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Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

June 18th, 2019 Comments off

RealWorldEconomicsProfEdLottermanSaysPlayingMonopolyMoreThanJustRollingDiceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Since 2005, Ed has been a professor of economics at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN, but has taught at many of the higher ed institutions in and around the Twin Cities. In his 30 years as a teacher, he’s had the privilege of educating thousands of students.

 

Before he stood at the head of the classroom, he spent time at the University of Minnesota where he got a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and a master’s degree in agricultural economics,” per the EdLotterman.com website page linked here.

Professor Lotterman recently authored an article for Twin Cities entitled Real World Economics: Playing monopoly is more than just rolling the dice.”

The Daily Business News on MHProNews noted on April 26, 2019 that: Ryan Young at the Competitive Enterprise Institute had this to say…“Both parties are making antitrust regulation a 2020 campaign issue. Neither President Trump nor most of the Democratic candidates are proposing improvements.

Let’s note for our ever-growing audience, which obviously means numbers of first time readers, that quoting a source doesn’t imply agreement.  A quote is what it is, and presumably reflects the views of the person or organization cited.  Let’s further note that MHProNews has for years often turned quoted text bold and brown to make it ‘pop.’ Those points made, let’s proceed.

Young also said, After a two-decade lull following the Microsoft case, big antitrust enforcement cases are back in vogue. Both political parties are making antitrust regulation a 2020 campaign issue. Regulators, politicians, and voters have reasonable concerns about concentrated corporate power.” 

Last year, MHProNews spotlighted columnist David Leonardt’s snapshot of current trends in monopolization and a look at ‘trust busting’ history in the report linked below.

New York Times-David Leonhardt-“The Monopolization of America,” Manufactured Housing Slant

 

Industry professionals are well aware of the hot nature of this topic, particularly for manufactured home independents. But those ‘big boys’ who are increasingly being spotlighted for possible collusion and antitrust behavior are likewise following this issue with keen interest.

With that backdrop, Professor Ed Lotterman’s recent column on monopoly follows, provided under fair use guidelines for media.  It will be followed with some additional information and commentary.

 

RealWorldEconomicsPlayingMonopolyMoreThanJustRollingDiceTwinCitiesPioneerPressDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Defense and aerospace giant Raytheon announced plans last week to merge with rival defense and aerospace giant United Technologies, creating a huge corporation, albeit a bit smaller than Boeing, and reducing competition in defense contracting.

Yet hardly anyone is raising the issue of “antitrust,” as we call competition enforcement in our country.

This may be because we have seen a progressive concentration of big business into fewer and larger firms, with resulting reduced competition, in many sectors in recent decades. There has not been any real government action to stem this tide in 20 years. So why start again now?

The last was the Clinton administration’s suit against Microsoft’s monopolistic practices over software and operating systems. That was well along, but not yet decided, when successor George W. Bush was inaugurated in 2001. Many economists thought the suit promoted economic efficiency and many legal observers thought the Justice Department had essentially won. But limiting business pricing power was not an objective of Bush 43. The government abruptly dropped the suit.

Nothing much has happened since then, even as we have seen growing concentration in many sectors, including defense, aviation, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agricultural seeds, fertilizers and chemicals, banking and other financial services, and many more.

That may change, however, if a Democrat is elected to the White House in 2020. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a law school professor specializing in bankruptcy and consumer protection legislation, is the most vocal and specific of the many Democratic candidates in regard to curbing monopoly power. But nearly all of the other candidates make it part of their platform.

Anyone with historical perspective may note parallels between today and the Gilded Age at the end of the 1800s and into the Theodore Roosevelt administration. We are now similarly seeing high concentrations of upper incomes with business exercising great political power. This was curbed back then by the political reaction of the progressive era, one in which Republicans and Democrats played a big part. Sen. John Sherman, of Ohio, who sponsored the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act, was a leading Republican who also served as both secretary of State and secretary of the Treasury in GOP administrations. GOP president Roosevelt prided himself on being a “trust buster” and in 1912 led a third-party revolt against his own hand-picked successor, William H. Taft, for the latter’s insufficient willingness to regulate business.

Regulation of business abuses was key in the platform of Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who won that year. Alabama Democratic Rep. Henry Clayton wrote major legislation in 1914 that strengthened antitrust powers.

But issues wax and wane. By the 1970s, deregulation was in vogue. President Jimmy Carter presided over the deregulation of air, rail, trucking and barge transport. Democrats from Nevada and West Virginia sponsored the key legislation ending 90 years of railroad rate controls.

At the same time, within the economics discipline, interest in control of monopoly power waned. Many economists thought economic losses to monopoly power were small and that regulation could cause greater harm.

But now the pendulum is swinging again. Abuses of customers by financial firms such as Wells Fargo and extreme and apparently unjustified price increases for basic essential drugs such as insulin produce public and political outrage. Just last week, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called for a special legislative session to address the insulin problem. So expect the issue of monopoly control to re-emerge on the forefront of public debate and stay there for some time.

All this merits a review of basic terminology and economics of monopolistic issues. Start with some definitions:

Monopoly is a situation in which there is only one seller of a good. With no competition, a monopoly firm will reduce output below the level that would prevail in a free market and can sell it for a high price. That harm to the public is well known, but econ students also learn that monopoly inherently creates economic inefficiency, with waste of resources for society as a whole.

Pure monopolies are rare, but we do create them when we grant pharmaceutical and medical device firms patents while not doing anything to control prices charged for their patent-protected products. Price-regulated monopolies such as utilities are allowed because the barriers to market entry, such as building rival electrical power grid networks, are prohibitive to competitors and inefficient to operate.

The next step is duopoly, a market in which there are two producers, though not necessarily the same size. Large passenger airliner production, in which Boeing and Airbus dominate, is a duopoly. But for smaller planes, including those in the class of the Boeing 737, the barriers to entry are lower and smaller firms like Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer can compete.

Note that duopoly is different from bilateral monopoly. This is a market in which there is only one seller facing only one buyer. The Electric Boat division of General Dynamics is the only U.S. producer of submarines and the U.S. Navy is the only buyer of most classes, is an example of this.

At the Fortune 500 level, most corporations operate in situations of oligopoly. Just as oligarchy was government by a few powerful nobles, oligopoly is a market dominated by a few powerful businesses, usually corporations. Farm machinery, autos, air travel, pharmaceuticals, grain marketing, electrical equipment, petroleum, chemicals and many other sectors are dominated by a few large firms, particularly in any single geographic area. So too, increasingly, is health care.

This market structure is not static. In the 1930s, my mother, as a college debater, argued for government regulation of main-street chain stores. In the 1960s, Sears, Wards and new entrant K-mart dominated household retailing. But Target and Walmart shouldered these aside only to see themselves lose market share first to specialized big-box retailers and now to e-commerce.

“Monopolistic competition” is a situation of great competition, but not quite meeting the textbook ideal of “perfect competition.” Often the only difference is a branded product rather than the “homogeneous commodity” in perfect competition. Retail groceries, gasoline, restaurants and so forth are examples of monopolistic competition.

The structure here may vary depending on the level of analysis. McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Culvers and others are in oligopoly nationally, but at the consumer level there are dozens of individual eating places from which to choose. And even these larger national and regional providers vary in terms of individual consumer taste and level of convenience.

The incentives for a pure monopoly and the actions they do take are clear and easy to analyze. Those for oligopoly are murkier.

Yes, as a group, an oligopoly will be better off if companies cooperate to act as a single monopolist. That is what “trusts” were all about. That is what a cartel like OPEC strives to do. But as OPEC well knows, it is hard to keep members from cheating. So collusion is difficult. There were no real tools for economists to use in analyzing the dynamics within oligopoly until the application of game theory to economics in the second half of the 20th century.

There are certain situations, beyond granting patents to motivate innovation, where we tolerate monopoly, as in the utilities example above. Officers of Raytheon would argue that defense systems now are in this category. Development costs are so high and production numbers so low, that preserving multiple small firms would reduce research and increase production costs. The same may be argued by drug companies.

Industry structure varies with mergers and divestitures. These often aim for some sort of “integration.”

“Vertical integration” means bringing all steps of production into one firm. At one time, U.S. Steel operated iron mines, limestone quarries and owned coal mining companies. It made raw steel but also had a bridge-building subsidiary and others that made products like barbed wire. UnitedHealth acquiring the Express Scripts on-line pharmacy falls under this rubric.

“Horizontal integration” is the merging of firms engaged in the same stage of production. McDonnell and Douglas had somewhat different product lines, but both were major airplane manufacturers. Raytheon and United Technologies are complementary in products.

There may be a two-step process. A large Mexican cement company purchased South Dakota’s state-owned cement plant, one of many such acquisitions worldwide. But then it started buying up small-town ready-mix concrete plants, moving eastward along I-90. The first step was horizontal, the second vertical.

Much more could be said about such “industrial organization” issues. They will be in the news in coming months. Exactly how seriously voters take competition issues is uncertain, but expect them to play a role in the next elections. ##

By St. Paul economist and writer Edward Lotterman, originally published at this link here.

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Once upon a time, blogger George Allen, citing the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform at the now defunct Journal of Manufactured and Modular Housing at length, had plenty of things to say about the monopolization of manufactured housing. However, most in our industry’s trade media have remained largely mute on the topic, as the report linked below documents.

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

 

When CNBC’s Diana Oleck asked Clayton Homes CEO Kevin Clayton about what was tantamount to a question on monopoly, his reply was captured on video.  That is found in the report linked below.

 

Tariffs “…Will Effect Demand,” says Kevin Clayton, Answers CNBC’s Monopoly Question – Video – plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

MHProNews has repeatedly asked Clayton, 21st, the Manufactured Housing Institute that they purportedly dominate, and their outside attorney to comment on the concerns linked below.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

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. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

They have exercised their 5th Amendment right to remain mute in response to our offers to confirm or deny the concerns raised and evidenced in reports like the one linked above. That said periodically, for whatever reasons, others will speak up for them.  One such was ManageAmerica’s Andy Gedo. That exchange is linked below.

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

 

Lotterman’s debatably correct in saying that there are indeed significant reasons to believe that antitrust will be a higher visibility issue in 2020.  There have been mixed signals out of the Trump Administration, sometimes signaling a strong stance, sometimes more subdued.  That may well be in keeping with a similar tact on a range of thorny issues.

While the hometown video from Knoxville TV doesn’t mention antitrust, it does outline other federal challenges that Clayton and their lenders are facing.

 

 

Sources tell MHProNews that the Department of Justice has Clayton and Berkshire on their radar.  Time will tell.  MHProNews will continue to monitor this issue, as it impacts investor, owners, public officials, and the nation at large. Stay tuned.

That’s today’s first 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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Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

“Have…Giants…Stifled Competition,” Antitrust Battle Lines in D.C., plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are Federal Officials Researching About Manufactured Housing?

June 2nd, 2019 Comments off

 

WhatAreFederalOfficialsResearchingAboutManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the start of every month, businesses and organizations of all kinds routinely assess the activities and results for the weeks that were just completed.  When compared with an organization’s goals and objectives, that weekly, monthly, and quarterly review of activities and results are a prudent element for monitoring the pulse of an organization. Otherwise, the ‘illusion of motion‘ can set in.

 

To spotlight keen insights on federal officials with respect to our manufactured home industry, let’s take a quick step back.  Using that same method noted above, MHProNews strives to take an hour or two and review statistical and other data at the start of every month. On June 1st, 2019 data generated by third-party Webalizer reported the following about ‘the feds.’

On just two of our several cPanels for MHProNews, there were 3290 hits by “US Government (gov),” per Webalizer.  On our industry professional site, those same 2 cPanels reported 336,385 total visits.  That means that the U.S. Government website traffic is less than ½ of 1 percent of our total traffic on MHProNews.

But those thousands of hits by federal officials on MHProNews should not be discounted or dismissed as insignificant.

MHProNews’ content is geared toward industry professional readers.  Software tells us a lot, but not everything. We don’t ‘see you’ or othres who reading here, because you are not required to login to access our content. What software often does tell us are generic things, like are you a .com, .net, .org, .gov, etc.  Some platforms accessing the site are not identified at all, and are listed as ‘unknown.’ There are no doubt some from the general public that surf in, but ManufacturedHomeLivingNews (MHLivingNews) is designed for them and is more to their liking.

By contrast to generic site info reported by Webalizer or others, our emailed headline news is specific.  Those who sign up, or those who have been on our email list for over 9 years, have or use a given name, even if the name provided is a pseudonym.

That email list tells us that the bulk of our readers are people that can readily be identified, and are professionals who are directly connected to the manufactured home industry.  But there too among our emailed headline news readers are some who have self-identified as public officials. That’s fine.

From a marketer’s perspective, what the data – and comments like Casey Mack’s – tell us is and you is that the vast majority of our audience is what we intended when we launched this platform some 9.5 years ago — manufactured home industry professionals.  As noted, that’s good for business-to-business marketers, and it is a good gauge on other matters too. It’s the ‘other matters’ that no doubt interests federal officials.

So what the data tells us is that significant numbers of federal officials are reading on MHProNews. What are those feds reading and researching?

 

Beyond Data the eMail Inbox, Calls…

Beyond data from third party analytics, there are emails from public officials, and those who are running political campaigns.  The most notable there are several Democrats running for their party’s nomination for the 2020 contest for who sits in the Oval Office.  We also receive routine communications from federal agencies by email, including from the White House and the campaign of President Donald J. Trump.  Speaking of the president, whatever your views on his style may be, objective thinkers realize that the quote below applies to you, us, and anyone who uses common sense. We share the quote because it applies to our industry. The segue to the quote below aside, let’s return to the headline theme.

 

DonaldTrumpQuoteIfSomethignIsGoingtoAffectYourLifeItsBestToKnowAsMuchAsYouCanAboutItDonaldJTrumpSuccessThreadMHProNews

Politically incorrect? Yes. But the quote above is apt and valuable to goal and solution oriented professionals, regardless of their views.

 

There are numbers of messages that come in daily from industry professionals. Those blow away the totals that come in from public officials. Once more, while not entirely scientific, even apart from Webalizer or other analytics data it gives us a good sense of who the vast majority of our readers are.  Namely, manufactured home industry professionals.

On any given day, our readers will totally dwarf the engagement of a blogger such as George F. Allen, based upon information we have, which includes what Allen calls his ‘intimates’ (ouch). Allen has flip-flopped from being a staunch Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Clayton/21st/Berkshire Hathaway critic, to a de facto – if not open – cheerleader for them.  We don’t see Allen’s banking account, but there are reasons to believe that he’s been ‘rewarded’ for his flip-flop, in which he has yet to disavow his own prior claims against what he said in his own words are monopolistic practices that are steadily eroding the numbers of manufactured housing independents.

Allen writes for MHInsider – whose first three initials are MHI, and they too are arguably MHI toadies – and each likes to name drop. It’s a reasonably free country compared to others, and we respect their first amendment rights. While Allen or MHInsider may get some federal readers too, it is logically unlikely that they do so for the same reasons as those who come to research here at MHProNews. Why? Because ‘Toadies‘ are easily identified by objective people.

 

ToadySycophantDefinedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHInsider, George Allen, others are current examples of toadies to the industry’s powers that be.

 

Growing Federal, State Interest in Manufactured Housing

The industry can thank HUD Secretary Ben Carson for his periodic plugs for manufactured housing.  The industry must also ask, why has MHI still failed – as of today’s date shown below – to promote Secretary Carsons’ strong endorsement of the use of manufactured homes to solve the affordable housing crisis?  Dr. Carson’s address to their own trade group is still not found on their website.  Nor have we found evidence that MHI used their media contacts to elevate the understanding of the industry, and thus provide third-party evidence that could boost new manufactured home sales.  We’ve asked MHI to respond to that, and have asked their outside attorney to do so too. Silence.

 

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HUD officials inform us that they are among those who surf our site and content.

 

These search results on MHI’s website are not just curiosities or oddities.  Rather, it goes to the heart of their claim to the IRS that they are ‘trying to improve the regulatory and market environment for the industry.’   There is no doubt that MHI meets with federal officials, they make sure that they show those photo opportunities to their industry readers. They’ve produced videos, but those routinely get very few views compared to those who attack MHVille.  So why do they then fail to tout good news about manufactured housing in an effective way with the general public?  Inept?  Unmotivated?  Incompetent?  We give them credit for being intelligent people. That therefor suggests a hidden agenda, because the alternatives are suggested by those prior three questions.

 

IRSForm990ManufacturedHousingInstituteRichardDickJennisonPresidentSignsThisStatement

A typical Allen statement to his ‘intimates’ is that MHProNews is sponsored by MHARR. Duh. Our banner ads are open for anyone to see. What Allen and his ilk fail to mention is that MHI, Clayton Homes, and 21st Mortgage were all banner advertisers or used other services supplied by our firm too. When our fact-checks and analysis did not suit them, apparently, they stopped their support. While our understanding of certain trends evolved, our pro-growth, pro-independent, pro-consumer views have not wavered, and pre-date modest banner ads from MHARR or others, which we of course value. But a few ad dollars doesn’t change our views, as we tell prospective advertisers. Our views are not changed by someone dangling the promise of ad support. We effectively tell them, support the biggest and most read professional platform, or not.  Marketers pay for engaged eye balls here, they don’t pay to influence our content. 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCorpGoodArgumentsQuoteRespondEveryStoryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The evidence reflects that it is often the ‘big boy’ members of MHI that spark negative headlines. Instead of improving the operating environment, as their IRS 990 filing claims, MHI and key members are arguably doing quite the opposite in practice. By suppressing the good news about manufactured homes with bad news, aren’t they depressing new manufactured home sales?

MHProNews and our sister site have made the argument that MHI is de facto – if not intentionally – working to consolidate the industry into the hands of a few larger brands.  Among those are Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation and others owned, connected to, or influenced by Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway. All of that is of potential interest to federal officials.

The following are hot-button issues in the U.S. in Washington, D.C. and beyond:

  • Affordable housing.
  • Income inequality.
  • Monopoly and consolidation.
  • The alleged failures of capitalism, and the rise of interest in ‘socialism.’
  • Anything connected to President Donald J. Trump and several of the members of his administration.

The vast majority of those topics are found only on MHProNews in MHVille.  That’s why industry pros flock by the thousands daily, and logically why thousands of hits resulted from federal officials too.

 

Independent

At MHProNews, we are political independents, which doesn’t mean that we don’t care.  Quite the opposite.  We are strongly in favor of morally undergirded Constitutional safeguarded rights given by God, not man, corporations, or governments. While Jefferson was – like us all – a less than perfect human, the Declaration of Independence that he drafted for the founding fathers captures some of the best thinking of thousands of years of human history when it comes to protecting the rights of citizens. The ‘right to life, liberty, and property‘ was the famous phrase he first wrote in the draft for the Declaration, which was tweaked in the final version to read “the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Free markets can benefit from proper oversight that protects against monopolistic power or criminal actions. So when corporate giants arguably subvert the normal channels open to small business owners, then not only do those small businesses suffer, but “We, the People” of America suffer too.

Before turning to our headlines for the week of 5-26-2019 to 6-2-2019, let’s summarize the above.

Of course federal officials are on our website daily.  If they want to get that Arlington, VA based MHI propaganda that has been authorized by those who pull their strings in Omaha and Knoxville, they can and no doubt do read that too.  Then, like intelligent people, they compare what they read.  That’s what thinking, analytical people do.

As a passing note, often the strongest arguments against something comes from those who’ve quit that something.  The former smoker or alcoholic may be the one that is most passionate about arguing against those potentially harmful items if they become habitual.  As former MHI members, one should take into account that our publication spent years as MHI members – and that sheds some light on the undemanding forged here too.

It is in testing or questioning results that may flow from an intelligent clash of ideas that allows someone to ponder the claims and underlying logic of:

  • what MHI, MHInsider, Allen, and other bootlickers say vs.
  • what is said here on MHProNews, on MHLivingNews, or at the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Those two bullets are the two broad camps in MHVille trade media today.

Rephrased, most of the topics linked in our weekly recap, further below, would never be found on an MHI minion’s website.  But they are found here.

Which claims stand the test of reason and time?  That is how the truth can be clarified.

We are only hours or days away from the latest shipment data.  7 months into a downturn that is taking place during an affordable housing crisis, MHI has sounded no alarms in their messaging to members.  Why not?

Some in D.C. have and will no doubt go with what MHI says, because they have donor dollars to dole out.  But buying votes isn’t the same as the truth.

Here it is only the power of evidence and reason that prevails.  While we are independent of each other, MHARR has no PAC either. You ask them why. By contrast, MHI makes their PAC well known.  Of course they can buy a statement read into the record.  But those statements, if heard mostly by their own followers, how do they advance the industry?  Or are they just another form of the ‘illusion of motion?’

We believe at MHProNews and MHLivingNews the that evidence, analysis, fact-checks and reason are magnetic.  That’s why we have by far the largest audience of its kind in our industry. And that’s why, IMHO — federal, other public officials and higher office seekers are drawn to MHProNews too.  Even if public officials or others who come here disagree, they know they will find evidence and reason to support our position.

With no further adieu, let’s turn to the headlines from the week that was.

 

What’s News on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

Affordable Housing War – Does Ethical, Legal Way to Redistribute Wealth from Billionaires to Millions of Americans Exist Without Socialism or Passing New Laws?

Oklahoma Tornado Kills – Sobering, Surprising Fact Check – Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, Commercial Buildings, Conventional Housing, Twisters, and Death

 

What’s New in Washington, D.C. from MHARR

HUD Rescinds 2017 “Guidance” On Carport-Ready Homes

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

Saturday 6.1.2019

Brief History and Objectives of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

Friday 5.31.2019

2019 Maine Manufactured Housing Show Insights

Facts Aren’t Partisan – Southern Border & Immigration Reality Checks, plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

U.S. Slips in World Competitive Rankings, per Swiss-Based IMD Competitiveness Center

Key to Unlocking Door for More Manufactured Home Sales, Professor Lisa Tyler’s Valuable Research


Thursday 5.30.2019

Cavco Industries Investigated Anew for Violations of Federal Securities Laws, plus Manufactured Home Industry Stock Updates

Representative Ilhan Omar’s Bill Would Regulate Manufactured Home Community Owners

Patrick Industries-Manufactured Housing Supplier-PATK Investor Relations Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Challenges, Opportunities

Affordable Housing and the Two Sides of Rent Control, in Two Videos – Pros and Cons

 

Wednesday 5.29.2019

Democratic Professor Defends Conservative Right to Free Speech; How Free Speech Helps, Harms Manufactured Housing

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

John Grissim Guides Author Finger Pointed at 21st Mortgage Corporation, Notorious Tim Williams Letter Cutting Off Retailers

 

Tuesday 5.28.2019

Lawsuit By Manufactured Home Community Owner Claims City “Intent” on Putting it Out of Business

What is Marketing? What is Selling? Succeeding with Manufactured Homes in Your Local Marketplace(s)

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

 

Monday 5.27.2019

Wheel Estate – Manufactured Home Consumer – Special Shopping Report

Dramatic, But Misleading? Manufactured Home Marketers Eye-View of Recent Tornado Deaths in Oklahoma, Alabama

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

Memorial Day, We Remember, Beyond Burgers, Brats, and Buns

 

Sunday 5.26.2019

George Allen’s “Peace Offensive,” Saul Alinsky, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and Manufactured Housing’s War

Thanks as always for checking in. That’s this Sunday morning edition of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Headline news, weekly recap, news, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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“Playing Politics” – Immigration, Border Battle, and Manufactured Housing

January 11th, 2019 Comments off

 

PlayingPoliticsImmigrationBorderBattleManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What happens with jobs, businesses, stock markets, and the economy clearly have an impact on the nation, of which manufactured housing is a part.

 

For close readers of the Daily Business News evening market report here on MHProNews, there is a notably strong corollary between what the broader markets do, and what occurs with manufactured housing connected equities. While one could debate if that should be so or not, in rears, it is so.

 

Investor relations and quarterly statements by publicly trade firms involved in manufactured housing often cite the jobs market or broader economic conditions as a factor in their firm’s performance.  These are among the reasons for the evolution of our evening market report plus some special reports that are “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing.” © Broader economic, political, and market conditions most certainly impact manufactured, modular and prefab homes. 

ICE raids on factory-builders are just one direct example of how immigration and border policies touch upon the manufactured home industry.

 

Reports – ICE Raids Factory Builders

Another is the presence of undocumented, falsely documented, or illegal aliens at manufactured home (MH) sales centers and who are living in thousands of MH communities.

 

Who is Playing Politics?

The answer to this question is simple. Both major parties are playing politics.

Democrats and Republicans alike are hoping to score points for the 2020 election, since campaigns are de facto already underway.  Each side has media allies that are carrying water for them.  

That noted, the better question is what is the correct policy for the border and immigration?   To explore that, we’ll begin with each sides claims. Here are the two videos from the President Trump’s Address to the Nation on the border issue, and the Democratic response. We’ll let the Democratic video go first. This version from the Washington Post had 988,348 views as of 4:53 PM ET on 1.11.2018.  

 

 

Next video is the President Trump’s address from the Oval Office.  This Fox News version of the video has had 507,544 view as of 4:57 PM ET, on 1.11.2019.  The Deadline said that some 41 million Americans watched this under 9 minutes live. That same source said that the total viewers that watched the Democratic response topped that who viewed the president’s address.  

 

 

Those high viewer numbers reflect what a recent AP NORC poll said, that immigration is among the top issues on the minds of Americans of all political stripes.

 

APNorcPollImmigrationTopConcern2019DailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews

The poll found that 65 percent of Republicans say immigration is one of the top five problems facing the country, up from 42 percent in 2017. Among Democrats, 37 percent cite immigration as a top issue, compared with just 2 in 10 a year ago,” said ABC 5.

Roughly two-thirds of those who named immigration as a top priority express little confidence in the government to make progress this year, including a third who say they are “not at all” confident,” per ABC 5 on that AP-NORC poll. “About a third say they are at least moderately confident in the government to make progress on immigration.”

 

Facts, Figures, and Political Posturing

When former President Barack Obama’s new home in metro Washington, D.C. was acquired, the Obamas had a wall built for enhanced security. The White House is behind a fence.  It is common for the rich and famous to fence or wall of their properties as part of the security.

There are videos of former Senator and President Barack Obama supporting border security that included double fencing, roads, and other measures. It is foolish for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, or former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to argue that a border barrier is immoral, racist, or anything else, when they have all supported legislation that included fencing.

There is also no doubt that the candidate Donald J. Trump said that Mexico would pay for the wall. The President also said that he would own the shutdown of the federal government. These are indisputable. It is also true that the border barriers won’t stop all drugs or other illegal activities from occurring.

Border agents, years of actual history along fenced parts of the border, and the experiences of other nations all demonstrate that fencing and walls work. Locks on your door won’t keep out everyone that means to do you or your possessions harm. But we don’t remove doors or locks just because they are not 100 percent effective.

Illegal immigration is costly to America’s citizens. It has proven fatal or deadly to thousands harmed by the small percentage of criminals who come into the U.S. via the southern border.

 FAIRTotalGovtCostsonIlelgalImmigrationFederalStateLocalTaxcostsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

A Democrat representative said this week that the calls into one of his district’s office for border control was running about 10 to 1 in favor of fencing, barriers, or a wall.

The law of supply and demand tells us that more low cost, low skill labor harms the earning power of other workers.  It is worth noting that both sides claim to want to improve the flow of needed, higher skill workers.

 EmploymentBasedGreenCardBacklogManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuinessNewsMHProNews

 

Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh reported floated a surprising ‘solution’ to the border debate standoff. And it requires no fencing, barriers, or walls. 

The solution, he opined, perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek “…enforce the law.” 

  • Mandatory eVerify. No hiring of any workers that don’t have legal status and the proper documents to go with it.
  • No healthcare, education, housing assistance, or any other benefits for undocumented foreign nationals.

BorderFenceLibertyNationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Style may bother some people, but facts and common sense should rule. 

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The video below from left-of-center CNBC explains that in 3 weeks, the shutdown could cost the nation more than the $5.6 billion that President Trump is asking for in border and related security funding.

 

 

There are good odds that President Trump will declare a state of emergency, and attempt to build the wall that way.

There are equally good odds that it will be challenged in a court by Democrats where they will expect a favorable ruling. Then a new phase of the struggle over the border issue begins in the courts.  

Both sides have played politics, but the rationale for border security, immigration enforcement, and some common sense solution to those illegals who are already here should take place. The rest are details and commentary.  We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Did MHProNews Miss This? MHI Insider News Tip – Following Evidence, Money

October 24th, 2018 Comments off

 

FollowingEvidenceMoneyManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHIlogoManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

What a message that arrived at MHProNews HQ.

 

 

It said this.

Tony [MHProNews’ publisher], I’m wondering if you missed it.  You’ve [MHProNews] done articles lately on billionaires, Democrats, and of course on MHI [Manufactured Housing Institute]. I’m conservative [said the message], but my colleagues and I give to Democrats.  We are members of MHI too. Think of Democrats and MHI as protection rackets. That’s the bottom line.”

 

Wow.  And ouch.

Sources in California have pointed to something similar.

Per those sources, manufactured home industry professionals are giving to Democratic candidates there, not because they necessarily believe in them or their policies.  Rather, it is because they want access, after an election.

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

 

Publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach said, “We value feedback, input, and news-tips – especially those tips that come with documentation or evidence of a claim. That said, while we [MHProNews] could have expressed it differently, MHProNews has published similar points to those of the professional who sent the message.  Nevertheless, it is a useful insight – and appreciated – as it underscores concerns we’ve been publishing, and gives us an opportunity to clarify the concerns that pro raised.”

There are certainly various reasons why some company or person gives to a certain PAC, and/or candidates.  The following graphic is from NBC News.

 

MidtermsPrimaryFundraisingNBCNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

 

For example, MarketWatch did a run-down of how certain CEOs – including Warren Buffett – have used their campaign donations, to support candidates from this or that – or both – political parties.

 

PartisanBigSpendersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMarketWatch

The two charts above reflect why MHProNews curates from a variety of sources. MarketWatch apparently wanted to use select data to make it appear that Republicans are getting more donations, but in fact the majority of campaign contributions are going to Democrats.

MarketWatchBigCompanyGivingByPartyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

As MHProNews revealed recently, resident community group members often mistakenly believe that Democrats are the party of and for the poor.  But the data reflects what is shown on this page, and from the linked related reports.  Democrats have become the party of big money.  They are also often the party of purported monopolistic ‘moat builders.’

 

BillionairesWhoGivesDemGOPRepForbesTenRichestInAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPolticalTendencies

7 of the top 10 billionaires lean Democratic, per published data.

 

As MHProNews exclusively reported, key MHI members have backed Democrats in opposition to candidates that carried water for MHI on Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing. See the related reports, 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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“Results vs. Resistance,” Cutting Fog with Facts for MHVille

October 1st, 2018 Comments off

 

ResultsVsResistanceFogVsFactsPXDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600x315

Some 72 percent of Americans believe that misinformation from media is common today, said a recent Axios poll. Distortions of reality impacts manufactured housing in a variety of ways.  The light of truth is a useful disinfectant to the darkness of false information or harmful fiction.

 

As was recently reported on the Daily Business News on MHProNews, manufactured home community resident Rob Weymouth wrote a letter to his local editor to encourage readers to “vote Democratic” to fix his states rent control bill. It was Democrats who passed the rent control measure, a Democratic governor signed into law, and Weymouth himself said the law was “useless.”

Weymouth has the seal of approval from the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association (DMHOA), which is affiliated with MHAction, and NMHOA.  ICYMI, see the related report, below, later for the details.

MH Communities, Owners, MH Independents Alert – NMHOA and MHAction Next Steps? – Part 1

MHProNews has reported for years on the unintended problems caused by rent control.  Paul Bradley, of ROC USA, took aim at the issue of rent control too, saying there had to be a better solution.

PaulBradleyPresPhotoROCUSALogoRentControlManufacturedHomeLandLeaseCommunties

Why not look past the feel good, easy fix sound bites – that are often based upon myth – and see the reality that rent control harms residents, potential developers, and smaller property owners alike? Tim Sheahan, President of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association himself identified, albeit perhaps unwittingly, the fact that when there was a lot of developing going on, land-lease was affordable and the free market kept site-fees – a.k.a. ground rent – stable.

Tim Sheahan, NMHOA President, Controversial Points of Agreement with Marty Lavin, George Allen on Communities

Part of Weymouth’s – and those of his associates who agreed with his reasoning for voting for Democrats – was another claim that’s easily disputed.  Namely, that Republicans are the party of the rich.

Tell that to the top 10 billionaires in America.

ForbesTenRichestInAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPolticalTendencies

7 of those 10 billionaires are reliably Democratic supporters.  3 of those top ten are more conservative or Libertarian leaning.  Warren Buffett is near the top of this list, and he and his fellow travelers are reliably Democratic supporters.

Yesterday, on Sunday Morning Futures, House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy was asked how does the GOP fight the perceived blue wave and their oversized pockets?

McCarthy answer was comparing “results vs resistance.”  The “resistance” is a term that the left has adopted to the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

Democrats have two liberal billionaires that are trying to buy the House to flip it,” McCarthy said, per the Daily Caller. “You have Mike Bloomberg who first promised $80 million. Now he’s talking about going to $100 million just on Democrats in the House. And then Tom Steyer who has already spent $120 million. And he brags because he wants to impeach the president.”

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has signaled that he may run in 2020 for president as a Democrat.  If so, having a majority in the Congress would be for him and his colleagues the ideal outcome.

The difficulty is, when you have liberal billionaires willing to write a $100 million check at the time, that’s very difficult to try to equal the playing field,” McCarthy said.

How do we equal the playing field? Results vs. resistance. The results of this economy [are] better than we’ve seen in the last 50 years.”

 

Counter-Indicators?

President Trump, when out on the stump at his rallies, explains to his listeners how suppression polling is supposed to work.

Take, for example, a “push poll” that tries to get a surveyed person to answer questions in a preferred fashion. Here at MHProNews, we are routinely called for polls.  We know first-hand that push polls are a common surveying method.

Another tactic used by some polling operations is the over-sample from among Democratic supporters, while under sampling Republicans and independents. That occurred in the 2016 election cycle.  By looking at the internals of some polls, and using public data with adjustments, MHProNews was able to use mainstream polling and project the path for a Trump victory on election night accurately.

But how many voters look at the ‘internals’ of a poll to begin with?  The president is correct in suggesting that a possible goal of polls is to convince people that the election is “over,” and there are no good reasons to go out and vote.  The odds may favor the Democrats, on money or the historic trends of many midterms in the last 50 years.  But going to vote still counts.

In 2016, Republicans were outspent by Democrats for president that year. CBS News reported that “Election 2016’s price tag: $6.8 billion. Americans who are running for federal elective offices spent more than ever — about $6.8 billion — in that pursuit, including the nastiest presidential election in recent memory, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.”

Per the New York Times,Mrs. Clinton’s total expenses were $565 million, compared with $775 million for President Obama; Mr. Trump spent $322 million, while Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee that year, spent $460 million. Mrs. Clinton closed with under $1 million in the bank, much less than the $7 million remaining for the Trump” campaign.

Former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Chairman was one of those movers and shakers in MHVille that supported Clinton, and previously supported President Barack Obama.  He’s used Clayton Homes for product, and 21st Mortgage for lending, both Berkshire Hathaway brands.  Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett was a prominent backer of then Senator, later President Barack Obama.  The money and influence tilted toward the Democrats.

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, From Mobile Home Resident to Manufactured Home Communities Owner, & Manufactured Housing Institute Leader

So the trend for years has been more money for Democrats, including more big donors for Democrats. But just as President Trump was able to win with fewer dollars, that is possible in the 2016 cycle too.

 

Evidence for the Red Wave?

In fact, there are several surveys and counter-signals that could indicate that the blue wave Democrats and much of the mainstream media is reporting could prove to be incorrect.  Let’s look at some facts.  Gallup did a survey in September that demonstrated that the GOP is at its highest level of acceptance in some 7 years.

GallupSurveyRepublicanPartyMoreFavorableVsDemocratsSept2018vs2017DailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

Per Gallup, the Republican Party is viewed slightly more favorably than Democrats.  Isn’t that odd, given all of those polls that suggest an edge to Democrats? But there’s more.

GallupViewPartyMoreFavorablyDemocratsRepublicansSept2018vs2017DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) – which sources there tell the Daily Business News on MHProNews includes hundreds of manufactured housing industry firms among their 325,000 members – has reported their highest levels of business confidence in many years.  That confidence wave began with the election of Donald J. Trump.

Record Shattered on SBO, Yields Growth, Profits, More Says Juanita Duggan’s Group

Consumer confidence surveys are likewise at historic levels since President Trump began his term in office.

In the recent TV viewing of the Ford-Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate last week, Nielson said that some 20 million Americans tuned in that day to watch part or all of the proceedings. “20.4 million people tuning in on six broadcast and cable networks, according to Nielsen data released on Friday,” said NBC NewsMillions more listened to the testimony by radio.

Per Forbes,On the three major [cable] news networks, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, the Kavanaugh hearing averaged 11 million total viewers from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., according to Nielsen data. That viewership peaked from 3:15 and 6:45 p.m., when Kavanaugh himself testified, with almost 13 million total viewers.”

Fox News easily beat the audience share of MSNBC and CNN. See the graphic, below. While not every CNN viewer leans Democratic, and not every Fox viewer leans GOP, those are the widely noted tendencies.

FoxNewsCableRaceCNNMSNBCDrudgeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Perhaps more significant are the radio audiences.  While there are “progressive” talk radio shows, conservatives and libertarians dominate talk radio. Rush Limbaugh, per various reports, can reach up to 30 million people online, via broadcast, etc. Sean Hannity can be about half that “Rush” audience size.

With unemployment among blacks, Hispanics and women at record lows, and wages rising, there are reasons to believe that their support for President Trump-backed candidates will grow.

Once again, black entertainer Kanye West publicly made a pro-Trump talk this past weekend.  While booed by some members of the largely liberal Saturday Night Live (SNL) audience, he’s part of that trend towards a less monolithic voting among minorities for Democrats. The broad-minded network did not air it, but here is a clip of what took place.

Democrats may be signaling their own concerns over 2018 in subtle as well as obvious ways.  Former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Secretary Hillary Clinton have been and/or soon plan to hit the campaign trail in support of Democrats.  It is worth noting that former Secretary Clinton will be campaigning with openly socialistic candidate, Mayor Andrew Gillum in FL.

Every election comes down to turn-out. November 6 is just 36 days away, and early voting has begun. Some polling suggests that a record midterm could be ahead. The president has a packed campaign rally schedule.

As MHProNews fact-checks and analysis has documented and reminded industry professionals, the Obama Administration era foisted more regulations, Pam Danner at HUD, higher taxes, Dodd-Frank, doubled the federal debt, ObamaCare, and other road-blocks on our industry’s growth. President Obama promised to veto Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, while President Donald J. Trump signed S. 2155 into law, which contained a key plank from the same bill.

The mask is arguably coming off of the various ways that MHI acts as Buffett’s Berkshire tool. MHI’s own former VP blew part of the Arlington, VA based trade group’s cover.

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

The midterms can continue the momentum in the economy, or it could reverse it with promised socialist policies being openly advanced by several Democratic candidates.

 

Results vs. Resistance.”

Which way, MHVille pro, will you vote?  What will you tell your circle of influence?  Keep in mind, if you don’t vote, you’ve de facto voted for the winner. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Tax Reform, Front and Center, as Business, Democrats and GOP Converge on Issue

September 13th, 2017 Comments off
TrumpTaxPlan2018CreditKELOLANDDailyBusinessNews

Featured image credit, KELOLAND.

The president is committed to getting tax relief for middle-class Americans passed and is willing to work with Democrats and Republicans to do it,” White House officials said, per Fox News.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs around the United States are waiting to get more specifics on the potential tax reform that President Trump is pushing for legislature to pass.

Since early on in his campaign President Trump has been calling on Congress to pass a bill that would provide significant tax breaks for small businesses.

Groups like the National Federation of Independent Businesses believe that tax reform will significantly improve their chances at success.

VPMikePenceNFIBPresidentJunaittaDugganSmallBusinessConfidence

Just last week the Daily Business News reported on the presidents spotlighting Senator Heitkamp in North Dakota where he stopped to give a speech on his hope for tax reform.

Ideally, he’d like to get it down to 15 percent. I don’t know if we’ll be able to achieve that given the budget issues, but we’re going to get this down to a very competitive level,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a conference in New York hosted by CNBC.

StevenMnuchinUSSecTreasuryTrumpAdminDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In order to pass a tax reform bill the Senate will need at least some Democrats to be on board. As it stands now, a group of 43 Senate Democrats and two independents have signed a letter laying out their “demands” to see bipartisan tax reform, per Reuters.

There is question as to whether or not Trumps goal of 15 percent is realistic considering the spending cuts that would have to go along with such tax breaks.

The president is prepared to push for as low of a rate as we can get. We’re going to continue to push for that and work for Congress to make sure we get the best deal possible,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

In what is likely an attempt to gain support from the Democrats, Trump has recently agreed to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government through December 8, 2017. Now, he has invited at least three Democrats to a dinner, likely to push for support for the upcoming tax reform bill.

Those invited to dinner with President Trump include Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, and Joe Manchin.  Each of those Democrats are in states that President Trump won by a wide margin.

PresidentTrumpSenatorHeitkampCreditWUWMDailyBusinessNews

Featured image credit, WUWM.

No more platitudes. Let’s see some meat on the bone,” Senator John Kennedy said. “You don’t always get what you want. I think there’s a song that says that. But you need to get what you need and that’s where we are. And I‘m tired of screwing around. … The American people are tired of screwing around.” ## (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 to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

“Street Fighter,” “Going to War”

September 11th, 2017 Comments off
SteveBannonCBS60MinutespostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Steve Bannon, credit, CBS 60 Minutes.

The Trump Administration’s self-described “street fighter” is now unleashed, or so says Steve Bannon to CBS’ 60 Minutes. 

Bannon says he is now free to fight for the president from outside of his administration. He resigned last month.

Bannon was President Trump’s Chief Strategist for a variety of reasons.  He’s media savvy, bold, and believes in a populist, America First, economic nationalism.

The right-wing firebrand shrugs off allegations from his detractors of racism.  Breitbart gleefully points to Harvard’s recent finding that confirms that by saying, they are not alt-right.

Bannon is now back with Breitbart, where he says he will be “going to war” to fight for President Trump, who he called a “great counterpuncher,” and “a fighter.”

Bannon blasts Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

These two CBS video clips from the 60 Minutes interview posted above give industry pros a flavor of Bannon’s ‘insider’ views on the pre-and-post election campaign and how things are working in Washington.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Breitbart is near the top right on the chart above. Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the thinking and agendas behind various headlines and news sources. Alexa ranks Breitbart at #56 of all websites in the U.S.

Those insights may prove useful to sizing up what is actually going on for those seeking to move agendas in the DC “swamp.”  (News, analysis.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Does the Government have a “Problem with Overspending” Tax Dollars?

September 5th, 2017 Comments off
TaxBreaksReformGovernmentOverspendingCreditCPAPracticeAdvisorDBN

Featured image credit, CPAPracticeAdvisor.

The federal government does not suffer from a lack of revenue; it has a problem with overspending our hard-earned tax dollars,” per an Op-Ed in The Hill contributed by Jonathan Williams and Alfredo Ortiz.

Jonathan Williams is the chief economist at the American Legislative Exchange Council, and Alfredo Ortiz is the president and CEO of Job Creators Network.

In the op-ed that the above quote comes from, Williams and Ortiz are encouraging Republicans to pass the tax reform that President Trump has been promising. They propose that Republicans pass a bill that would address tax breaks for small businesses and middle-class workers, without making big spending cuts as well.

The president is determined to energize the American economy, especially with the necessary tax cuts for job creators – small businesses all across the country who create 70 percent of all new jobs,” Ortiz said in a statement, per Newsmax.

AlfredoOrtizCreditAmericanLegislativeExchangeCouncilDailyBusinessNews

Image credit, American Legislative Exchange Council.

Job Creators Network will be very vocal and supportive over the coming weeks and months in an all-out effort to ensure small businesses and the country’s hard-working taxpayers get the help they’ve been asking for over so many years.”

Williams and Ortiz suggest that rather than going with a tax reform plan that is based off revenue neutrality, that there would be more success in a plan that was aimed towards deficit neutrality instead.

Revenue Neutrality Vs. Deficit Neutrality

If policymakers adhere to the false revenue neutrality notion that all tax cuts must be matched, dollar for dollar with tax increases so that total revenue stays the same, they create far too many economic losers in the tax reform process and minimize the benefits to the economy. Numerous well-intentioned tax reform efforts have succumbed to that fate,” per The Hill.

They went on to point out that, “Deficit neutral tax changes provide real tax cuts for hardworking taxpayers, and by nature, bring discipline to the spending side of the ledger.”

JonathanWilliamsCreditAmericanLegislativeExchangeCouncilDailyBusinessNews

Image credit, American Legislative Exchange Council.

Advocates of big government will say some federal tax burdens should be increased as a part of “tax reform,” Williams and Ortiz wrote.

However, they go on to point out that academic evidence says otherwise, and that the U.S. Treasury reported that in the first 10 fiscal months of 2017 the federal government collected more than $1.3 trillion.

Fiscal hawks should also be reminded of the fiscal benefits of tax cuts. Keeping more money in communities to be spent on Main Streets and less money shipped off to Washington to be spent on the federal workforce would be a massive economic stimulus.”

They go on to cite a nationwide poll conducted by Job Creators Network, which found that owners of small businesses would use their tax savings to

  • Raise wages,
  • Hire new employees,
  • Or expand their business.

Overall, the economic boost from those tax cuts would end up providing more revenue for the government in the long-run.  That was the case with Democratic President John F. Kennedy’s tax cuts, as well as Republican President Ronald Reagan.

Growing the Public Call for Tax Reform

Job Creators Network is one of the largest grassroots, pro-jobs organizations in the country. They have partnered with Freedom Works for a two weeks-long bus tour as a part of their “Tax Cuts Now” tour, per Breitbart.

During the tour, the goal is to encourage Americans to sign the organizations petition. Signing the petition sends a pre-written letter to Congress, asking them for meaningful tax reform.

Are Republicans Running Out of Time?

GingrichAndersonCreditWikipediaDealerscopeDailyBusinessNews

Newt Gingrich and Brad Anderson. Image credits, Wikipedia, Dealerscope, MHProNews.

To regain their legislative momentum and keep their majority, Republicans must clearly demonstrate they are fighting for the country’s hardworking taxpayers. This means passing a major tax cut by Thanksgiving — and making it retroactive to the start of this year,” per a USA Today op-ed by Newt Gingrich and Brad Anderson.

Gingrich is a former speaker of the House, and Anderson is the former CEO of Best Buy and a current member of the Job Creators Network.

Their belief is that if Republicans want to keep control of Congress they absolutely must pass a meaningful piece of legislation that benefits American workers before Thanksgiving this year – with the suggested bill being one on tax reform.

Republicans must get on the offensive now and argue not only that hardworking taxpayers deserve a tax cut but also that tax cuts need only be deficit neutral, not revenue neutral, in order to preempt the inevitable attack from the Congressional Budget Office,” Williams and Ortiz wrote.

Tax reform has been a hot topic again in recent weeks. Democratic U.S. Representative Tim Ryan suggested simplifying tax codes and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit in order to boost the economy.

There has been even more talk of tax reform since President Trump’s speech in Missouri where he said that he “doesn’t want to be disappointed by Congress.”

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) has been calling on tax reform that would benefit small businesses and entrepreneurs for a long time.

Many NFIB members are manufactured housing professionals who understand how simplifying the tax code and reducing the amount paid into taxes will benefit both businesses and consumers.

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Small business owners and entrepreneurs confidence has been starting to fade with the lack of action on repeal and replace of ObamaCare, the Daily Business News previously reported. Passing a beneficial tax reform bill would certainly be a step in the right direction for the Trump Administration – which must wait on action from Congress on this matter.

We are excited by the Trump Administration’s dedication to the small business owner and the American Dream. If we give tax relief to these job creators we can grow the economy and provide opportunity for millions. These small business entrepreneurs can’t wait any longer. They need tax relief now,” Ortiz said. ## (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 to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

Where Democrats, Republicans, Business Professionals and Non-Profits Agree

March 20th, 2017 Comments off
CFEDNLIHCROCUSAStarHomesCullmanALlogos

Each logo is the property of their respective organization, and are shared here for illustration purposes under fair use guidelines.

Here’s a riddle.

What does incoming HUD Secretary Ben Carson (R), previous HUD Secretary Julian Castro (D), CFED, ROC USA, NLIHC and Star Homes of Cullman AL’s Stan Dye all have in common?

Answer. They have all acknowledged the tremendous value of modern manufactured homes, particularly as a good option for solving the affordable housing crisis.

But there are certain tensions, concerns and controversies.

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One of the many models in the unique model home village at award-winning retailer, Star Homes of Cullman, AL. Photo credit, still from Inside MH Road Show Video.

For example, will Dr. Carson follow the lead of the rallying-cry of the new Trump administration, “enforce the law,” and implement enhanced preemption?

To learn more about the issue and related dynamics, as well as see the related video interview, please click here to read the full story.  ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-By Soheyla Kovach for the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

TINs and what POTUS Obama’s immigration executive action means for Lenders, manufactured housing

November 24th, 2014 Comments off

julian-castro-housing-urban-development-hud-secretary-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-Manufactured housing (MH) retail, community and lending professionals know the Hispanic market has long been a strong and growing target audience for the industry. So when National Mortgage News (NMN) gives their 411 on what the president’s controversial executive action last Thursday might mean for housing lenders, MHProNews listened.

NMN‘s Evan Nemeroff stated, “…giving roughly 5 million immigrants at least temporary relief from deportation could conceivably ease lenders’ and borrowers’ qualms about mortgages to undocumented workers who qualify with individual taxpayer identification numbers, or TINs.

Nemoff points to HUD’s recently appointed Secretary Julian Castro – whose clear ties to Hispanics can’t be missed – saying the president’s Thursday announcement is “an important step toward fixing our broken immigration system.”

Even before this immigration reform was announced, nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants were eligible to qualify for mortgages using an individual taxpayer identification number,” Nemoff said, “which is assigned to them by the Internal Revenue Service for tax-filing purposes. However, very few lenders offered this product.

Citibank and Venta Financial Group are among housing lenders who have made loans using TINs. Some in MH finance have done so too.

Republican leaders have vowed to battle the president’s immigration move as a naked power grab, since there is no legislation behind it, as was the case with allegedly similar orders by Presidents Reagan and Bush 41.

The announcements and arguments by pro-Obama Administration sources fits the pattern of seeking to carve out supporters for their move, by offering enticements: in this case, the possible promise of more home loans and sales to Latinos.

Censure by Republicans – who control both House and Senate in 2015 – budget carve outs, holding up the Obama Administration’s judicial and other appointments are among the tools mentioned to foil the hotly questioned executive immigration action.

With the president no longer facing re-election, low poll numbers for him, anemic support among the population at large – even below 50% among Hispanics for the announced amnesty for 5 million illegals in the U.S. – seems of little concern to the president and many top Democrats.

Nor does it seem to be troubling to those favoring the amnesty move that the president himself repeatedly argued since 2009 that he doesn’t posses the authority under the Constitution he now claims to have.  Such statements are captured in the video shown above.

Time will tell if housing lenders – including those in MH – will bite on using TINs more to make more loans for such currently deemed ‘illegal immigrants,’ but Bloomberg and NMN suggest the perceived risks are now lower for those opting to do so. ##

HUD, finance, GSE reform and FHA related story on Julian Castro, linked here.

(Photo Credit: Julian Castro, HUD)