The following op-ed was provided by the WND News Center to MHProNews. Though the words “manufactured home” don’t appear in Patrice Lewis’ column below, reflections on that and more will be included in Part II of this article’s additional information segment. Part II includes and builds upon Lewis’ reference to Congo born Hanne Nabintu Herland’s column, references from the most recent Federated States (Manufactured Housing Institute) ‘newsletter’ and more relevant insights are all part of the additional information with related MHProNews analysis and commentary on the headline topics.
Death of the middle class: Will the peasants survive?
Exclusive: Patrice Lewis warns of what global elites have determined is our future
By Patrice Lewis
Published September 29, 2023 at 7:00pm
For the past 33 years, my husband and I have been clinging to a middle-class lifestyle.
In many respects we are blessed beyond measure. After getting married in 1990, we purchased our first starter home on four acres in 1993 for an affordable price. We moved rural, started a home woodcraft business, plunged into intense financial insecurity, then climbed back out again into the middle class. During this process, we learned the art of frugality to the nth degree.
We moved again in 2003 to larger but still affordable home (we had kids by then) on more acreage, built up a homestead, raised and homeschooled our daughters, continued to support ourselves through our woodcraft business and worked very hard to keep our financial heads above water. We were still middle class, but barely. Debt hovered over us. Frugality is what got us by.
We downsized in 2020 to a smaller home on smaller acreage, paid off all debt, gifted the woodcraft business to our older daughter, and embarked on a life of continued frugality as we earn our income through various freelance means. Thanks to decades of frugality and a grim determination never to be in debt again, we can still count ourselves among the middle class.
But now the global elites have determined the middle class should die.
The starter home we purchased three decades ago became the collateral to upgrade or downsize over the term of our married life. That’s what kept us in the middle class, even on a woodcrafter’s income.
But the younger generations, including our kids, don’t have that option. Many are locked out of home ownership or other middle-class benchmarks through no fault of their own. Wages are stagnant, home prices and mortgage rates are skyrocketing, starter homes are practically nonexistent, and inflation continues to climb. It is inexorable that the middle class is losing its grip and sliding downward.
It’s not just the younger generations either. A good friend who is my age admitted rising costs are hitting her family hard. “We figured that due to increases in everything, we have a shortfall each month of at least $2,000,” she said. She says they’ll be OK, but it’s scary. They’re ramping up some side gigs to survive.
Meanwhile, wealth – much of it the wealth of the middle class – is being consolidated into the hands of the few. We are being pushed, whether we like it or not, toward a dystopian future where we’ll own nothing and allegedly be happy about it. (Personally, I always thought that globalist “promise” sounded like a threat.)
“With government support, whether right- or left-wing, the new billionaire class freely engages in the transferring of wealth from the lower classes unto themselves,” writes columnist Hanne Nabintu Herland. “Since the 1980s, this development has accelerated through the rise of the globalist transnational business model. It is dependent upon weak nation states and open borders in order to access a cheaper labor force, and it refuses to pay taxes to any given country or redistribute wealth when outsourcing jobs to low-cost nations.”
It gets worse. “[T]he rules that apply to regular citizens, who are so heavily taxed in many nations that they hardly make ends meet, does not apply to the top elite,” continues Herland. “The people are rendered practically voiceless in the billionaire-owned mainstream media. This, by the way, was Vladimir Lenin’s communist recipe of how to get rid of the middle class: ‘The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.’ … We are sinking into the quagmire of national poverty while the billionaire class takes it all.”
Public education, from kindergarten through graduate school, teaches young people the evils of free market capitalism, and the wonders and security of socialism. As the middle-class lifestyle moves increasing out of their grasp, those younger people are embracing the very structure that is destroying the world economy and their own prospects.
Now the chickens are starting to come home to roost. As a cohort, the younger generations will never be able to achieve the middle-class lifestyle that was so common among their parents. Without the traditional trappings of adulthood – including home ownership – how will younger generations achieve the usual benchmarks of the middle class? Short answer: Many won’t.
Deprived of the wealth-building opportunities that derive from historic capitalism (which is vastly different from crony capitalism) that pulled millions out of poverty, the middle class is systematically being robbed of their wealth by the globalists. My friend is a classic example, and she and her husband may soon drop out of the middle class.
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented development, a tiny class of elites will control most of the world’s assets. This has happened before in various regional régimes, of course, but never on a global scale. We’re definitely entering unknown territory here.
And honestly, it’s no secret what the globalists have in mind, though any speculation is dismissed as a “conspiracy theory” (though as the saying goes, the difference between a conspiracy theory and reality is six months or less).
That’s why global crisis after global crisis is being pushed with such aggression. If the COVID scare didn’t work, maybe climate change will. If that fails to cow enough people, then expect some other dire global emergency to emerge (such as a “water crisis“).
Along these lines, sovereign nations are handing over their sovereignty to global entities with nary a peep. The World Health Organization, for example, can declare a pandemic (or even a potential one) based on little more than hearsay. Not only are nations obliged to push the WHO’s narrative, but it also means a loss of medical freedom and bodily autonomy for us peasants.
As things become more centralized and oppressive, I believe people will instinctively expand their personal “parallel economy” activities while tightening their circles. Expect a lot more gardens and backyard chickens. Expect a lot more self-employment and entrepreneurship. Expect a lot more interest in alternative medicine. Expect a lot more small-scale manufacturing. Expect a lot more unconventional educational options.
None of this will be done with blowing horns and clanging symbols. It will be done quietly, but with steely determination.
The elites may kill the middle class, but the peasants won’t die. We’re tougher than they think. ##
Part II – Additional Information with More MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
Patrice Lewis sounds an alarm using a touch of hyperbole and some jest, but her sobering points are broadly grounded in reality which have been the subject of concerns voiced by people across the left-center-right political spectrum for years. For example. Among the mainstream news items impacting housing and of concern to manufactured home professionals are the words of lifelong Democrat Robert F. “Bobby” Kennedy Jr (RFK Jr), currently running for his party’s Democratic nomination for president. But Kennedy is widely rumored to be poised to announce in Philadelphia on 10.9.2023 that he will shift to an independent campaign run, saying in part that the DNC is rigging the primary in favor of Biden (see first linked article a bit further below).
Said the Kennedy campaign in a recent email: “Save the Date. [i.e.: 10.9.2023] Save the Country.”
Some other pull quotes from Kennedy and his campaign are as follows.
“I’m running for President because I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to take back power from corporations and the government agencies they’ve captured.
In the last 40 years, I’ve taken on the most powerful corporations on the planet and beat them in the courtroom time and time again.”
“In this race for the White House I’ve been labeled a conspiracy theorist, an anti-vaxer, and worse. But when people hear me, they realize that this toxic media portrayal doesn’t hold water.”
MHProNews has featured reports about the controversial Kennedy off and on for some years. Some recent examples are as follows.
While some of what Kennedy says does seem to sound conspiratorial to some ears, no less a source than Warren Buffett has made his own bold statements that pre-date and, in several respects, confirm Kennedy’s claims. See the link below the quote-graphic to learn more about Buffett’s assertions. Said Buffett, “Actually, there’s been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won.” If Kennedy, Herland, or Lewis are conspiracy theorists, then the two Buffett quotes aptly confirm key elements of their respective theories.
Kennedy on Housing
Yahoo News reported days ago that Kennedy warned that corporations “can outbid your children” when it comes to buying housing.
Quoting Yahoo News:
- “Corporations can secure financing for real estate at costs 30% less than the richest people in the country, Kennedy said. This gives them a significant advantage over typical American homebuyers. “So they can outbid you, and they can outbid your children.”
- In a video posted on X, formerly Twitter, earlier this month, Kennedy projected that by 2030, giant corporations are on track to own 60% of single-family homes in America.
- “So BlackRock wants to be everybody’s landlord and everybody’s neighbor, but I’m not going to let that happen,” he said.”
- Should he be elected president, Kennedy said he would introduce a federal program that backs mortgages at 3%, financed by tax-free bonds. The mortgages would be available exclusively to individuals, excluding corporations.
- “This will drop mortgage payments by more than $1,000 a month for a medium-priced home and allow your children to out-compete BlackRock in the market,” he said.
- Kennedy added that he would also change the tax code to discourage corporations from owning single-family homes.
Annual Income Needed For A Median-Priced US Home
- The Federal Reserve has implemented significant interest rate hikes over the past year and a half to combat rampant inflation. While high interest rates can cool the housing market, they also lead to bigger mortgage payments.
- According to The State of the Nation’s Housing 2023 report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the annual income needed to afford payments on a median-priced home in the U.S. is now $117,100, up nearly $20,000 from last year.
- And that means millions of households are now priced out of the market.
- “The number of renter households able to afford these higher payments shrunk by 32%, from 7.5 million to 5.1 million, a loss of 2.4 million potential homebuyers,” the Harvard researchers said.
Lewis is from the political right. RFK Jr. is from the political left. Herland’s research notes sources across the left-center-right divide. Buffett – and numbers of other billionaires like him – openly supported Democrats for president for years. The facts may have partisan implications, but the facts themselves are not partisan.
The Shrinking Middle Class and Steady Erosion of the American Dream
Lewis made a reference to the World Economic Forum (WEF) pitch a few years ago that “You’ll own nothing. And you will be happy.” As longer-term and detail-minded readers of MHProNews know, that’s also not a conspiracy theory. Rather, it is information produced by the WEF and posted by them on their own website and/or on social media platforms.
Left-leaning Wikipedia also confirms that quote promoted by the WEF. MHProNews asked a follow up question to Bing AI Chat the following:
> “Did the World Economic Forum remove their video that said: “You’ll Own Nothing. And You Will Be Happy?”
Several of the points made by Lewis, Kennedy, Herland and others are buttressed by the facts from recent research on Indeed and by Virtual Capitalist. As housing affordability fades, which the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI – see Part III of the report linked below) admits is occurring, fewer housing units are being listed, built, and sold as compared to prior levels. While MHI didn’t specifically mention manufactured housing production levels in that (they looked at mainstream housing data instead), MHProNews provided the manufactured housing data and context in that same report.
New cities and flying cars
Trump said in multiple campaign videos that he would spearhead an effort to build Freedom Cities to “reopen the frontier, reignite American imagination, and give hundreds of thousands of young people and other people, all hardworking families, a new shot at home ownership and in fact, the American Dream.”
In his plan, the federal government would charter 10 new cities on federal land, awarding them to areas with the best development proposals. The former president said in a campaign video that the Freedom Cities would bring the return of US manufacturing, economic opportunity, new industries and affordable living.
In the March video, Trump added that the US under a second Trump administration would lead in efforts to “develop vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles for families and individuals,” not letting China lead “this revolution in air mobility.” The former president said these airborne vehicles would change commerce and bring wealth into rural communities.”
The Trump video CNN referenced via the links above is posted below.
From the page that CNN linked on the Trump site are the following pull-quoted remarks.
In addition, President Trump will create an ultra-streamlined federal regulatory framework specifically for new Freedom Cities, which will lead to invention of new industries and provide Americans with safe and affordable living.”
President Trump promised to implement a regulatory budget to place a hard cap on the costs of government regulation, ban bureaucrats from pursuing enforcement action on informal guidance alone, and will require all government regulations be posted publicly or be made null and void.
Finally, President Trump will take swift and unprecedented action to protect Americans from the out-of-control Deep State.
“I will require every federal employee to pass a new Civil Service test demonstrating an understanding of our Constitutional limited government,” President Trump said. “This will include command of due process rights, equal protection, Free Speech, religious liberty, federalism, the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure—I know all about that at Mar-a-Lago, don’t I— and all the other constitutional limits on federal power.”
When President Trump returns to the White House, he will put unelected bureaucrats back in their place, liberate the U.S. economy, and attract millions of jobs and trillions of dollars to our shores.”
It is worth noting that the Trump tax and regulatory policies did previously spur a boost in investments in the U.S. and federal tax revenues grew despite rate cuts, as previously occurred under Democratic President John F. “Jack” Kennedy and Republican President Ronald Reagan.
While talk of ‘equity’ by Biden and his party may sound good, the reality is that since Biden took office, housing affordability is at its worst in decades. Inflation, higher interest rates, and wages that don’t keep pace with higher costs are just some of the factors that have caused roughly 2/3rds of the country, including millions of Democratic voters who cast ballots for Biden in 2020 to now reject the notion that he should be reelected in 2024. The linked reports provide additional insights.
‘The U.S. Can Solve Its Housing Crisis – It Just Needs To Start Building’ Bloomberg, Washington Post Want More Manufactured Housing in 2023! Plus 2022 Year in Review, Sunday MHVille Weekly Headlines Recap
To a certain extent, the political parties can obscure the troubling realities operating in the background. While several left-leaning publications, as well as people like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and other Democrats, have made the point that the billionaire, ‘elites,’ ‘donor class,’ corporate power, Establishment, etc. has captured the Democratic party, there are some fingerprints to such ties among Republicans in or seeking office too. Retiring Senator Mitt Romney, former Governor Chris Christie, and others have been labeled as “RINOs” by those who support an Americans First/America First or “MAGA” agenda. Meanwhile, Biden has repeatedly denounced the MAGA movement as a threat to the country. Perhaps more precisely, the MAGA movement is a threat to the elites that Biden and hundreds of politicians represent.
MHProNews asked Bing:
> “Did the Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA) executive director Tom Hardiman decry Biden’s housing plan as a path to the turning the American Dream into the American Nightmare?”
Bing provided the following linked reports. Note the first linked report reflects the point that Hardiman predict such an outcome months in advance of the problems that developed in the U.S. housing market that Lewis, Kennedy, and others have decried.
“Political Payoffs” Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA) Compared to Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on Biden Plan – ‘Turns American Dream into American Nightmare’ – Analysis – plus, Manufactured Housing Stocks Updates
A headline on the financial news site ZeroHedge this morning says almost half of young adults are living with their parents. The evidence that the American Dream is slipping away is extensive and spans the left-center-right political spectrum. That too goes towards the contentions made by Lewis and Herland.
MHProNews recently featured a report that included information from surveys of business people. Per those surveys, a common view among business owners is that inflation is ‘threating the American Dream.’
While these are troubling for the nation, it could be a potential opportunity for manufactured housing to shine. But instead, as Cavco Industries CEO and MHI board leader William “Bill” Boor admits has put the industry at a “critical crossroads.”
Noting anew that not everyone involved in MHI is in on an apparent plot to limit their own industry, there is nevertheless several apparent examples of certain ‘insider’ firms acting in a manner that benefits consolidators while harming the interests of those who want to see robust and sustainable manufactured housing industry growth.
MHProNews plans to have the second part of the special above later this week. Also, on tap for this week is a report on a Big Three connected deal. Several other items are at or near the launching pad on MHProNews/MHLivingNews which readers are unlikely to find anywhere else in the balance of what passes for MHVille trade media. Stay tuned for those and more from the runaway #1 trade publication serving the manufactured housing industry’s professionals. ###
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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.
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