“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men.” That’s the words of Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence which he drafted. According to NPS.gov, those are the most famous quotation written by U.S.A. ‘founding father’ Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson is also known for writing these words: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents.” That’s according to the Library of Congress (LOC.gov) website.
In a discussion with MHProNews an American investor, that well informed individual with years of experience in housing expressed surprise and shock when he was told that manufactured housing was likely to produce fewer than 100,000 manufactured homes in 2023.
How is it possible that during a well-documented affordable housing crisis, that HUD Code manufactured housing are underperforming so badly compared to its historic trends?
To understand that employees in the manufactured home industry and all others should first understand how manufactured housing compares with other aspects of the U.S. housing system. But it is true, as the latest U.S. housing from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and about manufactured housing from the U.S. Census Bureau data linked here reflects. More on that later.
But next, let’s understand why and how manufactured home industry employees can improve their own circumstances as well as that of the manufactured home industry. Let’s turn to a Bing AI inquiry to tee up all that follows.
> “Bruno Pelligrino, the Biden White House Fact Sheet on Competition in 2021, and other sources indicate that the lack of competition hurts manufactured housing employees and those in other professions. Can you shed light on how that occurs and how that could possibly be corrected?”
Note that highlighting is added by MHProNews, but the text and hotlinks that follow are from Bing AI.
According to Bruno Pelligrino and the Biden White House Fact Sheet on Competition in 2021, lack of competition can have a negative impact on employees in the manufactured housing industry and other professions 12. The lack of competition can lead to a decrease in job opportunities, lower wages, and reduced benefits for employees. It can also lead to a decrease in innovation and quality of products and services offered by companies 12.
To correct this issue, it is important to promote competition in the market. This can be done by breaking up monopolies and encouraging new entrants into the market. The government can also play a role in promoting competition by enforcing antitrust laws and regulations 2. By promoting competition, employees in the manufactured housing industry and other professions can benefit from increased job opportunities, higher wages, and better benefits. Additionally, consumers can benefit from increased innovation and quality of products and services offered by companies.
- uschamber.com 2. home.treasury.gov 3. uschamber.com 4. manufacturedhomepronews.com 5. insight.factset.com 6. multifamily.fanniemae.com“
Note reply from Bing AI #4, above. That sparks the following inquiry.
“Interesting. You cited Manufactured Home Pro News as one of the sources for that information. Which manufactured home industry trade media or bloggers have explored Bruno Pelligrino, The Biden White House Fact Sheet on Competition, and on issues that relate to how employees could earn more in the manufactured housing industry?”
Let’s note that in the reply from Bing AI above, if MHProNews would have picked what items to link, we would have included the article linked below, and would not have provided the first two linked above. That said, let’s sum up some of the first part for employees who want to be part of the solution instead of being de facto part of the problem. The Q&As with Bing AI overall did a decent job of summing up some key items found in greater depth in a range of reports previously published on MHProNews, MHLivingNews, and normally nowhere else in MHVille.
At Thanksgiving dinner, if you want to get a sense of what others gathered around dinner table think about our industry, why not just ask for some candid feedback? You don’t have to feel the need to defend or explain, or if you do, you can simply direct them to MHLivingNews.com and/or this website.
That said, let’s recap what Bing AI said above is needed to correct the issues Pelligrino and others say are needed to boost earnings in the manufactured home industry. Quoting:
To correct this issue, it is important to promote competition in the market. This can be done by breaking up monopolies and encouraging new entrants into the market. The government can also play a role in promoting competition by enforcing antitrust laws and regulations 2. By promoting competition, employees in the manufactured housing industry and other professions can benefit from increased job opportunities, higher wages, and better benefits. Additionally, consumers can benefit from increased innovation and quality of products and services offered by companies.”
Competition in the market must be promoted.
Hold that thought.
Leaked Document Becomes Relatively Famous…
Earlier this week, we made reference to a leaked document that was made famous in various documentaries and reports. MHProNews obtained a copy of that document from Citigroup and hereby provides a key segment of their document. To tee this segment up, lets turn again to Bing AI.
> “Define plutonomy and plutocrats.”
With those definitions in mind, the following are sections pulled and quoted from that leaked document.
WELCOME TO THE PLUTONOMY MACHINE
In early September we wrote about the (ir)relevance of oil to equities and introduced the idea that the U.S. is a Plutonomy – a concept that generated great interest from our clients. As global strategists, this got us thinking about how to buy stocks based on this plutonomy thesis, and the subsequent thesis that it will gather strength and amass breadth. In researching this idea on a global level and looking for stock ideas we also chanced upon some interesting big picture implications. This process manifested itself with our own provocative thesis: that the so called “global imbalances” that worry so many of our equity clients who may subsequently put a lower multiple on equities due to these imbalances, is not as dangerous and hostile as one might think. Our economics team led by Lewis Alexander researches and writes about these issues regularly and they are the experts. But as we went about our business of finding stock ideas for our clients, we thought it important to highlight this provocative macro thesis that emerged, and if correct, could have major implications in terms of how equity investors assess the risk embedded in equity markets. Sometimes kicking the tires can tell you a lot about the car-business.
Well, here goes. Little of this note should tally with conventional thinking. Indeed, traditional thinking is likely to have issues with most of it. We will posit that:
2) We project that the plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization.
3) Most “Global Imbalances” (high current account deficits and low savings rates, high consumer debt levels in the Anglo-Saxon world, etc) that continue to (unprofitably) pre- occupy the world’s intelligentsia look a lot less threatening when examined through the prism of plutonomy. The risk premium on equities that might derive from the dyspeptic “global imbalance” school is unwarranted – the earth is not going to be shaken off its axis, and sucked into the cosmos by these “imbalances”. The earth is being held up by the muscular arms of its entrepreneur-plutocrats, like it, or not.
Fixing these “global imbalances” that many pundits fret about requires time travel to change relative fertility rates in the U.S. versus Japan and Continental Europe. Why? There is compelling evidence that a key driver of current account imbalances is demographic differences between regions. Clearly, this is tough. Or, it would require making the income distribution in the Anglo-Saxon plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) less skewed to the rich, and relatively egalitarian Europe and Japan to suddenly embrace income inequality. Both moves would involve revolutionary tectonic shifts in politics and society. Note that we have not taken recourse to the conventional curatives of global rebalance – the dollar needs to drop, either abruptly, or smoothly, the Chinese need to revalue, the Europeans/Japanese need to pump domestic demand, etc. These have merit, but, in our opinion, miss the key driver of imbalances – the select plutonomy of a few nations, the equality of others. Indeed, it is the “unequal inequality”, or the imbalances in inequality across nations that corresponds with the “global imbalances” that so worry some of the smartest people we know.
In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie. Consensus analyses that do not tease out the profound impact of the plutonomy on spending power, debt loads, savings rates (and hence current account deficits), oil price impacts etc, i.e., focus on the “average” consumer are flawed from the start. It is easy to drown in a lake with an average depth of 4 feet, if one steps into its deeper extremes. Since consumption accounts for 65% of the world economy, and consumer staples and discretionary sectors for 19.8% of the MSCI AC World Index, understanding how the plutonomy impacts consumption is key for equity market participants.
5) Since we think the plutonomy is here, is going to get stronger, its membership swelling from globalized enclaves in the emerging world, we think a “plutonomy basket” of stocks should continue do well. These toys for the wealthy have pricing power, and staying power. They are Giffen goods, more desirable and demanded the more expensive they are.”
With the above in mind, Bing AI was asked the following.
> “The leaked Citigroup memo on the plutonomy – who was it addressed to? Is it safe to say that the audience were people of routinely superior income and wealth who themselves might be considered a plutocrat?”
With those thoughts in mind, note how the Economic Times explained Giffen goods as follows.
“The demand for these (Giffen) goods rises on increasing the price. It is contrary to the fundamentals of the law of demand as it creates an upward slope, unlike the downward-sloping demand curves of other goods that obey the law of demand.” Investopedia stated that: “Demand stays high when prices increase because there is no ready substitute for them.”
That said, MHProNews posits that it is possible that the research analysts at Citigroup meant to say what Investopedia described as “Veblen goods are luxury items that connote status in society, such as cars, yachts, fine wines, celebrity-endorsed perfumes, and designer jewelry. ”
Then note how this Citigroup letter predates billionaire Nick Hanauer’s op-ed in left-leaning Politico which he addressed to his fellow oligarchs and plutocrats.
The Citigroup memo also predated what Warren Buffett said per the left-leaning New York Times that: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
A few years later, according to the left-leaning Washington Post, Buffett doubled down and emphasized what he said in the quoted remark above. Per Buffett: “There’s been class warfare for the last 20 years, and my class has won.”
An array of takeaways are possible from the above. Among them?
There seems to be little point in denying what billionaires like Buffett, Hanauer, and their corporate colleagues at Citigroup have said. To deny their remarks would be to deny reality. But that doesn’t mean that every word they utter should be accepted as some capitalist gospel to be closely trusted.
Yes, this report will get published on Thanksgiving Day, and some of this may seem to be a downer. But this need not continue to be so. This is a reality check. A wake up call. Reality has to be faced, sooner or later for people who care about their future and that of friends, family, colleagues, or their loved ones.
Flash back to the opening lines above from Thomas Jefferson. “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents.”
Bing AI cited a slightly different phrasing of Jefferson’s letter to Colonel Charles Yancey on January 6, 1816. But think about it. Over 207 years ago, Bing AI stated that Jefferson also said: “There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” 23.”
Note Jefferson’s caveat? Where the press “is free.” In an era where the plutocrats and oligarchs routinely own or effectively control much of the press, while the press is technically free, the media is routinely biased.
Keep in mind what was learned in the report linked below. Billionaires and corporate elites are busy cheering Chinese dictator Xi in his visit last week to San Francisco, CA.
If you are one of the many daily readers of MHProNews, consider how the above is strong evidence of what author Hanne Herland had to say about this topic of the billionaires and plutocracy’s power and influence in the U.S. and beyond.
Sometimes the researchers and newcomers are the ones that have the keen insights those comfortably born in the U.S. might miss.
From across the left-center-right divide, there are authors, pundits, and leaders who have warned that we are steadily losing what made the American Dream possible.
You don’t have to be white woman like Barbara Loe Fisher to realize that what she said can resonate with a wide array of people from a variety of backgrounds.
The Broken Narrative in MHVille
The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their loyal allies are routinely singing from a similar page in their hymnal. One must keep in mind that MHI is merely a tool for their dominating brands. As Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) president and CEO Marguerite Nader said “we are also working with our national association” i.e.: MHI. The big producers and the big consolidating community operators are routinely the ones that dominate MHI and/or MHI affiliated state associations.
Leakers and Whistleblowers
Tipsters and good information sources are near the heart of numbers of stories on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. Stories like those linked below are grounded on documents and other tips.
MHI affiliated state or national association members. Odds are good you have access to information that could prove useful to MHProNews reporting. Don’t assume we have a document or report. We’d rather have something 4x than not have it at all. Please send tips to ireportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com, and put NEWS TIP-DBN in the subject line to help us spot it in our volume of messages.
Various sources say that the problem of industry consolidation could be costing employees 17 (+/-) percent to 20 percent. With thousands of reportedly unhappy employees working for MHI linked brands, it is a good time to help make positive change a reality.
Don’t miss the postscript.
Manufactured Housing Production Decline Persists in Sept 2023 per Manufactured Housing Association ‘During Affordable Housing Crisis Affordable Manufactured Housing Continues to Underperform’, Facts Analysis –
How Valid Are Texas Manufactured Housing Survey Claims by Texas Real Estate Research Center-TMHA–‘Supply Conditions Smooth Set Stage for Texas Manufactured Housing Expansion’ – Seriously? Plus, MHVille Update
Postscript to Part I. Today is November 23, 2023. It has been 60 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. We asked Bing AI a question on the required disclosure of records related to his assassination. A key part of its initial response had an incorrect date and related information. After prompting Bing AI for that error, here is what Bing AI said.
> “Pardon me, Bing, but Kennedy died on 11.23.1963. That makes today the 60th anniversary not the 58th, correct? Please re-write the above with that correction.”
MHProNews has at various times published items that include, or sometimes even focus on, the murder of President John F. Kennedy. The fact that 6 decades after his assassination that there are still documents being withheld from the public a stunning fact. What does it really mean? That powerful forces in the U.S. do not want the public to know certain things, including more details about his death. Excuses about releasing information 60 years after his death are just that, excuses.
Keep in mind the revelations found in the book by a highly decorated Marine General.