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Posts Tagged ‘Tulsa OK’

UN Agenda 21 and Why It Matters to the Manufactured Housing Industry

September 9th, 2012 7 comments

by Doug Gorman

Conspiracy theories are not hard to find or hard to generate. With that backdrop, the question can be posed, "What is the United Nation's Agenda 21 and how does it affect our industry?” Let it be said, if you liked Dodd-Frank, you'll love Agenda 21. We are learning that red flags need to come up when we hear certain terms such as "fair share" and "social justice" tossed about casually. The red flag phrase emanating from Agenda 21 is "sustainable development."

Unfortunately, Agenda 21 was embraced by George H.W. Bush at the U.N.'s Earth Summit in 1992. Fully embraced and implemented, Agenda 21 would oppose private ownership of land and funnel middle class Americans into high rise complexes in cities. The radical left wing discovered they can use the environment as their weapon of choice to wage war against the founding principles of our country which were embedded in our constitution by the brilliant founders of our country.

Andrew Phillips recently published the following concerning Agenda 21:

"Maurice Strong was the Secretary General at this conference. He stated that “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.” Agenda 21 is all about environmental control. It seeks to ration natural resources in the same way that Obamacare will ration healthcare. Energy will be rationed based on the assumption that our government owns all resources including food, water and land. Local Agenda 21 initiatives will mandate certain appliances and outlaw others based on energy consumption, and your energy consumption will be monitored so that you don’t “go over your limit.” Homes and buildings will have to be built or rebuilt to meet new “green” building codes or else face hefty fines. It seeks to transition citizens away from rural areas and into cities. It wants to “wean” people off private vehicles (because of “dirty” fossil fuels) and have them start using public transportation like high-speed rail. Outdoor recreational activities will be restricted because those practices are not “sustainable.”

“Social justice” means the abolition of private property. Here’s an excerpt from a report published at the U.N.’s Habitat I Conference in 1976:

“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of  society as a whole.”

It’s not fair that individuals own land or property. What will make it fair is if it is collectively owned. The United Nations wants to mandate global communism. They just don’t call it that. They call it “social justice.” And they’re going to execute “social justice” through “sustainable development.”

These things are already happening in our own country. Over 600 cities and counties across the U.S. have become members of ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), “an international association of local governments as well as national and regional local government organizations who have made a commitment to sustainable development.” Check here to see if your town, city or county is a member.

Participating in a UN advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy-fixated groups and individuals in our society…This segment of our society who fear ‘one-world government’ and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21. So we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management or smart growth.

In 1993, a year after Bush Sr. signed the Agenda 21 protocol, President Clinton issued an executive order that created the PCSD (President’s Council on Sustainable Development). This group made Agenda 21 public policy and sought to implement its goals at the local level through ICLEI. J. Gary Lawrence was an adviser to this council. He advised that people should not know about Agenda 21 because if they knew about it, they would be opposed to it:

And this is why we don’t ever hear about it. They control the language in media. Their agenda is shrouded in vague terms that could mean anything, and people are naive enough to give them the benefit of the doubt. Since the creation of Clinton’s PCSD, Obama has issued executive orders creating similar and more expansive “councils” that work to further the U.N.’s agenda.

Tom Madrecki is a spokesman for Smart Growth America, another one of those Agenda 21 type organizations. He doesn’t like the fact that Agenda 21 is in the new Republican platform. He said, “The fact that it’s in the platform gives credence to something that just shouldn’t get any.” He’s concerned that such a mainstream position opposing Agenda 21 will only serve to stir dissent and will “continue halting beneficial conversations about community planning.” There’s another one of those buzz phrases…”community planning.”

It’s great that the Republican Party has officially taken a stand against the United Nations and its global communist agenda. I hope it stays in their platform, and I hope Romney and other elected Republicans will work tirelessly to expose the U.N. for what they really are and to extricate the U.S. from the organization itself, thus restoring our national sovereignty."

To its credit, the Republican party has finally seen the errors of its ways and has formally opposed Agenda 21 in its party platform adopted at the party convention in Tampa. Let's hope they are unified in that opposition and maintain it as they go forward.  ##

Doug Gorman is president Home Mart, the industry's most award winning retail center, located n Tulsa OK. He is also a recent inductee into the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

IBIS Report and the Manufactured Housing Retailer’s Future

April 10th, 2011 1 comment

Having spent 40 years in the industry, I have experienced every down cycle the industry has had since they started keeping records in 1961. After a peak nationally of almost 600,000 units in 1973, we suffered a dramatic plunge that was felt the most in the Southeast where I was located at the time. I relocated to Oklahoma in the 1980s and endured a drop in shipments from about 13,000 homes in 1983 to about 350 or so in 1988. Shipments again took a hit in the early 1990s as lending became almost nonexistent. The current down cycle began after a peak of nearly 373,000 shipments nationally in 1998 and has fallen below 50,000, which is lower than when the record keeping began in 1961. 

I certainly do not have the credentials to refute the recent IBIS report that labeled the manufactured housing industry as being on the verge of extinction. I also approach the subject with some trepidation as I majored in Marketing and I am keenly aware that most of the buggy whip manufacturers are no longer in business. In order to accept the results of the report from a market demand stand point, we would have to arrive at the conclusion that the demand for new homes priced below $70-100 a square foot will become no longer significant. We would also have to accept that this disappearance of market demand will occur as down payment requirements are poised to increase to perhaps 20% while terms may be reduced to as low as 15 years. In the face of enormous down payment requirements and shortened terms for repayment, suddenly prospective home buyers are going pass over housing opportunities in the $20 to $40 per square foot category? 

We would also have to accept that demand for homes that can be titled without real estate will disappear. Suddenly no one will want to allow their kids or other family members to place a home on family land without encumbering the real property?

We would finally have to believe that no one living in a manufactured home community would have an interest in upgrading their home, and the communities would have no potential for new residents. 

I read Paul Bradley’s feature article in response to the IBIS report here in MHMSM.com. I share Paul’s optimism that a possible result of increased requirements for site-built housing may shift more buyers to the manufactured housing market.

We have had to endure ongoing discrimination of the allocation of lending resources even when the Duty to Serve language is rewritten to specifically cite manufactured housing. As a retailer, I do not see any shortage of willing buyers for the homes that we build. We do experience a series of problems related to recent acts foisted upon us by the federal government. 

I observed in a LinkedIn comment earlier that our industry trade organization, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is constricted by the composition of their membership from assuming the role of a being a strong advocate for individual industry divisions. Retailers would have to form an independent organization dedicated to retailers in order to have someone in Washington, DC truly going to bat on all the issues that retailers face. I don’t see the numbers or the money being there for that to happen. In the mean time, we accept MHI with its wrinkles, knowing that the diversity of the membership does not allow for the extreme dedication to our needs that we would like to have. 

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulation and Reform (MHARR) serves in that capacity for independent manufacturers and manufacturers need that dedicated representation as they have many issues affecting them that are completely unknown to other industry segments. 

Another theory being floated by some industry members is that a conspiracy is in play to undermine the effectiveness that the HUD Code provides and bring about its demise. If that theory is true and if the conspirators have enough influence, market demand will not matter. I am not smart enough to know whether or not a conspiracy exists to destroy our industry. I would say that if it does exist, it is experiencing reasonable success. 

We do face very difficult times as an industry. I have quipped on more than one occasion in the past few years that “absence of stress is death…and I am very much alive.”

As an industry, we have taken a beating for the last twelve years. Some of that has been our own doing and some from lack of fairness by government actions or inactions. If a conspiracy does in fact exist, I am too small a player to have much impact on stopping it. Absent a conspiracy, our company plans to move forward and provide our clients with great values in housing and outstanding customer service. Hopefully our industry can see itself through the balance of any remaining down turn and see an increase in shipments in the years ahead. 

I was privileged to be invited to return to Georgia last summer to speak at the industry’s annual state convention. Given my 40 years in the industry, I was able to reflect back to 20% rates with no less than 10% down and no ability to finance land or improvements. I titled my presentation after Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….”

And indeed it is. # #

by Doug Gorman

Doug Gorman owns Home-Mart in Tulsa OK, and is perhaps the most award wining retailer in the U.S. today.  He has served the Industry on the state and national levels, including as Show Chairman for the Great Southwest Home Show in Tulsa.  You can read his Cup of Cocoa with Doug Gorman at this Link. Contact Doug at doug@homemart.us