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.

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