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Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

June 3rd, 2019 Comments off

 

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According to Rueter’s and Yahoo Finance, “The U.S. Justice Department is preparing an investigation of Alphabet Inc’s Google to determine whether the tech giant broke antitrust law in operating its sprawling online businesses, two sources familiar with the matter said.”

 

Officials from the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission, which both enforce antitrust law, met in recent weeks to give Justice jurisdiction over Google,” according to those sources, and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which broke the story.

This word from Washington, D.C. will fuel speculation that Berkshire Hathaway brands, along with other tech giants that impact manufactured housing and the nation, will soon become more visible targets of antitrust regulatory scrutiny. Those who’ve relied on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their industry trade mouthpieces would have had no clue that this has been brewing for years. Meanwhile, MHProNews has been covering this developing topic from several angles for years. Our sister site has been laying the foundation for understanding on MHLivingNews too, in reports like the one linked below.

 

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In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. MHProNews has given these firms an opportunity to refute or clarify the issues and concerns raised.  They and MHI have all declined responses. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

Pivoting back to the Google-specific matter, this could be welcome news for manufactured housing industry professionals for several reasons.

Google declined comment initially, but DOJ would not confirm or deny the claim of an antitrust investigation. It’s worth noting that the European Union (EU) has fined Google billions for prior antitrust concerns.

During the Obama Administration, there was DOJ and FTC pressure on Google, but it went nowhere substantially. In April, 2016, the left-of-center news source – the Intercept – reported that “the Google lobbyist with the most White House visits, Johanna Shelton, visited 128 times, far more” than others. The Obama Administration and the tech giants – including Google – had a cozy relationship, by several mainstream media accounts.=

Lawmakers have complained about alleged political bias, its plans in China, and more.

 

“For the Good of Consumers and Competition”

TripAdvisor remains concerned about Google’s practices in the United States, the EU and throughout the world,” TripAdvisor chief executive and co-founder Stephen Kaufer said in a statement, adding: “For the good of consumers and competition on the internet, we welcome any renewed interest by U.S. regulators into Google’s anticompetitive behavior.” Note to first time visitors, MHProNews often takes direct quotes and turns them bold and brown to make them pop, but otherwise the content is as stated.

This is very big news, and overdue,” Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican Google critic, said on Twitter with respect to this investigation.  In that, he joined President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who said that Google is a threat to democracy.

 

Brad Says POTUS Trump is Right: More than Facebook & Twitter, Google Threatens Democracy, Online Freedom

 

This has become an increasingly bi-partisan issue, as what follows will reflect. While MHI devotees fly into Washington, D.C. today, will this even be a topic, unless a brave member raises the relevant questions?

 

The Broader Antitrust Picture and Manufactured Housing

As MHProNews has previously reported, several Democratic lawmakers and 2020 presidential hopeful candidates have made antitrust part of their platform.  Among the most visible to date has been Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D), who has renounced any corporate contributions in favor of individual donors.  Perhaps of more import to manufactured housing industry firms, Warren has sent off a round of formal letters of inquiry to manufactured home community operators. See that MHProNews exclusive report, linked here.

Even more specifically, Democratic Senators have asked the CFPB to take steps to curb allegations of predatory behavior by Clayton Homes and their lenders, see that recent report, linked here.

Senator Cory Booker (NJ-D) threw down an antitrust gauntlet with ABC News, in a video and report posted below.

 

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

 

Daily Business News on MHProNews reported in 2018 that the Trump Administration had prepared an antitrust executive order.

 

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

 

This trade media platform also reported Democratic steps taken, such as the one below.

 

Lina Khan, AntiTrust Legal Queen, Set to Join Democratic Staff, FAANG & BM, Beware – Plus MH Market Updates

 

Sources have told MHProNews that Berkshire Hathaway has ‘beefed up’ its antitrust legal team, perhaps in anticipation of just such an expected move. That may also explain why Berkshire’s industry players who have allegedly been involved in allegations of antitrust and other potentially corrupt practices have remained silent when asked about this topic.

 

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Learn more at this link here, here, and here.

MHProNews will continue to monitor this developing issue. Antitrust is likely to be a significant part of the 2020 debate.  Consolidation and monopolization is a concern across numerous industries, and manufactured housing is one of them. To learn more about this topic which is expected to expand to other giant firms, click the links above, or further below the byline and notices.

That’s this Monday morning’s first look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg Discusses Antitrust Breaking Up, What Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, MHI Can Learn, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

 

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Chinese PreFab Housing In U.S., Reasons George Soros’ Davos Remarks on China’s Threat Important to MHVille

January 29th, 2019 Comments off

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For years, the Daily Business News (DBN) on MHProNews has been a lone voice in the factory-built housing trade media alerting domestic firms about the looming – and now actual – challenges from imported industrialized building.

 

The industry’s so-called leaders in Arlington purportedly have an often documented inability to address bad or good news publicly beyond their members in a manner that might yield greater growth.  Instead they either ignore reality with the illusion of motion or provide excuses – easily debunked for thinkers – for a lack of growth.

Meanwhile, China and other nations are producing prefabs that are making inroads into U.S. markets.

It seems that domestic builders didn’t learn the lessons of Chinese drywall? Some have forgotten how costly that fiasco was.

 

 

Nevertheless, American firms kept buying stuff and shipping jobs from the U.S. to China.  This DBN report is an important example of how properly sourcing from both the left and right can be useful, even necessary.

 

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The Soros has taken on Facebook this year, among other issues. But the far greater threat, says progressive mega-billionaire George Soros, is China’s tech, economic, and other power.  His recent comments at the tony Davos conference of global leaders about China sounded much like an episode of right-of-center Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

Listen to Carlson, then read Soros’ comments.  Facts are facts, regardless of the source.

 

 

Soros billions make his words and movements news. So this stark warning from Soros – whom this publication has periodically critiqued – represents an interesting partial pivot.

Let’s see some pull-quotes from Soros’ address at Davos, followed by his entire speech.  Each bullet is a quote from the full text, below.

  • Last year when I stood before you I spent most of my time analyzing the nefarious role of the IT monopolies. This is what I said: “An alliance is emerging between authoritarian states and the large data rich IT monopolies that bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developing system of state sponsored surveillance. This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even George Orwell could have imagined.”
  • Tonight I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme.
  • China isn’t the only authoritarian regime in the world, but it’s undoubtedly the wealthiest, strongest and most developed in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of those who believe in the concept of open society. But Xi isn’t alone. Authoritarian regimes are proliferating all over the world and if they succeed, they will become totalitarian.

As noted, there are several points that MHProNews’ would editorially disagree with Soros, and longtime readers know we’ve critiqued Soros before.  But we believe in a ‘wheat and chaff’ approach, you take truth wherever you find it. 

Much of what follows are facts that go beyond the left-right ideological divide. After the video is the speech, per Soros’ own website.  

 

 

Remarks delivered at the World Economic Forum

Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2019

 

Good evening and thank you all for coming.

I want to use my time tonight to warn the world about an unprecedented danger that’s threatening the very survival of open societies.

Last year when I stood before you I spent most of my time analyzing the nefarious role of the IT monopolies. This is what I said: “An alliance is emerging between authoritarian states and the large data rich IT monopolies that bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developing system of state sponsored surveillance. This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even George Orwell could have imagined.”

Tonight I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme.

A lot of things have happened since last year and I’ve learned a lot about the shape that totalitarian control is going to take in China.

All the rapidly expanding information available about a person is going to be consolidated in a centralized database to create a “social credit system.” Based on that data, people will be evaluated by algorithms that will determine whether they pose a threat to the one-party state. People will then be treated accordingly.

The social credit system is not yet fully operational, but it’s clear where it’s heading. It will subordinate the fate of the individual to the interests of the one-party state in ways unprecedented in history.

I find the social credit system frightening and abhorrent. Unfortunately, some Chinese find it rather attractive because it provides information and services that aren’t currently available and can also protect law-abiding citizens against enemies of the state.

China isn’t the only authoritarian regime in the world, but it’s undoubtedly the wealthiest, strongest and most developed in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of those who believe in the concept of open society. But Xi isn’t alone. Authoritarian regimes are proliferating all over the world and if they succeed, they will become totalitarian.

As the founder of the Open Society Foundations, I’ve devoted my life to fighting totalizing, extremist ideologies, which falsely claim that the ends justify the means. I believe that the desire of people for freedom can’t be repressed forever. But I also recognize that open societies are profoundly endangered at present.

What I find particularly disturbing is that the instruments of control developed by artificial intelligence give an inherent advantage to authoritarian regimes over open societies. For them, instruments of control provide a useful tool; for open societies, they pose a mortal threat.

I use “open society” as shorthand for a society in which the rule of law prevails as opposed to rule by a single individual and where the role of the state is to protect human rights and individual freedom. In my personal view, an open society should pay special attention to those who suffer from discrimination or social exclusion and those who can’t defend themselves.

By contrast, authoritarian regimes use whatever instruments of control they possess to maintain themselves in power at the expense of those whom they exploit and suppress.

How can open societies be protected if these new technologies give authoritarian regimes a built-in advantage? That’s the question that preoccupies me. And it should also preoccupy all those who prefer to live in an open society.

Open societies need to regulate companies that produce instruments of control, while authoritarian regimes can declare them “national champions.” That’s what has enabled some Chinese state-owned companies to catch up with and even surpass the multinational giants.

This, of course, isn’t the only problem that should concern us today. For instance, man-made climate change threatens the very survival of our civilization. But the structural disadvantage that confronts open societies is a problem which has preoccupied me and I’d like to share with you my ideas on how to deal with it.

My deep concern for this issue arises out of my personal history. I was born in Hungary in 1930 and I’m Jewish. I was 13 years old when the Nazis occupied Hungary and started deporting Jews to extermination camps.

I was very fortunate because my father understood the nature of the Nazi regime and arranged false identity papers and hiding places for all members of his family, and for a number of other Jews as well. Most of us survived.

The year 1944 was the formative experience of my life. I learned at an early age how important it is what kind of political regime prevails. When the Nazi regime was replaced by Soviet occupation I left Hungary as soon as I could and found refuge in England.

At the London School of Economics I developed my conceptual framework under the influence of my mentor, Karl Popper. That framework proved to be unexpectedly useful when I found myself a job in the financial markets. The framework had nothing to do with finance, but it is based on critical thinking. This allowed me to analyze the deficiencies of the prevailing theories guiding institutional investors. I became a successful hedge fund manager and I prided myself on being the best paid critic in the world.

Running a hedge fund was very stressful. When I had made more money than I needed for myself or my family, I underwent a kind of midlife crisis. Why should I kill myself to make more money? I reflected long and hard on what I really cared about and in 1979 I set up the Open Society Fund. I defined its objectives as helping to open up closed societies, reducing the deficiencies of open societies and promoting critical thinking.

My first efforts were directed at undermining the apartheid system in South Africa. Then I turned my attention to opening up the Soviet system. I set up a joint venture with the Hungarian Academy of Science, which was under Communist control, but its representatives secretly sympathized with my efforts. This arrangement succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. I got hooked on what I like to call “political philanthropy.” That was in 1984.

In the years that followed, I tried to replicate my success in Hungary and in other Communist countries. I did rather well in the Soviet empire, including the Soviet Union itself, but in China it was a different story.

My first effort in China looked rather promising. It involved an exchange of visits between Hungarian economists who were greatly admired in the Communist world, and a team from a newly established Chinese think tank which was eager to learn from the Hungarians.

Based on that initial success, I proposed to Chen Yizi, the leader of the think tank, to replicate the Hungarian model in China. Chen obtained the support of Premier Zhao Ziyang and his reform-minded policy secretary Bao Tong.

A joint venture called the China Fund was inaugurated in October 1986. It was an institution unlike any other in China. On paper, it had complete autonomy.

Bao Tong was its champion. But the opponents of radical reforms, who were numerous, banded together to attack him. They claimed that I was a CIA agent and asked the internal security agency to investigate. To protect himself, Zhao Ziyang replaced Chen Yizi with a high-ranking official in the external security police. The two organizations were co-equal and they couldn’t interfere in each other’s affairs.

I approved this change because I was annoyed with Chen Yizi for awarding too many grants to members of his own institute and I was unaware of the political infighting behind the scenes. But applicants to the China Fund soon noticed that the organization had come under the control of the political police and started to stay away. Nobody had the courage to explain to me the reason for it.

Eventually, a Chinese grantee visited me in New York and told me, at considerable risk to himself. Soon thereafter, Zhao Ziyang was removed from power and I used that excuse to close the foundation. This happened just before the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and it left a “black spot” on the record of the people associated with the foundation. They went to great length to clear their names and eventually they succeeded.

In retrospect, it’s clear that I made a mistake in trying to establish a foundation which operated in ways that were alien to people in China. At that time, giving a grant created a sense of mutual obligation between the donor and recipient and obliged both of them to remain loyal to each other forever.

So much for history. Let me now turn to the events that occurred in the last year, some of which surprised me.

When I first started going to China, I met many people in positions of power who were fervent believers in the principles of open society. In their youth they had been deported to the countryside to be re-educated, often suffering hardships far greater than mine in Hungary. But they survived and we had much in common. We had all been on the receiving end of a dictatorship.

They were eager to learn about Karl Popper’s thoughts on the open society. While they found the concept very appealing, their interpretation remained somewhat different from mine. They were familiar with Confucian tradition, but there was no tradition of voting in China. Their thinking remained hierarchical and carried a built-in respect for high office. I, on the other hand I was more egalitarian and wanted everyone to have a vote.

So, I wasn’t surprised when Xi Jinping ran into serious opposition at home; but I was surprised by the form it took. At last summer’s leadership convocation at the seaside resort of Beidaihe, Xi Jinping was apparently taken down a peg or two. Although there was no official communique, rumor had it that the convocation disapproved of the abolition of term limits and the cult of personality that Xi had built around himself.

It’s important to realize that such criticisms were only a warning to Xi about his excesses, but did not reverse the lifting of the two-term limit. Moreover, “The Thought of Xi Jinping,” which he promoted as his distillation of Communist theory was elevated to the same level as the “Thought of Chairman Mao.” So Xi remains the supreme leader, possibly for lifetime. The ultimate outcome of the current political infighting remains unresolved.

I’ve been concentrating on China, but open societies have many more enemies, Putin’s Russia foremost among them. And the most dangerous scenario is when these enemies conspire with, and learn from, each other on how to better oppress their people.

The question poses itself, what can we do to stop them?

The first step is to recognize the danger. That’s why I’m speaking out tonight. But now comes the difficult part. Those of us who want to preserve the open society must work together and form an effective alliance. We have a task that can’t be left to governments.

History has shown that even governments that want to protect individual freedom have many other interests and they also give precedence to the freedom of their own citizens over the freedom of the individual as a general principle.

My Open Society Foundations are dedicated to protecting human rights, especially for those who don’t have a government defending them. When we started four decades ago there were many governments which supported our efforts but their ranks have thinned out. The US and Europe were our strongest allies, but now they’re preoccupied with their own problems.

Therefore, I want to focus on what I consider the most important question for open societies: what will happen in China?

The question can be answered only by the Chinese people. All we can do is to draw a sharp distinction between them and Xi Jinping. Since Xi has declared his hostility to open society, the Chinese people remain our main source of hope.

And there are, in fact, grounds for hope. As some China experts have explained to me, there is a Confucian tradition, according to which advisors of the emperor are expected to speak out when they strongly disagree with one of his actions or decrees, even if that it may result in exile or execution.

This came as a great relief to me when I had been on the verge of despair. The committed defenders of open society in China, who are around my age, have mostly retired and their places have been taken by younger people who are dependent on Xi Jinping for promotion. But a new political elite has emerged that is willing to uphold the Confucian tradition. This means that Xi will continue to have a political opposition at home.

Xi presents China as a role model for other countries to emulate, but he’s facing criticism not only at home but also abroad. His Belt and Road Initiative has been in operation long enough to reveal its deficiencies.

It was designed to promote the interests of China, not the interests of the recipient countries; its ambitious infrastructure projects were mainly financed by loans, not by grants, and foreign officials were often bribed to accept them. Many of these projects proved to be uneconomic.

The iconic case is in Sri Lanka. China built a port that serves its strategic interests. It failed to attract sufficient commercial traffic to service the debt and enabled China to take possession of the port. There are several similar cases elsewhere and they’re causing widespread resentment.

Malaysia is leading the pushback. The previous government headed by Najib Razak sold out to China but in May 2018 Razak was voted out of office by a coalition led by Mahathir Mohamed. Mahathir immediately stopped several big infrastructure projects and is currently negotiating with China how much compensation Malaysia will still have to pay.

The situation is not as clear-cut in Pakistan, which has been the largest recipient of Chinese investments. The Pakistani army is fully beholden to China but the position of Imran Khan who became prime minister last August is more ambivalent. At the beginning of 2018, China and Pakistan announced grandiose plans in military cooperation. By the end of the year, Pakistan was in a deep financial crisis. But one thing became evident: China intends to use the Belt and Road Initiative for military purposes as well.

All these setbacks have forced Xi Jinping to modify his attitude toward the Belt and Road Initiative. In September, he announced that “vanity projects” will be shunned in favor of more carefully conceived initiatives and in October, the People’s Daily warned that projects should serve the interests of the recipient countries.

Customers are now forewarned and several of them, ranging from Sierra Leone to Ecuador, are questioning or renegotiating projects.

Most importantly, the US government has now identified China as a “strategic rival.” President Trump is notoriously unpredictable, but this decision was the result of a carefully prepared plan. Since then, the idiosyncratic behavior of Trump has been largely superseded by a China policy adopted by the agencies of the administration and overseen by Asian affairs advisor of the National Security Council Matt Pottinger and others. The policy was outlined in a seminal speech by Vice President Mike Pence on October 4th.

Even so, declaring China a strategic rival is too simplistic. China is an important global actor. An effective policy towards China can’t be reduced to a slogan.

It needs to be far more sophisticated, detailed and practical; and it must include an American economic response to the Belt and Road Initiative. The Pottinger plan doesn’t answer the question whether its ultimate goal is to level the playing field or to disengage from China altogether.

Xi Jinping fully understood the threat that the new US policy posed for his leadership. He gambled on a personal meeting with President Trump at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. In the meantime, the danger of global trade war escalated and the stock market embarked on a serious sell-off in December. This created problems for Trump who had concentrated all his efforts on the 2018 midterm elections. When Trump and Xi met, both sides were eager for a deal. No wonder that they reached one, but it’s very inconclusive: a ninety-day truce.

In the meantime, there are clear indications that a broad based economic decline is in the making in China, which is affecting the rest of the world. A global slowdown is the last thing the market wants to see.

The unspoken social contract in China is built on steadily rising living standards. If the decline in the Chinese economy and stock market is severe enough, this social contract may be undermined and even the business community may turn against Xi Jinping. Such a downturn could also sound the death knell of the Belt and Road Initiative, because Xi may run out of resources to continue financing so many lossmaking investments.

On the question of global internet governance, there’s an undeclared struggle between the West and China. China wants to dictate rules and procedures that govern the digital economy by dominating the developing world with its new platforms and technologies. This is a threat to the freedom of the Internet and indirectly open society itself.

Last year I still believed that China ought to be more deeply embedded in the institutions of global governance, but since then Xi Jinping’s behavior has changed my opinion.  My present view is that instead of waging a trade war with practically the whole world, the US should focus on China. Instead of letting  ZTE and Huawei off lightly, it needs to crack down on them. If these companies came to dominate the 5G market, they would present an unacceptable security risk for the rest of the world.

Regrettably, President Trump seems to be following a different course: make concessions to China and declare victory while renewing his attacks on US allies. This is liable to undermine the US policy objective of curbing China’s abuses and excesses.

To conclude, let me summarize the message I’m delivering tonight. My key point is that the combination of repressive regimes with IT monopolies endows those regimes with a built-in advantage over open societies. The instruments of control are useful tools in the hands of authoritarian regimes, but they pose a mortal threat to open societies.

China is not the only authoritarian regime in the world but it is the wealthiest, strongest and technologically most advance. This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of open societies. That’s why it’s so important to distinguish Xi Jinping’s policies from the aspirations of the Chinese people. The social credit system, if it became operational, would give Xi total control over the people. Since Xi is the most dangerous enemy of the open society, we must pin our hopes on the Chinese people, and especially on the business community and a political elite willing to uphold the Confucian tradition.

This doesn’t mean that those of us who believe in the open society should remain passive. The reality is that we are in a Cold War that threatens to turn into a hot one. On the other hand, if Xi and Trump were no longer in power, an opportunity would present itself to develop greater cooperation between the two cyber-superpowers.

It is possible to dream of something similar to the United Nations Treaty that arose out of the Second World War. This would be the appropriate ending to the current cycle of conflict between the US and China. It would reestablish international cooperation and allow open societies to flourish. That sums up my message.

### End of Soros Davos Address ###

 

That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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“The Creepy Line” Video DocuDrama, Manufactured Housing – The Problem, Solution, and You

October 18th, 2018 Comments off

 

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If MHProNews is writing about it, I want to know about it.”
Manufactured home industry executive reader.

 

Manufactured housing professionals use Google and Facebook for work and personally every day by the thousands.

Further, millions of manufactured home residents are doing the same.

Perhaps the most pressing, there is only one political force that is likely to take on this problem with anything might approach a solution.  These points are the ones that no one else in mainstream media are likely to mention, but will be the conclusion of this report on the subject of the raw power that Google and Facebook exercise in the U.S. and globally.

An eye-opening documentary, The Creepy Line reveals the stunning degree to which society is manipulated by Google and Facebook and blows the lid off the remarkably subtle – hence powerful – manner in which they do it,” per the summary/review on Rotten Tomatoes.

As former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said during a 2010 interview as he explained Google’s code of conduct: “The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

However, as Dr. Robert Epstein explains in the film, “Google crosses the creepy line every day.”

The Verge’s review makes the movie sound too political.

 

But Epstein explains during the video that he believed the person in the 2016 election that was benefiting from search engine bias was the more “qualified” candidate. Epstein explains how he was drawn into his research into the “Creepy Line” by inexplicable action taken by Google.

RobertEPsteinManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Further the Verge made several salient points. “It [the video] takes its title from Google executive Eric Schmidt, who said in 2010 that Google’s job was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.” Schmidt has gotten no end of flack for that quote, and it’s easy to point out that Google is, in fact, often very creepy.”

The Verge’s review says, that “This theory [the premise of the documentary “the Creepy Line”] has been fueled by news about political discussions within companies — like Google’s internal controversy over employee James Damore, who was fired after circulating a memo criticizing the company’s gender diversity efforts. Breitbart recently published a leaked video from a Google meeting just after the 2016 election of Donald Trump, which includes co-founder Sergey Brin calling Trump’s presidency “deeply offensive.”

It’s the Verge that points out the push from across Democratic and Republican party lines for antitrust action against Google and Facebook.

CNS lays out one of several reasons how these experts discovered the problem, in a personal way. “Jordan Peterson,” a “professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, Peterson discovered a day after his testimony against a controversial Canadian law suppressing free speech regarding gender that his YouTube account and Google gmail account had been blocked.”

 

Manufactured Home Industry Pros and Rigged Searches – A.K.A. “Search Bias”

This isn’t just a search challenge in political issues, because it can happen in business too.  There are industry pros who have told MHProNews that sites that once had better search results suddenly and dramatically took a turn for the worse.

 

 

If a monopoly of money and information can influence politics, it can clearly influence businesses too.

 

 

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Danny Glover quote from the fascinating video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above.

 

“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

The fast-paced, engaging docu-drama “The Creepy Line” points out that at one point in time, no one spends more lobbying Congress than Google. Other sources indicate that Facebook is not far behind. But on this most recent cycle, Jeff Bezos has given millions personally to candidates.  Is there any doubt that he’s trying to buy votes to prevent antitrust action against Amazon and his other investments, which now include factory built housing?

 

$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes

 

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“…Epstein’s arguments are delivered in detail by a first-hand source,” but the Verge points out that other headlines and a variety of sources are used throughout the powerful documentary that even Rotten Tomatoes says is “eye opening.”  The Verge defends Google by saying that yes, they are biased, but that bias “is complicated.”

This is at the heart of the issue that we’ve been reporting on periodically for some time, which has included the work of Scott Galloway, who argues that regulation isn’t enough.  He and others believe that these tech giants must be broken up.

If you watch this on Amazon Prime, you’ll see why the Trump Administration is signaling that operations like these could be targeted with antitrust action after the midterms.  You can see a draft executive order on antitrust from the Trump Administration in the related reports further below.  That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Brad Says POTUS Trump is Right: More than Facebook & Twitter, Google Threatens Democracy, Online Freedom

NY Stern University’s Scott Galloway on Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Capitol Hill Hearings

 

Morgan Stanley, CNBC – Investors Want GOP Wave but Ponder Split Control of Congress, Plus MH Market Updates

For Independents, Independent-Minded MH Professionals, and Freedom-Loving Investors Only, Sunday Headline News Recap 10-7 to 10.14.2018

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Supports Former Hillary Clinton VP, Senator Tim Kaine, Other Anti-Trump Agenda Democrats

 

Facebook, Marketing & News – Manufactured Housing Pros, Sarah Miller, ‘Citizens Against Monopoly’ Sound the Alarm

June 19th, 2018 Comments off

SarahMillerCitizensAgainstMonopolyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x315

We got word that [Tuesday], Facebook Inc. is inviting Capitol Hill staffers to Washington DC’s “newest, most exclusive event venue” for free food and drinks. Events like this enable Facebook to peddle influence in the halls of power, and keep lawmakers from cracking down on its abuse of our democracy.”

So begins a statement by Sarah Miller, of Citizens Against Monopoly to the manufactured housing (MH) industry’s Daily Business News received at 8:15 PM last night. CAM is a subset of the Open Markets Institute, which promotes prosperity and liberty, including through their antitrust efforts.

MH industry marketing professionals are among the sources who have raised concerns over the enormous – and still growing – power that Facebook and Google have in marketing manufactured housing.

Voices across the left-right divide have increasingly been concerned too, because they exert so much sway over politicians.

But among those-laser focused on the issue is a group called Citizens Against Monopoly (CAM).

So we would like to extend the RSVP to you, the Citizens Against Monopoly community,” stated their message, about the latest Facebook lobbying move.

Some details about the Facebook event follow.

What:

“A Place to Connect, D.C.”, bringing together “the D.C. community and Facebook” for “conversation and product demos”

Where:

The Showroom, 1099 14th St NW, Washington, D.C.

When: 1:30 pm – 7:30 pm, June 19

RSVP

 

CAM on Facebook’s Lobbying

In the first quarter of 2018, Facebook spent $3.3 million lobbying the U.S. government, more than ever before,” CAM’s Miller told MHProNews.That’s a key part of how it builds power and evades accountability, and events like this one are part of the process.”

At “A Place to Connect,” Facebook’s #3 executive and top lobbyists will be schmoozing the people who are supposed to represent us, and trying to bamboozle Congress into believing that the company’s reforms are for real,” Miller said.

For instance, a former corporate lawyer who is now Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer will try to argue that Facebook is stepping it up on privacy — all actual evidence to the contrary,” she asserts.

Industry readers may have seen Facebook’s ads on cable TV and elsewhere. Facebook is pitching their reforms to the public, ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke.

But critics say that Facebook has failed to seriously address the fact that they played a significant role in former President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election effort, as did Google. Given their enormous power in online search, Facebook and Google are among those forces that can help make or break a candidate.

Other presenters will be discussing Facebook’s role in the opioid crisis and its approach to election integrity, vital topics that are in the national interest. Facebook is billing the event as a “conversation” — if that’s the case, the people affected by Facebook’s bad behavior should be in the room to ask the tough questions,” Miller said to MHProNews.

With so much at stake in the debate over Facebook and the future of internet privacy, your voice deserves to be heard. So if you’re able, show up and ensure that the public is represented,” CAM stated.

 

Facts About Facebook, Google’s Growing Power

A December 2017 report by Statista said, “In fact, two companies, you may know them by the names of Google and Facebook, are so dominant in the online world that they account for more than 60 percent of global online ad revenues.”

Many mainstream news operations are alarmed at how much ad money – and thus political power – Facebook and Google have accumulated.  Warren Buffett is among those who have said that many media outlets will fail as a result.

GlobalAdSpendFacebookGoogleManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The trend lines are similar to the trend lines in manufactured housing consolidation, see that chart, further below.

Among the concerns are the fact that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg himself said in congressional testimony that there is a strong bias against conservatives, and for leftist, so-called “progressive” political causes.

New York Stern university’s Scott Galloway has been cited previously as a pro-tech voice, that believes that the Big Four must be broken up.

The RSVP is for the Facebook D.C. event is linked below.

RSVP

While most industry pros are unlikely to be able to attend on such short notice, Citizens Against Monopoly provide the following link to ask the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to break up Facebook.

Sign the Freedom From Facebook petition: Tell the Federal Trade Commission to break up Facebook’s monopoly.

 

Industry Trade Media and Monopoly Reporting

Regular, longtime readers know that MHProNews has cited similar concerns over the monopolistic influence over the industry exerted by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. To see how others in the mainstream media have raised similar concerns about Berkshire Hathaway’s increasingly monopolistic domination of manufactured housing, see the related reports links below.

Among the manufactured home industry’s trade media, or those in MH who blog, etc., MHProNews has stood largely alone in raising concerns about monopoly power in the industry.

To their credit, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in their reports has raised alarms over Berkshire Hathaway brands like Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt.

But MH industry bloggers and publishers are happily taking ad money from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and are largely silent on the disturbing trends. Many in MHVille believe that MHI is dominated by Berkshire Hathaway and their related interests.

One industry blogger that does periodic MH news admitted that “1,000” manufactured home industry professionals are talking about the influence of monopoly in MH, but that only MHProNews is focused on the subject. That MH blogger succumbed months ago to running more pro-MHI news too.

Given the trend lines of industry consolidation, it is a subject that no industry professional or investor can reasonably ignore.

When Republican Senator Ted Cruz (TX) and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) are both speaking up about the corrosive influence of these monopolies, isn’t it time for more industry pros to sit up and take notice? These linked related reports can be read later, for more details.

Breakup “Massive Power” of Giants, “Subvert Our Democratic Process” Says Senator Cruz, & MH CEO’s Call for “Fully Competitive Housing Access”

Along with Apple and Microsoft, operations that are racing towards a trillion dollars in market cap which may be obtained next year, and how that can “suck the oxygen” out of the room for capital and competitors, as Galloway has said.

 

In the recently decided anti-trust case, some argued for AT&T that their survival is dependent on growth.

When a giant like AT&T, or Walmart are concerned about the rise of FANG or Amazon, and industry pros fret over the power of Berkshire Hathaway in MHVille, isn’t it a common-sense concern that federal regulators and advocates ought to address?

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities. 

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Related Reports:

Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

Wall Street Journal – Tech Giants are Monopolistic Threat to Businesses, U.S. Economy

“Audit the Algorithm!” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and Google Monopoly – Manufactured Housing Marketers Notice

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

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

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Breakup “Massive Power” of Giants, “Subvert Our Democratic Process” Says Senator Cruz, & MH CEO’s Call for “Fully Competitive Housing Access”

April 25th, 2018 Comments off

SenatorTedCruzWikimediaManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsmHProNEws

Senator Ted Cruz added his voice to the voices across the left-right spectrum that are calling for a use of federal antitrust laws to break up the massive power” of giant companies that “subvert our Democratic process.

 

Cruz (R-TX) was responding to Joel Pollack’s question on Breitbart radio about the challenge of “censorship of conservatives” on Facebook and across the broader internet landscape.

Once more, the Daily Business News underscores the noteworthy point of the rising voices that are calling for more regulation – or an outright breakup – of giant conglomerates.  You don’t get much more left than Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), or more right than Senator Ted Cruz.

President Trump has pointed to specific companies, like Amazon, and concerns over monopolistic practices.

 

Cruz on Tech Giants and “Censorship”

Breitbart reports that Cruz said, “I think, number one, the growing power of tech to censor speech is a profound threat. We’re seeing now some two-thirds of Americans are getting their news through social media, and these tech companies are hard-left. They are are partisan Democrats, and what we’re seeing is they’re amplifying the views they agree with, those of liberal Democrats, and they are suppressing the views of conservatives. They are blocking conservatives.”

Its noteworthy that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told Congress that the Silicon Valley tech giants have a reputation for being left-leaning.  So Cruz’s concern is not hyperbole, when Zuckerberg admits the reality.

 

Industry CEO Segues Implication of Monopolies for Housing Industry

In a comment to MHProNews,If unfettered access to the internet is important — and it is — then full access to affordable home ownership, within a fully competitive market, is even more important, as it serves a basic and essential human need,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

MHARR is non-partisan, and represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

MHARR is one of several voices in manufactured housing that have directly or obliquely raised concerns about monopoly power, and how it impacts the manufactured housing industry.

Left-of-center Bloomberg’s reported that one of Warren Buffett’s biggest concerns is of a breakup.

 

Back to Cruz – Scope of Power “Unprecedented”

Cruz said, “The scope of the power is truly unprecedented. You think back to the heights of yellow journalism, when publisher William Randolph Hearst controlled much of media and in fact got America into the Spanish-American War. These tech companies have power William Randolph Hearst could never have imagined.”

The ability, if there’s a view they dislike, simply to silence it so that if you put a post out there, if you put a tweet out there, it simply goes into the void, into oblivion, and no one sees it. Likewise, they have the ability, if there are views they want to promote, to just have everything on your feed be the views they want to promote. That is invidious. It is invisible, and it is profoundly dangerous,” stated Cruz.

Cruz proposed exposing technology firms to libel lawsuits to curb their political manipulation of the availability of information on their platforms.

Responding to Pollack’s question, the Texas senator said, “Now your question is a hard one and a good one. What remedies are there? I would say there are principally two.”

 Those two?

Number one, the question I asked Mark Zuckerberg, the opening question was, ‘Does Facebook consider itself a neutral public form?’ He danced around and refused to answer that. The reason the question matters is much, is under current law, Facebook and other tech companies have immunity from liability, so if someone posts something on their site, they can’t be sued for it, and it’s under what’s called the Communications Decency Act, section 230. The entire reason Congress enacted section 230 was under the assumption these tech sites would be neutral public forums, [that] they would allow people to be speaking. So the reasoning was, we’ll protect you from being sued because it’s not you speaking, it’s somebody else. Well, if Facebook and the other tech companies are going to choose instead to be partisan political speakers, they have a right to do that. They’ve got a First Amendment to become and to be partisan political speakers, but there’s no reason on Earth they should get a special immunity from liability from Congress.”

Cruz also floated the use of antitrust laws to curb technology companies’ power.

He said, A second remedy is considering using anti-trust laws. By any measure, Facebook is larger and more powerful than Standard Oil was the antitrust laws broke it up. It’s larger and more power than AT&T was when antitrust laws broke it up and given that, I think we need to have serious consideration about the massive power we’re seeing of these tech companies to subvert our democratic process.”  ##
(News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

NY Stern University’s Scott Galloway on Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Capitol Hill Hearings

Buffett Blasts Trump, via Classic Twist

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

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Tech’s Tumble, POTUS Trump & Antitrust Panel Discussion and Potential MH Industry Impact

March 30th, 2018 Comments off

TechTumblePOTUSTrumpAntiTrustPanelDiscussionPotentialMHIndustryImpact

Among the nation’s many trillion-dollar sectors is housing.

So as tech has taken it’s hit this past week, is it a passing blip?  Or is it as Axios and other media sources suggest, the start of something bigger?

This panel discussion on right-of-center Fox Business looks at some of the factors beyond President Trump and the growing calls in the U.S. for regulatory action – or even a break up – of the tech giants. With markets closed today, this is a timely topic that directly and indirectly can impact the flow of capital.

Will some of that capital flow into manufactured housing?  Should it?

Billions have been pouring into manufactured housing in recent years.  But will even more investment capital be attracted?

Investor$, Manufactured Housing, and Proof of Concept

That related report on why investors may find manufactured housing appealing, is linked above. This is one more aspect of the news through the lens of manufactured housing. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##

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Facebook, Google, and NY Stern Professor Scott Galloway’s Quest

March 14th, 2018 Comments off

ScottGallowayNYSternProfFacebookGoogleQuestDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Every day, tens of millions of Americans turn to Facebook for their social media, and to Google for searches.

 

Industry professionals strive in various ways to use both of those web-tech platforms for their marketing efforts.

The economic power of big tech is astonishing.  Google and Facebook reportedly eat up some 60 percent of all digital marketing revenues, not to mention their other income generating assets. That financial clout in turn is used in political, media, and other means of influence.

Over the past decade, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—or, as I call them, “the Four”—have aggregated more economic value and influence than nearly any other commercial entity in history. Together, they have a market capitalization of $2.8 trillion (the GDP of France), a staggering 24 percent share of the S&P 500 Top 50, close to the value of every stock traded on the Nasdaq in 2001,” said Professor Scott Galloway in Esquire.

New York Stern School of Business Professor Galloway freely admits that he’s personally benefited from “the Four” tech giants.

The author, entrepreneur, and professor also wants to regulators to break up big tech, as their influence and power over the marketplace is so great, that it crushes competition.

ThisIsntAnIndictmentRetributionRecognitionHealthyEconomicCyclePruningFirmsWhenInvasivePrematureDeathWontLetOthersEmergeScottGallowayNYSternProfMarketing

 

Is it a surprise that across the left-right media and political divide, Galloway’s work is drawing interest? The Daily Business News has featured him in our market report in a video from left-of-center, CNBC.

 

ScottGallowayProfMarketingNYSternUnivBiography

Last night, it was right-of-center Tucker Carlson on Fox News that featured Galloway speaking specifically about Google (parent company, Alphabet) and Facebook in the context of the big four tech giants economic impact.

As the manufactured home industry struggles with it’s own challenges of market concentration – allegedly monopolistic power – over the industry and organizations of influence, such as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the Urban Institute,  and others – a question should be considered.

Are the tech giants – plus Berkshire Hathaway – sucking the oxygen out of the marketplace in manner that harms innovation, creativity, possible start-ups, existing enterprises, and workers? ##  (News, analysis and commentary.)

Related:

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

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The Top 10 American Corporations, Manufactured Homes, and PreFab Housing

December 4th, 2017 Comments off

TopTenMegaCorpsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsEvery professional adult interacts/or is impacted by every Top 10 U.S. based giant periodically.

But odds are excellent that manufactured housing operations, and interests like your business, are impacted daily – either directly, or indirectly – by the top 6 mega-corporations shown in the infographic below.

There are also many possible takeaways for the forward-thinking manufactured housing professional to be found in this Top 10 list.

3 Time Frames: Top 10 Corps. – 100 Years Ago, 50 Years Ago & Nov 2017

To reflect how rapidly change can occur, the market cap at the opening bell for Amazon today was $562.34B, per Nasdaq. That nearly $20 billion more than it was when this chart below was created.

But look back 100 years, to 1917.  Not one of those then-giant companies are in the top ten today.

From 1967 – 50 years ago, and within the lifetime of thousands in the manufactured housing industry today – once giant Kodak is no more.  The dominant retail player 5 decades ago was Sears, which has long since been supplanted, first by Walmart, and more recently, by Amazon.

HowMuchTop10CompaniesWorthToday50-100YearsAgoVisualCapitalistManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

As MHProNews noted in a pre-dawn report this morning, the top 2 publicly-traded giants in manufactured housing in 2000 – plus Palm Harbor Homes, others – melted away, filed bankruptcy, reorganized, etc.  Today’s dominant players in manufactured housing look to be just as unstoppable as many believed the old-2000 era Fleetwood and Champion Homes were then.

MondayMorningSalesMeetingManufacturedHomeMarketingSalesCoachingDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Today, the Fleetwood and Palm Harbor brands are subsidiaries of Cavco, and the Champion brand was reconstituted as a privately-owned firm.

Given the fact that manufactured housing’s #1 Clayton Homes and #2 Cavco Industries – per their own data – are growing at a slower pace than the industry at large, are there already possible warning signs that some in MHVille are overlooking? Are there vulnerabilities that these 2 largest HUD Code firms have that other competitors could exploit?

To answer that, what does this top 10 corporations chart tell you is the answer for such questions?

Impact of the “Tech Lords”

Apple and Microsoft are known by virtually everyone, and interacts/impacts with virtually daily.

Alphabet is “now the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries,” says Wikipedia.  So, it’s used by – and their search results and ads impact – the manufactured housing industry in a big ways.

Google’s Going Modular Housing

Google and a former Amazon exec (see linked article below) are dabbling in prefab housing.

Inside MH – Not Every Democrat, Not Every Republican – Politically Incorrect, Factually Accurate

Will the tech giants dive into factory-built housing more deeply?  If so, shouldn’t we expect a big, disruptive market impact?

Microsoft may be diving into prefab homes soon too.

Bill Gates’ Subsidiary Belmont Plans Smart City of Future, What Role Will Factory Built Homes Play?

The same could happen with Facebook, which along side Google, are huge vehicles for marketing today.  Any chance these moves influenced Warren Buffett’s deeper buy into Apple, while selling off IBM?

Dive, Survive, or Thrive?

For mom-and-pop to even mid-sized manufactured housing operations to survive and thrive in this era of mega-corporations requires a strategy that based upon reality.  Wishful thinking and head-in-the-sand behavior simply won’t work.

ManufacturedHousingGoingVerticalReportDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

If you are an independent, or provide products and services to independents, never forget this graphic below by the left-of-center media outlet, the Atlantic.

AmericasFastestDyingBusinessMobileHomesManufacturedHomesAtlanticIBISWorldDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNews

IBISWorldAtlanticManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsResearchReportsMHProNews

 

Political Impact of the Mega-Corps, Which Also Impacts the MH Industry

The political reality behind these top corporations are worth noting.

JP Morgan’s well-known leader is Jaime Dimon, a Democratic supporter who recently pushed the tax reform plan in a big, public way.

Why Democratic Leaning Jaime Dimon, of JP Morgan, Calls Americans to Support Tax Reform

Johnson and Johnson CEO, Alex Gorsky, has served as part of the Trump Administration’s American Manufacturing Council.

That said, the bulk of these giants tilt left.  Their leadership tends to favor Democratic candidates in their politics.

Warren Buffett has sizable stakes in Wells Fargo, and as previously reported, a growing stake in Apple.

All 6 of the top mega-corporations have a pro-Democratic tilt.

HillaryClintonWarrenBuffettCreditBostonGlobePostedManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-com-

Never forget who Warren Buffett (right) supported, and that Hillary Clinton, left, was for higher taxes and strengthening the CFPB. Credit – Boston Globe.  More recently, Buffett on POTUS Trump, and politics is linked here.

So, when Democratic senators or congressional reps are trash-talking about ‘soaking the rich,’ are they really, truly going to go after those who are the core of their donor-base in recent election cycles?  Isn’t that ‘soak the rich’ just political spin, designed to make the masses feel good, while the truth is quite different?

Money, power, and politics have always mixed in America.

But as award-winning Marty Lavin has observed, pay more attention to what people do than what they say, and follow the money.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

Lavin is an MHI award-winner, and a success story in communities, retail, and finance.

When you follow that money, much of it leads back to these top 10 mega corporations, which touch our industry and consumers in a myriad of ways, day-by-day.

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

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Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist, Wants Google, Facebook Treated Like Monopolies

August 3rd, 2017 Comments off
WhiteHouseChiefStrategistSteveBannonWantsGoogleFacebookTreatedLikeMonopolies

Bannon is one of the driving forces behind Breitbart, and is widely seen as having played an important role in President Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Google has been online for almost 19 years now.

Facebook has been for 13 years.

During that timeframe, both companies have become dominating giants.

In 2017, Google is the top ranking website in the United States, and the world.  It’s closely followed by YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Facebook is ranked number three world wide, per WeForum, which cites data from Alexa.

Google, YouTube and Facebook are all routinely used marketing tools in manufactured housing — and all other kinds of marketing too.

DisclosuresMarketingManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Disclosure. MHProNews’ sister operation, MHMarketingSalesManagement.com provides professional services to the industry, which routinely maximize online results through ‘white hat,’ organic methods. These involve using the resources named in this article, but often by using MHProNews.com, MHLivingNews.com or other methods that allow the user to skip paying anything to those giant tech companies. Image credit, MHMarketingSalesManagement.com

Besides having the world’s top 3 visited websites, Alphabet/Google and Facebook account for 99 percent of revenue growth in digital advertising in the U.S. in 2016, according to the analysis of IAB estimates.

Overall the U.S. digital advertising industry grew 21.8 percent in 2016, says Pivotal Research.

The big point is that if Google and Facebook are the primary interfaces to buyers, over the long-run they own the relationships and the related data,” Pivotal Research Senior Analyst Bill Wieser told Business Insider via email. “Every partner they work with is subservient.”

Internet Utilities, Advertising, and Monopolies

Wieser isn’t the only one who sees potential problems. White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, has long been saying that the internet giants need to be regulated like utilities, and treated like monopolies.

In fact, as The Intercept points out, Facebook’s founder even Mark Zuckerberg called Facebook a “social utility” for the longest time.

I think there’s confusion around what the point of social networks is. A lot of different companies characterized as social networks have different goals — some serve the function of business networking, some are media portals. What we’re trying to do is just make it really efficient for people to communicate, get information and share information. We always try to emphasize the utility component.” – Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg told Time in a 2007 interview.

However, as they also point out Zuckerberg appears to have taken away that slogan in recent years, likely at the advice of legal council, hoping to avoid just what Bannon and others are considering.

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Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is already a force in manufactured housing marketing, could be poised to enter the factory built housing space, and is widely rumored to be running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. Image credit as shown.

When Bannon says he believes there should be laws put in place to help regulate these things he does not mean by letting the  government take complete control. Rather, they could cap advertising fees and prices, since many see it as an essential place for people to advertise their businesses (see disclosure, second image, above). 

Rumors have it that Zuckerberg, who announced a road trip back in January, might be gearing up to run for the White House. Is part of Bannon’s strategy to head off a potential POTUS Trump 2020 rival?

POTUSDefinedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe trip the Facebook founder spoke if is supposed to be for personal growth, “meeting regular folk”, and to “understand America.”  That sounds like an exploration of a campaign, further supported by the fact that Zuckerberg has hired Clinton campaign team members (more on that in a future report).

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Bannon is known for edgy, controversial positions – and for being brilliant in his work. The tweet above is one example of some of his more controversial statements. It may also shed light on the Zuckerberg, Facebook, Google strategy. Image credit, Twitter. 

Google and Facebook Are Growing Offline As Well

Regular Daily Business News readers will know that Google and Facebook both have physical stakes in the market as well. Google is planning to build 300 units of modular housing that will be used for temporary employee housing; and Facebook – although their building method has yet to be confirmed – is planning to build a whole “village” or town called Willow Campus.

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The manufactured, modular and prefab housing industries are deeply impacted by these operations. The Daily Business News will continue to lead the charge in providing coverage on this and other issues that impact a business, investments, or career like yours. # # (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz for Daily Business News on MHProNews.

 

 

 

Universal Basic Income-The Evolution of Poverty Pimping?

May 29th, 2017 Comments off
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Are Democrats looking to keep doing what they’ve done to the masses? Trump’s plans could cause them problems. Credit: Communities Digital News.

In what many have called “Trumponomics,” the battle lines became even more clearly drawn last week.

At the Harvard commencement speech, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made the call for Universal Basic Income (UBI).

Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract,” said Zuckerberg.

We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”

According to CNBC, Zuckerberg’s comments reflect those of other Silicon Valley bigwigs, including Sam Altman, the president of venture capital firm Y Combinator.

Because I knew I had a safety net if projects like Facebook had failed, I was confident enough to continue on without fear of failing,” said Zuckerberg.

Others, such as children who need to support households instead of poking away on computers learning how to code, don’t have the foundation. Universal basic income would provide that sort of cushion.”

 

Magic Money? Vote Buying Happy Talk? 

While the thought of free basic needs money for everyone sounds like a wonderful idea, the inevitable question becomes… how do you pay for it?

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Credit: YouTube.

Many Democrats have tapped into the “you need help, here you go” ethos for decades. With the revolution of social programs during the LBJ administration, the stage was set for generations that became dependent on social programs, and continued to elect candidates who promised to continue them.

And the perception of the promise has had tremendous value… to them.

Politicians and their media allies have learned a form of vote buying that may not require any deliverable payment… ever.

Promises are made, politicos are elected, and bills are passed…

…but no actual change takes place.

22TrillionSpentWarOnPovertyHeritagePostedDaillyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The estimated $22 trillion dollars spent on the War on Poverty, which turned 50, exceeds the total national debt of some 20 trillion dollars. The poverty rate was coming down in the U.S. through free enterprise, and the perhaps well intentioned, but still misguided, impact of poverty programs has not proven to move the needle of poverty, as the graphic above demonstrates. Or as MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach said in Poverty vs. Prosperity, a recent Masthead post, ‘whatever you subsidize, you tend to get more of it.’  The Trump Administration seems to be taking a phased approach to winding down programs and regulations that have proven not to perform as advertised.

Former President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that was supposed to give equal pay for equal work.

Yet the Obama White House staff, the Clinton campaign and the Clinton Foundation – for all the happy talk of wage equality – were documented NOT to pay women equally to men.

 

So… How Do You Pay For It?

Michael Steele. Credit: Atlanta Black Star.

In a recent radio interview, former RNC Chair Michael Steele posed an important question in response to Zuckerberg’s call for UBI.

Why doesn’t he start with his own organization and put in a standard minimum income for all of his employees and see how that works for his shareholders,” said Steele on the Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily.

It’s what you say when you want to sound like you’re with it and cool, you know, I’ve got this real progressive view on taxes and everybody owes everybody else. You do your thing, let me do mine and we’ll work it out. The government doesn’t need to be going around setting anybody’s minimum on anything.”

 

The Trump Effect – The Desert… of the Real

What President Trump started during the campaign, and has continued during his administration, is exposing many of the fallacies that have led to 20 trillion in federal debt, huge trade imbalances, a loss of manufacturing and energy jobs to other nations.

BigLeaguePresidentialDealsUnderminesDCNarrativeofStrugglingTrumpAdministrationcreditHarvard5-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A Harvard study shows how media has covered the President over the first 100 days. Credit: Harvard.

And, as the Band-Aid is now being ripped off… the painful process of revealing and then rolling these fallacies back, those who have politically benefited react in the way that they know best.

Democrats have long argued for $15 minimum wage, yet according to a class action suit filed by DNC campaign workers, the party failed to pay them even the current minimum wage. This past week, Democrats in Congress on Thursday introduced a bill that would increase minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, and used their media allies to set the narrative.

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Credit: YouTube.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders. Credit: Wikipedia.

What we are here today to say is that a living wage is $15… if you are working 40 or 50 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT.)

If Republicans and President Trump are truly serious about standing up for workers, they’ll join us in fighting for a $15 minimum wage. … We’re going to continue fighting tooth and nail for this,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

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Senator Check Schumner (right), with Harry Reid. Credit: Politico.

 

Meanwhile, President Trump has just returned from his first overseas visit, closing billion dollars of business designed to deliver hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs to U.S. shores.

President Trump’s triumphant visit to the Middle East is likely to be remembered as the occasion that changed not just United States foreign policy, but potentially the balance of power in the region,” a statement from the White House’s 1600 Daily email read.

 

The Bottom Line

BigLeaguePresidentialDealsUnderminesDCNarrativeofStrugglingTrumpAdministrationcreditWhiteHouse2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The President sits down with the Saudis. Credit: The White House.

President Trump and his administration are working to get to the root cause of the multi-decade long problem of flat wage growth, which can be summed up in the widely approved phrase, “the law of supply and demand.”

By addressing and attacking low wage worker inflow, unfair trade deals, taxes and regulation, repatriation of billions offshore, public private partnerships and energy independence, the administration is using the law of supply and demand to deliver solutions.

The markets are betting that Trumponomics is already working and will continue to work, as record growth continues.

The NFIB, MHARR and others are calling for, and support, many of these same changes.

The Daily Business News will continue to monitor and report on the various groups – including advocacy media – that attempt to shift or spin the discussion from the realities that are necessary to properly understand and act upon needed changes for sustained economic growth. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

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