There’s always something to howl about

What’s the best thing the National Association of Realtors can do for the American economy? It could drop dead — but it won’t — so here’s how you can kill it, instead.

Hey there, toothy-grinned, glad-handing Realtor: How’s the world treating you?

Business is not so good? Your house is worth less than half of what you paid for it? Your kid has three degrees but can’t get a job?

Are you looking for someone to blame for your troubles?

Guess what? There really is a mastermind of evil in the American economy. A vast parasite, a vampire king, with an insatiable appetite to devour everything that used to be known as “the American way of life.”

Are you being preyed upon by banksters? By Wall Street tycoons? By Chris Dodd and Barney Franks?

Those are the folks we like to blame, when we seek explanations for the Great Recession.

But who is really at fault for your miseries?

The sine qua non cause of this disaster — of the national economic malaise and of your own personal financial situation — is… wait for it…

The National Association of Realtors.

It’s the NAR that obstructs consumers’ access to market alternatives to old-fashioned real estate brokerage.

It’s the NAR that insists on subsidizing homeownership at the expense of other, more-productive uses of capital.

It’s the NAR that manipulates the tax laws to induce thoughtless consumers to overpay for homes they never would have — and never should have — bought in the first place.

It’s the NAR that makes war on the rights of Americans to use and enjoy their real property as they choose.

It was the NAR that lobbied for each law and rule change that resulted in the housing boom, the sub-prime lending catastrophe, the wanton bundling of fraudulent loans, the on-going subsidization of the secondary mortgage market, etc.

The villain behind all the villains in the collapse of the American economy is the National Association of Realtors.

The NAR’s legislative initiatives are uniformly criminal in their objectives. The purpose of all economic legislation is to induce by force an outcome that would not occur in the absence of that force. This is crime, no different from a mugging.

As the author of every state’s real estate licensing laws, the NAR mugs consumers by preventing them from doing business with whom they choose — on the terms they choose.

And the NAR mugs consumers by promising them a largely non-existent income tax deduction — for borrowers only, not all-cash buyers — while shifting the tax burden to other taxes — and to those hapless cash buyers and to people who don’t even own real property.

The NAR mugs consumers by ginning up phony incentives to create churn in the real estate market, artificial activity that engenders commission income for real estate brokers but which is destructive of the larger economy.

The NAR mugs consumers by giving lip-service to the idea private property while it does everything it can to undermine the rights of the owners of real property.

Why can’t we get rid of the spurious mortgage interest tax deduction? The NAR. Why can’t we get rid of the Community Reinvestment Act? The NAR? Why can’t we get rid of FannieMae, FreddieMac, GinnieMae, FHA, VA, USDA and HUD? The NAR.

The National Association of Realtors is at war with the actual interests of American consumers — and it is winning that war! There is no greater enemy to the prosperity of the American people than the NAR. Again and again, when you dig down to the sine qua non — without which not — cause of any sort of legislated criminality, you find the NAR as the decisive lobbying leverage. That is, where it is not itself the author of the laws.

But, hey, so what? The NAR might be mugging the rest of the economy, but they’re my muggers, right?

Guess again. Crime does not pay.

The NAR’s crimes only seem to benefit the membership. In fact, every rent-seeking action of the NAR results in destruction elsewhere in the economy. The accretion of this destruction impoverishes everyone — including you. Including your children.

A free economy is built on production, not on predation. That the NAR claims to be preying on the body politic in your behalf changes nothing. Parasites will feed and feed and feed until they devour the host.

This is what is happening in America right now: Led by the National Association of Realtors, looting “business-people” of all sorts are devouring the host — that would be your family — to death.

But wait! Every sort of business has its snout in the corporate welfare trough. The NAR is just getting its share. That’s the logical fallacy called Two Wrongs Make a Right.

Fine! But even if the NAR doesn’t mug consumers, every other kind of pressure group will. This is true, alas. It’s also the logical fallacy known as Tu Quoque — loosely, “you do it, too.”

Those two fallacies are worth mastering in all their varieties of plumage. Why? Because, when you find yourself deploying them, you are invariably rationalizing evil.

The National Association of Realtors is evil.

It exists to prey upon consumers, to use them as pawns in its conspiracy to enrich its own membership at everyone else’s expense.

But crime never pays — and this is why the NAR’s economic policies have destroyed the American economy.

What’s the best thing the NAR could do for the American people?

It could become an indefatigable champion of the inalienable rights of property owners.

This is what it could and should do — but it won’t.

Instead, for as long as it continues to exist, the NAR will persevere as the mastermind of evil in the American economy. More rent-seeking laws. More bogus pretend-benefits for homeowners. More manipulation of the rules to churn the real estate markets. More economic chaos, everywhere, enduringly — until the entire kleptocracy collapses in mass starvation, as it eventually must.

This is what the National Association of Realtors is. A knowing agent of evil hell-bent on destroying everything that, not that long ago, made America great. The NAR’s sole agenda is to get you to devour your own children — and to get you to thank them for the privilege of destroying everything you love in your life.

So: Really, what is the absolute best thing the National Association of Realtors can do for America?

It can drop dead. Ideally at once.

That won’t happen, either, of course.

But you can take away its moral sanction. How? Five simple words:

“They don’t speak for me.”

The NAR wants to take even more of your money, using it and you as leverage to bribe even more private-property-hating politicians to enact even more economy-destroying legislation.

If you can quit this vicious labor union and still continue to work in residential real estate, more power to you. But if, like me, you have to pay these vampires to retain access to the MLS system, you can still do what you can to make it plain that the National Association of Realtors does not speak in your behalf.

The NAR feeds on your blood, ultimately. It is you they deploy as the plastic soldier in their lobbying army. It is your money they subsist on. But it is your moral authority — a million members strong — that they cannot exist without.

When you withdraw your sanction, you will only weaken the NAR by a tiny increment, that’s true. But you will have weakened it, just as I am doing here. They don’t speak for me.

If it had any integrity, the National Association of Realtors would do us all a favor and drop dead. Since it hasn’t, we’re going to have to kill it, if we want our freedom back.

I encourage you to quit the NAR if you can. But I entreat you to withdraw your moral sanction — “They don’t speak for me” — even if you can’t.


19 Comments so far

  1. […] BLOODHOUNDBLOG UNCHAINED There’s always something to howl about « What’s the best thing the National Association of Realtors can do for the American economy? It… […]

  2. Al Lorenz March 29th, 2011 10:59 am

    The NAR does not speak for me.

  3. Matt Jones March 29th, 2011 12:48 pm

    The NAR is essentially killing itself. I’ve had 83 comments on my last article
    and not a one supported NAR. Hmmmmm.

    Wonder what will happen when a national MLS emerges. Can you say “rats from a sinking ship?”

  4. Karen Bice March 29th, 2011 1:56 pm

    Interesting post. As someone who isn’t a realtor, but who is interested in this topic, I would love to see more reader comments to this post.

  5. Greg Swann March 29th, 2011 6:51 pm

    > I would love to see more reader comments to this post.

    Me, too. Realtors who care about getting themselves free from the NAR’s tentacles should echo this post far and wide. The NAR can’t argue the points I’m making, and they do not want to have to address these issues in public. That meme — The NAR caused the Great Recession — is a stake through their heart.

  6. Keith March 29th, 2011 6:30 pm

    Basically this rant is because the NAR used to make it optional to pay some money for PAC, now they are forcing it on us. Also Greg brings up alot of other issues too!

  7. Jim Klein March 29th, 2011 7:23 pm

    More like a badge of honor these days, when power is the goal.

    There’s a way out, and I can smell it coming.

  8. Stephanie March 29th, 2011 10:32 pm

    The NAR does not speak for me, and I too wish it would just die. Although, it DID NOT create the Great Recession, the ADDI did. It was the ADDI proposal that “urged” Wall St to create the products that allowed people’s pets to obtain a mortgage, not NAR. Then the MBSs, betting to lose while the credit agencies (S&P, Fitch, etc) give A ratings to fraud filled instruments even after they had undeniable proof there was massive fraud wayyyy back in 2004.
    NAR is no innocent bystander by all means…but we should put it in perspective.
    So, who’s going to “fire” NAR?

  9. Greg Swann March 30th, 2011 6:44 am

    > it DID NOT create the Great Recession, the ADDI did. It was the ADDI proposal that “urged” Wall St to create the products that allowed people’s pets to obtain a mortgage, not NAR.

    Approximately 80,000 low- income families will receive millions in grants over the next two years to help them pay downpayment and closing costs on their first home under legislation backed by the National Association of Realtors(r). The American Dream Downpayment Act, H.R. 1276/S. 811, passed its final hurdle in Congress today and now heads to President Bush for his signature.

    The bill, which was one of NAR’s top priorities this year, was introduced by U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) and U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) and quickly gathered bipartisan support.

    If it’s about housing and it’s completely corrupt, it’s NAR. Bet on it.

  10. Jim Klein March 30th, 2011 7:31 am

    See? “The American Dream Downpayment Act” (oh, that’s just so rich!) accomplished the Dream they sought. The Dreamers are doing just fine, thank you, at least by their standards.

    In fairness to Stephanie’s point, I doubt many of the Dreamers over at Moody’s, for example, were influenced by the NAR or even gave it a moment’s thought.

    You can say the NAR offered the so-called moral basis and even the practical means of how to get it done. But then, so did the professors at the education schools where their third grade teachers were taught. Me, I’d say they had even more to do with it!

    The good news, of sorts, is that we’re so far beyond the tipping point that it’s a certainty the twig will break. It’s only a question of how and when. It will be ugly getting there, but the nature of the entity means that we’ll get there.

  11. Greg Swann March 30th, 2011 8:17 am

    > I doubt many of the Dreamers over at Moody’s, for example, were influenced by the NAR or even gave it a moment’s thought.

    I read the quoted matter to imply that the NAR wrote the legislation. Moreover, Moody’s, etc., could not have done their damage had the NAR not set up the game in the first place. This is why the words sine qua non are important. We absolve the banks nothing by noting that they could not have committed these particular crimes if the NAR had not set up a corrupt game in the first place.

    The sine qua non cause of the Great Recession is the National Association of Realtors.

  12. sfvrealestate March 30th, 2011 1:22 pm

    Great post! And after we kill the N.A.R., can we please then kill the California Assoc of Realtors (who also don’t speak for me) too?

  13. rpr is cyberhomes March 30th, 2011 6:03 pm

    They also are using dues money to fund the old cyberhomes execs to later have them combat with zillow. The sad thing is that most realtors have no idea how to use it, but rpr only cares about signing up mls’s, because its the data they are after. They dont speak for me.

  14. […] I threw down the gauntlet — and not for the first time: It was the NAR that lobbied for each law and rule change that resulted in the housing boom, the sub-prime lending catastrophe, the wanton bundling of fraudulent loans, the on-going subsidization of the secondary mortgage market, etc. […]

  15. Kimberly Dotseth April 1st, 2011 12:29 pm

    Wow, brilliantly put. Greg, I didn’t know you before today but you’re my new hero. And I though Rob Hahn’s post on this topic was on fire. Thank you for writing so succinctly. I have been raving about this initiative online and in person all week and completely agree with everything you said. In fact, San Diego agents/brokers do NOT have to be a member of NAR, CAR or SDAR to use the local MLS service. As it should be. Let us do our thing, which is work for clients using the MLS. Ours was a court battle fought and won on this extrapolation by a group of agents some years ago (whew). I see NAR as becoming completely obsolete and when obsolescence is on the horizon, the fight gets stronger. NAR leadership advocates are spinning this new move so hard their heads must hurt. I am a REALTOR of ten years, but a licensee of almost 20. Those years prior to joining NAR I thrived, was ethical on my own without the nudging of NAR’s Code of Ethics (imagine that) and made money. I know this has to be the beginning of the end of the relationship between NAR and many of its brokers, owners and agents who don’t have to belong. They can run their union without us. And for those bound by MLS ties, that’s painful. I should also divulge that I sit on four association committees and have been singing the ‘company song’ fairly hard until recently. I am now more educated ~ thanks, Greg.

  16. Carol April 2nd, 2011 4:29 am

    My husband – the Broker I sleep with – has wanted to pull out for years. We attend a lot of REBAR camps, are in touch with many of the speakers who make the rounds and are hired by the NAR and other organizations, their salaries depend on their speaking engagements because they don’t practice “real” real estate any longer, their egos are more important – bet you won’t see them here agreeing with this article.

  17. Paul Francis April 4th, 2011 5:22 am


    Ya know… Plenty of my Fraternity Brothers from College are in commercial real estate… some very big players for Las Vegas Real Estate. I took the residential real estate route with an emphasis on Single Family Residential real estate investing and I have to say… they look at me as a second class citizen.

    Not so much for my results since I’ve taken simple people on moderate incomes such as school teachers and turned them into Millionaires…. but because I belong to an Association that allows anybody who gets their license and from day one they can run around and scream that “Real Estate is A Great Investment” and numerous other cheap used car sales techniques…. even though they have no clue of what an investment is.

    All supported by the NAR… and I have to pay into this crap to support it.

    Contacting some connections this week to escape the insanity of incompetence.

  18. […] the NAR will have even more money to “protect homeownership” with bloodsucking legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act, the Government Sponsored Entities laws, the first-time home-buyer tax credit, […]

  19. Trudy Vandekar May 16th, 2011 11:38 am

    The NAR does not speak for me………..nough said.
    And I have said it for yeeaaars.
    And the MLS’s will go the same way, unless real estate agents will get a say in those rather then the MLS dictating to the agents how things should be.