Posts Tagged ‘public policy’

AOC Sounds Off, 2020 Heats Up, Senator Elizabeth Warren Rising, Manufactured Housing, Article 1 Section 8, and You

June 7th, 2019 Comments off



Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) could be helpful as well as harmful to the manufactured housing industry on several levels. The same could be true of the new darling of the political left, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-D). Before diving into specifics on both further below, let’s begin with statements from Warren’s 2020 Democratic presidential nominee campaign.


Senator Warren has said that she decided to eschew big donors and PACs.

The following are pull-quotes from Warren campaign messages to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

It’s been estimated that up to 70% of a congressional candidate’s time is spent with potential wealthy donors – trying to get them to give, or as a reward for doing so. It’s safe to assume that goes for presidential campaigns too, and presidential donors are disproportionately white, male, and wealthy. Look at the 2016 election: The electorate was more diverse than ever, and yet 91% of donors were white. Only three percent of Americans were millionaires, but 17% of donors were. The wealthy and well-connected have been taught by politicians to expect that more money buys more access – they’ve done it for generations, and it too often closes out women and communities of color. We have to do things differently.”

Warren continues, “That means no fancy receptions or big money fundraisers only with people who can write the big checks. And when I thank the people giving to my campaign, it will not be based on the size of their donation. It means that wealthy donors won’t be able to purchase better seats or one-on-one time with me at our events. And it means I won’t be doing “call time,” which is when candidates take hours to call wealthy donors to ask for their support.” Note to new or first-time readers, pull quotes are often turned bold and brown by MHProNews to make them ‘pop’ but the text is otherwise as sent.

We won’t fact check those claims above at this time, other than to note that other sources say similarly.

As a reminder, MHProNews stated that in 2020, at some point we plan to endorse a candidate with each major party plus among independent(s) candidates. Thus, from each of those three candidate pools MHProNews believes – based on the facts, claims, and evidence – we’ll spotlight the ones that appear to be superior to their contenders.  Once we get into the general election, we’ll plan to endorse the candidate that MHProNews believes is best for the industry, our current and prospective homeowners, as well as the nation at large. In our view, that plan is going to make for the most robust debate and bring the most clarity to issues that matter to manufactured housing professionals.

That said, before proceeding, let’s be clear. Quoting Senator Elizabeth Warren doesn’t mean that we editorially agree with all that she says, or even that we necessarily agree with what is quoted. A quote is what it is, something she and/or her campaign said on her behalf.

For example, Senator Warren said in a statement that she made a strategic decision not to be on Fox News, as several other Democratic candidates have and are doing.

Here’s how Warren’s team says the Massachusetts Democrat and prior Harvard Law professor said it. Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists. I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune in to an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates.” What balderdash that is aimed at pleasing her base. First, Fox has a split between Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and other political perspectives.  Second, some of the Fox anchors and commentators are well known to be Democrats. Is she calling a fellow Democrat a racist? Third, is Fox more conservative than several other networks? Absolutely.  Does being conservative make someone racist? Hardly. So that was political hyperbole, not worthy of her or anyone else to spew or claim.

We’ll look at Senator Warren’s fundraising points in a uniquely Constitutional way, further below. 

But next, let’s turn to a similar point that freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY-D) pointed out in a truly interesting video clip that follows.


A Point that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) and Warren See Similarly

When a new Congress gets sworn into office, they must immediately begin their plans for reelection. Safer to say that after the voting outcome is known, and prior to being sworn into office, their preparations include their plans for reelection.  That’s goes to the core of Warren’s statements on fund raising and being beholden to special interests, which the senator has made on other occasions.

With that in mind, AOC had the following exchange during a congressional hearing.  Whatever one’s politics, it is frankly an issue of importance.



Tipping the hat in her direction on that exchange, one ought to ask, what’s the solution to what is tantamount to the selling of votes?

Sweep a lot of stuff aside from your mind for the next few moments. Because this will be different than most Americans have been led to think.

Our tax, regulation, and legislative system have been increasingly adrift for at least a century. How so and why? In a phrase, because America’s political leaders allowed themselves to steadily move further away from a strict reading of Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. 

Step back to Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution, which establishes a separation of powers and puts the legislative power in the hands of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  A key basis for Americanism is that the founders wanted to avoid a concentration of power.  Three ‘co-equal’ branches of government – the legislative, executive branch, and the judiciary – were supposed to be a safeguard against that threat.




Further limiting federal power was to enumerate what the federal government could, and could not, do. As the 10th Amendment – part of the Bill of Rights that were needed in order to get passage of the Constitution – phrases that limitation of federal power: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” That 10th Amendment is brief and to the point.  If a power is not specifically given to the federal government – “the United States” by the constitution are reserved to the individual states or to “We, the People.”

What that means is that the central U.S. government – at least in the minds of the framers – was designed to do was keep the federal government from overstepping, including what they could legislate, tax and spend on.

Put that notion to random people on the street and few would be aware of it.  Perhaps understandably so, because it is effectively ignored.  But if you read what Article 1 Section 8 specifies, it is hard to escape the conclusion that much of what Congress does is strictly speaking unconstitutional.

What that means is that the valid concern raised by AOC could be solved by limiting the Congress – and the federal government – to its strict constitutional limits



Still from a video further below.


Among the reasons that legislative intent is important is that the courts look to legislative intent in helping decide the meaning of a law or the constitution. So quotes from the founders are apt on issues like this one.


The two sides of the coin on this congressional authority topic are presented in this next video, immediately below.  The presenter seems to favor ‘the elastic clause’ in a broad way.  He is intellectually honest enough to admit that a strict reading of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment would mitigate against that posture.  But as noted, why have a constitutional limits at all, why have a 10th Amendment, if Congress can do whatever it wants, so long as the president and the courts go along with it?  It was precisely that sort of overreach that the founders sought to avoid.



On the YouTube page of the following video, citing the Federalist papers, Joshua222md wrote:

As Madison stated in Federalist No. 45:

·        Powers delegated to the Federal government are few and defined

·        Powers remaining in the State governments are numerous and indefinite

Too many in representatives (and citizens) do not understand the authority granted unto congress; this authority is defined in the Constitution with the 18 enumerated powers (Article 1 Section 8).

Really starting at the beginning of the 1900s legislators, presidents, bureaucrats, and justices have bastardized the meaning, intent, and interpretation of these powers and our founding documents in general.

Until this is stopped and reversed, we will continue to put band-aids on mortal wounds. Some of the major violations to the pure constitution are around 3 clauses:

1.General Welfare clause

2.Necessary and Proper clause

3.Commerce clause Another large departure from original intent of the constitution is when the 14th Amendment was reinterpreted to apply the Bill of Rights (1st 10 Amendments) to the states.

This was never the intent of the founders. The entire purpose of the Constitution was to define the purpose and limitations of the general (i.e. federal) government.”  The video is dated and won’t fit the style many want.  But ‘Joshua’ raised the correct point.  If the Constitution meant to convey unlimited power on Congress, it would never have been enacted. The point of the 10th Amendment, was to dot the i on the point that the enumerated powers were it. Any other reading, wittingly or not, is an unconstitutional power grab. 





Having set the table, and noting that spelling on ‘defense’ has changed since then, here is how quotes Article 1, Section 8:


U.S. Constitution – Article 1 Section 8

Article 1 – The Legislative Branch

Section 8 – Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; 

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries; 

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations; 

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

— end of Article 1, Section 8 text —

Note that for over a century the nation more or less held to those constitutional limits. During that time, the national debt remained very low.



It was early in the 20th century that laws and amendments were enacted that led to what in hindsight sparked a sharp rise in federal debt.


It was after the ‘passage’ of the income tax, the federal reserve act, and after the Supreme Court Rules on a broader understanding of the ‘promote the general welfare clause’ was used to grow government – and the federal overreach grew dramatically.  The solution to the issue that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) raised is to return to the limited powers of the federal government.  That’s not what AOC believes, but that is what history and logic point toward.  To accomplish that will take an educational effort, because ‘term limits’ and other purported ‘cures’ – however well intended – are just a dodge.  Return to the constitutional limits on what Congress can and can’t do and the opportunities for political corruption will be rapidly cut down to size. 

Those who claim that government is the solution happen to be the same that often paradoxically claim that the system is broken. Senator Warren, in an address last year, floated an anti-corruption act.  However well intended Warren’s measure may be, it can’t fix the system, unless it gets to the root cause.  Federal spending, in large measure, ends up flowing to special interests which means specific companies and organizations.   That could be remedied by simply returning to the proper understanding of Article 1, Section 8.  While that arguably would have to be phased in to limit disruption, is it even possible to imagine?  The short answer is yes.  ‘Joshua’ above was one of millions who in the wake of the Obama revolution in government said no further, joining or forming ‘tea party’ groups.  The phrase “TEA” meant ‘taxed enough already’ to many of their members.

By contrast, what AOC and Warren are advocating is more government intrusion.  Thus the need to re-learn and re-apply the proper constitutional limits of the federal government.



The Coming Impact of Pending Legislative Plans on the Manufactured Housing Industry

That said, let’s pivot to positions that AOC and Senator Warren are taking that could significant impact manufactured housing.

AOC has taken to social media and news outlets to promote her position that affordable housing is a right that precedes the right to earn a profit. Who does the freshman congresswoman think will build housing if there is no financial reward for doing so?  One must keep in mind that federal housing programs are the ones that have delivered what she complains about.  Per Common Dreams, AOC said: “Because when we talk about what housing as a right means, it doesn’t mean that you have a right to four crumbling walls and dirty floor,” she said. What it means is that we all have a right to dignified housing, good heat, responsible structures, low noise, clean air, and clean water—that’s at an affordable price.”

We do not have to be price gauged to live in a building with cockroaches and dirty air and that endanger our kids with lead in the paint. Another world is possible,” AOC said. “We have been conditioned [to believe] that basic rights are a luxury and a privilege when they are not.

What she described is federally subsidized housing. This is the sad irony, the politicos who want to fix housing want to double down on the very policies that have already been proven failures for decades.

One must keep in mind that she made that statement to an audience that reportedly included manufactured home community residents, The town hall was hosted by Housing Justice for All, a campaign led by the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance, a coalition of tenants, homeless people, manufactured housing residents, and advocates in New York.”

AOC points to her Green New Deal, which was previously reviewed at the link here.


Positions Warren Has Taken That Could Impact the Manufactured Home and Affordable Housing Industry

Warren has floated a plan to “A sweeping housing bill that seeks to build more than 3 million new homes in 10 years and bring down rents by 10% was introduced today by Sen. Elizabeth Warren,” said HousingFinance. Senator Warren’s officer said, “This bill will fight housing discrimination and invest in affordable housing…”

Bills like that routinely are harmful to the interests of the manufactured home industry. As independent manufactured home community owner/operator Marge Clark said earlier this year, subsidized housing is a director competitor to manufactured homes.


Subsidized Housing vs Manufactured Homes, Community Owner Marge Clark Sounds Off


But as the review of Article 1, Section 8 above outlined, Warren’s bill – or AOC’s Green New Deal – do not comport with the enumerated powers of the federal government.


Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members


A review of ‘Great Society’ poverty and housing programs by the Heritage Foundation revealed that the total amount of U.S. government spent is roughly equal to the national debt, and has made very little measurable impact on poverty.




Different sources, the same facts. The socialist – social welfare – promises are proven not to work, but have cost tens of trillions of dollars. They distort free markets, as Marge Clark aptly pointed out. Why keep doing what has been proven to fail for over 50 years?


What does comport with federal power is federal antitrust law or investigations that could serve to break the back of the forces that subtly are holding manufactured housing at historically low levels of results.


Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation


To learn more about those issues, see the topics linked above, below, and in the related reports that follow the byline and notices.


Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending


The Rev. Donald Tye, Jr (on right) has rejected several programs that cause people to be warehoused like cattle. Tye has promoted the more liberal use of factory built homes, including manufactured homes.


Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


See an in depth video interview and an accompanying report with Rev. Tye at the link here.


The bottom line is that manufactured housing could continue to be swept along by forces beyond its control.  Learning and sharing constitutional limits on federal power could be a useful part of the solution.  That’s a wrap on this installment of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

July 11th, 2018 Comments off



What other industry that has existed for over 40 years, and still struggles with the proper terminology about its product?


Have you ever heard of anyone use the term crank phone with a land-line,’ when describing a modern smart phone?

Or who calls a modern E-Class Mercedes by the name, ‘Model T?’


Those are a little like what the manufactured housing industry has allowed to happen for far too many decades, when the industry accepts terms like ‘mobile home,’ or worse, ‘trailer house in a trailer park’ when it comes to manufactured homes and the industry’s land-lease communities.


What other major industry has this kind of terminology problem?

Earlier today, a simple Google search revealed the “definition”  shown above.  This has issue has ripple effects for home owners, those considering a manufactured home, and all others too.


“Home Sweet Home” – Assistant Mayor Wants to End Housing Choice Stigma

Examples of what educated Americans who own a manufactured home, including an assistant mayor, have had to say about this subject are linked above and below.

Taking on the Trash Talk! Are People Defined by their Housing Choice? Video, Photos

If you think it doesn’t matter, then you haven’t talked to, or read enough, articles and interviews with manufactured home (MH) owners.  For years, a common refrain has  been that manufactured home owners don’t want to have their home called a “trailer,” or have their community called a “trailer park,” because it makes them feel like “trailer trash.” So why – 42 years after the HUD Code created manufactured housing – does this nomenclature problem persist?


Make a habit of using the correct terminology.


The above arn’t a perfect set of definitions, but it is clarifying. It is a matter of law, not opinion, what is or is not a manufactured home. Ditto the example below, from the National Fire Protection Association.


Again, not perfect, but clarifying.


“Economic Racism”

The publishers of MHProNews – almost alone in the MH industry, in conjunction with our sister-site, MHLivingNews and a few industry voices – has periodically tackled this topic for years, as the linked articles reflect.


Isn’t what Donald Tye Jr said part of the antidote to the t-word issue?

The last Foremost survey indicates that the use of the term “trailer” and “mobile home” are on the rise, so those of you that follow the news are not imagining that the proper terms – manufactured home, or manufactured housing – aren’t growing.

We’ve asked industry voices to sound off on this issue from time to time.  Some examples of what industry pros have said, past and present, are found below.




While Frank Rolfe has admitted on stage to contradicting himself on this issue, even he knows that the terminology matters, but he is correct that this is association work that should be done.

Because the video below makes that point, though we’d argue that the shrewd move long-term view is to routinely use the correct terminology.



The Media has Responsibility, but So Does the Industry’s Members

We’ve brought the topic periodically to the attention of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) for years, as have others.

We’ve also asked several mainstream publishers and news outlets if MHI has followed up with them, questioning their improper use of terminology, data, or other issues.

Thus far, not a single publication or news source has answered that affirmatively.  Rephrasing, MHI routinely fails to address the terminology issue. It fits the hit that Frank Rolfe laid on them for not defending the industry, and its image.

Keep in mind, MHI are the ones for the multi-million dollar budget for this task.  It was part of what MHI’s ‘leadership’ said would occur before they brought on board their first – and now, reportedly second – public relations professional.


So, we asked Mark Weiss at MHARR, his thoughts on this topic of terminology.  He said the following, which is followed by what U.S. Legal says about the issue, and what some select quotes from the Code of Ethics from the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ).

The definition of “manufactured home” in our federal law, as well as all of the other statutorily-defined terms, is extremely important to the industry and consumers as well.  That term or “manufactured housing” distinguishes federally-regulated manufactured homes, which are subject to uniform, binding, preemptive federal construction and safety standards,” said Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

He said, “A manufactured home is the only federally regulated construction standard, which makes them unique from other types of structures that are either not federally-regulated, or not regulated at all, or are not designed or intended for use as a “dwelling.”

The use of any other term, by either uninformed or deliberately maligning media, academics, industry critics, or others, is not only inaccurate, but a disservice to the public,” per Weiss. “The deliberate misuse of terminology can also be offensive to the millions who proudly own a manufactured home, or the tens of thousands who work in our industry.”

Insofar as production is regulated at the federal level, under a law that specifically uses and defines the term “manufactured housing,” this is more often a post-production issue that needs to be addressed and fought by those who deal directly with the public,” said Weiss to MHProNews. “At that post-product level, it is vital to make sure that today’s manufactured homes are not confused with other types of structures that offer lower-quality, lower levels of safety, or are otherwise misrepresented to the public and/or government entities.”




What does U.S. Legal Say?

Here below is an extended quote from U.S. Legal about the legal definition of manufactured homes.

Manufactured Home Law and Legal Definition

The Manufactured Housing program is a national program established to protect the health and safety of the owners of manufactured (mobile) homes. Under the program HUD issues, monitors, and enforces federal manufactured home construction and safety standards. HUD’s authority is granted under The National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5401 et seq.; 24 CFR Part 3280 and Part 3282.

A manufactured home is defined by the regulations of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as housing that is essentially ready for occupancy upon leaving the factory and being transported to a building site. Other factory build homes, that require a significant amount of construction on site before they are ready for occupancy do not fall under the HUD definition. The following is a portion of a federal statute defining manufactured homes:

“Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight body feet or more in width or forty body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is three hundred twenty or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein; except that such term shall include any structure which meets all the requirements of this paragraph except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the Secretary and complies with the standards established under this chapter

All of these quotes and sources should convince any journalist that this isn’t an optional matter.


Society of Professional Journalism, Code of Ethics: Select Quotes:

Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair,” said the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ). “Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should:

There’s more, but those above serve to prove the point for serious writers, journalists, producers, and editors.

Accuracy matters. Rarely can one point to as common a misuse of terminology occurs.



MHI arguably ought to be pushed, shamed and/or otherwise prompted into doing what it’s leaders promised with regards to engaging the media on each and every problematic story.

Isn’t this terminology and media engagement issues yet another example of the alleged failures by MHI to serve the industry’s obvious needs?  Shouldn’t the array of industry voices,  including several of their past or current own members, as well as those outside of their membership, be considered and cause MHI to act to pro-actively address this problem?

While other issues, like regulations, zoning, financing and the like matter, few others could be as useful as getting the mainstream media and third-party researchers to simply use the correct terminology, and accurate information.

It should be part of the mantra of every good post-production entity. Doing so would in time rally manufactured homeowners.  Accurate information and nomenclature could accomplish more over time do than a multi-million dollar campaign could accomplish.

But the media’s and academia’s role in giving the proper respect to manufactured home owners is important.



Some of the reasons to respects, and support, manufactured home owners and the industry are outlined in the article linked above.  That linked article above is useful, because it is on a mainstream media site. You can share that and with those who just ‘don’t get it’ about manufactured housing.

Nothing is changed until it is challenged. Knowledge is power, but more so, whenever it is properly shared. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Going to Pot – Marijuana, Illegal Drugs Controversies, and Manufactured Housing

June 23rd, 2018 Comments off

Graphic design by MHProNews.

There are no known industry specific statistics, but it is safe to say that thousands of manufactured housing (MH) communities have dealt in some form of fashion with the problem of illegal drugs. The same is true with MH factories or other workplaces. Employers tell MHProNews anecdotally that a significant percentage of people who apply for work have a problem with drugs, alcohol or other forms of substance abuse.


A growing number of Americans are employed. One manufacturer told MHProNews that they would like to open another production center in Florida. It is a well capitalized company.

What has been their hold up? In a phrase, the competition for an able workforce.


Controversial – Drugs, Society and Employment

States have increasingly been debating the issue of legalizing “pot” or marijuana. It is on the surface a vexing issue.

States are routinely hungry for new tax sources, and marijuana fit the bill for voters in Colorado, which legalized the sale of pot in 2012.


U.S. Senator Cory Booker, (D-NJ).

The Denver Post said that in 2017, there was $1.5 billion dollars in sales, and “Colorado collected upward of $247 million in taxes and fees revenue from marijuana sales.”

What are the downsides?

In a USA Today op-ed, Jeff Hunt said, “Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally.”

Hunt pointed to federal legislation promoted by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), which would legalize marijuana nationally.

Hunt said, “Our country is facing a drug epidemic. Legalizing recreational marijuana will do nothing that Senator Booker expects. We heard many of these same promises in 2012 when Colorado legalized recreational marijuana.”

In the years since, Colorado has seen an increase in marijuana related traffic deaths, poison control calls, and emergency room visits. The marijuana black market has increased in Colorado, not decreased. And, numerous Colorado marijuana regulators have been indicted for corruption,” said Hunt.


Jeff Hunt, Vice President of Public Policy at Colorado Christian University,

In fiscal year 2016, marijuana tax revenue resulted in $156,701,018. The total tax revenue for Colorado was $13,327,123,798, making marijuana only 1.18% of the state’s total tax revenue,” wrote Hunt. “The cost of marijuana legalization in public awareness campaigns, law enforcement, healthcare treatment, addiction recovery, and preventative work is an unknown cost to date.”

Senator Booker stated his reasons for legalizing marijuana is to reduce “marijuana arrests happening so much in our country, targeting certain communities – poor communities, minority communities.” It’s a noble cause to seek to reduce incarceration rates among these communities but legalizing marijuana has had the opposite effect,” said Hunt.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Safety, arrests in Colorado of black and Latino youth for marijuana possession have increased 58% and 29% respectively after legalization,” Hunt said, adding “This means that Black and Latino youth are being arrested more for marijuana possession after it became legal.”


Race and Drugs

Furthermore,” said Hunt “a vast majority of Colorado’s marijuana businesses are concentrated in neighborhoods of color. Leaders from these communities, many of whom initially voted to legalize recreational marijuana, often speak out about the negative impacts of these businesses.”

The true impact of marijuana on our communities is just starting to be learned,” Hunt, who is Vice President of Public Policy at Colorado Christian University, wrote.

Given Hunt’s vantage point as an educator, it is interesting to note the his following factoids.

Senator Booker released his bill a few days after the Washington Post reported on a study by the Review of Economic Studies, said Hunt.

That report found “college students with access to recreational cannabis on average earn worse grades and fail classes at a higher rate.” Getting off marijuana especially helped lower performing students who were at risk of dropping out. Since legalizing marijuana, Colorado’s youth marijuana use rate is the highest in the nation, 74% higher than the national average, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Report. This is having terribly negative effects on the education of our youth.”

To say that Hunt is against legalization for fact-based reasons is clear.

But what is absent from Hunt’s thoughtful column is the history of prohibition and alcohol in the U.S.

The U.S. tried and failed to make alcohol illegal. It resulted in black markets, gangs, and criminalized behaviors that have been legal in some parts of the world for centuries. The war on alcohol failed as badly as the war on drugs has.

Perhaps what is necessary is to strike some middle ground?

President Trump recently pardoned a non-violent drug offender. Per Vox, “Kim Kardashian West did it: President Donald Trump has commuted the life sentence of Alice Johnson, the 63-year-old great grandmother in prison for drug trafficking, whose cause Kardashian lobbied for in the Oval Office.


Official photo.

At the end of the day, there is a need to get to the heart of what drives people to use – or abuse – substances in the first place. With millions incarcerated over the years for drug related crimes, that has a high cost to society.  But as Hunt points out the legalization hasn’t changed all of that either.

Getting to the root issues of what causes people to turn to a controlled substance must be part of the solution. Much of what has been done so far clearly has not worked.


There are 6.7 million job openings and just 6.4 million available workers to fill them,” said CNBC on June 5, 2018.

The labor force participation rate is still low, as the chart reflects.


It is still early in the Trump Administration, and the labor force participation rate has been improving. Still, as the data reflects, it is at historic lows. Part of the problem? According to experts, substance abuse.

The Trump Administration policies have been pro-growth for business. Incomes are starting to rise. Claims for unemployment and so-called “entitlement” programs are starting to fall.


Employment is surging, and so too is the demand for skilled workers. Efforts to train former inmates, and other vocational training are parts of the policy discussions, which impact manufactured housing and all other industries too.

The vexing issue of drugs and substance abuse impacts manufactured housing industry businesses of all kinds. A happy medium must be found, because much of U.S. policy for over 50 years has proven ineffective, costly, and harmful to millions. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Resident Homeowner Groups, Public Policy, Media, Manufactured Housing, Investors, and You

October 24th, 2017 Comments off

PeopleGlobeSmartPhonePixabayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsState associations, in places such as Ohio or Florida, have demonstrated their ability to work with resident/homeowner groups on a variety of issues.

For example, Tim Williams and Andrea Reichman with the Ohio Manufactured Home Association collaborated with resident groups in their recent battle to save their state regulatory structure, as was extensively reported on the Daily Business News.

So, the notion that resident/homeowner groups are always in opposition to business interests in manufactured housing would be an inaccurate one.

At the same time, in places such as California, industry professionals witness a routine push by some resident organizations for rent control. MHProNews covered the fight over Measure V extensively.


Commentary on rent control via Industry Voices last year by:

and others who’ve provided expert commentary demonstrated a point made on MHProNews years earlier.

That Vexing, Controversial Rent Control Issue – The Point? 

Rent control fails everyone; residents, industry professionals, policy advocates, and those public officials who say they want to preserve affordable housing.

In fact, as the Canadian and other examples reported for years by MHProNews years before reflected, rent control results in a dramatic drop in new development, and has other negative impacts for consumers and professionals alike.

That makes Bradley’s point, that there must be a better way.

Ross Kinzler said in his commentary on Congressman Keith Elision’s bill which would impact manufactured home communities, that state and local policies are often harming affordable housing, rather than helping it.

Ishbel Dickens, NMHOA and Industry Issues – Like Rent Control

In spite of the track record of rent control failures in the U.S. and Canada, Ishbel Dickens – former executive director of the NMHOA – has not yet lived up to the challenge issued by MHProNews publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach to discuss/debate the issues that face the MH Industry.


Home owners and professionals in most ways should share a common set of goals.

Quality affordable home ownership is what attracts and retains millions of manufactured home owners, which MHLivingNews, federal HUD Data, and third-party consumer satisfaction research has revealed are routinely proud to call their homes their own.

Dickens, as was previously reported and is reflected in the email/collage shown, suggested in writing that such a public discussion could take place, if the “seamier side” of the industry was reported (see screen capture of her email, above).

Such reports have been done for years by the Daily Business News, including the very issue that Dicken’s referenced, which few if any other’s MH Industry’s publishing have covered at all, much less as robustly.

So that assurance by Dickens to engage on behalf of her members has yet to be fulfilled by the NMHOA.

A similar point could be made about left-of-center, MHAction.


Whatever their motivations may be, attacking private capital doesn’t attract more investors to create or update properties that would provide quality manufactured home communities. To see The Road to Hell, click here.

PBS and Carla Burr

An invitation to publicly discuss via a video recorded live event has been made to the resident group leaders, as well as to the representatives of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Both those resident groups, and MHI have ducked that public video discussion/debate.


Editorially, L. A. “Tony” Kovach has argued privately and publicly with resident leaders of MHAction or NMHOA that some of their tactics and policy positions harm their own home owners, as well as the industry.

The objective research reflected by third parties would come to a similar conclusion; namely, that rent control doesn’t work as claimed.

The reasons are simple.  Rent control violates the law of supply and demand, while it changes the risk-reward matrix for owners and investors.

John Jenkins, Hurricane Irma, Manufactured Home Owner,
Community Resident, Tells His Storm Survival Story

Similar violations of economic principles don’t work for Republicans like President Richard Nixon’s wage/price controls, nor for Democrats or any others.

Like gravity, those laws as applied to rent control can seemingly be suspended for a time, but only by expending energy/cost. During and after such artificial energy/cost, price controls reduce development, forcing some community owners to redevelop.

Yet that is the very thing that Ellison’s and others claim to want to avoid.

The Carla Burr PBS interview is an example of how a left of center mainstream media outlet tilted a report in a way that harmed the image of the entire industry. Using the principle of supply and demand, doesn’t that in turn harm every manufactured home owner’s value?

The Solution Is All American

Each of those linked industry professionals cited above provides keen insights into what seemingly is a complex issue.  The bottom line should be that residents and professionals work together, and seek understanding.

Paraphrasing Sam Landy, no savvy business owner wants to raise rents at a rate that creates stress for their residents.

American principles of free enterprise, properly applied, and earnest discussions between parties that seem to disagree, are the foundation for advancing the mutual interests of home owners, home seekers, public officials, industry professionals, current and potential investors.

Rent control, doesn’t the evidence show that it has done far more harm, than the alleged good? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, Analysis.)

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CATO CEO Says Free Markets Are the Answer

September 26th, 2012 1 comment CATO Institute’s CEO, John A. Allison, is making the case that free markets not government are the solution to what caused the banking crisis. In his book,”The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope.” In a column to AB, Allison states that: “Many life insurance companies and other investors like having government guarantees on their assets (via Freddie, Fannie, or the FHA). However, this is very destructive public policy because it pushes the risk to taxpayers and not market participants.” Alison also said, “A major component of the solution will be provided by existing commercial banks that retain home mortgages in their portfolios the way the S&Ls did. One of the few major economic systems to have limited problems as a result of the financial crisis is Canada. One reason the Canadian banks did relatively well is that they portfolio home mortgages. While there are some housing subsidies in Canada, the banks do not have to compete with the government, that is, Freddie, Fannie, and the FHA. Also, since the banks were holding the mortgages on their books, they cared about the credit risk and underwrote the risk rationally.”
(Photo Credit: United Liberty)

Is the Worst Over?

September 21st, 2012 Comments off

The news-times says data from the Census Bureau shows 36.5 million people, 12 percent of the population, moved to a new home this year, up from a record low of 11.6 percent in 2011. The most mobile group, young men 25-29, are moving out of their parents’ home, either returning to school or feeling confident about their job prospects, even though the unemployment rate remains stubbornly stuck. Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, says, “We may be seeing the beginning of the American family’s recovery from the Great Recession. It could be the modest number of new jobs or simply the belief that the worst is over,” he adds. As MHProNews has learned, the picture remains mixed, however: Homeownership dropped last year to its lowest rate in over a decade, 64.6 percent; more Americans are using food stamps than ever before; and data released this week by the Conference Board’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators, which forecasts future economic activity, dropped 0.1 percent in August, after rising 0.5 percent in July. Harvard University Economist Richard Freeman said the data points to “a fragile recovery.”

(Image credit: FotoSearch)

Mass. Real Estate Market Improves Slightly

May 24th, 2012 Comments off

BostonGlobe reports for the first time in seven months, prices for single-family homes in Massachusetts rose modestly, 1.1%, as the median price hit $275,000 in April, according to Boston real estate company Warren Group. The number of single-family homes sold in April rose almost 22 percent over April 2011, marking the third consecutive month of increases. Statewide, for the first four months of 2012 sales of single-family homes rose 18 percent over the same period last year. Prices fell 20 percent 2005 to 2009, and Eric Belsky of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, says this is the first time since the home buyers tax credits ended that prices are rising on their own. One real estate broker who focuses on downtown Boston says total sales this year have already surpassed all of 2011. has learned Michael Goodman, asst. prof. of public policy at the Univ. of Massachusetts, noting the western part of the state is still struggling, says “We are going to really need to see some sustained growth in sales volumes and median prices to declare the downturn is over.”

(Photo credit: MortgageBroker)

Gov. Vetoes MHC Residents’ Safety Measure

April 17th, 2012 Comments off

Deanna Fields of the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma tells us Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a bill that would have provided liability protection for MHC owners who shelter residents in their office during severe weather. HB 2296, which would protect the owners from civil liability passed unanimously in the House and 40-1 in the Senate. Gov. Fallin said the waiver of liability could be used to promote the MHC as having a storm shelter. “By only lifting liability for mobile home park owners, the bill treats one group differently and does not constitute good public policy,” she stated. has learned the bipartisan bill was co-authored by Sen. Brian Crain and Rep. Eric Proctor, and they will now seek to override the veto, which requires a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

(Image credit: State of Oklahoma)