The virtue of humility is as important as the thoughtfully applied quality of courage. Humility should not be misunderstood as being a doormat. Work horses come in many forms. Work horses may quietly seem to be plodding along. Then on a given day, looking back, the large field is plowed. In time, the seeds have been sown. Later still, the crops are nurtured by water and fertilizer. Proverbial wheat, the staff of life, are separated from the tares. Finally, with care and patient, intelligent, and persistent effort, a bumper crop is ready to come in. Meanwhile, and in stark contrast, the show horses are show boating. It has been noted numerous times by MHProNews that superficially, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) appear to hold very similar positions on several key issues to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and MHI’s state association affiliates. MHI hustles to-and-fro. MHI is routinely touting their latest photo or video opportunity. They brag about their plans and awards they are about to give out. Their leaders glory in their own and each other’s titles and credentials. Never mind that claims made months and years ago by MHI have seemingly never come to fruition. In short, the case can be made that MHI is akin the show horse or hubris-filled prima donna. Each of these points and more are illustrated in the headlines for this Sunday morning weekly review. They are also in the fact-checks, quick dip, and deeper dive reports below that are found below which are looking ahead to key issues in this factual and evidence-based report, commentary, and analysis.
The case can be made that MHI are the boy who cried wolf one time too many and have lost their credibility. Other than their own smoke and mirrors or amen corner, they are bereft of meaningfully accomplishing the goals that they claimed for years to be working toward. Where is MHI’s vaunted clout?
But give MHI’s apparently devious leadership credit. As this and other news-analysis and commentaries have noted – routinely citing MHI and their members accurately and looking at the facts, evidence, and third-party research such as those found in the reports for this week linked below – the patterns and evidence about MHI stand quite at odds with their claimed and projected image.
What MHI has done successfully is provide a steady diet of independents primed for consolidation that are feed into Buffett’s Buffett. What longtime MHI member and award-winner Marty Lavin called their “big boy” members have been apparently been successful in showboating during much of the Berkshire Hathaway era in that narrow area of success for their own self interests.
No wonder there is an affordable housing crisis. With MHI and its big boys stealthily working toward consolidation instead of robust growth, of course manufactured housing has increasingly witnessed either the demise of once successful mom and pop businesses and/or their consolidation into ever fewer hands. The evidence for such claims are found linked below and other reports linked herein.
Those fewer hands that are magically consolidating the remainders of the industry are often MHI members. Imagine that. That show boating or “razzle dazzle” is the trademark of many a huckster. They are hardly the first. In the 21st century there have been many hucksters who successfully – for some years, anyway – pulled off years of massive cons. Once publicly exposed, taxpayers and/or investors alike paid the price for ignoring the warning signs of the con artist.
Just as MHI and their corporate leaders have ducked the tough evidence-based legal questions, similarly the great 21st corporate con artists did too. When circa the mid-2000s decade the spotlight began to focus too much on key institutions – keep in mind, the Government Sponsored Enterprises are corporations with a federal charter, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – a parade of paltering, clever lies, and head fakes were marched out. Then one fine day, the nation and the world woke up the what became the 2008 housing-finance meltdown. Was that lesson learned?
If someone looks at MHI and their big boy brands, perhaps not. Perhaps show boating by show horses thus far has paid off, darkly.
Manufactured Housing has attracted a stream of major investors in the 21st century. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK), Apollo (APO), Blackstone, the Carlyle Group (CG), are just some worth mentioning. Berkshire’s Chairman Warren Buffett and Microsoft’s Bill Gates have deep financial, nonprofit, and other ties. Between Berkshire and Gates’ interests, there are more ties to giants like Apple, Facebook, or others in big media and big tech. MHI thus finds each of these titans and others involved with them all within their reach. Perhaps – with such deep pockets and potential power players involved – MHI are expected to be showboats. But just as several of those brands are crushing competitors in other parts of the U.S. economy, something similar has been occurring in manufactured housing.
But back to the work horses at MHARR.
Two special reports are linked below that will not become active links until sometime Monday.
Then, and rather related, there is a special report that is planned here on Monday edition of the Daily Business News on MHProNews.
MHARR, with support from MHProNews/MHLivingNews and others, have led the charge for years in their respective domains. MHARR is an association. We are trade publishers. At one point in time, there was a public tussle. That tussle is in the rear view mirror, as attentive and detail-minded readers know. Once upon a time, we were MHI members. This writer was elected by industry peers to serve on the MHI board. It just so happens that Danny Ghorbani used to be the MHI Vice President in charge of that MHI suppliers division. When Ghorbani was in that role, the Louisville Show was an international event. That stopped being so decades ago.
There are show-horses and then there are work horses.
Ghorbani and Weiss could only do what they are and have been doing for decades because visionaries involved as members of MHARR have made it possible. What became the MHARR producers’ focused trade group’s leaders saw fairly early on in the history of the HUD Code that more had to be done. MHARR was established. MHARR then fought a long and ultimately successful informational, factual, and evidence-based battle against larger corporations. A change in tune among MHI leaders finally led them to the table. MHARR, MHI, and the late Will Earle at the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) pulled together to get the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 passed (MHIA or 2000 Reform Law).
Let’s briefly step back for a moment, before pressing forward.
Going back in time to pre-2014, MHProNews frankly once had a more naïve understanding of manufactured housing’s behind-the-curtain machinations.
Then and now, it should be self-evident that companies like Berkshire, Microsoft, Apollo, BlackRock, and Blackstone, et al should have all the pull needed to get anything done they want to in Washington, D.C. Ergo, the status quo today is what it is because the powers that be behind MHI – their association front-group – want things in the industry to be as they are.
Years of careful and accurate reporting, fact-checks, accurate quotes, and thousands of various references, analysis and commentary are coming down to this past week and the next one.
There is a mountain of evidence that explains the status quo that magically benefits a few consolidators at the expense of thousands of current and now defunct manufactured home independents. That evidence and history have been presented to federal officials. Those same consolidators that dominate MHI are often the ones that are behind the ‘predatory’ allegations and other negative legal and other headlines. If the evidence wasn’t presented below and/or linked up herein, it would sound almost bizarre. But that is the magic of the Big Lie, audacity, and hubris. As but one example. Who would believe that MHI is charging their own members to tell them what they are doing with members dues?
For those who doubt, the reports for the week provide various in-depth looks at inter-related evidence. None involved in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis of show horses and their allies have raised a peep in public protest. The reports that are linked and found below thus stand publicly unchallenged.
They are prima facie and unambiguous evidence that the ‘rigged system’ in our nation exists in manufactured housing too. That rigged system, as President Trump once said, will not be fixed by the ones who rigged the system in the first place.
Take Warren Buffett at his word when he said that there is class warfare and that his class has won. But the amazing thing is that too few lay out the facts and evidence in such a deliberate fashion. That means that too few have had the stunning realization that those that they have hobnobbed with at trade events are backstabbing independents while they smile, drink, eat, swap stories, and share laughs.
Buffett and his fellow ultra-wealthy moat-building billionaires may well have seemingly won the war. They may well have won literally thousands of battles that overcame, seduced, or otherwise bewildered trusting and far more honest white-hat type industry professionals. Who has said it? Darkly, Kevin Clayton in his must-see video.
All that said, the war is not over until the fat lady sings.
Don’t miss the postscript that follows the headlines for the week in review.
As a reminder, two of the links, one on the Masthead, and one on the Cutting Edge, will not be active until our special report for Monday is published.
With no further adieu, here are the reports for the week that was.
What is New on MHLivingNews
What is New and Recent from Washington D.C. from MHARR
What is New on the Cutting Edge
What is New and Recent on the Masthead
What is New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews
Postscript – Information and Understanding – Capital vs Numbers
We are on record as strongly disagree with many of Buffett’s methods. But give the man his due. In several respect, he and his fellow billionaires and multi-billion dollar brands have laid the truth out in plain sight. Those willing to see, will see. Those blinded – by whatever reasoning – will not.
Buffett has said that he spend much of his day reading. The claims and reports are that he spends some 5 to 6 hours a day reading. When MHProNews was building our brand, we used to encourage readers to invest just 15 minutes a day reading. Well, we achieved that mark a long time ago and blew past it with thousands upon thousands of daily readers like yourself. 24/7/365, the third-party data reflects that numbers are on our sites around the clock. Nothing else in manufactured housing trade media even comes close. That’s not hubris, those are unchallenged facts.
But it is time for the next step for many of you.
There has to be a high level of understanding. That comes, as Buffett says, from study – reading, research. We have for years cited our sources accurately. Others could read and confirm for themselves that data, evidence, facts, logical or common-sense analysis found here. We don’t hide our research. It is open to all with the eyes and the discipline to see.
The reality is that many in our profession do not have 5 to 6 hours a day to devote to reading. That much is true. That said, many have an hour or two to invest in not just reading, but to deeply seek and obtain understanding. It may require on numerous occasions some 2 or 3 times to read a certain report, or part of a certain report, to check the links, and then circle back to how it relates for the aha lightbulb to come on. That’s fine. As has been said before, there are certain things that did not make sense to this writer – and I’ve been working in this profession for some 3 decades – until after a series of revelations and insider tips finally cause this writer’s aha-lightbulb to go off.
Humility is teachable. Hubris is not.
The goal of the money powers that dominate the U.S. is arguably to manipulate information and other obstacles in a clever fashion that involves keeping most people divided and at odds with each other. There are voices from the left and right that are saying so. They are pointing their fingers at the same suspects.
WMAL’s journalist turned pundit Chris Plante is a former Democrat. As Plante has observed, the Democratic Party led by John F. Kennedy is nothing like the Democratic Party leadership of today. Plante compares pro-Cuban communist – and accused President John F. Kennedy assassin – Lee Harvey Oswald with many modern Democrats. Plante says Oswald’s beliefs are closer to that of many modern DINOs than are the thinking of John F. Kennedy’s. It is a way of saying that the Democratic Party’s leadership left him. Thus, Plante – and millions of others – left the Democratic Party. But this isn’t about left-and-right, Democrat vs. Republican. We are political independents and have been for years. So what is this about?
The corporate, financial, and information powers that be can and do fund:
RINOs – Republicans in Name Only. RINOs in this context are in contrast to the Trump-era MAGA Republicans who believe in putting Americans of all kind First. RINOs are lurking at many levels. But an easy litmus test is who voted for or against impeachment of President Donald J. Trump among Republicans (the GOP, or Grand Old Party) and who did not.
DINOs – Democrats in Name Only. Democrats were and are, among other things, the party of labor unions. Labor unions long served a useful purpose. But like many institutions, the leadership of the unions is often at variance with the interests of the rank-and-file members. It makes no sense for labor leaders to favor or support candidates who are tolerant of open borders. That harms the interests of almost all labor. Other examples could be used. But the point is that the Democratic leadership is, as is true of some RINOs, in the pocket of big business, big finance, big tech, and big media.
JINOs – Jews in Name Only. The positions held by Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer (NY-D) and Senator Bernard “Bernie” Sanders (VT-Democratic Socialist who caucuses with Democrats and has twice run as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president) are examples of people of nominal Jewish faith that hold positions contrary to the teachings of their faith and contrary to the interests of Jewish nation of Israel.
CINOs – Catholics in Name Only. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Gates (not a politician, but one of the kingmaker’s) are examples of individuals who claim to be Catholic. But they hold to positions directly opposed to the teachings of the Church that they claim to belong to.
MINOs – Mormons in Name Only. Senator Mitt Romney (UT-R) and former Senator Harry Reid (NV-D) are examples of people who claim to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly called the Mormon Church or Mormons). But they take stances that would be at odds with their church’s leadership, not unlike CINOs or JINOs.
SINOs – Socialists in Name Only. Once upon a time it was a pejorative to say that an American was a socialist or a communist. No longer. That said, Bernie Sanders is a fascinating example of someone that claims to be a Democratic Socialist. But Sanders has had to admit he is a multi-millionaire. He owns multiple houses, just as former Obama Vice-President and prior Senator Joe Biden does. Sanders likes to take a private jet, despite his claimed concerns about airplanes and cars emissions destroying the planet. Much of what these people say they want to apply to others, but not to themselves. Drop Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) (NY-D) into and others in her circle into that SINO bucket too. AOC recently said she is concerned that the U.S. policy toward Communist Cuba will favor regime change. What? Does she want those people living under a dictatorial rule? PolitiFact says she is no millionaire. Perhaps that is so, per financial disclosure forms. But wait and see. There are numerous members of Congress who entered that institution with modest resources and they became millionaires off of stocks, real estate, and other deals that seem to be likely tied to insider knowledge. Left-leaning PolitiFact says that half of Congress are millionaires, but says there is no evidence that only about 1 percent of the country are millionaires.
But WSWS, citing the Center for Responsive Politics, says that 1 percent of Americans are millionaires.
Whatever is so on the stats involving millionaires as a percentage of the U.S. population, what is clear is that the two studies cited by the Center for Responsive Politics a decade ago asserted that the U.S. was becoming a plutocracy. “Two studies published this month point to the transformation of the United States into a plutocracy.” Part of their evidence for that is that half of Congress representatives and senators then were millionaires.
Most Americans are fine with money honestly earned. It is money dishonestly earned, or earned by gaming and manipulating the system that is frowned upon.
But lets get back to the list of INOs and the headline topic.
MHINOs. Manufactured Housing Industry-Advocates in Name Only. This apparently fits MHI and MHAction alike. Both cite their facts, make their respective claims. They seem to be on opposite sides of the fence.
But in reality, when those linked reports are carefully examined – reports like those linked herein, along with those linked from them – they each provide clear evidence of something quite different. What they evidence are the effects of the positions and performance of these groups – exemplified by MHI and MHAction – both tends toward consolidation.
Much of the political, business and advocacy class have become paltering, posturing pros. They are into razzle dazzle that sounds good but fails to produce the outcome that they respectively claim. They say one thing but do another. They may pound the podium and sound persuasive or passionate. But many are advocates ‘for the people‘ and smaller businesses in name only.
Our affordable manufactured home industry is finally moving up in the last 3 months. Finally, after 2½ years of a modest decline following MHI declaration of “momentum.” Just as the new-class of manufactured homes later rebranded as CrossMods has proven to be a bust, so too has MHI’s years of claims, photo and video ops that were without performance, save for consolidators.
The plutocrats and oligarchs running America are also dominating manufactured housing.
But there is evidence in the reports linked above and herein of an apparent awakening to what is occurring on in America. Thus, there is hope that what has been occurring in manufactured housing is finally stirring the souls of professionals and authentic advocates from coast-to-coast and border-to-border. But it must not be forgotten that much of this awakening may not have occurred absent the workhorse efforts of MHARR, backed by their pro-manufactured housing industry members.
The day may come when MHARR’s leadership and members are not only vindicated, but cheered as providing essential elements of the genuine rebirth of manufactured housing. That rebirth would be authentic vs. the postured one by MHI.
There are work horses and show horses. Time will tell if the legal and other tables turn. If the evidence against them manifests itself in a series of legal and other episodes, MHI could vaporize. Never forget that MHI was near bankruptcy just a few years ago, until certain big boys pulled their proverbial feet out of the fire. Never forget that many of those 21st century major cons are sitting in prison, dead, or otherwise have paid a price.
Until that great day comes when truth will triumph over treachery, count on MHProNews to provide the authentic factual, evidence based news and common sense analysis that fits the facts and evidence.
“Dare to be a person of faith (cf. Hab 2:4; Heb 10:38).”
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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.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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