Posts Tagged ‘Lessons from Amway’

Barack Obama, Maxine Waters, President Donald J. Trump, Amway, and Manufactured Housing

June 26th, 2018 Comments off


Prologue. Though manufactured housing is a multi-billion dollar industry, the experiences of the last 15 years (+/-) have proven just how vulnerable the industry is to outside political and economic forces.


It’s thus prudent for the industry’s professionals and investors to at least be broadly aware of whatever the political and economic trends are.

To the extent that a person can influence others, professionals should consider doing so, to help guide and support the still-recovering HUD Code manufactured home industry’s prospects. That may be as simple as sharing a link to an article, by direct engagement with others, or through personal political and professional action, and so on.


The Broad Brush That MH Operates In

The divisions in America are mirrored in divides over views about manufactured homes (MH). and within the manufactured housing.  

Those splits among the people involve and influence our much needed factory-crafted home industry. They are challenges which are opportunities in disguise.

In turn, federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes could significantly influence domestic politics, rather than be carried away by them. Amway is a living metaphor for how that could occur.  

There are lessons to learn too from past and current Presidents Barack H. Obama, Donald J. Trump, and Congressional Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA). 

Background. Every day a steady flood of news items from various federal agencies, an array of trade groups (NFIB, NAR, NAHB, NAR, NAM, MHARR, MHI, etc.), and private companies comes into the Daily Business News on MHProNews. Just reading what comes daily that influences or has meaning for our manufactured home industry could be more than a full time job. Curating that flood of potential content is both art and science. No one else in MHVille trade publishing – besides our platforms – even attempts to try.  

That automatically gives us real pressures, and potential advantages, to influence events.

Rephrased, MHProNews can go beyond mere reporting on X – toward influencing what others think, see, and believe with respect to Manufactured Homes and Communities. 

The one thing that is similar between all the for-profit and association trade voices that barrage the industry’s investors and professionals and MHProNews/MHLivingNews is the following.


All media have an agenda. That should beg the next question. Is the agenda of the media you read one that helps or harms your own interests?


The Amway Analogy. With that background – and before considering Presidents Obama and Trump or Rep. Waters – consider Amway as an analogy for manufactured housing professionals to ponder.  

Millions of Americans are customers of Amway, and/or have been in their untold army of independent distributors over the years. Like manufactured housing, Amway has their supporters and detractors.


Rich DeVos is the spouse of Besty DeVos, and the co-founder of Amway. 

Those in Amway see themselves as often misunderstood, but rather as a force for good. There are thus certain parallels between the Amway, and manufactured housing professions.


This is analysis, pure and simple. Facts simply are.

Yet in spite of the wide divide in public views about Amway, Betsy DeVos – spouse of Amway heir Richard “Dick” DeVos – is a cabinet member in the Trump Administration. One of several possible takeaways for manufactured housing industry professionals is that Amway found numerous ways to break through their fog to a get onto a bigger stage.

All analogies limp to some degree. This brief analogy with Amway is but the tip of an iceberg, which offers manufactured housing industry professionals useful lessons.  

Each industry – MH or theirs – has far greater potential that either previously acquired. But Amway earned a valuable seat at the big Cabinet level table. What about MH?

What else can MHVille pros, advocates, and investors learn from Amway? 



Maxine Waters and Barack Obama 

The MH Industry is deeply influenced by Washington, D.C. and national politics. It therefore pays to understand the forces that control our industry’s potential to such a significant degree.  

One may or may not agree with Nathan Smith’s political or business views to recognize that he’s prudent to be engaged in politics. He’s right too in saying that the industry’s bigger national association has often failed to be pro-active.


It is time for MHVille professionals to be far more pro-active. 

This is a critical time in American politics. What will occur in the midterms will influence our industry, and thus your investments or interests.

Let’s take an objective (non-partisan) look at two of the many Democratic leaders.

The Democratic Party was transformed in several ways by Barack Obama.  

To consider but a few, the Democrats under former President Obama: 

   moved further to the political left,

   continued the Bill Clinton strategy of embracing the uber-rich, who they periodically postured as slamming their wealth, while giving those same billionaires and their wealthy and/or influential businesses tremendous access to the White House and other federal levers of money/power,

   and were widely embraced by the left-of-center media. 

Barack Obama achieved to a significant degree several of his personally stated goals.

Mr. Obama:  

   was for the political left a transformational president,

   has been as influential for Democrats as Ronald Reagan was for Republicans,

   achieved numerous political goals for his diverse base of supporters – like it or not – the list of Obama era changes could include gay marriage, Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, transgender advocacy, a host of environmental, and other policy changes that shifted America and our nation’s culture to a significant degree.

By shifting the U.S., Mr. Obama also moved numerous events in the world.

The Democrats to large extent become the party of Mr. Obama. His absence has been felt by their party.


Former President Barack Obama has struck a deal with Netflix that will pay millions. He’s busy preparing for his presidential library. But reports indicate he is working behind the scenes for the Democratic party.  

Yet during the Obama years in the White House, the Democratic Party lost over 1,000 seats at the local, state and national level. And in under 18 months, President Donald J. Trump has swept away much of the Obama legacy, both foreign and domestic. These are serious reality checks for Democrats.

Among the voices that have taken a more prominent role in Democratic politics is Maxine Waters. While she has been politely corrected by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for her weekend rant in front of several of her followers, the rant is instructive on several levels. See the video below, and compare and contrast her numbers with that of President Trump.



Compare and contrast how the interaction is between Congressional Rep Waters, and President Trump stump speech for South Carolina Governor Henry McMasters. Compare too the messages. Which voice is better for a civil, prosperous society? 

New York magazine recently ran a cover asking, where is Barack Obama? Democrats are a party seeking leadership. President Trump flipped some 200 counties that voted for Barack Obama and later voted for Donald J. Trump.  

Clinton campaign and Democratic strategist Doug Schoen are among Democratic voices that are worried that their party is adrift, having become too progressive. Schoen also believes Dems have largely become the party of anti-Trump. The linked report can be read later for more details.

Doug Schoen, Clinton Adviser, warns – “Democrats must advance an agenda…to create a society of opportunity for all – not guaranteed outcomes achieved through wealth redistribution.”


POTUS Donald J. Trump 

The 45th President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump has taken an unlikely path to the White House. Barack Obama’s resume was thin before becoming an Illinois politico, U.S. Senator, and then President.  

But President Trump’s political resume might at a glance seem even thinner. Never holding or attempting a run at prior public office, he rode down the Golden Escalator in Trump Tower three years ago, gave a widely panned speech, and is arguably the most powerful visible political figure on earth today.  

The businessman, builder, and entertainment professional Trump has and still does use all of his experiences to achieve his own stated goals. The right-of-center Heritage Foundation says he is more successful at this point in his presidency than conservative icon Ronald Reagan was.  

Watch when you can – if you’ve not seen them already – the videos posted in this article. Because each one reveals much.  

For example, look at the connection that President Trump’s supporters have with the man.

The president has proven in less than 18 months in office what pro-business, pro-growth policies can achieve. His policies have arguably benefited the economy, and manufactured housing – both directly, and indirectly.

The 45th Chief Executive of the U.S. has been limited by some in his own GOP party, who at times resist the president’s methods and style as much as Democrats do.

Both the Democratic and Republican Parties are no longer the party they once were 10, 20, or 30 years ago. While clearly different, Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump are transforming, disruptive figures.  



Each home shown above is a manufactured home.  The industry has for whatever reasons overall done an arguably poor job of education and self-promotion, and has for decades. Thanks to the support of few, the facts, experts and home owners stories about modern manufactured homes can be learned in detail, as this link here.

The Industry’s Choice

The midterms are coming up fast.

As a political independent, this writer notes that the Democrats – to the extent they are talking about something beyond opposing President Trump – are apparently favoring: 

   taking back the tax cuts,

   protecting and expanding ObamaCare into “Medicare for all,” meaning full blown socialized medicine,

   restoring the power of the CFPB,

   impeachment of the president on any pretext they can find,

   and other environmental, social, and other issues in the vein of the Obama era.


So, if you liked the impact of the Obama Administration’s policies had on your business, the MH industry, the economy, deficits, and debts, you better get busy supporting the #resistance. 


Trump supporters at the White House – Kid Rock, left, Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent (right). Credit: Truth Examiner.

Many once never-Trump Republicans have slowly embraced his results, even if they disagree with his style or methods.  Polling suggests that POTUS #45’s approval with party members is around 90 percent.

The Democrats and their media allies have at times taken positions different than they once supported. The party of Trump is largely a populist, working, and middle class party. The blue collar Democrats are often supporting the policies of POTUS Trump.

No president in American history had so much negative media, even in cases of obvious success. With some 90 percent of the mainstream media reports opposing him and his policies, the president’s approval ratings are as high as Barack Obama’s or Ronald Reagan’s were at this point of his presidency.  

Astonishing, but true. 

It’s all instructive and necessary for forward thinking manufactured housing industry professionals, advocates, and investors to consider. Our industry can learn much from Mr.  Trump, and from Amway.


Manufactured Housing’s Balance of Power? 

With an estimated 22 million Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes or post-HUD Code manufactured homes, the industry is capable of significant influence. 

Research by the New York Times and MHProNews in 2016 suggested that our industry’s residents tilt toward President Trump. Among those who vote, our estimate at the time was about 52 percent favored Mr. Trump vs. 47 percent for Secretary Hillary Clinton.  

Our industry’s residents are in many ways a readily identifiable group that could in tight races be the swing voters.  

Furthermore, given the powerful insights from the affordable housing crisis and YIMBY-NIMBY, the MH Industry could prove to be a powerful forces for transformational personal and national economic advancement. But that will occur only with growth focused leadership.

With a clear-eyed understanding of itself and the broader political landscape, the industry that HUD Secretary Ben Carson called “amazing!” – today’s manufactured homes – could be poised for greater days. But that is only going to occur if we act with clarity of thought and determined vision. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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

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