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

June 4th, 2019 No comments

 

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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.

 

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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?

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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?

 

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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?

 

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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.) ##

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

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

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

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

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Related References:

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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/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Related References:

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Start of Passover for Jews, Good Friday for Christians 2019

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

 

 

 

 

 

For Want of a Nail – Manufactured Housing

April 12th, 2019 No comments

 

ForWantofaNailManufacturedHousingMastheadMHProNews

For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

 

In older English, the word “want” could mean “for lack of.” Viewing the above proverbial wisdom through that lens is understood as follows, according to Wikipedia. The Masthead will further unpack this for those professionals and aficionados who are keen on our segment of the factory-built housing industry after the Wiki quotes.

The proverb has come down in many variations over the centuries. It describes a situation in which a failure to anticipate or correct some initially small dysfunction leads by successively more critical stages to an egregious outcome. The rhyme’s implied small difference in initial conditions is the lack of a spare horseshoe nail, relative to a condition of its availability.[1] At a more literal level, it expresses the importance of military logistics in warfare.

Such chains of causality are perceived only in hindsight. No one ever lamented, upon seeing his unshod horse, that the kingdom would eventually fall because of it.[1]

Related sayings are “A stitch, in time, saves nine” and “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“. A somewhat similar idea is referred to in the metaphor known as the camel’s nose.” said Wikipedia.

 

 

For Lack of a Nail, Manufactured Home Independents Were Lost

Manufactured housing has lost many a message. That is proven by the troubling instances like the bullet’s below will note

 

  • The Bryan City Council, which is just one of a growing number of cities, towns, or counties that have taken steps to limit or ban manufactured homes.
  • HBO’s viral This Week Last Night with John Oliver video on “Mobile Homes.”
  • Declining shipments of manufactured homes during an affordable housing crisis. Unbelievable, given that the Urban Institute and others have cited the improved quality of manufactured homes, but facts are what they are.

Each of those bullet’s reflect this vexing point. The powers that be either can’t or won’t stop/and or address these trends.  That much ought to be obvious, and while debatable, those who would opt to defend the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis’ perspective on the controversy would easily lose.  The 3 bullets above are just recent examples of why.  Others examples are found in the related reports, further below the bylines, offers, and notices.

So that means, alternative approaches – not including the current methods being used – must be developed.

 

Parallel Paths

The independents and investors in our industry must not place every bet on one thing. There is an array of possible alternative strategies that have proven useful and must be adapted to or applied to this industry’s circumstances.

One point is simple. Make officials of the federal government do their jobs.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has primary jurisdiction under current federal law over manufactured housing. Under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, there is enhanced federal preemption for manufactured homes. HUD is the enforcement agency for that aspect of the law.

Some are talking about suing the City of Bryan, TX. The Masthead favors that option, on several different grounds, that could represent the interests (and thus separate causes of action) for individual groups.

But the Masthead also favor’s pressing the Feds into doing their jobs. One need not look beyond the border battle to realize that manufactured housing isn’t alone when it comes to the notion of enforcing existing laws.  The border issues has festered for decades, under Democratic and Republican administrations. The same can be said about the proper implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

 

“Time to Enforce the Law on Federal Preemption”

 

It was 2017 when the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform wrote the report linked via the text image box above. It is time to enforce the law on preemption. The linked report below reflects MHARR’s most recent step, in calling on HUD to do a formal study of the issue noted.

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

 

The first step with HUD – or anyone else – ought to be the direct ask to HUD.  But other steps can be included.

  • Elected congressional representatives and Senators can be asked to intervene.
  • But also there is the Writ of Mandamus.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) knows about this option, because their general counsel, Rick Robinson, wrote a book the included that as the title and a subplot. Rephrased, MHI knows they could fight this in several levels, but for whatever reason(s) one cares to float, they have obviously not chosen to do so.

We have a source on the ground in Bryan, TX that told MHProNews that “To answer your question without commentary, no one employed by MHI was present.”

Meanwhile, manufactured home industry consolidation continues. It is the larger MHI members who are most often the beneficiaries of that consolidation. Coincidence?  Is that a hidden benefit or motivation for those big boys who dominate the association to allow such headwinds – for now – so that they can further consolidate the industry? Later, once they’ve consolidated all that they think they can, will the powers that be magically dust off issues like enhanced preemption, and put them to work for their own enhanced profits?

Don’t forget the investigators question. Cui Bono? Who benefits? Who has the motivation to do – or not to do – x?

We think satirically of MHI as Buffett’s and the Big Boys Buffet.  MHI is short for the Machiavellian Housing Institute. Day by day, they build the case against themselves, don’t they?

Meanwhile, the Buffett Moat and that of his de facto allies purportedly grows as an outcome of alleged market manipulation and association malfeasance. Or as one executive with long ties to MHI told MHProNews this past week, it is “association malpractice.” That source alleged to MHProNews that MHI had some 4 million dollars in reserves.  Why aren’t they using some of those reserves to fight issues like the John Oliver viral video, or zoning issues, like Bryan, TX?

As one more example of purported “association malpractice.”  Why is it that MHI creates supposedly useful research and hides it behind a login?  Why does MHAction seem able to get more bad headlines than MHI can stir up good headlines?  Why doesn’t MHI and do what MHAction and other who have created useful research have done? Namely, take that information, and beat the drums to make it know widely throughout the land?

Are they incompetent in Arlington? Or rather are cagily in pursuit of consolidation? Doesn’t either one leave us where the industry is right now? Let those queries hang and sink in, as we turn back to the main point.

 

The Writ – and Order

A Writ of Mandamus. Ask HUD politely, but if they don’t respond, then Make the Feds do their jobs via a writ of mandamus. Arguably, less costly than many others suits might be. That must be one of the parallels paths.

WritOfMandamusJudicialOrderRemedyDoSpecificActObligedToDoByLawMastheadMHProNews

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.  Let’s not lose the nail that causes more manufactured home independents and prospective home owners to lose their part of the American Dream.

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

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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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Related References:

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Warren Kicked Hornet’s Nest – How Move May Connect With MH, Renters, Professionals

March 10th, 2019 No comments

 

WarrenKickedHornet'sNextHowMoveMayConnectWithMHRentersSmallBusinessProfessionalsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Successful politicians and good brands have much in common.

 

Consider for a moment how Acura’s video commercial made a mark in the blogosphere, one that caused scores of keyboards and social media posts to go favorably wagging. “The [Acura automotive] ad is buoyed by Motörhead’s rendition of the Rolling Stone’s classic, Sympathy for the Devil, as the auto does its best sportscar-style moves,” said The Drum.

Every successful professional or politico knows the value of good social and mainstream media. But something must happen to grab that spotlight.  On Friday, Team Warren kicked the hornet’s nest of big business.  Which means that her fight is now on.

What every business, person, or politicians needs is energy. That Acura commercial – it has energy. The Warren campaign arguably just lifted their energy level.

Wittingly or not, for good or ill, there is no doubt that Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) has several touch-points with manufactured housing professional interests.

Let’s be blunt.

Some in MHVille cheer her, while others jeer. But that too has potential energizing value for a firebrand like Warren.  As her hoped for GOP counterpart in the Oval Office has demonstrated, one can rise in the polls, even when controversial.  Sometimes, one rises in the polls, especially when a person or organization are shaking things up.

 

 

On MHProNews’ Masthead editorial blog, let’s note for new readers that Senator Warren – the long-shot for the 2020 Democratic nominee for president – has addressed groups that included MHAction. She was a driving force behind Dodd-Frank and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Those won’t earn her fan mail from several quarters.  We hope to engage with their campaign on those issues. That said, let’s now turn to the plus column.

Friday, the Warren campaign’s emailed statement to MHProNews stressed her emphasis on antitrust legislation.  Of course that campaign plank will cause shivers for some, but may draw curious smiles from others who are small- to mid-sized business professionals.

Warren’s strongly stated antitrust stance ought to have Republicans, President Donald J. Trump, independents, and her fellow Democrats pondering the 22 million who live in a pre-HUD Code mobile home, or a post June 15, 1976 manufactured home.  Why?  How might that target audience swing in the 2020 nomination battle?  Will breaking up mega-corporations play well during table talk at the community clubhouse?

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

 

Or consider the larger-still potential voting block of renters. They are over 100 million living in rentals, said CityLabs in 2018.  The vast majority of renters, per the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR), want to be homeowners.

NAR’s Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE, did research that praised manufactured homes in 2018.  Cororaton noted in her research that millions of renters pay the same or more monthly as what it would cost them to live in a manufactured home. She also debunked several of the quality concerns, noting that was true of pre-HUD Code mobile homes, not post HUD Code manufactured homes.  Here’s how she phrased it.

 

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuring

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.”

 

Recall, that Cororaton thoughtfully cited moi and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform‘s (MHARR) Mark Weiss, JD, in her through research’s first footnote, on page 48.

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

 

Renters and manufactured home owners are in a very real sense aspirational audiences that any savvy candidate should desire.

Who says?

In August of 2016, an op-ed in the New York Times noted that the “Downwardly Mobile for Trump.” That column cited a survey that revealed “Support for Mr. Trump wasn’t strongly related to income and employment.” That included the residents of mobile and manufactured homes, per the NY Times and others.

Curious about that claim, MHProNews did an unscientific survey of campaign signs and bumper stickers in a four star manufactured home community as Election Day 2016 approached. Our informal research confirmed the NY Times claim. The clear edge among manufactured home owners favored then GOP candidate Mr. Trump over Democratic nominee Secretary Hillary Clinton.

 

Why Does this Matter to MHVille Now?

The 2020 campaign has been in full swing for months. It will only get hotter. With a crowded field, and with the first debates ahead, the contenders must differentiate themselves.

Voters and donors must make early choices.

What follows are the 3 key words from the Warren Campaign email yesterday.  It will be followed by her campaign’s  pitch.  For those that know our editorial views, you won’t be surprised when we smile while sharing these 3 bullets from the Warren camp.

 

  • Antitrust
  • Monopolies
  • Breakup

 

Senator Warren isn’t just taking about regulating big companies, she wants to break the giant conglomerates up. On her 3 bullets, 3 cheers.

As you read the sections of their statements that will follow, ponder this fact. Your Masthead writer shared a pair of links – one of which is below, that the Warren campaign – which renounced major donors – received with enthusiastic thanks and interest.  As veteran readers on MHProNews know, you can access the report by clicking the hot-linked text-image box below.

 

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

 

Strategic Allies?

Rephrased, there are pragmatic strategic reasons why the Warren’s campaign may want to publicly lash out at a billionaire who’s first name matches her last.  There are likewise strategic reasons why if Warren did so publicly, there are numbers of independent manufactured housing professionals that could find her the more appealing Democratic candidate in their bid to recapture the Oval Office.  Because those independents don’t want to be treated as the de facto serfs of Warren Buffett’s growing empire.  Here are just two screen captures from the Twitter feed of Austin Frerick, of the Open Markets Institute (OMI).

 

 

Warren Buffett’s monopolistic tendencies in manufactured housing have sparked years of controversy that the Seattle Times, BuzzFeed, Representative Maxine Waters (CA-D), the Open Market’s Austin Freric (see graphics, above and below), GuruFocus, the Nation, Democracy Now, and others.  They’ve found Clayton Homes and their problematic record on race, business practices, and lending worthy of their respective ire.

 

AustinFrerickOpenMarketsMaxineWatersBrianSullivanHUDClaytonHomes

 

Recall how Clayton’s home town media put it in 2018?  See the reminder, below.

 

 

 

What better way for Senator Warren to grab headlines, and the potential interests of millions in the misunderstood and under-appreciated groups noted above, than to go after the third richest man in America?  Namely, Warren Buffett?

What better way for her to set herself apart from the crowd than to use the facts we’ve shared with her campaign, to highlight Buffett and his minions in Knoxville and Arlington, VA for their purportedly harmful monopolistic Moat?

Weeks before Warren made her announcement on Friday, MHLivingNews spotlighted Senator Warren’s speech to the antitrust-minded Open Markets crowd.  It may be one of the best cases yet on how existing laws can be applied to go after the giant conglomerates.  That’s why we published it with some related commentary.  Her thesis is that there is no need for years of waiting for new legislation.  Warren says that the laws on the books are all that is needed for immediate action.

 

Who Will Act? Will Senator Elizabeth Warren, and/or the Trump Administration Act to Restore Open Markets, Thereby Supporting Affordable Manufactured Homes?

 

 

Can Warren and MHVille Democrats, Plus Others Connect?

Strategically, one can make the argument that this fits Senator Warren’s needs.  It also fits that 50 percent of the manufactured home industry – with far more people – could find reason to support someone like her if she will publicly oppose Buffett’s brands demonstrable take over of the most proven part of the affordable housing industry, through purported market manipulation via Moat building “Conquest Capitalism.” © Depending on how the discussions go with team Warren, MHProNews just might give Senator Warren’s campaign the green light to use that phrase “Conquest Capitalism” in her campaign.

With a wink, ICYMI, here is the report on that topic, accessed via the hot-linked text image box, below.

 

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

 

What about the Donald?

As a political independent, we make no secret about the fact that we supported President Trump in 2016.  His campaign thought so highly of the support by my Persian princess, Soheyla Kovach, that they placed her pro-Trump column on their campaign website. Soheyla’s endorsement remained there until the Trump site was redone, after the 2016 election.

No doubt Soheyla checked off several useful boxes for Team Trump.

 

12ReasonsEducatedIranianAmericanWomanSupportsDonaldTrumpPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews954x846

 

While it is anyone’s guess how many read it there on the Trump campaign site, what is better known is that thousands of other sites picked it up, per search results. Those remained active, or Google wouldn’t have registered it.

These are details the Warren camp, other campaigns, and manufactured housing professionals from coast-to-coast should ponder.

 

The Word from Warren

Even Republicans and libertarians should consider what follows carefully. Why? Because Elizabeth Warren – with who’s campaign we’ve made clear that there are stances she holds that we disagree with – is arguably dead right about the over-arching power of Big Tech and other monopolies. That’s another issue that long-standing MHProNews readers know we share.  That’s another cheer. Here’s a blast from the cited past. Compare what Scott Galloway, of New York Stern, said about what he called the Big Four in tech.

ScottGallowayNYSternIsntAnIndictmenFourRetributionRecognitionKeyHealthyEconomicCyclisPruningFirmsWhenInvasiveCausePrematureDeathWontLetOtherFirmsEmergeMHProNews

Good policy is not partisan. What Galloway said in this previously cited quote, finds echoes in what the Warren Campaign said below.

 

Even Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Friday night loudly sang Senator Warren’s praises on this specific antitrust announcement.  Yes, he reminded his readers that he sees other topics differently, just as we are doing herein.

With that lengthy background, let’s turn to how Elizabeth Warren has kicked the hornets nest so effectively, that it has set the media across the left-right spectrum abuzz.  There’s energy.

 

 

 

WarrenElizabethWarrenCampaign

Think about all the time you spend on the internet — checking the news, shopping, catching up with old friends, reading emails like this one.

Well, more and more of the things we do online are being controlled by a smaller and smaller group of giant corporations.

They’ve mastered a very powerful business model: Monopolize their platform and force other companies, media platforms, and publishers out of business.

If you buy something online, there’s a nearly 50% chance that you’re going through Amazon. If you go to any website, there’s more than a 70% chance that it’s owned or run by Google or Facebook.

America’s biggest tech companies are controlling more and more of our digital lives.

Here’s why tech companies with nearly unfettered power aren’t a good thing: They buy potential rivals, like Facebook did with Instagram and WhatsApp, limiting innovation and choice. They create marketplaces that they own and compete on — a conflict of interest that lets them snuff out smaller rivals — like Amazon and Google have done for shopping, search tools, and online ads.

They bully cities and states into showering them with massive taxpayer handouts — and spend the profits they get from being the only game in town to lobby and rig the rules even further in their favor.

They even scare investors away from funding new startups — because what’s the use in going up against a giant corporation that’ll just snap you up or drive you out of business?

This all means less competition, less innovation, and a worse internet for all of us. Think about it: If you’re not happy with Facebook’s privacy policy, maybe you’d like to spend your time on Instagram instead. Except, wait: Facebook owns Instagram.

We’ve got to call it out. And we’ve got to do something about it. So today, I’m proposing a new plan to break up the biggest tech companies and make sure these corporations don’t get so powerful that they undermine our democracy.

There’s a long history in America of breaking up companies if they have too much power in the marketplace: Standard Oil, AT&T, and the railroad industry led to the bipartisan creation of our first antitrust laws.

What I’m proposing is right in line with our country’s history — and it’s a big part of what has allowed our economy to grow and new companies to thrive.

Here’s how our plan works — there are two big pieces to it.

#1: Pass a new law for “Platform Neutrality.”

 

If you’re a ginormous tech company that’s created a platform for other businesses to compete on — like the Amazon marketplace, or the Google ad exchange — you shouldn’t also own a company that sells on it. Put simply: You shouldn’t be able to tilt the playing field in your own direction.

 

#2 Appoint regulators who’ll use existing legal tools to unwind tech mergers that illegally undermine competition.

With the antitrust laws that are already on the books, we can undo big mergers that never should have been approved in the first place — and give smaller and medium-sized companies a fighting chance to compete with the big guys. That means we break Facebook away from Instagram and WhatsApp, Amazon away from Whole Foods, Google away from Nest, and more. We could be doing this right now — but we need a president (ahem) who’ll appoint regulators to make it happen.

So what would the internet look like after all these reforms?

Here’s what won’t change: You’ll still be able to go on Google and search like you do today. You’ll still be able to go on Amazon and find 30 different coffee machines that you can get delivered to your house in two days. You’ll still be able to go on Facebook and see how your old friend from school is doing.

Here’s what will change: Small businesses would have a fair shot to sell their products on Amazon without the fear of Amazon pushing them out of business. Google couldn’t smother competitors by demoting their products on Google Search. Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve their user experience and protect our privacy. Tech entrepreneurs would have a fighting chance to compete against the tech giants.

This is how we’ll make sure we get more competition and more new ideas in the tech economy, instead of just a few giant tech companies calling all the shots — and regular people not having much say in the tools we use everyday.

That’s how we get innovation. That’s how we get an internet that does a better and better job of letting us stay connected with each other — from pictures of grandkids to emails and petitions like this one. That’s how we protect our privacy in a rapidly changing world.

We can get this done. We can make big, structural change. But it’s going to take a grassroots movement, and it starts right now.

https://my.elizabethwarren.com/ew-breakupbigtech

Thanks for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

 

SenatorElizabethWarrenMA-D-WikiMastheadBlogMHProNews

Senator Elizabeth Warren, official photo.

 

 

WarrenElizabethWarrenCampaign

This morning, Elizabeth announced her new plan to break up the big tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Sign the petition to support Elizabeth’s plan to break up the biggest tech companies that run the internet.

That way, we’ll get more competition, more innovation, and a better internet for all of us. But it’s going to take a grassroots movement to make this kind of big, structural change.

If we’re going to rebuild the middle class, then we’ve got to ensure competition in one of our country’s biggest and fastest-growing industries and a fighting chance for up-and-coming innovators.

If we’re going to save our democracy, then we’ve got to make sure these corporations don’t get so powerful that they undermine it.

Elizabeth has spent her career fighting to level the playing field for working families. So when she says she’s in this fight to take on the powerful corporations that are rigging the system, she means business — whether it’s big banks, big Pharma, or big tech companies.

Let’s send a message loud and clear: No corporation — not even Amazon, Google, or Facebook — should be so powerful that they bend cities and states to their will, or so big that they’re exempt from antitrust laws.

Thanks for being in this fight,

Team Warren

— End of Warren Campaign extended quotes —

 

One More Thing…

 

 

We’d note one more point – linked above – for those from the Warren camp. That linked rundown on the Value Penguin site rounds out how her campaign (or any other), renters, and manufactured housing could find political alignment.

Good public policy is nonpartisan.

As we’ve been saying for years, on all things and all people, it’s about separating wheat from chaff. We would concur with Warren that there is strong evidence that the system is rigged.  Ponder how Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump have all complained during their campaigns about the rigged system.  We see the evidence that manufactured housing was rigged. That rigging has arguably cost manufactured home owners more equity.  That rigging has cost millions of renters the opportunity to own. That rigging of the system has harmed the interests of thousands of manufactured housing independents. Longtime readers know we’ve made that case.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

 

Dialogue with the Warren campaign, or any other campaign that sees the value of two potentially large and often overlooked voting blocks, could bridge the gap on other issues where we do not yet see eye-to-eye.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEnd2017MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

While several allegations of monopolistic practices have been made against Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway, this website and MHLivingNews are the only ones to date that is known to have produced evidence, and provided to date this kind of logical, relevant data. Antitrust advocates will need proof, not just hot air. Evidence of how they rigged the system taken straight form their own documents and words are linked here.

 

What is certain is that Warren, if she wants to beat Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, former VP Joe Biden or others, will have to set herself apart in a way that connects. She will need even more energy. We will naturally stay in touch with the White House, Team Trump, and others too.

We’ll play close attention, engage to the degree possible, and let our audience know. If you thought that 2016 was a wild campaign, hang on to your hats.  2020 could prove to be the most energetic campaign ever. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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HistorySeriesEventsDescribingAmbitiousTriesDominateManipulateOppressOthersThatCreatesDesireAmongFreedomAmongThoseBeingManipulatedDisadvantagedControlledLATonyKovachBy 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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Radically Aspirational, Black History, Affordable Housing, Social Justice, and Manufactured Homes

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Sense of Humor, Tilting After Windmills, Manufactured Housing – Merchants or Crusaders?

January 27th, 2019 No comments

 

GodsSenseofHumorTiltingAfterWindmillsManufacturedHousingMerchantsOrCrusadersMastheadMHProNews

What’s wrong is that enough people don’t ask what’s right – that’s a faithful paraphrase of the brilliant writer and believer, G.K. Chesterton.

 

One need not look far to discover that the Creator of all has a healthy sense of humor.

 

Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams – among their allies, pawns, lackeys, and stooges – could not have counted on their strategic economic Moat encountering the various resistance personalities found working in the manufactured home industry today.

Former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President Chris Stinebert made a series of arguably interesting, inaccurate, and mistaken comments in his departing message to their association members and followers. One colorful piece of advice Stinebert gave was not to go tilting after windmills.

There are those who understandably believe that it is safer to be a so-called “Merchant” – someone who a self-described MHVille merchant said will do business with anybody –  than it is to be a Crusader, who could be defined as someone who fights for whatever is right.

But as the manufactured housing industry approaches 43 years since the construction of the first HUD Code for manufactured homes on June 15, 1976, there is an increasingly self-evident reality. It’s this. After decades of many MHVille industry pros being mainly merchants, the pool of merchants has steadily shrunk since the last industry high water mark of 1998.

Buffett says he loves to read. He finds value in history, facts, and figures. It’s a point the Oracle of Omaha and this far lesser known Masthead writer concur on. Wheat and chaff. Accept the truth, from whomever or where ever you find it.

In God’s grand sense of humor, Buffet’s minions picked an avoidable fight with this multiple award-winning history major, who happened to be a philosopher’s son. What rich irony!  That divine joke keeps me rolling, in more ways than one.

Not everyone in MHVille is a short-term thinker who will sell out the Master for 30 pieces of silver.

America is a nation filled with tragedy as well as hopes, with a rich tradition of attainable dreams.

Only those who will use some of their time, talent, and treasure to support the crusaders for justice in MHVille will hope to see the day when MH Nation becomes a reality. MHNation is attainable, but it requires enough sufficiently motivated efforts, hands, wit, and resources to help build and sustain it.

 

 

Big and Small, They Lost It All

Over the years, this writer has peered into the eyes of mom and pop businesses who didn’t understand what happened to their once thriving enterprises or land-lease communities.

This Masthead writer also watched as the once mighty fell too.  Previously dominating ‘old Fleetwood’ or ‘old Champion’ vanished in less than a decade, under the headwinds of the builders of Buffett-style strategic economic Moats. 

If the former giants of MHVille didn’t survive the strategic economic Moats of Chairman Mao, pardon me, Chairman Buffett, then what hubris does it take to believe that the also-rans in Claytonville can survive “the Moat’s” steady, grinding, and seemingly invisible methods?

We respect George Allen’s service to his nation.  Lord only knows what he may have encountered during Desert Storm or in the deadly jungles of Vietnam.

That said, it’s pathetically laughable when someone like George F. (F?) Allen calls himself the industry’s “historian.” Here’s how he said it in a recent post, “This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource, & online communication media for North American land lese communities!

 

CommunityInvestorJan152019GeogeFAllenMastheadBlogMHProNews

The next time the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis asks for a hit-job, please send someone less self-contradictory, and more competent.  History?  Allen’s view of history puts him in the center of it all. Fascinating choice of who to answer, Kevin. 

 

Listening, musing, and reading pay. It was listening to a former client/supporter of Allen say, ‘With George, it’s AAA. All About Allen.” Priceless insight, spot on, and moving on.

 

 

Jesus and the 10

Jesus never preached socialism. Nor did Jesus preach monopolistic methods.

Properly understood, the 10 Commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai protect private property and human wealth honestly earned.

It’s simple, really. Constantly reference, strive to support, and follow those Ten Commandments. Let those 10 and the lessons of the Good Book be your decision-making guide. When those 10 Commandments are understood and followed, society will thrive. When ignored, mocked, or trampled underfoot, the weak or most innocent become victims.  The Ten, with motivated merchants, make for the sufficient needs of crusaders.  The rest are details and commentary.

 

UnlessThereisAGodAllMoralityIsJustOpinionBeliefsNoKingsNoMonopoliesNoOligarchsAmercanWayMHProNews

The top images are composites from the Prager U video, further below. Over a million views on that thought-provoking video.

 

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ph.D. was a sinner, like this writer, and the rest of us mere mortals. King had strengths and weaknesses.  Ditto. But that thoughtful strategist led a peaceful revolution in his day. King was a Crusader. That eloquent preacher had merchants who supported his crusader efforts.

Crusaders like Jesus, King, or Gandhi are always the ones who change the world.

 

MahatmaGandhiWIkiMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

This is historic. This is part of authentic history. 

 

Together, with arms locked, King and others marched against the oppressors of his time. King was a visible figure, but never forget that there were numbers of less visible ones who made sure that King secured the victory they sought.

Affordable quality housing – which can be served in the form of modern manufactured homes – is a civil, constitutional, and a legal right. But it will take enough Crusaders to beat those who’ve manipulated the American system in a way that moat builders seek to enrich themselves, as they arguably defrauded their neighbors as they smiled.

 

Don’t stop being a merchant.

 

But if you don’t want to be a statistic among other merchants in MHVille who’ve fallen before you, if you don’t want to be another “value acquisition” of Berkshire or a Buffett buddy, then ponder this reality.  You must use some time, talent, and treasure to support new structures to replace the purported corruption of Arlington VA based MHI and their masters in Omaha and Knoxville.

Buffett’s smart, in a Machiavellian way. Chairman Buffett and his are patiently grinding the industry into powder that he can easily swallow at a cheap price.

You, we, and other people of good will can use cunning, truth, and existing laws to beat Buffett at his own game. Who says? Centuries of Bible stories tell me it’s so.

There are various ways people around the globe express the Ten Commandments. Properly understood, at their core, they are the same. It’s noteworthy that Christian, Jews, Muslims and other believers have similar beliefs to these 10 Commands.

 

 

Read the related reports, further below, for added insights.  Reach out by phone, message, or email to tip, talk or join the merchants who are ready to be or support the spirited crusaders that can beat the corrosive effects of manipulating oligarchs and their Moat builders. Communism and the Nazis were defeated. America had its trust-busting era, that broke up the monopolists. Another one lies ahead. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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

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

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

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

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Related References:

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

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Manufactured Housing Institute’s Three Stooges? SECO ‘Leaders’ George F. Allen, Spencer Roane, Tom Lackey and ‘Rent to Own’ Scams?

January 16th, 2019 No comments

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoSECOlogoSoutheasternCommunityOwnersSymposiumLogoGeogeAllenSpencerRoaneTomLackeyMHProNewsMasthead

 

Tony…as I think you know, it’s ALWAYS been my position that lease option and rent to own are illegal if they are a “workaround” for chattel financing, which is what most such schemes are…” – MH Industry attorney, not an association exec, in off-the-record comment about his legal perspective about the issue that follows.

 

George F. (F?) Allen has protested the use of the quote above to MHProNews from a non-association industry attorney who wanted to remain anonymous.

Perhaps Allen doesn’t honor off-the-record, but we do.  Beyond honoring the pledge of protecting a source, is an attorney’s name even necessary? Arguably, not when the New York State Attorney General has successfully sued and forced about 100 manufactured home communities and their owners to settle their own rent-to-own cases.

That’s a nettlesome fact for Allen and company, see the NY AG press release to MHProNews, linked here.

 

AGUnderwoodAnnouncesMajorSettlementWithManufacuredHomeParkOwnesToReformRentToOwnFollowingAGIndustryWideInvestigationMHProNews

The issues are many, but let’s simplify some of them to these bullets.

 

  • Allen, Roane, and Lackey are all ‘leaders’ in SECO – the Southeastern Community Owners Symposium.
  • All three of the above fellows have drawn negative mainstream media attention for the use, or defense of the use, of ‘rent to own,’ ‘lease purchase options,’ ‘contract for title,’ or other forms of arguably “disguised credit transactions.”
  • Allen, Roane, and Lackey have all personally earned money from ‘rent to own’ (RTO), ‘contract for title,’ ‘lease purchase options’ (LPO) – or whatever you went to call the modern version of a Lonnie Deal (see download, linked here).  What might have been lawful prior to the Safe Act, and the advent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is now deemed in the eyes of legal authorities as a “disguised credit transaction.” They are routinely seen as a form of predatory lending, and have reportedly harmed numerous consumers who trusted Lackey, and others.
  • You don’t have to look beyond the NY AG Case against for proof, do you? If larger manufactured home community (MHC) operations could not make this work in a legitimate fashion, per the NY AG, are industry independents really going to believe that Allen, Roane, Lackey and SECO know some trick that the large portfolio operators attorneys didn’t discover?
  • Perhaps to protect their own revenue stream and reputations, Allen and Roane defended and/or refused to condemn Lackey.
  • And over the course of several years, hundreds of manufactured home community owners have trusted Allen’s and Roane’s respective Schticks. How many ticking time bombs await?
  • Can you imagine the glee a consolidator might feel, if hundreds of more communities hit the market at a depressed price, due to bad advice taught at SECO and/or by Allen?
  • Allen likes to do magic tricks to entertain his audience. Let’s see what rabbit Allen tries to pull out of a hat to distract his readers and students from the cold hard facts that the NY AGs cases exemplified.
  • But the risks to consumers and independent manufactured home professionals arguably doesn’t stop with problematic RTO or LPO contracts for title. Because they have sponsors and often ‘big name’ supporters. Among them? Joe Stegmayer, who stepped down from Cavco leadership under a SECO Investigation cloud, but who has stayed on as MHI Chairman. Beautiful.
  • Stegmayer graced Allen’s ‘roundtable’ stage, giving each other some measures of ‘respectability.’
  • Fleetwood, a division of Cavco, has given SECO support too. So has MHVillage, and others. Will they demand indemnification for the so-called education that has been taught?
  • But has anyone asked what the liability and exposure are for those who sponsor so-called education that is flawed and risky at best, or illegal at worst?
  • What will that costly MHM certificate Allen sells mean to outsiders, if Allen, Roane, and Lackey end up in more media and/or legal hot water?

 

Ironically, it is Allen who volunteered or was deputized by MHI supporters to call for a boycott of this publication. That can be antitrust trigger. How ironically hypocritical.  See evidence of that and more at the download, linked here.

Besides years of arguable jealousy by Allen over our many-times-larger professional audience, is the fact that MHProNews has previously warned industry communities and retailers about the potential risks from using disguised credit transactions in today’s legal and regulatory environment.  Not to be overlooked are ties with MHI…

 

 

MHI Ties?

Where is MHI on this? A check of their website would suggest, silent. Rather akin to their silence on other issues – like the slow monopolization of the industry – that might be useful or importance?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoDIsguisedCreditTransactionMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

Allen, Roane, and Lackey can be viewed as the part time critics, and de facto part time supporters of MHI and their ‘big boy’ backers. Don’t ask for consistency from Allen, because you won’t likely find it, save in his arguably hypocritical inconsistency.

But the warning to industry pros is once more given. Allen, Roane, Lackey, and SECO are the typical stew of seemingly useful, but also problematic education. MH Industry

Professionals, hungry for educational opportunities, turns to them in desperation, and they find smiling carnival barkers.

State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

A entertaining and feel good blathering isn’t the same as genuine, legally sound, knowledge.

Just read the list of questions, linked here, put to George F. (F?) Allen and his cronies, and Allen’s non-answers.

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefame6DsMastheadCommentaryManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Caveat emptor. Let the buyer of such education beware. But sponsors, beware too. Because some legal authorities tell us that sponsors of legally risky education may have liability too.

In closing this column, let’s state the obvious. We are not the New York Times or Fox News. We do business development and other expert services to manufactured housing, not just publishing.

Our form of trade journalism is different than what mainstream journalists do.

But no serious person in our industry has disputed the facts, documents, evidence, and concerns we’ve raised. Allen, despite his roar and bluster, was given the chance to disprove a single claim. He hurled invectives instead. Again, the give and take are linked here, and included several individuals in BCCs on both sides.

One catches flak only when over the target. One of numerous examples is the target below.   The axis hates it, because its’ their own words, how do they argue against their own words? Allen and company have the same problem.

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

Be it the three stooges, or the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, their allies and surrogates, our catching flak is a badge of honor, given the sources.

From the smallest to the biggest firms in our industry logon daily to MHProNews by the thousands. They find the content relevant and useful. As an MHI member executive said in the quote below, what we may have periodic typos, but we make a logical case.

 

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuoteMastheadMHProNews

 

That’s what vexes the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis. And it is nettlesome to the three stooges whose purportedly ‘educational’ efforts more closely resembles scams. Sad. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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

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

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

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

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Related References:

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

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

September 11th, 2018 No comments

 

NationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssocLogoMHActionLogoMastheadManufacturedHomeCommentaryMHProNews600x315

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Decisions, Decisions…

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

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

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

The industry often opposes these.

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

 

With the Table Set Above…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMar

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Compare – and Decide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Trump has been:

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

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

UCDavisUnitedStatesPovertyRateSince1959to2015DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

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

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

Superficial thinking has arguably gotten:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

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