to its own members, shown below in its entirety. A source in MHI’s organization told me that the “Housing Alert” – shown below under fair use guidelines – were only giving part of the story about a Senate hearing on Preserving Access between Senator Joe Donnelly and the CFPB Director Richard Cordray. Rephrased, that source claimed MHI was at best giving their members a half-truth.  Going to the CSPAN video, that MHI source proved correct.

 

HousingAlertManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoOnCapitolHillMHIAdvancesManufacturedHousingFinanceReformMHProNewsFactCheck

 

We produced the following video – shown a few paragraphs below – during that time-frame.  But frankly, the full meaning of what occurred only become clear in the rear view mirror, years after these events referenced by MHI’s message.

Let’s note, Senator Donnelly or Director Cordray may have been oblivious to what was occurring. MHI no doubt provided Donnelly with certain questions, they indicated as much at the time. Nevertheless, Donnelly or Cordray could well have been obvious to the fact that each were playing a part in a costly and harmful drama.  If Donnelly and Cordray were figures in a staged play, they should desire a federal investigation into these events as much as tens of thousands of industry professionals should want it.

MHI’s Senior Vice President Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. sent that message, as the email above indicates.  It was obviously with MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison’s okay. As such MHI “Housing Alerts” were sent to their own members.  Because affiliated state associations would resend MHI messages, this kind of ‘alert’ was distributed to thousands of others in manufactured housing.  The quotes used by MHI were accurate, but they were a half-truth.  It was arguably meant to deceive, as their own headline indicates:

On Capitol HillMHI Advances Manufactured Housing Finance Reform.”

There was no advance of Preserving Access. Barring Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate acting against their stated positions, no advance was possible.  The bill never, ever passed into law.  How could it?

MHI’s omissions changed the entire tenor of the Cordray-Donnelly Senate hearing discussion. That’s arguably why that MHI source sent us the tip at that time; that insider source wanted us to know that MHI was telling a half-truth that had so much spin, that it was arguably a lie.

Once more, at that moment in time, I still didn’t get it that Preserving Access was a rope-a-dope head fake. But I knew that morally, it was wrong to deceive their own members. The why behind the deception took time to uncover.

So, about 3 years ago – based on what looked like clear evidence of deception of their own members – this writer publicly called for the resignation or termination of Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and Lesli Gooch, Ph.D.  Not knowing more at the point in time, there was nothing more that could be done.

 

RichardDickJennisonLesliGoochManufacturedHousingInstittueMHI-postedMHProNews-

This report was in 2016, and the evidence kept mounting.

http://MHProNews.com/industry-news/hot/why-richard-dick-jennison-and-lesli-gooch-at-mhi-should-resign-or-go

 

That said, their deceptions made me look deeper, and ask, why wasn’t MHI using the best arguments with the CFPB and Richard Cordray?

Still supporting the logic of the bill, while opposing the tactics being used, our operation paid for the following production.

 

 

 

As this writer acknowledged in a Clayton Homes related report, linked here, our videographer wasn’t the greatest. That’s my bad, for not doing a better review of that person’s claimed credentials. That said, the videos he produced are useful. Perhaps videos and articles we produced at the time are more useful today in hindsight, then they were at that time.

Our graphics and videos have improved since.  But at a minimum, what we produced should have inspired MHI to do something similar and better.  They had the budget and they had the responsibility for advancing their own agenda.

With those disclaimers and logical points, we made this summary of statements made by CFPB Director Cordray to Senator Donnelley (D-IN).  Those pull quotes were and are revealing.  Because not only were Gooch and Jennison failing to be honest about the breadth of discussion at that Senate hearing, but MHI was also failing to use their best arguments.  Why didn’t they take Cordray’s own logic, and show him why Preserving Access could and should be done by Cordray by agreement?  After all, Cordray had that authority to change CFPB regulations himself.

 

RichardCordrayCFPB-ManufacturedHousingRegulationsCSPANstill-InsideMHvideoPostedMHProNews-com-

A prosecutor or plaintiff’s attorney builds a case with one fact laid next to another. That’s what this article is doing, laying facts out, and showing how they relate to this issue.

 

Rephrased, if MHI’s leadership were serious about getting their bill passed – or the actual intent of the measure was to get Cordray to relent and place the same regulations  into effect – then why didn’t they do some similar or better efforts to what we provided our readers and viewers?

Or even easier for them, why didn’t MHI actively support and promote our efforts to help them pass their measure – given that we were MHI members, and that we were promoting what they say they wanted?

Bear in mind, that MHI’s then chairman praised this writer, and our publications.  He did so precisely in the context of thanking us for our support of Preserving Access. The disconnects with MHI’s actions where all over, but it they only became clear in hindsight.

 

TimWilliamsToRephraseMHITonyBothCorrectThereisNoDaylight21stMortgageCorpMHIChairmmanufacturedHousingProNews

 

Do you see how the logic and evidence that MHI leaders were shadow boxing, playing rope-a-dope, mounts in the enhanced clarity of the rear-view mirror?

 

 

What Then MHI Chairman Tim Williams Did

As the linked report documents, MHProNews and I personally had called Jennison and Gooch out for their deception publicly. Tim Williams response?  Williams backed them after their apparent deception was revealed.

At a subsequent MHI meeting, Williams held a vote of confidence, which given ‘how gold rules‘ of course passed, in favor of Jennison.

These events took place in the view of thousands of readers, and dozens of MHI member event attendees.  Bear in mind that Williams, Jennison, and others had long praised our work.  Of course, for a time, we were useful to them.  Ouch, if so, but there it is. However one looks at it, what looks bad is that the perpetrators of these deeds were arguably part of a purported fraud.

Yes, not just deception, but fraud is a plausible argument.

FraudLegalDefinitionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Yes, this article is laying out evidence that supports a possible case for fraud committed by specific Berkshire Hathaway and MHI leaders.

 

Given that MHI’s efforts were ‘ongoing,’ used ‘the wires’ – i.e.: the internet, and the U.S. mails too, that can all be elements of RICO.  “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a U.S. federal statute which provides criminal penalties and civil action for any act performed as a part of an ongoing criminal organization,” per US Legal.

 

IllegalLegaRICOWireMailFraudManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Yes, this article is laying out evidence that supports a possible case for RICO by specific Berkshire Hathaway and MHI leaders.

 

 

Once more, at that time, RICO or fraud were not on my mind.  But in hindsight, there is an argument to be made that those who’ve participated in this alleged fraud could be subject to federal, state, and civil actions.

That noted, let’s flash back again.

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuoteMastheadMHProNews

Quote from an MHI member, business executive. We do have our typos…

The Williams ‘vote of confidence’ and related fueled my interest in peeling back the layers of the onion.

I won’t go into much more, other than to say that there were numerous voices inside and outside of MHI that helped me arrive at the point that I am today.  At the time, I was so behind Preserving Access, that I pressed MHARR to support the bill.  They calmly told me that if anyone called, they said they were for the goal of the measure, meaning more access to more lending.  But MHARR’s leaders apparently had a better sense that the bill was going nowhere, no matter how many meetings MHI held, or how many emails they sent out to the industry.

That noted, let’s pivot to a related point to the issue of consolidation.

For example, a source provided MHProNews with documents in 2017 that reflected an apparent violation of antitrust law, aimed at eliminating independent retailers and others they did business with.  Put differently, this was a more active move vs. the more passive ‘rope-a-dope’ ply.  The evidence provided us involved letters from 21st Mortgage’s Tim Williams.  That caused us to research what Kevin Clayton at Clayton Homes, and Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway said during that same timeframe.  The documents, direct quotes, and video linked below are perhaps the definitive report on that topic to date.

 

 

We’ve asked Clayton, 21st, and MHI leaders to respond to these concerns several times. Silence.  They’ve not confirmed or denied the allegations of market rigging done in a fashion that is arguably a violation of antitrust laws.  If they rigged the market in bold ways, why not in more subtle ones?

 

What Does This Mean For Investors and Manufactured Housing Professionals?

What Does This Evidence Mean for Affordable Housing Advocates?

First, this pattern of behavior took place over a period of years.

Second, while experts on the topic are useful, the elements of the case are laid out from this report.

Third, while we believe the evidence and its elements are compelling, the accused are deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, or by a plea/settlement.  These are allegations at this point, although they are arguably logical points with solid evidence and patterns of activity provided herein.

Fourth, this arguably impacts virtually every independent business, not to mention, home owners, workers, investors, home seekers, and tax payers.  The economic harm is in the billions annually.

Fifth, initially, some of these players – for example, Richard Jennison or Lesli Gooch – could well have been mere pawns initially. They may at first only have been following orders. But as certainly, as we published various fact-checks, analysis, and research, it becomes harder for them to argue that they lacked knowledge. That’s problematic for them, if legal action occurs, unless they use their insights to flip against those who pulled their strings and ordered various actions.  It should be stressed that sources at MHI have already provided MHProNews with useful information that helped unpeel layers of the onion.

Sixth, several state association executives arguably have a similar problem at Jennison and Gooch have.  Some of those executives publicly praised our work, and they praised that letter to the Hill that this author published. Once more, similar to Jennison, some state executives may have begun as mere pawns. But with MHI staff or state association staff, there is evidence that they are routine readers.  Their own emails to others will reflect their knowledge.  Failure to report a crime can lead to a charge of being an accomplice after the fact.  It should be noted that state execs are among our sources for tips.  When the time comes, we can testify on behalf of those that did what they could to battle the corruption, through their news tips.

 

SubmitNewsTipsManufacturedHomeProNewsMHProNewsLogoMastheadMHProNews

Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com.  Put “MHProNews Comments” or “News Tip” in the subject line.

 

Seventh, while legislators often support bills and make speeches in favor of legislation that they know will go nowhere, that is arguably different than being part of a fraudulent scheme.  For 2020 and other motivations, legislators and other advocates may be motivated to do what is right with respect to the Rope-a-Dope and related schemes to consolidate manufactured housing into ever fewer hands.

Eighth, as some linked articles reveal, there may likewise be connections between non-profits that benefited from Warren Buffett’s largess – directly or obliquely – that these same numbered points apply to from a legal perspective. One may begin innocently as a mere tool or pawn in a fraud.  But as realization hits, there are legal and more reasons for them to step forward.

Ninth, advocates and unelected public officials also have a role in acting as they digest this.

Certainly, once an allegation is made, evidence is presented, and reason is applied, a reader can and should double- check the claims.  We don’t ask that any of this be taken on blind faith. I’ve routinely invited key people in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to debunk or explain away previous reports, some of which are linked in this one.  In the past two years, they’ve largely been mute directly.  Indirectly, they’ve arguably taken several steps, including hiring an outside attorney for MHI to threaten this writer and our publication. If we were mistaken, why didn’t they simply point out our fact error or any misstep in reasoning?  Instead, MHI used threats and other tactics.

 

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

 

This writer has already taken certain steps with state and federal officials, and will plan to take others. So while this is a mea culpa, it is more.

Tenth, one or more individuals in this circle have purportedly misused the mails in an effort to threaten and/or embarrass this writer via a form of extortion. They perhaps didn’t realize  that every such step only confirmed that we were on the right track. As our team or myself have said before, sure, there are some things that would be embarrassing for me, but it could be explained in 60 seconds.  There’s a keen difference between an embarrassing moment, vs. fraudulent or criminal activity.

Why would someone engage in such a fraud and use the ‘rope-a-dope?’

Let’s let Warren Buffett help us explain the answer to that question.

 

How Warren Buffett Sheds Light On This Issue

Hindsight isn’t always 20/20. But Buffett, whom I disagree with numerous points of his purported business or other (lack of) ethical practices, has nevertheless said some things that were useful to me in understanding what occurred and why.

Paraphrasing the Oracle of Omaha:

 

  • The rear-view mirror is clearer than the windshield.
  • The lesson of history is that most don’t learn the lesson of history.
  • If you take a long view of an investment in an industry, you can do more than those who only take the short view.
  • Buffett stresses that he only invested in industries that make good sense. That was confirmation of the value proposition of manufactured housing.
  • Reputation is important.

 

But oddly, Clayton and their related lenders have behaved in ways that arguably stoked problematic reputational issues. ICYMI, or to see the connections, please check out the related report, linked below.

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

 

In hindsight, looking at the evidence, the case can be made that Buffett had the goal of monopolizing a big part of the industry.

Buffett did so by manipulation of access to financing and capital. This is a realm where the advocacy of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was useful to me and others in the industry.  The Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac became law in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), a measure MHARR successfully backed.

But a decade later it is still not being fully or properly implemented. What can that lack of implementation be traced back to? MHARR has argued that fingers point to GSE foot dragging, Berkshire Hathaway lender’s that de facto foiled its earlier implementation, and MHI working to re-direct DTS to an untested and more expensive so-called ‘new class of homes’ built under the HUD Code.

 

Buffett and his fellows in MHVille, in hindsight, has been both revealing and concealing.

What’s arguably occurred is often done in plain sight.  If someone had checked the records as we have, they could have come to the same or similar conclusions. Buffett’s merry band of leaders in MHVille have purportedly played rope-a-dope for years. Thus, the ongoing nature of this matter, which is why RICO – IMHO – can and should be applied.

Cutting off lending to thousands of retailers who didn’t buy Clayton products harmed many, causing numbers to fail. That in turn tipped some factories out of business or caused them to sell out later at a discount.  It also harmed independently owned manufactured home communities, that for decades counted on retailers to fill their vacant sites.  So much changed after the events in this linked report.

More recently, Buffett’s money apparently funded the underlying research used by Oliver’s video, linked here.

These are arguably slow-motion methods of getting ‘undervalued acquisitions,’ and do so in a manner that could easily elude federal antitrust regulators and/or their victims.

The linked reports are crucial for grasping the evidence of how this purported plot has been carried out. Let me stress that initially, only a few would have had to know. But as our reporting has unpeeled the layers, plausible deniability has slowly escaped their various tools and pawns, as those individuals have gained understanding of the elements of the ploy.

Ronald Reagan said his 80 percent friends are not 20 percent enemies. That’s an important principle in manufactured housing for those NOT in on the rope-a-dope.  There have been useful tips from past and present MHI staff and members, MHARR leaders and their members, independents, or others who have since broken with MHI as the rope-a-dope became clearer to them.  I’d like to think we’ve been helping each other against the threat of still more costly market manipulation.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has arguably done the industry a big favor in his recent statement. See that, linked below. Ask yourself, why doesn’t MHI have the entire speech on their website? Once more, just before publishing this, we’ve verified that this isn’t on their website.  Are they that lazy and incompetent? I’d say, no.  So, is there something else – like the illusion of motion and the rope-a-dope – at work at MHI?

 

 

Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

 

Imagine a candidate pondering replacing MHI president Dick Jennison, other than say Lesli Gooch.  Imagine that a candidate uncovers a report like this. Who would want to go work for an organization that one of their own prior presidents effectively dissed as he exited?  Who would want to fill the role of an allegedly corrupt organization?

  • There is evidence that supports the reality that MHI has been shadow boxing as well playing rope-a-dope.
  • Buffett has demonstrably been funding opposition to manufactured housing interests, including Preserving Access.
  • The industry’s members were getting purported propaganda, spin, and weaponized half-truths directly from MHI and indirectly from state associations.
  • More recently, weaponized information has come from a new publication launched that largely is a purported MHI propaganda tool, aptly named MHInsider. Berkshire brands and others who are benefiting from consolidation are among their sponsors. MHInsider isn’t alone, consider the head fakes from purported pawn and rewarded surrogate, George F. Allen. For still more, see the below.

 

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

 

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.

 

 

How Manufactured Housing Has Been Manipulated and Stunted During an Affordable Housing Crisis

There are at least 4 principles that have been at work.

  • The power to tax is the power to undermine value and potentially to destroy a business or industry.
  • The power to regulate is the power to destroy.
  • The power to manipulate, limit, or cut off capital and financing is the power to undermine or destroy a business’ value.
  • Last for now, but not least. The ability to artificially generate opposition in media, politically, and otherwise can limit, undermine, and destroy a business’ value or potential.

Buffett’s donations can be traced to a nonprofit called MHAction. MHAction was part of a group of three nonprofits that did a white paper on problematic business practices by manufactured housing brands that provided key material in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral and errantly named “Mobile Homes” video. That video attacks Buffett’s own companies.

But so too did the Center for Integrity, whose journalist co-authored the first Seattle Times attack on Clayton, their lenders, and de facto the Preserving Access bill. Buffett’s money found its way to that nonprofit too. See the third-party research, linked here or above.

So, there is an ongoing pattern of activity. This is why we believe that their is a case for RICO, fraud, as well as antitrust.

 

 

Summary

We are left with a picture of Buffett and his key henchmen in MHVille apparently playing rope-a-dope with the industry. Initially, only a few people had to be involved in the sense of being ‘in the know.’ Later, plausible deniability arguably faded for certain people, say MHI key staff, as our reports on the issues became more focused.

There’s more evidence to unpack in related reports linked from this one. But the essential points are undisputed at this point by Clayton, 21st, VMF, MHI, and that MHI outside attorney – all of whom have been directly asked and asked again to respond to the evidence, concerns, and allegations.  They have the right to remain silent.

Perhaps they have no good response to the evidence?

Freedom isn’t free. My parents taught me that me that in word and deed. You resist and fight back any way you can, based upon your circumstances in life.

Economic freedom is as important as free speech, free assembly, the right to vote, and so on.

Antitrust, RICO, and other federal or state corrupt practices investigations must be made and done as publicly as possible so as to deter others from such ploys.

Millions of lives have arguably been impacted, using Secretary Carson’s logic. Tens to hundreds of billions of dollars a year are arguably being lost in our industry, with a ripple effect in the country that makes the total economic harm far worse.

Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act  – under this premise – was a head fake, and the record is now being set straight. My apologies for not seeing it earlier. Now, help us help you be sharing this with others, and then acting accordingly.

That’s a lot to digest. But by laying it out, step-by-step, dotting i’s and crossing t’s, and linking the evidence, it provides those looking in and those within the industry to follow the evidence.  That is the start of fixing what has artificially suppressed manufactured housing. See the related reports below.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, fact-checks, and analysis.)

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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.

 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

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.

For business development, recruiting, training, and consulting services worthy of their name and value, click here.

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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

 

 

 

The Two Gardens, America, and Manufactured Housing

April 19th, 2019 No comments

TheTwoGardensAmericaAndManufacturedHousingMastheadMHProNews
Most of human history is a story of the struggle for authentic freedom against various forms of limitations, captivity, or enslavement.

 

Much of history is the hidden or open battle between the truth and a captivating lie.

People are often offended when lied to, and for good reason.  Perjury is a crime in a court of law, also for a proper cause. Betrayals routinely begin with a sweet sounding, or even seductive, lie.

 

 

The First Lies and Temptations

In the ancient book of Genesis, after creating the universe, the earth, all creatures, and then finally humanity, those first two humans were placed in a garden known as Eden.

 

“15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

 

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2, NIV, Bible Gateway).”

 

But jump back a few verses.

“8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin[d] and onyx are also there.)” (Genesis 2, NIV, Bible Gateway).”

 

Keep in mind that in ancient times, there were no chapters, verses, or punctuation marks in scriptural texts. Those are latter editions designed to make references to a passage easier for a reader.

Also recall that the original biblical ‘books’ were scrolls written on parchment. 📜 Discoveries like the scrolls of Qumran are among the most ancient and most carefully preserved writings in human history. A comparison between our modern biblical texts and those ancient fragments reveals an astonishing accuracy.

Why?

Believers that lived thousands of years ago, before smart phones or electronic tablets, were careful to preserve what they believed to be the inspired word of God. They may well have carefully written and copied – millennia before Gutenberg’s printing press – what they sincerely believed was God’s eternal words to humanity.

You don’t mess with the words of the Creator, even if you don’t fully grasp their meaning. But let’s flash back to that account from Genesis about the garden in Eden.

 

20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones

    and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called ‘woman,’

    for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

 

Of course, there was ‘no shame.’ There were no lies yet, no disobedience to God yet, and no sin yet.

Shame is a consequence. It is an embarrassment or recognition of some evil, however big or small.

Once more, the chapter or verse numbers and the words the phrase, “The Fall” would not have been in the original ancient texts. The term “the fall” means the fall from humanity’s original state of grace into ‘sin.’ Sin may simply be defined as ‘disobedience to the will of God.’  Now, jump back to Genesis, the names of the first book of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

 

 

The Fall

“3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock

    and all wild animals!

You will crawl on your belly

    and you will eat dust

    all the days of your life.

15 

And I will put enmity

    between you and the woman,

    and between your offspring[i] and hers;

he will crush[j] your head,

    and you will strike his heel.”

 

All temptations follow that same pattern. Before we do something that we suspect or know is wrong, there is a period – however brief or long – that the soul wrestles with the reasons to do or not to do what the temptation involves.  People rationalize, and finally justify their decision to do what they suspect or know ought not to be one.

Let’s step back and understand that the Creator gave Adam and Eve Free will. They were given the freedom to choose between right or wrong. A world without sin would look like robots. One might say, God created a moral universe. That said, why is there evil in the world? Because of bad choices. Because of temptations – which are not yet sinful – and the succumbing to that temptation, which is the point of disobedience to God’s will.

Why does God’s will matter?

Because the Creator of all things and people made everything good, and out of pure love. The Creator’s will is for our good. Think of God as the perfect parent, who never loses patience, who may be described as ‘angry’ (disappointed over a bad decision) – but that’s a human term. God is changeless. He isn’t moody. Properly understood, God never stops loving us purely, but the Creator also never stops willing the perfect good of all. He doesn’t will only the good of a few. God doesn’t will merely the good of most. Rather, God wills the good of all humanity.

Recall, God has and had no need for the universe. As perfect, pure, eternal existence, God needed nothing. So why create?  That is a kind of gift to share existence with mortals like you and me.

God is timeless, perfect in understanding, knowledge, power.  None of us can manipulate or outsmart God. For God, yesteryear or a million years from now are all the same. As the short music video posted on the page from the linked text-image box below aptly says in the title, God sees all.  Hiding from God is an ironic joke, because it can’t be done.

 

The God Who Sees, Kathie Lee Gifford & Nicole C. Mullen Inspirational Music Video

 

 

Angels and Devils

Before creating humanity, God created angels. They are creatures higher than us humans. They are pure spirits, without bodies, but may from time to time take on a visible form.

Scripture says that about a third of the angels rebelled, led by the devil known as Satan or Lucifer. The fall of those angels into sin occurred before the fall of humanity into sin. Devils – fallen angels – chose their state for all time.

Unlike we mortals, the angels – whose understanding and minds are higher than our own – make one choice for all eternity. Most angels opted to love and serve God by serving the yet to be created human race. But numbers of those formless creatures followed the ancient traditional cry of the rebel, Satan, “Non serviam!” In English, “I will not serve [implied: God or man]!”

Let’s hop back to the beginning, back to Genesis 1.1 and following.

 

The Beginning

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

 

The waters and some of the terminology used may be literal, and/or figurative or a metaphor.

Let’s skip to the creation of humanity, starting after the last part of Genesis verse 25, where the Creator deemed all that the universe God had made, good.

 

“…And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, a and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

 

In what sense did God make man in His own image and likeness? Once conceived, a human soul never dies. The soul is eternal, but the body the soul inhabits dies because of that fall from that original state of perfect grace the first parents had. If Adam and Eve had never sin, their bodies would have never died.

Why are we today born into a fallen state instead of a state of perfect grace?  Because had we been one of those first parents, had we been Adam or Eve, we too would have been tempted in much the same way as they were. God’s perfectly fair.

So that original rebel, that devil who took the form of a snake or serpent in Eden, tempted man and woman with something they already had. God made the first couple divine like, in the sense that the Creator made humans good and with eternal souls.

It’s like Satan tricked Adam and Eve into doing something for the sake of a desire that they ironically already possessed. What was so different about that particular piece of fruit of that one tree?  We can shake our heads, but we have done similarly ourselves. It goes beyond the scope of this column, but every temptation is in that sense the same. As eternal souls that live on after the physical body dies, any merely human temptation is selling out a higher good we already have a claim to in exchange for a lesser desire.

Each sin, properly understood, is a tempting but bad deal.

So, in a parental sense, via our first parents, we were there in Eden. We – through those first parents – made that fall from perfection into sin. Certainly, we each make to various degrees make similarly bad choices, day by day.

God didn’t make us all alike, as a look around at other reveals. Even twins or triplets differ in talents or interests. Yet a perfect and wise Creator does nothing that is unfair, we might not understand it at the time, but God makes no mistakes.

 

 

Another Garden

Thousands of years after Eden, let’s jump into and observe the events in the Garden of Gethsemane. That is where Judas Iscariot carried out the betrayal of Jesus that he had already decided to do when Judas bargained to get 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus.

Imagine. Judas had walked, ate, listened to and talked with Jesus. Judas had witnessed firsthand the miracles, including Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And that same Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver? The worst bad bargain of all time.

Let’s not be too harsh in judging the traitor Judas. That could have been you or me. Every time we opt for a lower desire instead of for a higher good, we’ve done something similar.

Judas betrayed Jesus like this.  From Matthew chapter 26:

 

“47 While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob, with swords and clubs, was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had given them a sign: “The One I kiss, He’s the One; arrest Him!” 49 So he went right up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

50 “Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?”[a]

Then they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested Him.”

 

When you, I, or others are betrayed, it is often with a similar pattern. Some betrayals begin behind your back, out of sight, much like Judas plotted to betray Jesus out of sight. But then the plotters may act face-to-face. That can include nice sounding words, or even acts of faked friendship. In parts of the world – including the Middle East – it is not uncommon for men to kiss each other on the cheek, as a particularly friendly greeting. It’s the kind of sign a father and son might share in kissing each other on the cheek.

 

 

Jesus’ Betrayal and Our Own

To atone for the evil of sin, a perfect man had to make amends. Jesus, says Scripture, did no evil did, ever.  God, says Christian faith, took the form of an actual man to atone for the sins of humanity. God allowed Himself in the person of Jesus to live, work, be tempted, suffer and die an unjust death. The goal was not so that people would keep on sinning.  The woman caught in adultery that Jesus showed mercy to was admonished to ‘go and sin no more.’

No number or volumes of merely human laws can make this world perfect. That’s a fool’s errand. The Creator gave humanity’s first parents only one prohibition, ‘don’t eat of the fruit of that one tree.’ Adam and Eve fell into the slick temptation of the devil to do just that one thing. To eat of the proverbial forbidden fruit.

Jesus did more than just atone for sin, or more than perform miracles to reveal Who He Is. Jesus practiced what He preached. He gave us lived examples to follow. We can identify with Jesus, and those with Him.

So, your gifts or talents are different than mine, or my wife or son’s.  We may co-exist at this time with the foreknowledge of timeless God. We can learn what the Creator sought to teach, or we can ignore it as Judas did.

Starting with the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, to that Garden of Gethsemane, humanity has struggled to keep the Ten Commandments that God gave Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai after the Exodus out of Egypt in search of the Promised Land.

Tonight, starts the Jewish feast of the Passover. That’s tied to the freeing of the Israelites from the slavery and oppression of the ancient Egyptians.  The forms of slavery may have changed, but there is slavery now, and slavery then.  Addiction, debt, or anything that has an improper control over you is a kind of enslavement.

The events of Holy Week, starting with the Last Supper on Holy Thursday are intertwined with Passover and the subsequent Exodus.

 

 

False Promises

All sin is a betrayal, and every sin is based upon a fake promise of getting something we ought not have at that moment in time. Perhaps that desire is okay, later in life, when done honesty vs. dishonestly. With God the answer to a prayer is always in three forms, it is now, later, or never. What God doesn’t give you now is rationally for your own good. Nor should we pray for what we know to be forbidden.

The Ten Commandments – properly understood – are the most perfect laws possible. Those ten Jesus simplified into two. Those two? Love God with all your mind, strength, and heart, and then love your fellow human – your neighbor – as should love yourself.

There are different ways those ten commands are numbered, but they all cover the same ground.

Note that Jesus was a tekton – a craftsman who commonly used stone and wood. Jesus was a builder.  Our industry should identify with and look to Jesus.

Our nation, our industry, both need rebuilding. We personally need a transformation too. My shortcomings are similar but different than yours. But we all have them, to various degrees.  That’s why a degree of mutual understanding and forgiveness is merited, while at the same time giving no quarter to the deliberate and repeated acts of those who seek to defraud, harm, murder, rape, or steal.

Here on MHProNews we rail against deception and manipulation, be that political or in business. They are contrary to the divine will, as are any violation of the Ten Commandments.

A well-known personality in our industry claimed in a video interview to be an atheist. He’s given free will. He can’t be forced to believe. But my hunch is that soul – as intelligent as he is – knows that God exists. The Big Bang might have been the moment when time began, but where did that matter, and explosion come from in the first place? Logically, from the Creator of all things, Who could well have used a Big Bang to start it all off with.

Genesis says that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Once more, at Genesis 3:15, we read – with brackets added by this writer this time for clarity – the following.

 

And I [God, the Creator of all] will put enmity

between you [the serpent, the devil] and the woman,

and between your offspring [those who follow the path of evil] and hers [those who seek to follow the path of good];

he [the Savior, the Messiah] will crush your [the devil’s] head,

and you [the devil, those who follow the devil] will strike his [The Savior, the Messiah’s] heel.”

 

Trying to beat God is like nipping at the Creator’s heal. Pointless.

There was a first Adam, and a first Eve. There is a new Adam, and a new Eve. The children of humanity follow the path of evil or good. We slip, we fall. Ideally, we get up, dust ourselves clean, and start again.

Deliberate lies and deception often aim to deprive someone by trickery out of something that is their right. That’s why there are commandments in the first place, to give order and justice in a society that has deliberately bad actors.

The lies of today dimly reflect the betrayal observed in that second garden, when Judas knowingly sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Those big boys who sell out others today do so for the sake of billions, not just a few coins.  But in the end, will it be worth it?

Our bodies die, but the soul lives on. This life is temporary, but eternity means endless time.  Why do some get tempted for what is a perceived temporary gain, to risk dying and falling into a pit of endless suffering?

The reason that biblical accounts – properly understood – have timeless value is because people keep doing the same things. It’s the struggle for human freedom. At its core, it can only truly occur in unity with the Divine truths and paths that a loving Creator has set forth for us.

It can be argued that most people want to earn their keep in a honest way.  But some do so like the proverbial snake oil salesman, through cunning, deception, manipulation, and lies.  There is always hope for redemption.  But the wise don’t keep falling for the same old snake-like lies.  Faith isn’t timid, it is for those made strong by the wisdom and courage that comes with faith in a God who Saves.  That’s what Jeshua – Jesus – means. God saves. But that freedom from slavery occurs in the context of the mystery of humanity’s free will.

That’s why this terrible Friday is oddly called “good.” Humanity is given a sure path to be freed from slavery to sin. That’s why Passover the Exodus and Good Friday are intertwined. Thank God, it’s Friday. “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.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Start of Passover for Jews, Good Friday for Christians 2019

The Blind Leading vs. Truth Telling, Life of Jesus Video