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Profits, Understanding Human Events, and Manufactured Housing

July 7th, 2018 No comments

 

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When in the course of human events...”

 

Day by day, people make life-changing decisions. Those choices can be for good or ill.

A fact without context may have little discernible meaning. To properly understand the present, or any moment in time, one must understand what occurred previously. 

In the famous George Orwell’s dark novel, 1984, control of information – including historical – was part of how “Big Brother” could pivot his alliances between otherwise ‘competing’ factions.

Orwell used fiction to brilliantly shed light on the human condition. 

 

Profitable History 

History could be profitably oversimplified to the following notion.  

History is a series of events describing how this or that ambitious person or group tries to dominate, manipulate or oppress others. That domination in turn creates a desire for freedom among those being manipulated, disadvantaged or controlled. 

When in the course of human events…” are the first words in the Declaration of Independence. The founders were educated men who knew history, business, philosophy, science, and religion. 

America’s founding founders were the opposite of socialists.  They were fighting against economic, political, and legal oppression. They did so for moral, and religious reasons.

 

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The report on this topic, along with others mentioned in the body of this article, are found under related resources, at the end of this column.

 

Not What It Seems

Because of competing interests, stories – narratives – are told that spin, twist or outright lie about some fact, person, history, or group.  

The brilliant G.K. Chesterton was spot on in saying, “What is wrong is that we don’t ask what is right.”

It was sheer genius when the venerable Fulton Sheen – with his keen insights into human nature – caused him to observe that people can be tempted to do what is right, just as we can be tempted into doing what’s wrong. 

It’s a stretch to say that a brighter future for America depends upon a wider acceptance of manufactured homes. But a broader understanding and embracing of manufactured homes would demonstrably yield more wealth for people of modest means, and all others too.  Is there evidence or proof for that claim?

Yes, and it’s been produced over the years by educated, third-party researchers. 

Greater personal net worth for the working and middle class would in turn make America as a whole a more prosperous, and freer people.  Wealth in all of its forms – properly understood – breeds more wealth.  Wealth isn’t a zero sum game, as some have been mislead into believing. 

We must not forget that manufactured homes – along with the mobile homes that were built before the federal manufactured housing standards began on June 15, 1976 – were a working-class option praised by American presidents. The subsidized housing system of the last 50 years is a demonstrable failure. It can never keep up with the demands, and never has. 

In contrast to subsidized housing, manufactured homes are uniquely positioned today to serve the needs of people on virtually all rungs of the economic ladder. 

But we must also embrace the reality that millionaires, the famous, and even some billionaires have owned a manufactured home they called their own home.  That fact often opens minds, and thus boosts manufactured housing’s acceptance, and appeal. 

Opening minds is at the heart of what must happen in America.  Opening minds must occur on every level of society, including that of the good news, which   includes how manufactured homes have and can support the American Dream. 

 

GreenLeafInsideLightBulbProfitsMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe American Dream – The Profitable Battle Over Housing, Freedom, and Understanding  

The American Dream was never about mere shelter, or “housing.”  

Rentals or subsidized housing wasn’t what the rebels of 1776 fought, bled, and died for during their era.  The very notion would have been widely rejected then, and rightly so.

Today, we should in stages remove subsidized housing from the government’s practices and then, it’s lexicon of failed socialized efforts. 

Private ownership of housing is to be preferred as a public policy.  Who says? Harvard, and several other third-party researchers.  

So, the American rebels wanted to be secure in their persons, properties, papers, and possessions.  They wanted no taxation or regulation without just representation.  They wanted a republic, not a democracy, dictatorship or monarchy.  

When one reads the Declaration of Independence in the context of history, it’s a brilliant document. Ditto the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

 

Compromise…

The founders of the U.S. made complex compromises. A black or Native American might understandably feel a level of pain over some concepts in those documents. But we must be mindful, as dark-skinned immigrant Dinesh D’Souza reminds us, that whites were indentured servants too. Servitude isn’t only a racial issue. Oppression in all of its forms plays a sad part in all of human history.   

The quest for freedom is part of that puzzling mosaic of history, which is best understood as the struggle of some seeking domination over others. That domination takes many forms.  That thirst for domination in turn sparks the desire for freedom.  Often, as we all know from experience, we don’t realize some good thing that what we have, until we’re losing or have lost it. 

So it’s a poisonous fallacy to say that the U.S. Constitution was purely racist. Because blacks owned other blacks – sad, but true – and white’s made chattel of other whites for long periods of time. Conquest is color blind, and so is the thirst for freedom. Freedom is won or lost in degrees, and over time. 

Race hustlers should be denounced as manipulative, just as certain billionaires seek to rig the system for their own benefit and enrichment today. Socialists may be sincere, but they are misguided.  The socialist system is failing before our eyes in Venezuela, in just a decade. It failed in Cuba. The Chinese Communists, and the Soviet Russians abandoned socialism too. 

Why should Americans buy into propaganda that’s so blatantly false? 

Then why are some billionaires peddling dressed up variations of socialism to Americans today? 

Because socialism requires big government.  Big government means power over people.  That kind of power is a path to taking the wealth of others, by misusing government.  Government is a devious way to obtaining money that ought to be sought by honest work. Here’s another historic tip. The Nazi’s weren’t right wingers.  They were “National Socialists” = Nazi. There are so many lies and half-truths being spun today by the manipulators that it’s disgraceful. That’s why ignorance of history, economics, morality, or politics is dangerous.

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Celebrating Success

We celebrate honest success here, and are for the rights “endowed by our Creator” enshrined in the principles of Life, Liberty, and that Pursuit of Happiness;” which in the earlier draft of the Declaration read “Life, Liberty, and Property.”

Those who peddle:

  • Socialism,
  • Racial hatred of any kind,
  • Universal Basic Income,
  • Sexual divisions,
  • “Free” college,
  • “Free” health care,
  • Subsidized housing,
  • Higher taxes,
  • More regulations,

are arguably either ignorant, misguided, manipulative or some combination of those three.

People are never free who are entirely dependent upon others.  

The revolution of 1776 was controversial even in the 13 colonies.  Those colonies declared themselves to be a confederation of independent states. George Washington and the others had a price on their heads, and a bulls eye too.  Benedict Arnold wasn’t alone. America was divided, then and now.  Some fought for the British crown, just as some fight today for the monopolistic and socialistic. The reasons then and now are similar. Greed. Lust for power. The desire to control the lives of others.

Understanding the principles of human nature, and the principles of history are necessary for Americans to reclaim our national vision.  Affordable home ownership is part of that American Dream.

 

Homeownership  

A man’s home is his castle,” wasn’t mere sentimentality. The right to own property – including one’s home – and to be secure in one’s person, property (think home), papers, possessions, and beliefs were at the core of the 1776 revolt. Note that the 10 Commandments protected private property, and the truth. 

The American revolution was also about no taxation or regulation without just representation. It was about establishing laws that protected rights, even the rights of minorities against the potential of mob rule from manipulated majorities.

We’ve got a Republic, at least on paper, not a democracy.  

But a new revolt, which could be peaceful, is arguably needed today. That revolution – and a counter-revolution – are already underway.

That revolution of the American Dream begins with understanding realities vs. popularized fictions, lies or half-truths.  

Zoning” and other forms of land-use control are among those structures that are potentially as oppressive as what the founders rebelled against in 1776.  Note that 200 year span between the revolution, and the dawn of the manufactured housing era?

Manipulations of the American system in turn caused affordable housing shortages in places throughout the nation. Who says? A growing body of researchers, that have been cited for years here on MHProNews, or on MHLivingNews. Why don’t those folks in Arlington, VA routinely cite those same third-party sources?  Why do they turn instead to their own, weaponized data and claims?

 

$2 Trillion Annually

Problematic zoning and land use, say university-level researchers, costs America an estimated $2 trillion dollars a year in lost GDP.

$2 trillion dollars a year is roughly equal to $6,000 per every many woman and child. 

Rephrased, for a household of 4 people, it would be like adding some $24,000 per year in earnings.

That’s life changing for tens of millions, and would be far more effective than the phony higher minimum wage, public assistance programs, or other enslaving handouts that some socialistic-minded wags advocate.  Those truly need have always been cared for in America. We didn’t need big brother government to care for people in need.

When Americans are kept from understanding and embracing manufactured homes – per the logic and reasoning that flows from third-party researchers from places like Harvard – it’s costly to all Americans.

But ignorance and rejection of the truth about manufactured housing is especially costly to those whose only home ownership chance may be a manufactured home. 

ManTouchingLightBulbMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Wheat and Chaff 

There’s an absolute necessity to seek the truth, regardless of its source. That in turn requires a “wheat and chaff” approach that discerns what is real – from what is problematic. Often, common thoughts are nevertheless untrue. A great example is a manufactured home, which many misunderstand, because they believe the common prejudice, vs. the honest, demonstrable reality.  

We may disagree with this or that political party or organization on a range of issues.  But a group or person may still hold a position which is demonstrably wise, good, and true. Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) has done some fine research, but also hold some problematic socialist-tainted views. They are keenly involved in MHVille, and are an example of the need for a wheat and chaff approach. They are also an example of why engagement is a wise course of action. Critiques properly understood aren’t an attack.  Critiques are a call for intelligent debate, discussion, and mutual learning.

Former Clinton adviser and Democratic strategist Doug Schoen has said that the Democratic Party can’t be a party of redistribution of wealth. Smart.  

Schoen sees the hard left push in his party as embracing socialism, and he rejects it. Democrat Alan Dershowitz sees the harm being caused by weaponizing parts of the government in an attempt to illegitimately unseat a duly elected president.  

You or I may not trust the political, religious or economic perspective of some group or person.  But that doesn’t keep us from considering a specific truth that another may offer.  

So, for example. Much of what Democrats as a party are embracing today in the way of socialism and supposedly “free stuff” – which obviously someone must pay for – are demonstrably nonsense. They are false promises, designed to manipulatively attract, and trap millions of minds. 

But the Democrats were arguably smart to put up a policy position that calls for stronger controls over monopolistic forces in America. On that point, this Masthead writer agrees with them. That’s another example of separating the wheat from the chaff.

Candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump agreed on this. The “System is Rigged.” That much is true. 

And that rigged system is keeping millions from being more free by having their right to choose a manufactured home limited or removed.

Yet, that right to choose a manufactured home is essentially codified in federal law, in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, found in the enhanced preemption clause. That’s how zoning and other land-use regulations, which are strangling opportunities for millions to own a manufactured home, can be defeated, just by applying existing federal law.

The reward for doing so is a society that researchers say would produce $2 trillion dollars more a year in GDP. That in turn would in time end the need for subsidized housing, and other well-indented – but nevertheless misguided – ‘entitlement programs.’ 

We editorially oppose socialists and monopolistic manipulators.  It is interesting to note that those billionaires often publicly claim to support leftist candidates. We oppose them, whether their headquarters are in Omaha or Silicon Valley, etc.

There are some billionaires who are no doubt just fine, so its not the rich that are being blindly opposed.  But rather, it’s those who have rigged the system against the rights of “We, the People.” It’s a matter of principle, based upon an understanding of economic, legal, political, and historical forces.

There are more than one strategic moats which threaten our Republic from within.  That’s why the fictional movie Network was as brilliant a look at reality as was George Orwell’s 1984. 

 HistorySeriesEventsDescribingAmbitiousTriesDominateManipulateOppressOthersThatCreatesDesireAmongFreedomAmongThoseBeingManipulatedDisadvantagedControlledLATonyKovach

 

Manufactured Home “Choice”

Manufactured Home Choice” or the “Manufactured Home Option” must become a factually accurate, evidenced based battle cry that third-party researchers logic says could create trillions in more wealth and GDP productivity for the USA.  

That would yield thousands of new millionaires, and some new billionaires. They should embrace the long-term vision to make that manufactured home option part of the reality of the “American Dream. 

That’s the Profitable Manufactured Housing Revolution.

That can be done without creating a monopoly. 

If you’re among those who’ve followed our periodic series of reports on issues – past and present – that could make manufactured housing greater than ever, you aren’t alone.  If you’ve missed them, some are linked below, as references for greater insight on this essay.

 

Tim, Kevin, Joe, Keith, David, Ross, Mike, Sam…

MH professionals named Tim, Kevin, Joe, Keith, Ross, David, Ross, Mike, Sam, and a host of others are – per our sources – following those reports, articles, and commentary like this on MHProNews.  When they follow it, that’s a good reason for others in MHVille to do the same, isn’t it?  

They, per the evidence, may or may not agree with the goals behind what we publish. What is our goal?  To expand opportunities made possible by a broad use of manufactured homes, promoted in an honest, sustainable, and honorable fashion.  

As an example of those that Marty Lavin calls the big boys” – and how they react to what is published on MHProNews is this.

We are told by sources in and out of their Arlington based network that a gent named Tim is “obsessed” with what we publish. 

Why?

If this was a place online for the angry or mad, it would soon be devoid of readers.

But instead, third-party reports reveal a growing audience, which includes: 

  • International investors,
  • public officials,
  • advocates,
  • media,
  • researchers,
  • educated people across the left-right divide,

along with thousands of manufactured and factory-built home industry professionals.  

They come each day by the thousands to the Daily Business News and/or to other parts of MHProNews. 

Some who initially misunderstood – or even strongly opposed – our exposés like Smoking Gun 3 and other reports have-or-are becoming convinced by the evidence presented.

Facts in context matter. 

Some monopolistic minds sought to marginalize or kill-off, we’re told, this pro-industry, pro-growth Trade Media platform – along with our sister-site, MHLivingNews.com – which also begs the question, “Why?” 

George Orwell, the founders, or other freedom-loving thinkers and doers throughout history hold the answer. 

Ignorance is Strength,” was a slogan “Big Brother” used in Orwell’s 1984. If someone can keep you ignorant of your rights or opportunities – in the problematic world-view of monopolistic or socialistic dominators – that allows them to profit or benefit.

The tragic irony is this.

There is arguably more profit without the monopolistic strategic Moat than with it. Is there evidence for that claim?

Sure.  Just look at MHVille when there were more independent producers, vs. the scarcity of independents today for proof.

There’s more wealth to be earned by making America and Manufactured Housing Greater than ever, than there is by robbing people of opportunities though pressures, ignorance, rigged systems or false promises. 

We have always celebrated honest success on MHProNews. 

We oppose on principle monopolistic or any other form of economic, moral, and political oppression as Un-American. 

At the end of the day, it’s the truth that sets people free. Who says?  How about a wise Jewish rebel who preached a gospel that even centuries later motivated the 1776 founders who put their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line, when they began with those timeless words…

When in the course of human events…”

TheManufacturedHousingRevolutionMastheadDailyBsuinessNewsMHProNews

Knowledge, not ignorance, is the beginning of freedom.  

ItsTheCivilRightsIssueOfOurTimeMHLivingNewsDeadwood5StateConventionManufacturedHomesMHProNewsLATonyKovach

Education, not spin or hype, are a fundamental part of the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

 

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

It’s all about the education of our fellows that can make this manufactured home industry an ever-more vital part of the American Dream of homeownership.

The proof is there for those who are willing to explore the evidence. Can we get an “Amen?” ##  (News, historic, commentary, analysis.)

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

Related Reports are below…

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach, publisher, consultant, history buff, and manufactured housing industry expert.

Connect on LinkedIn.  For 2x weekly emailed headline news, click here.

 

 

 

Related Reports:

Manufactured Home Shipments, State by State Breakdown, May 2018 Official HUD Data

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

Time Travelers, and the Future of American Homes

 

Deadwood, the Manufactured Housing Revolution, and You

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

“Challenges to Obtaining Manufactured Home Financing,” Urban Institute Report Fact Check, Analysis

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

 

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

Achieving the American Dream, with Quality, Appealing, Affordable Home Ownership

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

Weather Expert’s Surprising, Bombshell Statement on Tornado Deaths and Affordable Manufactured Homes

Researchers Shake Up American Dream? Rent vs. Buy, Ken Johnson, Florida Atlantic University, Exclusive to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

“Death by Government,” Fascism, Communism, Socialism, ‘Big Brother,’ per Williams, Rummel and Owens

 

Publisher Rebuked! Doubting Doctor, Skeptic Stunned!

 

Manufactured Housing’s Declaration of Independence

July 4th, 2014 No comments

Our focus for this column will be facts, opportunities and challenges, so if you want some 4th of July weekend inspiration, you'll find that with:

Let's press onto some eye-opening insights.

Just the Facts

> The total number of new RVs expected to be sold in 2014 is 335,000 units, which would be the highest total since 2007. · In 2013, the RV industry shipped 321,127 units (RVIA).

> Total number of autos and light truck sales in the U.S. for 2013 increased 8% year over year to some 15.6 millions units (Zacks).

>  in 2013, 428,000 new single family homes were sold (CNBC).

> Sales of existing homes are relevant to MH industry professionals too.

statista-com-stats-u_s_existing-home-sales-2005-2012-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-.png

CNBC reported that the average median price for homes sold in the U.S. in 2012 was $198,000. Some of the stats and the info used for the chart shown – courtesy of Statistica – naturally originated from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

NAHB's Chairman reported that the continued surge in multi-family housing is what is pumped up the new construction past 1 million units annually; single family home-starts remains flat.

Per the NAHB, “The flat single-family data confirm our latest surveys, which show that single-family builders remain concerned that tight credit availability and uncertain economic conditions are keeping potential buyers on the sidelines,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “However, demand for apartment construction still remains high.”

What do such Facts Suggest?

When you think about the

  • cost of a new car or light truck,
  • the significantly higher cost per square foot for RVs (a luxury item) than manufactured homes (housing is a necessity),
  • the fact that we can provide a manufactured home on a lot for less total monthly than apartments,
  • that the average new manufactured home is well under the cost of resale (existing) homes,
  • and that MHs are about ½ the cost of conventional home building, per the U.S. Census Bureau,

how can we justify the fact that manufactured housing topped out in 2013 at 60,000 total new homes?

manufactured-housing-mobile-home-shipments-graph-chart-calculatedrisk-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

We hear MHI tell our elected officials – quite rightly – that we've averaged some 21% of all housing starts in the past 20 years. This chart – courtesy of CalculatedRisk – should remind us that we did far, far better for the vast majority of our history than we are doing in recent years.

Room for Growth!

Sam Zell told that packed room of manufactured housing professionals in Chicago last year, “When everyone is going rightlook left."

Everyone heard, but only 200 where present and of those, how many truly got the implication of what Sam Zell said at the gut and head level?

We hear leaders in various sectors of our industry suggesting we should be happy with 10-15% growth a year. Sure, I cheer that growth over the steep decline that took us to just under 50,000 units when we bottomed out 4 years ago. But let me challenge you, your colleagues and all to think BIGGER.

The facts above suggest what is self evident. We have room for growth, lots of opportunities in a trillion dollar annual U.S. housing market.

light-bulb-off-man-trapped-thinking-credit=flickercc-swarno-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

Don't let you or your team's light go dark,
don't get trapped in self-limiting thinking.

What has to happen?

  • We all routinely need a mind-opening experience. It is too easy to set self-limiting goals.
  • We need to rouse ourselves from the status quo, and open our eyes to the true MH potential.
  • Leaders from publicly traded companies have certain constraints they must adhere to in their projections, etc.. Association leaders will usually reflect what their executive committee members say. I get that, you should too. But the vast majority of professionals in our industry don't have such limits placed on their speech, much less on what we think or do.
  • Bottom Line, we have room for growth, lots of it.
  • Other industries invest far more in recruiting, training and motivating their team than we tend to see in manufactured housing. An apartment complex is less 'complex' to run than a manufactured home community, but we see many operations pay their people less in MHCs than their counterparts would earn in multi-family housing. This isn't just about pay, either, I've taken low paid workers and by a combination of education and motivation shown them how to way outperform their peers. They do enhanced work with great pride! For many, yes, the pay-check is needed and important, but the pride of accomplishment is what is missing for so many today.

We on staff at MHProNews are certainly NOT the only forward-thinkers in our industry. We routinely showcase pros from various aspects that touch us professionally, for the very purpose of letting people see that we can do better. Scott Roberts told us how he does it, dozens of others in their respective sectors who lead are found linked here. They can do it, so you can too.

But for the tiny group of naysayers out there, let me remind them that yours truly has personally,

  • closed as many as 15 MH sales in a month (at retail),
  • my sales center hit the top 1% in the U.S. before it was sold (and that was in a depressed market where 80% failed),

  • managed and grew bottom-line results in 7 to 17 previously struggling MHCs,
  • did remarketing on repos for lenders that generated as many as 50 sales from a single location in month, and have commendations for enhancing recovery (they were NOT homes that were given away!),
  • marketed locations that closed as many as 75 contracts (yes, during this recent and deep down turn) in a 90 day period of time.

The point is not to brag, but to say that if others can do, if a guy like me can lead others to do it, you and your team can do too!

Garbage In, Garbage Out

With a bit of gray showing above, I confess to recalling punch-card computers and programmers who said, “GIGO,” which meant garbage in, garbage out.

If we let people feed on garbage training (or no training) or self-limiting thinking, are we surprised when they produce limited results? Training is not just how to fill out forms and paper work! Training is how to engage a good credit or cash customer in a fashion they WANT to be engaged, and will WANT to buy from you once they've been treated in a professional and user friendly manner.

I've worked with and witnessed motivated pros who get good training, willing to do what it takes rather than give excuses, and who don't manipulate a 'get me done' into buying, but rather know how to show, tell and sell a home to a cash or credit qualified home buyer!

The photo of the banner below was taken by your scribe. The location actually looked GOOD. The home looked FINE. So why are they advertising for the 'get me done' customer? Don't they know that you tend to get what you ask for, so why not ask for the good credit or cash buyer to come, in ways those potential clients appreciate and will respond to favorably?

The get me done buyer will walk in the door anyway.

less-than-perfect-credit-banner_on_side_of_manufactured_home-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

So why are so many advertising for the bottom portion of the credit spectrum in the housing pie? There are more good credit customers than bad ones!  That too is self-limiting and self-defeating.

FICO Score Facts

Credit Report 101 – who created the FICO charts shown – reports that “the median FICO score which is currently 723 and has remained exactly the same many years in a row…”

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This is the percentage in the U.S. that falls into each of the FICO score brackets as shown.

average-us-fico-scores-courtesty=creditreport101-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

Remember, “median” and “average” are not the same, they are terms used to reflect the same data as seen from different perspectives. When you look at the range of credit scores, the average is the mid-point of the numbers, but the median reflects the actual break down of credit scores and measures that numbers' “median” (mean) point.

But however you look at the data, what we routinely see is that retailers and communities are attracting far more applicants who are in the bottom half of the nation, rather than the top half. The problem is partially a marketing and image one, but it is also a sales training and management issue too.

When we work with an industry client, we look at the local market numbers for the retailer or MH Community in question. Based on facts, we can estimate how many are moving and thus seeking a home during a typical month.

It is stunning for clients to see that in almost any market, there are many times more than enough people moving in any given month to fill all the vacancies in any MHC property, or to sell-out their inventory many times over at their retail center.

spark-plug=wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-The Manufactured Housing Independence Day Call to Action

Success starts in the mind, and flows from proper information, proper motivation, providing the right resources and inputs to yield the desired outcome. When Best Buy takes two weeks to train someone before they talk to a customer, or when a corporate Holiday Inn takes two weeks to train someone who will work the front desk, why is it so hard for an owner or executive to see the need to invest at least a few days initially in training a new team member, even if they are 'experienced?'

Then, why do we see so many often fail to provide ongoing training? What sports franchise or college team fails to practice daily, before and during their 'season?'

Start your team daily with reading!

You must read and watch worthwhile videos, and they must too. Maybe you begin by vetting what you think will make the most sense to them, but don't limit them either! Once people get 'hooked on learning,' and hooked on performing, it is addictive!

If you aren't on our twice weekly email list, and all your staff aren't too, sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/subscribe

Last month we experienced a record 2 million page views here on MHProNews.com. The 9 month average from through April was 1.25 million page views. We hit 1.5 million in May, before this new June record. We're seeing some 5000 visitors like you daily, about 8 page views average per visitor. That's exciting, but it is also still just scratching the surface of what we as owners, executives, managers, professionals or collectively as an industry that we can do.

Feed the Mind! Invest in your people and challenge your team! Get involved at your association. If there is apathy in your organization, do what you can to be the spark plug.

Manufactured home sales are recovering. Factory-built homes are the future of U.S. housing.

But it may well be an outsider, a new comer that comes in and rocks your MH world to wake some up. It may take another wake up call to rouse those who settle for serving only the poor or damaged credit customer (they deserve a nice home they can afford too, but let's not build our business models on damaged credit buyers).

If you are a seasoned pro, you ought to have the advantage! But you also have to be willing to do what Zig Ziglar called, the “Check up from the Neck Up!” Our readers and writers give me that check up from the neck up routinely. My thinking evolves in working with clients and readers, for which I'm truly grateful. So I'm not giving advice I'm unwilling to take myself.

Closing Time…

Let's close on a few notes. Let's highlight Dennis Hill this month, because there is a man with a tremendous history of success. But when faced with the cancellation of the Louisville Show in 2010, Dennis was willing to reinvent part of their marketing and event planning in order to make the show's come-back in 2011 a success. Everyone in the mix made a difference, it is never about ONE person alone, as Dennis himself says.

But Dennis is an inspiring role model for me and all of us. Dennis Hill's video interview is linked here.

A Cup (err glass) of Beer with...Barry Cole, is off to a strong start. No wonder! Like Ken Haynes fine article, Drawn Quarters, both have a download that is literally historic, and points out something that MMHF Chairman Ron Thomas Sr. talked about in his video.

All of those above, the Jim Clayton interview and more remind us how we used to sell more homes, how we got there, and thus suggest one of the possible ways how we can do it again today and in the future.

All of our July articles are linked here, and a new Industry in Focus report on financing is linked here.

Please. Declare YOUR independence from self-limiting thoughts, words and deeds. Reading and viewing are a start, but then commit to implementing the deeds. Don't be afraid to stretch. Don't be afraid to fail and fail, because initial failures often lead to successes. Who says? MH Billionaire Jim Clayton.

The irony of a declaration of independence is that we need and must depend on each other.

The founders didn't fight a bunch of solo battles! They worked together for the common good. They never got everyone to join in, that isn't human nature. We only need 'enough,' and those who 'get it' and are motivated to 'do it' to make the change.

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We are open to reader thoughts on this subject, of course. We'll share thoughts – beyond the information and inspiration and innovation – that is needed, in the days ahead.

We are growing, we are advancing, but let's not limit ourselves to settling for crumbs when the trillion dollar housing industry is waiting for manufactured housing to wake up and take charge! Happy 4th. ##

(Image credits as shown on each image file name, including FlickrCreativeCommons, WikiCommons and MHProNews.)

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Dodd-Frank and the CFPB: a Government That’s Big Enough?

June 25th, 2014 No comments

Two news items relating to the CFPB hit back-to-back recently. As we are approaching the 4th of July, the irony of this struck me and should strike you or anyone else who cares about having a safe and free society, regardless of a person's politics.

Let's share two quick thoughts that tee up the issue.

First, America was founded by immigrants who risked much to come here for political, social, religious, personal and economic freedom. The revolution against England was fought to protect the life, liberty and property of "we, the people" from unjust government incursion. The entire concept of constitutional government is precisely to limit government power, not people. The founders believed that one's own government was the greatest risk, but they also wanted a restrained government to do certain functions that likewise were to protect the life, liberty and property (think income, assets, etc.) of the people.

Next, it worth mentioning that in state such as Texas, their industry regulator – Joe Garcia from the TDHCA – and the TxMHA have a good working relationship. Is there a role for reasonable regulation? One that is fair and balanced for consumers, business and all involved? Many readers say, "Sure," again within the notion that such laws and regulations ought to protect life, liberty and property to the highest degree possible.

But just as “the power to tax is the power to destroy” Chief Justice John Marshall – so too may the power to over-regulate be destructive too.

It wasn't Thomas Jefferson or Barry Goldwater who said (as some mistakenly cite) the quote below, but President Gerald R. Ford during a joint session of Congress, who stated:

They know that the government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also
big enough to take from you everything that you have.”

government--that-is-big-enough-to-give-you-everything-you-want-is-also-big-enough-to-take-away-everything-you-have-president-gerald-r-ford-wikicommon(c)2014-mhpronews-com-

I'm from the CFPB and I'm here to help

Against that backdrop, concerned messages came in – not for publication – from industry pros – some shocked, others furious – at the cease and desist (C&D) rule promulgated by the CFPB.

cfpb-pseudo-logo-credit-plus1properties-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-comBarbara S. Mishkin posted on June 18th, 2014 in CFPB Enforcement the following:

In a notice published in today’s Federal Register, the CFPB has announced that it has adopted its interim final rule on temporary cease-and-desist orders (C&Ds) without change. The final rule takes effect on July 18, 2014.

The CFPB is authorized to issue temporary C&Ds under Section 1053(c) of Dodd-Frank. That provision authorizes a temporary C&D as an adjunct to a cease-and-desist proceeding brought under Section 1053 against a covered person or service provider. A temporary C&D is effective immediately upon service and remains in effect unless modified or terminated administratively by the CFPB or set aside on judicial review.”

What does this mean? That the CFPB can shut you down immediately, by serving the “C&D.” What happened to due process under the law, as safeguarded by our Constitution?

Imagine if YOU or your operation got a C&D from the CFPB. You could be effectively put out of business, and then would have to fight big brother with their huge war chest, in order to change that outcome.

But that's not all.

No Safe Harbor?

Ari Karen in National Mortgage News wrote,

We already knew that the safe harbor for qualified mortgage loans did not protect lenders from common law and statutory claims that predated the ability to repay laws. In other words, those liabilities that existed prior to ATR laws continued to apply to QM loans. However, lenders believed that by originating QM loans they were protected from ATR claims. After last week, that may not be true.”

Aren't we seeing precisely the kinds of over-reach in federal authority the founding fathers resisted when framing the Declaration of Independence? Quoting:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

This is not a partisan issue, it is a freedom issue! Due process under law offers safeguards that an administrative ruling such as a C&D does not.

We must hope that Governor Bobby Jindal – and other similar thinkers – are correct in saying that we will soon witness an awakening as a result of these and other abuses against our Constitution.

Jim Clayton selected his words carefully, but he made it clear in his interview with us that this time around, it won't be so easy to correct the over-reach found in Dodd-Frank. As Jim said, crafters of the bill anticipated that a correction would come, and they deliberately made it difficult for Congress to regulate the CFPB or to change the law.

But that doesn't mean we should roll over and play dead. As Sam Zell said last year, we are strongly motivated to protect the property line. You and I, all should be no less motivated to safeguard our rights.

I want to point you back to Shawn Fuller's guest column, A Grassroots Call to Action. Now, more than ever, we need to band together as business professionals.

We need to do that in concert with our millions of home owners and residents, as former CFPB attorney, Bill Matchneer, said in a guest column.

Let's not forget what David Sterns, who served in the federal government and now heads up the Mortgage Bankers Association, told us how CFPB regulations are negatively impacting lending, which harms home sales, home values, the economy and so on. This is a good time to revisit his column, State of the Industry, Affordability is the key to Housing Recovery.

There is lots more we could talk about today, but the implications of these announcements are so serious, and it is occurring ever-more routinely in the U.S. government, that I want to focus your attention for today on these federal 'over-reach' issues. They will be tamed only by us pulling together.

the-power-to-tax-is-the-power-to-destory-chief-justice-john-marshall-image-wikicommons-(c)poster-mhpronews-com-lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-all-rights-reserved-

What follows is part of a longer quote, and frankly a shade out of context. But Thomas Jefferson warned of the consequences of failure of the American people to control certain institutions:

…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

The lady who taught our high school typing class had us drill on the following sentence:

Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country.”

Let's not lose sight of the need for HR 1779 or S. 1828, but let's also get to work on the broader forces that are driving the need for such bills in the first place. ##

(Image credits: WikiCommons, posters (c) 2014 Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC and CFPB spoof logo, Plus1Properties)

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Home of the Brave

May 28th, 2014 No comments

Three short topics today – the water's fine! – let's dive in and get started.

Home of The Brave

"…Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave? O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave…"

home-of-the-brave-does-that-star-masthead-mhpronews-com

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the summer in the U.S.A.. It is also the first of a trilogy of patriotic days to remember, followed by Flag Day on June 14 and the Fourth of July, which commemorates the Declaration of Independence.

In reflecting on the lyrics from the Star Spangled Banner, the clear ties to the American Dream of owning your own home struck me.

Which should brings us to the clear benefits we in the factory-built manufactured and modular home industry should be shouting from the rooftops.

Homes for the Brave, Safe Bet?

Let's agree that the safest bet is the one you have the most ability to influence.

homes-for-the-brave-credit-masthead-mhpronews-com

Games of chance like cards or roulette favor "the house." That's how those gleaming palaces like Caesars, the Venetian, Bellagio or others in Vegas or other gambling towns get paid and turn billions in profits.

The safest bet isn't the long, long odds for the Lotto either.

Rather, it's the bet on your own business or profession, where excellence can be delivered in a fashion that is then rewarded! You are the one who decides daily to provide that excellence for your clients, comrades, corporation and colleagues.

In a previous Masthead, we suggested that the miracle of teaming up was needed.

Let's look at a practical application of that concept.

safe-bet-credit-wikicommons-posted(c)2014-lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-

As an example.

What if every pro in our industry plunked down $10 each, with an estimated 200,000 professionals, we'd have $2,000,000 to launch a campaign to educate ourselves to better engage and to attract more of the public to a true appreciation of all that we offer.

That $2 million dollars would lead to billions of dollars in additional manufactured and modular home orders. Which would mean:

  • more job security for all true industry pros, starting on the factory floor and working though to ever aspect of our business.
  • Manufactured Home land lease communities would be fuller, so their values would rise.
  • Rising demand would boost values on existing manufactured homes.
  • Floor dues would move more robustly into association coffers, so they could do more.
  • Less subsidized housing would be needed, so any strain on local, state and federal budgets would be eased.
  • The multiplier economic effect would cascade through our economy, with more furniture, appliances, floor coverings, lawn mowers, etc, etc. being sold.

The point is we don't have to wait for the billionaires to do this. All that is needed is the miracle of teaming up.

More on this another time. Let's move on to topic two.

Park Models/RVs to Compete with HUD Code Manufactured Homes?

Your Masthead scribe was schooled recently by a number of state execs, and a legal mind or two on the importance of this topic.

Please see Jim Ayotte's thought provoking article, and decide NOW if you want to wait to see if this is “okay” as some think or harms us, as others do. Is this an issue we want to get in front of by calling your state, community and or national organizations to stop this in its tracks?

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/industryvoices/the-rv-industry-is-attempting-to-amend-the-hud-manufactured-housing-code/

We've had a number of PASSIONATE off the record comments on this, by phone and via email.

Please read Jim's thoughtful column. We will also have an article for you to read on this soon from MHI.

You know the drill. We Provide, You Decide ©.

A Red Hot – or is that Read Hot? ;-) – new June issue approaches!

Yes, you can still read all of the Featured Articles for May, but this weekend, watch for the Volume 5, #9 issue of MHProNews!

  • New, exclusive Video Interviews! (Sample prior ones linked here.)
  • New, legal experts sound off!
  • New, Manufactured Home Finance column and what many will find is a simpler and smarter way to navigate Dodd-Frank/CFPB and the steering issue!
  • New! Tyler on Marketing!
  • New, Eastern Ohio Home Show wrap up report!
  • Much, much, more including part two of our exclusive A Cup of Coffee with...Jim Clayton and A Cup of Coffee with…Ron Thomas, Sr., RV/MH Hall of Fame, Louisville Show and MMHF Chairman!

We expect no less than 5 articles from attorneys in June!

This legal topics will cover some HOT topics such as The Failure to Maintain (FTM) issue.

Let's be clear, we are not sensationalizing FTM. Rather, the hope is that an ounce of prevention is easier than the pound of cure.

We also think the articles on this topic should calm any nervous capital/investors who might otherwise come into manufactured housing.

Our regular bevy of quality marketing, sales and management subjects will also be showcased in June.

Please check in here this weekend for the full line up, and remember – while we switch new issues, part of the home page temporarily vanishes in that Featured Article module – but then returns soon thereafter with all the new ones!

Bonus!

We are rolling out our new and once more improved email news updates!  Yes, this matters to you, because timely information and knowledge are potential power in business.

No where else do you get anything like our industry-leading, twice weekly emailed updates, which mimic what you see on the e-Newsletter archive.

The new format will go out with our regular mid-week message. Your feedback is very much appreciated. We keep striving to improve to serve you better.

email_icon_wikicommons-posted-mhpronews-com

The time saving and information packed newsletter is the easiest way to keep up with the best of all that is happening in manufactured and modular housing. Sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe and make sure your team and colleagues are on the email list too.

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Join us this weekend for the start of our read, err…red hot June issue!  Thousands of pros like you logon DAILY here at MHProNews. Don't be the last to learn more, because being ahead of the curve allows you to earn more.

For all you who make, serve and sell the owners past, present and to come of Homes for the Brave, thanks for checking in and enough said for today. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Manufactured Housing’s Fairy Tales vs. Roaring Ahead

March 19th, 2014 5 comments

For all the noise being created from an office in DC and Indy, you'd think the famous 500 series race-cars were roaring; but they're not.

We will park that thought for now, and before looking at a "manufactured housing fairy tale," briefly survey what's truly advancing in our industry, including:

story-reading-kids-wikicommons-credit-masthead-blog-mhpronews.jpgNow, please gather up all the kids and young at heart, because it's story telling time...

Manufactured Housing's Fairy Tales

Thunder! Lightening! Hail and Rain!  All sorts of literary devices are used in story telling, and fairy tales are no exception.

Let's imagine below an upside down, all-hypothetical view "through the looking glass."

Imagine

Danny Ghorbani named MHI's Man of the Yearmanufactured-housing-institute-award-man-of-the-year-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com(1).jpg

Danny was named as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) 2014 Man of the Year as the crowning achievement for his years of successful negotiations on behalf of the manufactured housing industry. A list of Danny's accomplishment included, but are not limited to:

  • Successfully Lobbying the Senate Banking Committee on GSE reform by sending them a 30 page document that was delivered via FedEx.
  • Dismissing a lobbyist, and single-handedly lobbying the House on GSE reform, and shepherding the final form of the bill personally.
  • Addressing an extraordinary joint session of Congress, where his impassioned plea for manufactured housing was met by a standing ovation, followed by a call for an immediate voice vote that unanimously passed GSE reform, which includes all that his FedEx'd 30 page position paper called on.
  • The Presidential Motorcade raced down Pennsylvania Avenue, so President Obama could immediately sign into law the GSE reform documentdanny-ghorbani-president-obama-credit-wikicommons-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com Congress passed at Danny's prompting. The President took a smartphone selfie with Danny, to commemorate the event and thanked Mr. Ghorbani for the brilliant way he ended DC partisan gridlock.
  • HUD's secretary asked for the president to issue an executive order to change Pam Danner's title from career administrator to a non-career administrator of the HUD Manufactured Housing program, out of profound respect for the emailed missive (err, memorandum…) Danny had issued on the subject.
  • Pam Danner was instructed by the White House to give Mr Ghorbani carte blanche to fully implement every part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.
  • Pam Danner was also ordered by POTUS to make Danny the honorary head of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC), to suspend any of the rules and rubber stamp any request Mr. Ghorbani made.
  • All federal agencies were instructed to joyfully receive Mr. Ghorbani on any topic, any time.
  • MHI voted to reconstitute themselves into a strictly 'post-production association,' with every manufacturing member of MHI racing to pay their dues to Danny as the head of the reconstituted 'production association,' which Mr. Ghorbani has been calling for in many of his monthly columns for the past few years.

  • The Library of Congress asked the Journal  for copies of every article that Danny had ever published, to be framed, set in glass cases that were hermetically sealed and protected by armed guards! These were then ordered to be placed side by side with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
  • Danny ordered the producers of the movie Wayne's World  to re-edit the movie, to make he and George Allen the new stars, and to have everyone in the film fall on their faces as they chanted the words, "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"

  • George F. Allen, named as Danny's paid press agent, ordered all MH Park owner/operators in America to change their location names toking-george-allen-coba7-community-investor-blog-allen-letter-george-allen2-masthead-blog-mhpronews0com- include the words, "land-lease lifestyle community,"  to become direct-dues paying members of his COBA7 group, and to memorize the fabled "Ah Ha, Oh No" and other formulas he has preached (err…enlightened us with…) for years.
  • MHProNews was ordered to apologize for having 821 times more page views and outrageously more readership daily than Allen's blog has monthly, and was told to place Allen's weekly blog and Danny's periodic emailed missives (errr…memorandum…) to be the only 2 items shown on the MHProNews home page.
  • The NCC's Jenny Hodge begged George Allen to allow them to merge with Allen's International Networking Roundtable and COBA7.
  • Meanwhile the newly reconstituted post-production association witnessed Dick Jennison beseeching 'King for many-a-day' George Allen to become the President, Chancellor, Viceroy and His Excellency of the not-yet-renamed MHI as well as to simultaneously hold the Executive Vice Presidency of the NCC. Allen's first royal decree was to make every session at the next 5 years of the not-yet-renamed-MHI Congress and Expo to include himself, Danny Ghorbani and their buddies.
  • All the future Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Trade Shows were told to make sure that George himself approved how many Community Series Homes were to be displayed, and that no 'bigger boxes for bigger bucks' homes should ever be showcased without his personal OK. Naturally, the shows educational segments were to be managed by George, with Danny's implied imprimatur.
  • Industry lenders were told by President Obama to buy 500 credit score loans, backed by the Federal government, with 5% down, 30 yeardanny-ghorbani's-head-on-superman-cutout-mharr-ceo-manufatured-housing-pronews-masthead-blog-mhpronews terms and guaranteed credit approval, all of which could be waived in cases of hardship or the need for a no-doc deal. This move, Danny assured the nation, will take industry shipments to new highs in the 500,000+ units annually range. When asked about repos that would follow, Danny replied: “Please, don't worry about any of the repos that will come. Surely, the Treasury Department would find the money to cover those losses somehow! After all, we can always borrow the money from China.”  All nodded at the wisdom of these words.
  • In celebration of all that Danny has done for the Industry, the Journal renamed itself The MHARR Journal. The Allen Professional Letter also renamed itself, The Allen About Allen Letter, but we will Talk about Danny Ghorbani too and Send us your Check Letter. And since Mr. Allen likes abbreviations, TAAAbwDGtaSuyCL for short. Readers were instructed to focus on a column called 'Allen Knows Best' or AKB for short. Subscribers to the TAAAbwDGtaSuyCL climbed back over 300 for the first time in over 5 years.
  • Danny and George agreed to tie their right hands behind their respective backs, while using only their left hands to design new logos for the new production and post-production associations. Of course, the pair would use images of themselves, seated on royal thrones, atop the new logos, would name the new groups personally and…

…and then the fairy tale, imagination station, day-dream ended.

Fairy tale or Farce…

  • GSE reform has not passed. We'd love to see it happen! While this past Sunday's announcement was a hopeful step, with plenty of credit to share all around and that MHI was very much involved in; still, experts say that odds are this won't happen in 2014.
  • HR 1779 and S 1828 haven't failed, they are advancing faster than GSE reform and deserve the vocal support of and effort of all pros, which includes George and Danny, if they truly care about selling more homes, protecting communities, retailers and manufacturers.
  • The above might be funny as a make believe story, if it wasn't already such a farce…?'…

…on the serious side, in Manufactured Housing's Pogo, we shared the following quotable quote.

Isn’t it amazing how many thousands of peoples’ lives in this industry have been upended by the unwillingness of so few people to get along?”

When will we learn to deal with the underlying issues?

Your Feedback and Input

It is feedback from pros like you, the tips and insights from the movers and shakers to the mom-and-pops – all of whom provide us commentary that spans the range of opinions – that helps keep us grounded in reality here.

Thanks as always for reading and supporting the cause of manufactured housing industry advancement. That's our mission! That's our agenda! To share the facts, figures, tips, commentary, inspiration and insights that allow you and your team to know and grow.

See you here on the Masthead  blog this weekend and in Tunica next week. It is at shows like Tunica where we all gather to do the business that truly helps us to roar ahead.  ##

(Editor's Note: For those who want a preview of Tony's "Dominate Your Local Market" presentation for Tunica, please click here.)

(Image credits: WikiCommons, MHProNews)

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Musical 4th and the Manufactured Housing and Factory Built Home Industry

July 4th, 2010 No comments

Music has an amazing ability to subdue the mind, touch the heart and stir the soul.  There are reasons that great films all have great soundtracks.  There are also reasons why nation’s and their military have anthems and songs designed to motivate their young to fight bravely – and if need be – make the ultimate sacrifice.   Of course, the goal for a soldier, sailor or aviator – as brilliantly stated by George C Scott in that memorable opening to the movie Patton, – is to make the other poor dumb b-st-rd die for his country. “

We sit on July 4th with family and friends.  By the millions, we are relaxing (okay, not me so much, I’m busy writing and editing a book).  But on July 4, 1776, the founders signed the Declaration of Independence and the days were dark indeed.  England in those days was the world’s superpower.  To commit to risk their lives and fortunes, but not give up their sacred honor, many of those founders fought, bled, died and indeed lost their all.

That is what we remember.  Sacrifice is the price of freedom.  Everything has its price.  The price of slavery is arguably higher than the price of freedom.   The price of failure is higher than the price paid to achieve success. Biblical wisdom tells us that the luke warm – the mediocre – will get vomited out of the Lord’s mouth.

So by comparison to those brave souls who went up against the world’s greatest power to declare their Independence, what is it that we face, personally or professionally?  Are we ready to pop in a CD or flip on the iPod, put the theme to Rocky on or whatever music it is that moves us to give our best?

This morning, as I mediated on our manufactured housing and modular/prefab home Industry and the great Country we serve, I thought about a piece of music, that has long moved me.  Let me share the lyrics with you, in the context of the musical story that it was set in.

Then let me ask you to think about these words and what they may mean to your cause as an individual and business professional, our cause in making millions more Americans realize the value that we bring them and to think about how this great land – the United States of America – can turn things around and still see brighter days!

“The Quest”

ALDONZA
Why do you do these things?

DON QUIXOTE
What things?

ALDONZA
These ridiculous… the things you do!

DON QUIXOTE
I hope to add some measure of grace to the world.

ALDONZA
The world’s a dung heap and we are maggots that crawl on it!

DON QUIXOTE
My Lady knows better in her heart.

ALDONZA
What’s in my heart will get me halfway to hell.
And you, Señor Don Quixote-you’re going to take
such a beating!

DON QUIXOTE
Whether I win or lose does not matter.

ALDONZA
What does?

DON QUIXOTE
Only that I follow the quest.

ALDONZA
(spits)
That for your Quest!
(turns, marches away; stops, turns bock
and asks, awkwardly)
What does that mean… quest?

DON QUIXOTE
It is the mission of each true knight…
His duty… nay, his privilege!
To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go;
To right the unrightable wrong.

To love, pure and chaste, from afar,
To try, when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!

This is my Quest to follow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far,
To fight for the right
Without question or pause,
To be willing to march into hell
For a heavenly cause!

And I know, if I’ll only be true
To this glorious Quest,
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars!

Don’t take the easy way out.  If the cause is worthy, then Do whatever it takes.  Nobility is found in doing what is right, no matter the cost. ##