It would be a grave mistake to think that bipartisanship is dead.
Earlier this year, Maxine Waters (CA-D) and Jeb Hensarling (TX-R) worked with each other to pass a bill out of the Financial Services Committee that latter passed the House of Representatives by a wide margin.
S. 2155 was passed mostly by Republicans, but with some Democrats joining the effort. While missing or hyping some details, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is correct in pointing out that there are benefits to our industry in S. 2155.
There are other possible examples of bipartisanship, but those two suffice to make the point.
That said, bipartisan efforts arguably aren’t as common today as they were two decades ago. The photo at top features Democratic President Bill Clinton with GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R).
If you are under 35 – unless you were an unusually politically-focused teen or youth – you may only know from a historic reference by media of the following, compelling facts.
Bipartisan efforts in the President Bill Clinton (D) Administration worked with a Republican dominated Congress in 1996 and 1998 to pass legislation that:
- reformed welfare,
- balanced the budget,
- passed a key piece of modern manufactured housing legislation,
- and much more.
That manufactured housing (MH) legislation is still on the books, but is only partially implemented. That means it has not been fully applied to the benefit of the manufactured housing industry and consumers alike.
Yet that little-known law could unlock tens to hundreds of billions in business the next decade, if it is properly utilized. Tech gurus involved in factory-built housing say the new housing market is some $330 billion a year. That gives a reader a keen sense of what manufactured home potential is. More of those details about pro-manufactured housing laws another time, but they’re covered in part in the report linked here, which can be read later for greater fact-based insights. ICYMI, the post below is another example of bi-partisan efforts.
The First Takeaways
The first takeaway is that bipartisanship can still happen. But it arguably isn’t as common as it once was. The other takeaway is that manufactured housing is poised for tremendous potential profits, but those won’t occur until pragmatic and ethical action occurs.
As political independents who are pro-business, pro-consumers, and pro-workers, this industry-leading trade publication looks at facts, evidence, follows the money. We then seek and present reality, always in search of what is necessary, true, and good. We do so with significant input from informed MH professionals, and the strategic support of a few-long-term thinkers and doers.
Bipartisanship can be good, but only when the legislation or policy is good.
But bipartisanship when a policy is flawed is wrong, period. Majorities don’t create morality. God establishes eternal moral standards. When laws or legislation are good, they comport with the moral norms given by the Creator of all humanity.
There’s a simple but profoundly useful concept taught be ancient to modern thinkers who ponder business, ethical, moral, political or other issues. It’s called the principle of ‘the lesser of two evils.’ It’s simple. When confronted with a choice, neither of which is perfect, by definition each is a some level of ‘evil’ or imperfection.
Sexual, Sensationalized, Dirty Politics and Manufactured Housing
In the late 1990s, House Speaker Newt Gingrich worked with President Bill Clinton even as the two major parties sought to outmaneuver each other. President Bill Clinton was fairly accused of numerous sexual scandals.
Clinton had sexual encounters that became widely known. The photo below spotlight just 4 of them.
Speaker Gingrich himself had an affair while in office during the 1990s, with then Callista Bisek. That affair later resulted in a divorce, and an eventual marriage by Newt of the woman who is now his wife. Callista Gingrich today is the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.
While bipartisanship was evident in the 1990s, so was manufactured political gamesmanship.
“Eighty-four ethics charges were filed by Democrats against Gingrich during his term as Speaker. All were eventually dropped except for one: claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes,” says Wikipedia. “…In 1999, the IRS cleared the organizations connected with the “Renewing American Civilization” courses under investigation for possible tax violations.”
Rephrased, Gingrich was publicly smeared with dozens of charges, but in the end, nothing stuck. Sound familiar?
Nevertheless, “In 1998, Republicans lost five seats in the House,” says Wikipedia… “His [Gingrich’s] private polls had given his fellow Republican Congress the impression that pushing theLewinsky scandal would damage Clinton’s popularity and result in the party winning a net total of six to thirty seats in the US House of Representatives in this  election. The day after the election, a Republican caucus ready to rebel against him prompted his resignation of the speakership. He also announced his intended and eventual full departure from the House in January 1999. When relinquishing the speakership, Gingrich said he was “not willing to preside over people who are cannibals,” and claimed that leaving the House would keep him from overshadowing his successor.”
People can change. But human nature remains the same. We are all people who have our own unique weaknesses.
It is difficult at best to succeed long-term in business in America today without having at least a basic sense of politics. Much of what happens is for the camera, sound bites, and public impact. Various scandals manufactured for media are used with the idea of manipulating and thereby influencing voters.
Having worked with mainstream media on several occasions spanning over 20 years, this writer can tell you first-hand that stories are routinely ‘framed’ by television and print media to fit a narrative. That spin may or may not fit all of the facts.
Rephrased, sometimes key information is left out or over-emphasized, which can make a story appear to be plausible or true. In fact, some news is just agenda-driven, manipulative propaganda.
President Clinton remained in office, even though it is widely believed he was guilty of several examples of sexual misconduct. Those Clinton misdeeds pale in comparison to what Judge Kavanaugh is accused of doing. After 7 FBI investigations, there is no evidence, no corroboration against Judge Kavanaugh. Yet, the slander against Judge Kavanaugh persists.
By comparison, the mainstream media largely gave President Bill Clinton a pass, and there was considerable evidence that spanned years against him. Then First Lady Hillary Clinton orchestrated the defense of her husband Bill. She did so by publicly crushing President Clinton’s accusers. For more of an inside, fact-based look at the inner-workings of the mainstream media, see the related reports, further below.
Hillary did her part to deflect the allegations against her husband Bill. She did so in conjunction with Clinton political operative James Carville. It was Carville who came up with the troubling line – quoted below – that still haunts manufactured housing to this day.
People on both sides of the aisle – and those who are a-political – still use Carville’s comment, yet it is deeply offensive to millions.
It is an example of how politics can make strange bedfellows.
All that said, Speaker Gingrich and President Bill Clinton worked with each other to pass much of Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” The tech revolution was underway in the 1990s. Billionaires today like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and others were young in their careers in that timeframe. It took time for those tech gurus to evolve to the point that they became fabulously wealthy. They too played, and used, the political and media game.
An important lesson learned from billionaire Warren Buffett is precisely the need to understand history, to be well read, and to think long term. It is no secret we disagree with much of Mr. Buffett’s machinations. But that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the lessons he has taught, for good-or-ill, to the manufactured home industry.
Buffett’s deeply political.
MHARR, MHI, and State Associations, Working Together
We will look in greater depth in the days ahead to see how:
- the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR, previously known as the Association for Regulatory Reform – ARR),
- the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI),
- and Will Earle of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA)
all came together with numbers of other industry pros to work with Speaker Gingrich, Congress, and President Bill Clinton to pass a historic piece of legislation for our then thriving HUD Code manufactured housing industry.
Clarity on reality – then, now, and in the future – is vital for our industry’s revival.
The intriguing back-story to how MHARR, MHI, and what became MHEC give an illuminating “lessons learned” that could make it easier for our industry if understood and applied.
Partisans on both sides of the aisle – including partisans in our industry’s trade associations – must see reality clearly to understand how tens of billions of dollars in annual sales could be achieved in the near term in manufactured housing.
That kind of growth only occurs when local businesses in their local markets do their best, achieving results several times greater than they now are accomplishing.
But that achievement won’t happen absent reality-checks, pragmatism, and the correct next steps.
The video posted below opens with salty “R” rated language. We’ll present both the teaser (the ‘trailer’) and the full length video.
The video shows rough-but-real, raw news footage. The video takes viewers on a compelling snapshot of how our future is being shaped. It also suggest how our collective future could become so much brighter.
There’s a highly documented affordable housing crisis. Lawrence Yun, Ph.D. and chief economist for the National Association of Realtors ® says that some 8.3 million housing units are needed. That’s a sense of the potential manufactured home and other factory builders could be tapping into.
Manufactured homes are arguably best poised to address those needs, because of the two great federal laws, that if fully implemented could open the floodgates for manufactured housing and millions of Americans. To achieve our industry’s amazing potential, more should realize that President Trump, with a GOP House and Senate, could give our industry the brightest period it has ever achieved.
Please skip something else this evening, and make the time to watch the video above. Then kindly share this post and these videos with others. FYI, the video below is quick and industry-focused.
Once informed, vote wisely in the midterms. Give the 45th President of the United States (POTUS) the support he needs in Congress to make America and our manufactured home industry great again. He’s promised to enforce the law. Let’s give him the Congress he needs, and then do as the NFIB and others have, ask him to fully enforce our industry’s two great laws.
That’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, flashback, and commentary.)
(See Related Reports, further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
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