Give the corporate geniuses behind the curtain at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) their due. In selecting Lesli Gooch, Ph.D., to be the CEO of their purported insiders’ club – dubbed as a nonprofit trade association that claims to work for “all” – MHI corporate leaders picked a woman who in some ways looks and behaves like the famous cartoonist Charles Schultz Peanuts character Lucy. In a tweet dated 11.16.2017 from the Charles M. Schulz Museum, which was established in 2002 following the death of the famous Peanuts cartoonist, is a remembrance of a classic cartoon published over 6 decades ago. It is shown below. Dozens of times over the years, Lucy gets Charlie Brown to go for that place kick, despite the troubled history. In one cartoon, a snippet of which is shown in the featured image above, Brown muses about the psychology of this pattern. The actual (or proverbial) football is periodically brought out because Lucy knows Charlie Brown likes football (in our industry, the analogy might be that honest independents and professionals want to sell more manufactured homes). Lucy knows Charlie Brown is trusting. Lucy knows she can sweet talk, bully, rationalize, manipulate, or cajole Charlie into trying to kick that football. By knowing what Charlie Brown wants, by knowing his generally good nature and character, the deceptive, duplicitous, and devious Lucy tricks him every time. Hmmm…
This strip was published 65 years ago today, on November 16, 1952. It is the first time that Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown as he prepares to kick it. 🏈Over the years, Schulz created this classic gag in the Peanuts strip 36 times. pic.twitter.com/YXVhmzzUrt
— Charles M. Schulz Museum (@SchulzMuseum) November 16, 2017
Promises, promises. There are a variety of methods deployed in MHVille by Lesli and the MHI leadership she represents. Lesli/Lucy has ‘razzle dazzled,’ bullied, wooed, cajoled, tricked, and smiled her way to get Charlie Brown (trusting industry independents) to trust her after the first and following apparent deceptions. The video and cartoons illustrate the gag.
Every time, regardless of the promises made – the deceptions by Lucy of Charlie Brown continued. Her pledges – akin to MHI?!! – were broken every time.
How long will trusting manufactured housing professionals allow MHI’s Lucy, err, Lesli and MHI’s corporate leadership to keep doing this to them again and again too?
In fairness to Lucy, err, Lesli and MHI, they obviously aren’t the first or only ones to ever play this trick on the trusting. The Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) use of Lucy makes that point.
For example. Not all politicians are deceptive, paltering, con artists, and crooks. But numbers are. How many times have politicians promised one thing, and then never delivered? How is it possible that some get elected and re-elected, yet they keep pulling the proverbial football away or delaying that place kick hold for a tomorrow that never comes?
There are broadly speaking four big things that limit or are threatening manufactured housing. They could be summed up like this, with no particular order of importance implied.
- A) Image/Understanding/Education.
- B) Access to competitive financing.
- C) Zoning Placement.
- D) The looming threat of the Department of Energy (DOE) rules that are pending on manufactured housing. On paper, both the staff and corporate leaders involved with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) have made similar points.
In fairness to Lesli Gooch, Ph.D., the CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), she is merely a front person for the corporate interests that have hired her and others as their mouthpiece. As an educated professional, Gooch surely recognizes that others are hiding behind her skirts, so to speak, and has accepted that role for herself.
No one person, no one company or organization is solely responsible for what has gone wrong in the affordable housing market in general, and manufactured housing more specifically. Every article, every commentary, every report, fact-check, and analysis should be viewed with such notions in mind.
2022 could well prove to be a pivotal year for MHI accountability.
Note the new category in our week in review below for 2022. Also, don’t miss today’s postscript.
With no further adieu, let’s review the headlines for the week that was January 2nd to January 9, 2022.
What’s New on MHLivingNews
What’s New from Washington, D.C. from MHARR
What’s New on the Masthead on MHProNews
New for 2022 Category => The Latest Media Releases by MHProNews to Mainstream Media
What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews
Postscript – Additional Analysis and Commentary
There could be a veritable rouge’s gallery of personalities to place on display for the MHI version of the hall of shame, err, hall of blame, sorry – hall of “fame.” People who seem at times or for a while to behave as interesting, cool, funny, affable and intelligent professionals. But when more carefully examined, several MHI connected professionals are little more than crooks and cons in suits, crisp sportswear, dresses or pantsuits.
Who says? What about Warren Buffett? Consider his warning about the chains of (presumably bad) habits.
Or Buffett on the Moat…
Or Buffett saying, “Bad guys know more games.”
How many warnings does it take?
As long manufactured housing professionals who seek justice and fairness are generally patient, polite, prayerfully persistent, and persevere, the victory of the meek who seek over the devilishly devious is all but assured. The only question is when. In the ordinary human sense, that is difficult to predict. But it would be fair to say that significant progress has already occurred in recent years. There are reasons to believe that this progress could accelerate in 2022.
There are legal risks and penalties for market manipulation, RICO, Hobbs Act, and other antitrust violations. There are legal risks from acting under the color of law. There are legal risks involved in communicating deceptively using “the wires” and the U.S. Mail.
Tick tock, tick tock…the people aren’t going to keep falling for the same old things that the industry’s powers that be keep trying to sell. Who says? Honest Abe Lincoln. ##
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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.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
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