Be Careful What You Read & Believe in 2019!

Blog # 515; Copyright @ 30 December 2018; community-investor.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and
Earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, and online communication media for all North American land lease communities!

To input this blog, &/or affiliate with Educate MHC, formerly Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal of online media? To inform, opine, and help transform and improve manufactured housing and land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION. Adopt the MH ‘media discernment challenge’ as a key business resolution for New Year 2019! Let Steven Brill’s new book, TAILSPIN enlighten you as to how national political & economic affairs relate, in part, to manufactured housing & land lease communities. And decide now whether to participate in the 29 January 2019 afternoon MHAlive! ‘think tank’ the day before the Louisville MHShow begins! A lot to read and absorb in this blog posting!

I.

A Worthwhile New Year’s Resolution:

Do Be Discerning About The MH Media You Read, Believe & Use During 2019!

Yes, this was the gist of Part III of blog posting # 514 last week, and enough of you responded positively to the ‘media discernment challenge’ to make it worthwhile to reiterate here. One veteran state MH association executive had this to say about the matter:

“I am totally on board with your industry New Year’s resolution! Out with the derisive negativity, and in with communicating the positive attributes of manufactured housing and land lease communities.”

How ‘bout you? Ready and willing to focus your manufactured housing trade reading on state MH newsletters, the MHInsider magazine, Manufactured Housing Review online ezine, and the Allen Letter professional journal (transitioning from print to digital format)? Sure hope so. Those four are all you need to stay abreast of trade news throughout the industry and real estate asset class. Contact me via gfa7156@aol.com if you need help contacting these pubs.

As a related aside, I’m working (reading) my way through F.L. Lucas’s classic book, STYLE, ‘The Art of Writing Well’, first published in 1955. It’s chockfull of passages worthy of reflection, retention, and application. Here’re musings appropriate to the ‘media discernment challenge’:

“…the modern world would hardly tolerate in criticism, the vulgar horse-whipping (writing) style of _______. The few 20th century writers who have tried it…have damaged themselves more than their enemies.” P.94. Reputations come and they go.

And this…

“…one of the eternal paradoxes of life and literature – that without passion, little gets done; yet, without control of that passion, its effects are largely ill or null.” P. 116. Amen to that! But I take it a step further and say ‘ill & null’.

And finally…

“…the man who seems trying to deceive others has often first deceived himself.” P.126.

You can look forward to a complete review of STYLE during the weeks ahead. There’s even an apt quote therein, with application to the manufactured housing industry, and our penchant for evolving trade terminology over time. In the meantime, practice media discernment!

II.

A Partial Review of Steven Brill’s book, TAILSPIN.

‘The People & Forces Behind America’s 55 Year Fall –
& those Fighting to Reverse it’

Learned of this 2018 tome from a ‘houser’ at the National Housing conference in Washington, DC. during early December. I have not read the entire 441 page book, just pages I was told spoke about affordable housing-related matters in the U.S. today. Well, it turns out that was not wholly accurate, but I did pick up on enough politically-charged observations and economics commentary to make for an interesting, albeit short ‘read’. Here’re some select comments. The first one, to me, was a shocker.

“After Presidents Kennedy and Johnson began the war on poverty…President Nixon followed up in ways that might shock the next generation of Republicans. Even before he took office in January 1969, Nixon approved a proposal from his transition staff that called for a guaranteed national income – a set amount to be paid to every American, as a floor of available funds to protect them from poverty. He was unable to get Congress to approve it, but he did initiate a variety of other programs.” Pp. 316 & 317. Hmm. Now we maybe know from whence that socialist goal originated.

“The two principal dynamics that will inevitably drive more people into poverty unless they are reversed, are wages and housing costs.” P. 320. And here’s how that pencils out in today’s society…

“Affordable housing is commonly defined as housing requiring rent (or mortgage) payments of no more than 30 percent of a worker’s disposable income. And, “…according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, no worker earning the federal minimum wage in any place in America, can afford to pay the prevailing fair market rental rate in any state where they work. That generalization may not hold for families with two wage earners, but it does summarize the squeeze low-wage earners face.” P.321. And well describes the housing market best served by manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle!

Want to fix these sorry matters?

“For Americans to come together now to fix their country, they will have to overcome the forces that have broken their country: a meritocracy (‘government by the most talented’) that has become the new aristocracy; the financialization of the economy and resulting dominance of short-termism; hijacking of the First Amendment that allowed money to take over Washington; marginalization of the middle class that would have to rise up and support any resurgence; polarization, entrenched incompetence, and cronyism that have soured most outsiders on the prospect of trying to get Washington to do anything productive…” and the list goes on….P.336. You up to this overcoming task? Who is? Read next paragraph, for one answer.

“What is clear is that in 2016, Donald Trump rode that fever (‘for change’) to the White House; promising Americans they could sit back while he fixed everything.” And “…46 percent of those who voted, figured things were so bad they might as well let him try.” P. 337. That is, except for Never Trumpers, Democrat revenge campaigners, and swamp-dwelling Deep Staters in Washington, DC. Thanks to a liberal-slanted secular press, he continues to fight an uphill battle.

Who else is to blame? “…the new technology that produced targeted digital media, represents one of those apparent breakthroughs during the 50 year tailspin that produced unintended consequences, and a valid excuse for people to remain at each other’s throats or disengage altogether. It polarized the news that people consume, driving them further apart.” For example, precipitous drops in newspaper employment (from 412,000 to 174,000 in 2001), due to loss of advertising revenue (a third of what it was in 2000), allowed “Americans to complain they (are) less armed with the straight-shooting journalism necessary to hold their elected leaders accountable.” P. 338.

What’s next? A revolution? “This will not be a revolution of those on the left against those on the right. It will be about the unprotected, demanding the protected become responsible and accountable, whether they are executives shielded by their corporate structures, their lawyers, their lobbyists, and their financial engineers; civil servants protected by work rules that need to be fixed and by the public’s inattention…” P. 339 And that list too goes on….

“My bet is that Americans will retake their democracy. Things may get worse before they get better, but the odds are that events like these will become trigger points that prompt Americans to reclaim the legacy of their country’s historic resilience.” & “Americans are going to answer the call of a New Frontier. They are going to decide that enough is enough. That it is time to storm the moats.” P. 341

There you have it; what Steven Brill sees having happened in the U.S. during the past 50 years, and what must happen to preserve our constitutional democracy.

FYI. Steven Brill is an investigative journalist who’s written for The New Yorker, Time (the New York Times) magazine, Esquire, and Fortune. He teaches at Yale University and appears as an expert analyst on NBC, CBS, & CNN – but apparently not on the FOX network. So, a conservative he is not.

III.

MHAlive! ‘think tank’ on 29 January 2018

OK, we haven’t mentioned this, in blog postings, since #513, two weeks ago. But NOW is time for YOU, if interested, to plan on participating in this periodic ‘coming together’ of forward-looking manufactured housing and land lease community businessmen and women. The MHAlive! ‘think tank’ session will begin promptly at 1PM, and end at 5PM, at the Hilton Garden Inn (near the Louisville, KY., airport) on Wednesday, 29 January 2019. Cost? Only $20.00 per participant, to pay for the cost of the meeting room and related expenses (i.e. handouts).

What’s the agenda? Not chiseled in stone yet; still up to you! Here’re seven topics already suggested by individuals committed to attend the MHAlive! ‘think tank’ event:

• Preserving One’s Personal or Corporate Legacy via Memoir Writing, Here’s how…

• Evergreen (‘always timely’) manufactured housing issues listed in 30th ALLEN REPORT

• Speaking of ALLEN REPORT. Perhaps time to parse this compendium of asset class data

• You satisfied or dissatisfied with degree & scope of MH national advocacy these days?

• MHTrade media. Selection improved during 2018; still an issue with faux muckraking?

• Want to know more about lease-option & other forms of chattel capital financing?

• Affordable housing crisis. Answer = manufactured housing & land lease communities?

If you’re interested in participating, please contact me at gfa7156@aol.com or (317) 346-7156. DEADLINE for registration is Friday, 18 January 2019. And when signing-up, tell me what four topics (Name new ones if you wish to do so) most interest you. During that afternoon we’ll focus on four topics during four 50 minute sessions. Ask yourself: ‘When and where does this industry offer me this sort of opportunity to meet and ‘talk business’ with my peers?’

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
EducateMHC

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