“You made me promises, promises, knowing I’d believe. Promises, promises, you knew you’d never keep.” Those song lyrics by the group Naked Eyes included this: “Never had a doubt in the beginning. Never a doubt. Trusted you true in the beginning…” There comes a time when promises, promises – no matter how appealing or lovely they may seem – ought to be thoughtfully reconsidered. When years go by and promises, promises seemingly never come to pass, they ought to be examined.
“Second time around, I’m still believing
The words that you said
You can’t finish what you start
If this is love, it breaks my heart,” stated the lyrics from Promises, Promises.
Our profession and industry suffer from some of the same problems that our nation is struggling under. More on that later.
There seems to be a Grand Canyon sized chasm that divides Americans (and our profession) along any number of real, imagined, or symbolic ‘fault lines.’ Those promises, promises are apparently part of a ‘divide and rule’ strategy. How that divide and conquer method is played out in the U.S.A. or elsewhere is simple in concept.
- An error told once can be debunked if the parties involved honestly sit down and candidly examine it publicly.
- By contrast, when a lie or deception is repeated thousands (or million times) of times — and is not honestly debated – it tends to be perceived as the truth by those who have been led to trust the source(s) of that deception in the first place.
Two broad camps often emerge from that pattern.
- There are those who bought into the deception or error and those who did not.
- That division, sadly, tends to benefit a few while harming many.
Samuel Clemens – better known by his pen name of Mark Twain – is credited with a similar observation made years ago. “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” Snopes says that’s likely a paraphrase of what Twain actually said: “How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!”
The fact that Clemens/Twain was writing about that in the 1800s reminds us that clever lies or half-truths (paltering) in an attempt to trick others into doing – and/or not doing – something which has been occurring by actual or would be ‘rulers’ for thousands of years. The first big deception was the half-truth (paltering) told by the slippery, forked tongue devilish serpent in the Garden of Eden.
Flashback to Junior High
Decades ago, it was common in the public schools I attended to hear the notion of keeping an open mind. We were taught to question and test claims. I recall, for instance, a 7th grade civics class where we had to do a debate. But in that debate, we had to take the opposite side of what we personally believed. That process of taking the perspective different from your own made you think.
Debating or vigorously discussing an issue – be it live in class, on stage, radio, or televised – was accepted as a useful way of clarifying which ‘side’ was closer to the truth. What happened to such informative discussions?
Today, people are told that vigorous debate may be seem mean spirited. Millions are led to believe that some issues do not need to be debated, because they are supposedly ‘settled’ science (or whatever). Debating may be projected by some as evil, because failure to act – on a disputed issue – could lead to delays on what is perceived to be a risk of a great calamity.
Fear is being used to drive millions. Fear often results in short circuiting authentic and curious thought.
So, a ‘politically correct’ notion that’s been often repeated it should ‘obviously’ be accepted as the truth. Those who don’t buy into the ‘acceptable’ perspective ought to be ‘cancelled’ and subjected to various negative consequences. While mistaken, it is nevertheless an understandable perspective from the viewpoint of those who sincerely believe that the risk is grave.
News flash. Whatever the topic, when some person or group is afraid to honestly discuss or debate, that’s a red flag 🚩 that a problem exists.
A quick review of some widely known issues from recent years will clarify how this pattern plays out in the U.S.
- The origins of the COVID19 coronavirus,
- the efficacy (or lack thereof) of various treatments for that disease,
- climate change causes and ‘solutions,’
- wealth and poverty,
- affordable housing,
- the causes of inflation,
- the Hunter Biden laptop,
- the truth about what happened on January 6 2021 on Capitol Hill,
- voting and election integrity,
- and problems associated with gender or race.
Those are just some examples of issues that keep our nation divided. Who’s willing to publicly and authentically discuss or debate those issues? While not a perfect method, those who want to slur their opponents rather than authentically debate their opponents may be ducking precisely because they could be exposed by an authentic debate.
Almost 18 months ago this Masthead editorial blog cited the following memorable exchange in the classic movie Charade.
- Reggie Lampert: “Why do people have to tell lies?”
- Peter Joshua: “Usually it’s because they want something. They are afraid the truth won’t get it for them.”
Charade-Reggie Lampert: “Why do people have to tell lies?” Peter Joshua “Usually it’s because they want something. They are afraid the truth won’t get it for them.”-Plague of Deception, Misdirection, Corruption
There is much truth in that pithy fictional movie exchange. Manipulators “want something” and they are “are afraid the truth won't get it for them.” But when promises, promises are not fulfilled after years or even decades later, that is a red flag 🚩. A recent example of how that plays out in our profession is linked here.
In our Information Age, it is easier to manufacture an echo chamber of likeminded people who repeat or slightly rephrase some desired talking point(s). Former 17-year Washington, D.C. CNN reporter turned talk radio pundit, Chris Plante has said that 'the greatest power of the media is its ability to ignore.' Think about that. Plante has recently been pointing to a statement by Malcom X periodically cited by this platform for years. By repeating a believable but nevertheless false narrative time and again, millions can be lead to believe it. That's how Adolf Hitler came to power. That's how communists came to power in Russia or Cuba. That's how socialists came to power in once far wealthier Venezuela. Those fascist, socialist, and communist regimes would never have come to power by telling the full truth. So, what they did was spew half-truths so often that they seemed believable.
Media companies are – wait for it – companies. They have owner(s) and managers. They routinely have a perspective. Not that profit is evil, but media companies exist to make a profit or they wouldn't exist at all. It is therefore an entirely fair question to wonder, what is the perspective of a given publication or writer? How accurate are their reports? Who does the better job of presenting the truth? Or are there times that some information from the left and some from the right are needed to navigate a polarized America? Psychologist and director of media studies Dr. Chrysalis Wright, Ph.D., put it this way in a report cited by MHProNews on June 9, 2020.
"FaKe NeWs" - The Truth About American News and Views - Practical Tips for Spotting Propaganda - What Facts, Evidence, Analysis Reveals
Fake news is a real issue. Who says? Ironically, it is often professionals in the news media business. A close look at the words " fake news" in the top left graphic reveals it is made up of various sizes of the word " propaganda."
Those who have been taught by repetition and who formed a habit to see something as X are also trained (conditioned) to distrust a group that says Y on a divisive issue.
Not until someone steps back and authentically question popular talking points – seeking the truth, whatever it may be – that the opportunity to bridge the manufactured gaps in our profession or society can be accomplished.
Awareness of Problems Can Overcome ‘Promises, Promises’ and Lead to Real Solutions
The first part of the solution to such divisive issues is awareness of the various methods of manipulation. Those who are telling the tale on television, or wherever else, may be getting paid big bucks for spinning their yarn.
- A lie or half-truth may be common. But a common lie or half-truth does not make it true.
- Next, someone must recognize that a lie, paltering, misdirection, and deception always have a goal. That goal may be as simple as buying time so that some prior lie isn’t revealed and understood.
- But often, the goal of paltering, deception, and misdirection is related to gaining some advantage, influence, or power over another group. Money, information, influence, and power are interconnected.
Name Calling, The Big Slur, and Specific Examples from MHVille, USA
Let’s review an actual example of the concepts above as it applies to our profession.
America has an affordable housing crisis. Not solving that affordable housing problem means scarcity.
Scarcity, by definition, routinely benefits a few that already have something while harming the many who don’t have but need the shorted item, in this case, sufficient affordable housing.
Manufactured homes have been demonstrated to be about half the cost of conventional housing.
Official U.S. Census Bureau Cost & Size Comparisons of New Manufactured Homes to New Single-Family Site-Built Homes - Facts for Shoppers, Affordable Housing Advocates, Public Officials, Investors & Researchers
That said, millions have mistakenly been led to believe that manufactured homes blow away in the first big wind. The truth losing a manufactured home in windstorms is a rare occurrence. Properly installing a new manufactured home has been mandated by federal law for decades. That said, the statistics are eye opening. Relatively small numbers of conventional housing, commercial buildings, and older mobile or manufactured homes are damaged or destroyed in a given year by a hurricane(s) or tornado(es).
"Preliminary Tornado Data 2021 National Weather Service, III.org-Surprising, Hopeful Facts for Affordable Housing Seekers" - Impact on Conventional Housing, Mobile Home, Manufactured Homeowners
Preliminary Tornado Data 2021, National Weather Service, III.org, Surprising, Hopeful, Facts, Affordable Housing Seekers, HUD Sec Ben Carson, HUD, Dick Moore, Dick Moore Housing, comparison, Conventional Housing, Mobile Home, Manufactured Homeowners, Bimal Kanti Paul, Department of Geography, Kansas State University, Mobile Manufactured Home Living News, Sunshine Homes, Red Bay AL,
Next, millions of Americans have been led to believe by ‘gurus’ like Dave Ramsey that a manufactured home depreciates just like a new car that is driven off a dealer’s lot. Oddly, evidence to the contrary has been known for years.
Responding to Rob Carson's 'Trailers' and Dave Ramsey 'Mobile Homes' Errors, Why it Matters to Manufactured Homeowners, Professionals, Affordable Housing Advocates, Media, and Public Officials
Responding, Rob Carson's What in the World, Newsmax, Rob Carson Show, WCBM, Newsmax Radio, podcast, 'Trailers', trailer is slur, trailer trash, Dave Ramsey, 'Mobile Homes', Dave Ramsey Mobile Homes Errors, Why it Terminology Matters to Manufactured Homeowners, Professionals, Affordable Housing Advocates, Media, and Public Officials,
Ramsey has repeatedly declined to engage on this topic, why is that so? Could it be that Ramsey doesn’t want to admit their organization is peddling a message that benefits certain sponsors but may prove harmful to millions who trust his advice? The article above includes facts, evidence, and expert analysis. One of the third-party reports cited in the report and analysis above is the one linked below. As LendingTree explained it, manufactured homes are appreciating at a similar, and sometimes faster rate of increasing value as far more costly conventional ‘site built’ housing.
Unpacking "Manufactured Homes as an Investment" LendingTree "Mobile Home Values Are Rising Faster Than Single-Family Home Values"-When do Mobile and Manufactured Homes Appreciate or Depreciate?
Unpacking "Manufactured Homes as an Investment" EzineArticles, L. A.
For decades, our industry has struggled under a misinformation issue. During an information age, how is that possible? Simple.
Some don’t want the perceived threat that competition manufactured housing represents. It benefits some special interests to smear manufactured homes as ‘trailers’ or ‘mobile homes’ that blow away or swiftly lose value. It is better from the vantagepoint of some interests to make it harder to buy a manufactured home than a conventional site built house.
So, why hasn’t the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) engaged in an educational campaign to debunk these notions? As odd as it may sound at first, some larger brands in our profession apparently want manufactured housing industry underperformance. The U.S. population has grown substantially since 1998, but manufactured housing is operating only at about 1/3rd of the level that it did some 25 years ago.
There are reams of evidence from various MHI member companies and their corporate leaders that to various degrees make the following points.
- Several (not all) MHI member companies want to restrict widescale developing of new communities (fee simple or land-lease).
- There are perceived advantages for various companies to restrict access to competitive financing. That’s despite a federal law passed by a widely bipartisan effort in Congress in 2008 designed to support lending for manufactured homes (Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and its “Duty to Serve” (DTS) manufactured housing provision.
- Despite the enactment of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA) some 23 years ago, which was supposed to provide legislative and regulatory support for a free market solution to the affordable housing crisis, that positive legislation is widely seen as thwarted on key provisions. For example, the MHIA has a provision known as "enhanced preemption" which was supposed to give HUD a tool to overcome unreasonable zoning that unjustly blocks the placement of more HUD Code manufactured homes. If/when that is robustly enforced, the opportunity for manufactured home producers, developers, and retail sellers could surge while offering a more competitive option when compared to head-to-head with conventional builders and multifamily rental housing.
- But it is precisely those 'special interests' that DO NOT want to see those laws properly enforced. And so long as the Iron Triangle operates between regulators, special interests, and lawmakers in their oversight and budget functions, the U.S. housing shortage will only continue. Who says? How about HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge or HUD PD&R researchers Pamela Blumenthal and Regina Gray.
HUD Sec Marcia Fudge - Zoning, Manufactured Homes - "Until We Start to Address This We Are Going to Continue to be Perpetually in This Kind of Situation." - News-Analysis, plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said this week in a House Financial Services Committee Hearing that "Until we start to address this [zoning/placement barriers for HUD Code manufactured homes] we are going to continue to be perpetually in this kind of situation." That sobering line by U.S. Housing and Urban Development ...
Affordable Housing, Conventional Housing, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, and Modular Housing Conundrum - What U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Research Revealed
Affordable Housing, Conventional Housing, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, Modular Housing Conundrum, What U.S.
Official U.S. Census Bureau Cost & Size Comparisons of New Manufactured Homes to New Single-Family Site-Built Homes - Facts for Shoppers, Affordable Housing Advocates, Public Officials, Investors & Researchers
MHProNews/MHLivingNews have documented those concerns about MHI for the past several years, once we grasped that MHI was part of the problem and not part of the solution. Third-party research that debunks concerns about the manufactured homes that could rapidly solve the affordable housing crisis are routinely not found on the MHI website. Why is that? Are they incompetent? Uneducated? When their experience and background are understood, those possible explanations are easily brushed aside. The sobering reality emerges. Not only outsiders – competitors to manufactured housing – but several insiders that are routinely MHI members are thwarting common sense steps that could cause rapid growth.
- Scarcity for some is ‘profitable’ for others.
- Because of the economic 'law' of 'supply and demand,' scarcity drives up costs/prices and harms those on fixed incomes or who are modest wage earners.
- Restated, solving the supply and demand issue in housing (or other parts of the economy) in a healthy way can be good for millions of people of modest means. That opens up opportunities for smaller businesses which often are sources for innovation as well as for more jobs. Competition for employees and good jobs can have positive ripple benefits for millions of workers, lower- to mid-management, investors, taxpayers, and others.
MHI's and their Corporate Master’s Deception and Misdirection Echo Chamber ©
The estimated population of the United States in 1998 was 276.1 million. By 2022 the U.S. population was estimated at 333,287,557, per the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite steady population growth, manufactured home production nationally was less than 1/3rd of what it was in 1998. There is an affordable housing crisis. Yet numbers of credible third-party research reports have debunked common concerns about manufactured homes. Data below per HUD, MHARR, and others which cited official federal sources. Let's look again at the graphic shown above.
MHI leaders often seem to say or do the 'right things.' But the bottom line is that, similar to the lyrics by Naked Eyes above, those 'promises, promises' oddly never seem to be fulfilled. How many more years or decades are MHI members supposed wait until they accept the fact that current MHI leaders have no intention of seeing these laws they helped get enacted enforced in the near term? That sounds bizarre, but when someone understands that MHI consolidators themselves say that their goal is to consolidate a "fragmented" industry. In essence, every independent retailer, producer, community operator had a proverbial bullseye painted on them years ago by larger brands. It would be sad enough if this was only true in manufactured housing. But in various ways, as the Biden White House Fact Sheet on Competition pointed out, a similar pattern is impacting most American professions.
Examining Joe Biden's White House FACT SHEET on 'Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy' - EO #14036 - plus Sunday MHVille (Manufactured Home Industry) Headlines in Review
Some 14 months ago, Joe Biden signed Executive Order (EO) #14036 on 7.9.2021. "Today's historic Executive Order established a whole-of-government effort to promote competition in the American economy. The Order includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies to promptly tackle some of the most pressing competition problems across our economy," says the White House "Fact Sheet " that supported EO 14036.
That's not to endorse the Biden White House's and their bureaucrats actual performance on the issues the Biden White House Fact Sheet on competition raised. Even fellow Democrats, such as Robert Reich, have indirectly critiqued the Biden regime's antitrust effort, because it has been long on talk but lacking on effective action.
'U.S. Should Break Up Monopolies' Democrat Robert Reich Guardian Plan Would Hit Clayton Homes, Skyline Champion, and Cavco Industries with Costly Antitrust Lawsuit - Statements, Facts, Analysis
'U.S. Should Break Up Monopolies', The U.S. should break up monopolies - not punish working Americans for rising prices, Democrat Robert Reich, the Guardian, columnist, Plan Would Hit Clayton Homes, Skyline Champion, Cavco Industries. Costly Antitrust Lawsuits, Statements, Facts, Analysis, antitrust, pro-competition, anti-monopoly,
Summary and Conclusion
There is a pattern of division that has can often (not always) be traced back to certain special interests within a profession. That pattern occurs across numerous professions in America. A few benefit, while many are harmed. But along the way, people are led to believe things that appear to be true, that appear to be in the interest of a set of people. But when carefully and objectively examined, what seems to be true often fails to materialize as has been projected. This American pattern is playing out in manufactured housing, which means affordable housing is being impacted.
We the People must not allow paltering and 'weaponized' messaging to skate by without careful and objective scrutiny. There is a potential coalition of perhaps 75 percent (+/-) of voters who could agree on an agenda that would benefit the vast majority of Americans. Information - blocking it, manipulating it, is part of the battlefield. Another part is capital access. It is in these ways that the blazingly keen insight from Danny Glover, shown below, comes into focus.
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/federated-states-newsletter-uncovers-manufactured-housing-institute-behavior-and-lack-of-effectiveness-at-their-own-claimed-advocacy-mhis-own-words-3rd-party-fact/ and https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/what-then-shall-we-say-in-response-to-these-things-if-god-is-for-us-who-can-be-against-us-by-god-if-we-can-do-it-you-can-too-anniversary-reflections-viewpoints-mhville/
Stay tuned for more of what is 'behind the curtains' as well as what is obvious and in your face reporting that are not found anywhere else in MHVille. It is all here, which may explain why this is the runaway largest and most-read source for authentic manufactured home “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. "Tony" Kovach - for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He's a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC's and/or the writer's position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.
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