Archive

Posts Tagged ‘ben franklin’

Greeting the Wolf with Shotgun in Hand

August 3rd, 2012 4 comments

I was talking to a member on the phone recently and he asked, “DJ, when is your ‘interim’ going to actually be an interim?” I simply had to laugh and politely remind him the association is and will always be full time. The most we can hope for during interim years is for something less than the 90-hour work weeks the Texas legislative session brings every other year. I had to laugh again at this ludicrous thought when I recently landed in Austin at 12:45 a.m. back from a quick trip to Washington, DC.

But there are no complaints here. When I ask members how business is and they give the positive response: “busy,” I always respond, “Busy is good.” The same is true for our association.

Our industry is also busy right now. Over the past several months we have seen an ever-so-slight improvement over previous years, but improvement is improvement. After three years we welcome a return to “busy.”

This year Texas’ national market share in shipments has been approximately 20 percent. In 2012 one out of every five manufactured homes sold was sold in Texas.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – God Bless Texas.

Of course, everything is not bright rays of summer sunshine. This is depicted by the imagery of our front cover and the efforts underway that demand so much time and so many additional resources.

To read the article referenced in the image above, click the image or click here.

Before I go into the details and describe the issues and threats on our horizon, I want to acknowledge it is not my intent to scare the ever-living-life out of you. Our membership is diverse and we have differing levels of risk aversion. From a credibility standpoint TMHA does not want to be a “boy who cried wolf.” However, we also refuse to be oblivious.

There are ominous clouds on our horizon, and we don’t know how these potential storms will play out. New laws and regulations take years to become a business reality and still years more to be challenged and legally tested. The trouble is these new laws and regulations resulted from a pendulum swing caused by the subprime meltdown. With this significant slant, the penalties are far from toothless. I suggest one’s attitude toward future risk should be determined, in part, by the level of volume and personal money at stake in these regulated markets.

Mindful of the axiom, “Las Vegas is not built on winners,” we must remember the purpose of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. It is not their goal to allow lenient or flexible regulatory enforcement. Case in point: the CFPB already has a consumer complaint hotline and has dedicated a portion of its website for consumer complaints. The question I have is, “How does one know if the person being complained about broke any rules if the rules are not written?” And yet, this seemingly obvious logic did not get in the way of the CFPB from establishing a hotline first thing out of the gate.

So, whether you are hoping for the most defensible, fortified position in light of the new regulatory developments or you are betting true enforcement will never actually materialize, the reality is there are federal threats heading our direction. In this edition, we explore this and other key issues relevant to TMHA and your business.

The issues and dangers are perceived by TMHA’s Executive Board, Board of Directors, our national organization, MHI, and others in our industry as posing a significant risk to our Texas market and our national market. At TMHA’s Third Quarter Board of Directors meeting, it was inescapably clear that inaction at this critical time was not only too risky but too costly.

Therefore, TMHA pledged both efforts and financial resources over the next 12 months to join forces with MHI and others to navigate us through these treacherous waters

The possible successes of our efforts are unknown at this point. Regardless, I fear we will not come out unscathed.

Fundamentally, we first must learn if the regulatory powers care about this area of the housing industry. If so, do they trust us enough to make the changes we advocate? Both of these questions must be answered “yes” in order for us to have a fighting chance. Otherwise their massive regulatory locomotive will run over us.

I can assure you, any potential losses will not be for lack of effort, time, money or passion. Personally, I’m optimistic. We are an industry in unquestionable demand serving good consumers in an industry we passionately believe in. We will succeed, adapt, and thrive regardless of any final rules or regulations.

I recognize there are some who criticize our efforts. Some will continue to deem us another “boy who cried wolf.” To those critics I simply say, if it turns out we are the boy who cried wolf, at least know we did everything in our power to be ready. And, if the wolf actually does show up, we greeted him head on…shotgun in hand. ##

By D. J. Pendleton, J.D. Executive Director, Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) 505 W. 14th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 512-459-1221

(Editor's Note: The Texas Manufactured Housing Association, Chairman of the Board, Ronnie Richards, who is VP of Marketing at manufacturer and retailer American Homestar, spelled out in detail the concerns DJ's article is referring to, see Ronnie's well documented article here. These are among the reasons why association membership is more important than ever before in our Industry. To find your state, community or national association, click here. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, we will either hang together, or hang separately.

Information on the TMHA's annual event is at this link here. The dates are Sunday, August 19, 2012 – Tuesday, August 21, 2012)

Liberty

July 17th, 2012 No comments

I read Tony Kovach's recent Masthead blog post with some fascination. Because the upcoming elections are on my mind too. Many of us feel that we are watching something slip away. Many of us want to make sure that we continue what was started in 2010, when the House or Representatives was retaken by 'tea party conservatives'.

Lady-Liberty-mhmsm

I did a post on LinkedIn recently, asking questions about the impact of the Nanny State on manufactured housing professionals. Here are a pair of the statements, quoted below verbatim, with the initials of the person who made the comment:

The industry is, I agree, significantly over-regulated. Often intentionally, exemplified with the number and types of superfluous disclosures to prospective residents our legislature seeks to add, and also as the unintended consequence of legislation targeting others (SAFE Act as to sale of park owned homes, Red Flags, Safeguard Rules, Patriot Act, etc.)” TD

The problem is that sometimes we get what we "wish for" – the HUD Code. Many manufacturers in the industry wanted HUD regulation to avoid regulation by each state. Tony is correct – the largest shipment year was 1974 – the year before the HUD Code, but, there were other factors at work as well.KR

Here are some quotes from historic leaders and masters on this subject of Liberty.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” Ben Franklin

If we are together nothing is impossible, if we are divided all Will Fail.” Winston Churchill

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” Thomas Jefferson

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person by person.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” George Washington

Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.” John F. Kennedy

To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela

The history of freedom is never really written by chance but by choice.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Lincoln Union Forces MHProNews

We have so many things that can inspire us Americans. One of the countless examples is Abraham Lincoln, who suffered defeat after defeat in his personal career, only to keep coming back through dogged persistence to accomplish his goal.

Lincoln is famous for three reasons one his election in 1860, two his struggle to hold the Union together in the Civil War. But Lincoln is also famous that his life was riddled with failure and he overcame it time and time again. Here is just a small sampling of his failures;

1831 Failed in business

1832 Lost his job

1836 Had a nervous breakdown in bed for 6 months

1843 – Ran for Congress and lost

1848 Ran for re-election to Congress and lost

1858 Ran for US Senate and lost

1860 Ran for President and won.

The question – how many failures can you endure and carry on? The answer that Abraham Lincoln gave with us with his life example is to keep on keeping on until you accomplish that worthwhile goal.

Great things can be accomplished by team work. Pulling together can happen professionally as well as politically. That is why associations and parties exist. One thing is certain, "United, we Stand. Divided, we fall."

There is no need for perfect unity, nor is it possible. America became free of England not because everyone stood together! They became free because enough stood together to make it happen. Some say that perhaps 1/3 of the people were engaged in the effort and supported independence.

So don't think that just because there is opposition that we are thus 'doomed to fail.' YOU be a part of the solution. Gather others of like mind. Share the truth well, and some will accept it. That is how you get 'enough.'

The same can be true for us now as it was for the American Rebels at the time of the Revolution, as we work to reverse a long string of legal and regulatory setbacks to our liberties. We can do it. We are Americans. Amer-I-CAN.

The economic times give manufactured housing professionals an in unprecedented opportunity. Lower incomes means more people than ever before are looking for affordable quality homes in America. But we won't accomplish it unless we get some regulatory and legal hurdles out of the way.

This is the election that we had better work hard to win. If you haven't already seen and shared this political cartoon linked here, please check it out and send it to your mailing list.

http://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/2012-06-25-16-14-30/purely-political/37-the-5-facts-for-voters-to-consider

Doing so can do two amazing things. One, it can get more people thinking and engaged.

Two, it can get more people looking at the manufactured home lifestyle in a positive way.

Those are two things that can help you and your business. Together, Let's do this! Liberty – personal freedom – is worth working for, always. ##

Posted for
Tim Connor

Marketing & Sales,Website,AdvertisingandMHSpeakerTrainer– Manager

MHProNews.com = The MHIndustry's#1 News, Tips and View you can Use© resource.

MHLivingNews.com = Free resource to enhance MH HomeOwner Satisfaction and MH Image Building