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Archive for April, 2011

The Santa Claus Nation

I love Christmas…just so you know. And no, I’m not on drugs, this being just past the start of Spring. But it occurred to me today that we are becoming a Santa Claus nation. Let me explain.

It all started when I read that the U.S. Post Office had just issued a stamp that depicts the Statue of Liberty. The story indicated that the picture of the Statue of Liberty was not actually the real one, but rather a photo of the Statue of LIberty in Las Vegas! Of course, when I read the article, I assumed that this mistake would make the stamp valuable, and that the real Statue would quickly replace the fake one. But….

The United States Postal Service admitted the mistake but said it planned to stick with its Lady Liberty “Forever” stamp.  “We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway,” Roy Betts, a post office spokesman, told the Times.

 
Really? While I happen to love the movie “Miracle on 34th Street”, and am delighted each time I watch it, I’m no longer 6 years old, and (spoiler alert) understand the difference between Christmas and Santa Claus. Can’t wait for December? Want a reminder?

http://youtu.be/uFpX0arnPqc

The difference between Christmas and Santa Claus just doesn’t seem to have been clarified to our government, the Post Office for example, does it? What we’re now going to get is a depicture of a depicture. A replica of the real thing. They’re giving us Santa Claus. I want Christmas.

This is really a post about government in general, of course, NAR specifically, and an awful lot of the world we’ve colorized in attempt to feed the masses chaff instead of grain. I’m a man who was once a boy, working in a profession run by boys who never act like men, in a country where our government now openly promotes imitation over the real deal. If you’re on the street today showing homes, and if you come upon an old woman with wrinkles, look away. Somewhere there’s a Photoshopped Gravatar of her that I’m sure will be better than the real thing. Seems that there really IS a Santa Claus, Virginia…

6 comments

Approbation Junkies

I wonder, with regard to an addiction to things, if there isn’t a deeper cause… maybe a hole that needs filling. I ascribe most of our eventual attacks on ego to a lack of continuity we create within ourselves, and our inability to either align our external actions or accept our internal truth.

Sean Purcell commented here, not long ago.  Good stuff.  I wanted to bring it to the forefront.

Here’s the thing: needing approbation from others has made me weaker than anything else.  It’s made me a pawn of a dilettante, a hustler for a buck and it’s made me do all of the smarmy, seedy things I’ve ever done.   The root cause has been making someone like me.

Think of this: when you’ve gone to a store with a big ticket item, and you get an ingratiating, smarmy salesperson there.  His goal in life is to make you like him.  Is there anything more repulsive?   You see a car salesperson that wants you to seem like a friend.  Is anyone fooled by the saccharine compliments?  Anyone?

And if they convince you that you need to approve of them, you leave with a bad taste in your mouth, not unlike bile.  I’ve been that guy, on both sides of the counter.  I know.

It’s like going into a gentleman’s club, as if some dude in his late 40’s is gentrified by ogling daddy issue girls in their early 20’s.

Approbation is carbon monoxide.  Seeking it in lieu of achievement means a death of a million cuts.

The Oatmeal has it right.

Jesus, also, has it right:

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  (Matthew 6:2)

And what a reward.  Seriously.  What a reward to have dirtbags approve of you.

We clamor for it…the approval of strangers….(or in the case of Real Estate conferences, strangers that cheat on their wives.)  A standing ovation devoid of meaning?  We haven’t achieved jack, but we want the adulation anyway.  We do so much pandering.

To what end?  Change the world or go home.

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Two old soldiers in the wired world of real estate — Jott.com and the Flip video cameras — are shuffling off to the hi-tech graveyard.

I’ve loved Jott.com since it was introduced. I use it every day — mainly to send reminders to myself, but also as my primary interface into Google Calendar. No more. Jott ends five years of gamely trying to get people to understand its value on May 3rd.

A lesser cause for mourning, Cisco flipped the switch on the Flip video camera line today. Frankly, I’ve been waiting for this for a while. The best idea Flip had was easy integration into YouTube — a feature your phone has by now, I should expect. Meanwhile, we switched almost all of our video to our Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot cameras as soon as we got them.

The first BloodhoundBlog Unchained was clip-documented via Flip cameras, so I am not indifferent to see it go. Just to put extra icing on the Flip’s farewell cupcake, Cisco paid — wait for it — $590 million for the company in 2009.

Ultimately, I won’t weep, though. I can’t remember the last time we used the Flip for anything. Jott, on the other hand, is going to leave a big hole in my workday.

5 comments

Thomas Sowell’s budget-cutting idea: Cut welfare for billionaires.

So Republicans got hustled on their paltry budget cuts. What a surprise. Meanwhile, the Tea Party is busy fixing what’s wrong with America by tinkering with abortion rules and gun control laws.

This is an excellent way to blow a once-in-a-generation opportunity. It seems obvious to me that what needs to be cut is not spending but regulation. If the Feds dumped OSHA, for example, that would not only not only cut the budget by all those staff lines, it would result in an “economic miracle” of new productivity. The same would be true at the state and municipal level. Less government means more wealth twice: Fewer “broken windows” and the added productivity that results from investing the money that would otherwise have been wasted on regulatory broken windows.

This is something Realtors and other real estate professionals can be doing in this unprecedented moment: Teaching the Tea Partiers what matters in an emergency and what can wait for calmer seas. Quoted below is economist Thomas Sowell with an excellent idea: Get America’s billionaire tax-vampires off our necks:

Trying to reduce the deficit by cutting spending runs into an old familiar counterattack. There will be all kinds of claims by politicians and sad stories in the media about how these cuts will cause the poor to go hungry, the sick to be left to die, etc.

My plan would start by cutting off all government transfer payments to billionaires. Many, if not most, people are probably unaware that the government is handing out the taxpayers’ money to billionaires. But agricultural subsidies go to a number of billionaires. Very little goes to the ordinary farmer.

Big corporations also get big bucks from the government, not only in agricultural subsidies but also in the name of “green” policies, in the name of “alternative energy” policies, and in the name of whatever else will rationalize shoveling the taxpayers’ money out the door to whomever the administration designates — for its own political reasons.

The usual political counterattacks against spending cuts will not work against this new kind of spending-cut approach. How many heart-rending stories can the media run about billionaires who have lost their handouts from the taxpayers? How many tears will be shed if General Motors gets dumped off the gravy train?

It would also be eye-opening to many people to discover how much government money is going into subsidizing all sorts of things that have nothing to do with helping “the poor” or protecting the public. This would include government-subsidized insurance for posh and pricey coastal resorts that are located too dangerously close to the ocean for a private insurance company to risk insuring them.

This approach would not only circumvent the sob stories, it would also circumvent the ideological battles over whether to cut off money to Planned Parenthood or National Public Radio.

The money to be saved by cutting off agricultural subsidies to the wealthy and the big corporations is vastly greater than the money to be saved by cutting off Planned Parenthood or National Public Radio, much as they both deserve to be cut off.

6 comments

How To Be a Coward: Part 10.

Greg likes Michelle Pfeifer. I can dig it.

This is more my speed. Look, there’s always – always a justification to surrender, give up liberty, give up more. There’s always – always some call to pretend that everything is OK.

And we surrender in our selves first, because we become addicted to things. We become addicted to stuff. That stuff owns us.

Then we become addicted to making nice. Because if we’re not nice, someone might not let us have stuff.

Screw that. Take back your dignity and only tolerate excellence.

Hard to do.

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Do you want to undo the damage the NAR has done to the American economy? If you’re not a criminal — if you’re not a predator — stop lending your moral and financial power to people who are.

Here’s a fun little exercise for your brain:

Suppose I sneak up behind you, throw a burlap bag over your head, tie you up and then lock you in my basement. Would you regard that as a crime?

I don’t mean just a call-the-cops crime or a phone-your-lawyer crime. I don’t mean simply a violation of some arcane statute law. Even if we were on a desert island, with no written law of any sort, would you still regard my actions as a crime against your person and your liberty?

I know I’m asking you to think for yourself, all by your lonesome, with no hints or signals from the mob and no helpful pre-printed guide to clue you in to the “right” answers. Poor you. So I’ll cut you a break: You can feel free to quit this tiring exercise at the very first instance that you are able to truthfully answer, “No, I would not regard that as a crime.”

So let’s do another one:

Instead of locking you in the basement, let’s say I let you work all day in the sunshine and fresh air, tilling and tending to my fields? You are still my prisoner, but you’re not tied up or locked up. Would you still regard that as a crime?

And, hey, we all know that forcing people to work for free is slavery, so what if I pay you a nice wage for your efforts? You’re still my prisoner, and you still have to do the work I tell you to do, but now you’re being paid handsomely. Would you regard even that little trifle as a crime?

So how about this? Suppose I set you free? Manumission! Just like you pictured it! There’s only one catch. Whenever you buy or sell food, you have to do it through me, like a feudal serf. There are other people who could trade with you, perhaps leaving you with quite a bit more profit than I will, but you are forbidden from doing business with any of those people. You must go through me, paying my price. Would you regard that as a crime?

Clarify that in your mind: If I have forbidden you to trade the proceeds of your labor with whom you would, on the terms you and your trading partners mutually agree to, would you regard that as a crime against you?

Fine. Forget about food. I’m in the real estate business now. You can buy and sell food however you want, but whenever you buy, sell, lease or rent real property, you can only do it through me, at my price. Even though other people might be able to do a better job than me, at a lower price, still you are forbidden to broker real estate through anyone but me. Would you regard that as a crime against you?

Are you feeling a little squirmy? Did we just establish that the real estate licensing laws — written in their original form by the National Association of Realtors — are criminal in their intent and criminal in their impact upon the marketplace? The white noise about consumer protection is just so much camouflage. If monopolizing trade in food is a crime, so is monopolizing trade in real estate, and the objective — criminally maximizing my profits at your expense — is exactly the same.

Now I’m going to tax your income, of course. Why? Because I have the power to lock you up in my basement, and you have no power to resist, that’s why. But here’s the creamy filling for that bitter pill: When you borrow money to buy your real estate, I’ll give you some tax money back. How will I be able to do that? I’ll take it from people who don’t borrow money to buy their real estate, or who don’t buy real estate at all. So it’s not really me giving you the money. It’s those other people, “giving” their money to you involuntarily.

Now here’s a very hard question for you: When I take money earned by other people and give it to you, would you regard that as a crime against those other people?

Did we just establish that the mortgage-interest tax deduction, the very proudest accomplishment of the National Association of Realtors, is criminal in its intent and criminal in its impact upon the marketplace?

Suppose I go all thug on those other people, forcing them to subsidize the interest rate you get on your mortgage and compelling them to repay the lender, at their expense, should you default? Would you regard that as a crime against those other people?

Did we just determine that the NAR-promoted government-sponsored entities — FannieMae, FreddieMac, FHA, et infinitely cetera — are criminal in their intent and criminal in their impact upon the marketplace?

How about if I force lenders to lend their money to people we all know can’t pay it back? Would you regard that as a crime?

That’s the NAR’s Community Reinvestment Act.

What if I induce property sellers to “gift” unqualified buyers with unearned down-payment money, so those sellers can cash out — paying me a sales commission, of course — and stick those poor put-upon other people with yet another non-performing loan? Would you regard that as a crime against those other people?

That’s the American Dream Down Payment Act, a proud achievement of the National Association of Realtors.

What if I stole money from other people and gave it to you if you elected to move very often, like I want you to? That’s the NAR’s income-tax capital-gains exclusion.

What if I stole a big pile of money from people innocent of all wrong-doing and gave it to you in a lump sum — “for free” — just for over-paying on a house right now? That’s just one of the NAR’s many, many tax credits.

Would you regard those “incentives” as crimes? What if you were on the paying end of my generosity?

I could go on all day, but I don’t need to, do I? We all know by now that the National Association of Realtors is a criminal cartel, devoted solely to committing crimes in the marketplace — to the putative benefit of real estate brokers and their salespeople and to the undeniable detriment of everyone else.

That’s a simple statement. Do you wish to dispute it? If so, you might start over at the top of this post and stop reading when you get to the place where you said, “No, I would not regard that as a crime.”

Oh, you didn’t say that? You understood in the silence of your own solitary mind that every action I postulated in this post would have been a crime, had I done those things to real people? Then you have a problem, don’t you?

The National Association of Realtors is a predator. It survives by stealing and devouring wealth earned honestly by other people, people innocent of all wrong-doing. We established this point by point, and there is no legislative activity of the NAR or its lesser-organizations that does not consist of predation. This is easy enough to prove, now that you have trained your mind properly to identify crime in the marketplace.

So here’s your problem: Are you a predator?

Do you dream of enslaving your neighbor, so you never have to work again?

Or are you happy to have the National Association of Realtors enslaving every innocent American for you, so you can subsist on the spoils of predation without having to think about it?

Or does the thought of living at someone else’s involuntary expense make you ashamed of yourself?

If you really are a predator, you might as well go to hell now. You’re headed there anyway.

But if you are not a predator, what are you going to do, now that I’ve torn the veil from your eyes?

You no longer have any room for doubt in your mind: Everything the National Association of Realtors does is criminal in its intent and criminal in its impact upon the marketplace.

Are you for that, or are you opposed to it?

Are you with them or against them?

The grand poohbahs of the NAR are campaigning right now to double their slush fund for bribing legislators, thus to double the impact of the crimes they habitually commit against innocent consumers — your neighbors, your friends, your relatives, your children. Have you told them you oppose this?

More importantly, have you told them to stop claiming that they are committing these awful crimes in your name?

Still more importantly, have you demanded that they stop committing these vicious crimes altogether?

Like it or don’t, you are complicit in this awful conspiracy. They couldn’t exist without your money — and mine, alas, since I’m a Realtor, too — and they can’t claim moral authority without your tacit moral sanction of their criminality.

If you are not a predator, you need to stand up on your hind legs and say so. If you don’t yearn to devour your neighbors, you need to tell the NAR to get its bloody fangs out of their necks.

In the short run, we may not be able to stop this mandatory forced-speech dues increase. But that doesn’t really matter. It’s just a temporary skirmish.

In the long run, if we honestly believe we pay our own way in the marketplace, we have to rid the real estate business of all of these crimes against innocent people. We have to get government out of real estate.

If you can take my money to give it to someone else, then you can force me to buy my food from you alone. You can compel me to till your fields. You can lock me in your dungeon. You can kill me, rape my wife and gouge out my children’s eyes. If you can do one of those things, you can do any of them — all of them — because you are nothing but a criminal predator.

And if you are not a predator?

Stop acting like one, and stop lending your moral and financial power to the criminal predators of the National Association of Realtors.

6 comments

Friday morning motivation: Computers is dead, kitsch leads to cannibalism — and none of this says anything about you.

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
–Oscar Wilde

Like the kitschy “antique” phones at Restoration Hardware, this is decadence.

Nothing but a coy little pomo trick of the mind, but this is how it starts: You have no reason to prefer our product over any other, so we’ll tease you with nostalgia and cool-geek chic, instead. There’s a laptop that praises itself on the strength of its Unique Selling Proposition: Interchangeable “skins.”

You heard it here first: Computers is dead.

But despair you nothing: Particle physicists have caught a glimpse of an unseen aspect of our world, unthought of just a year ago. These are the first days of understanding mass as subatomic physics. Very cool.

The implication? Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to my right. But that says nothing about where I can take myself. The human race is Fortune’s treasured pet, obviously, and with luck we will continue to outrun outright predation, the terminal stage of cultural decadence.

Which side are you on? Are you just another gelatinous face in the mob, grasping for some way to trick people into doing business with you? Or do you have the character to bring real value to the marketplace?

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“Effective immediately FannieMae will no longer accept electronic signatures.”

Could somebody please get these retards a job they can handle?

Hey, NAR grand poohbahs, wanna look smart? Just stand next to FannieMae.

18 comments

The Realtor Party, Part II: The Implied Accusation, and Other (Missed?) Opportunities

While Greg Swann takes on the big thinker issues behind the proposed Realtor Party Political Survival Initiative, I’m pondering a more microscopic view- how might this affect the relationship between my clients and me. Maybe not at all. I have no reason to believe that the public will think much about it, at least for a few years, and they may even like it. So what’s the harm?

We know that REALTORs rank along side used car salesmen, lawyers, politicians, and Stuff You Scrap Off Your Shoe when it comes to public opinion polls. As an industry, we are not trusted. At this point in time, our industry is widely considered a necessary evil. Why should that be? We have a Code of Ethics. Doesn’t that make us all, I don’t know, ethical? Our image problem is so pervasive and institutionalized that millions of dollars go toward advertising to get the word out that we are professionals. So how does the Realtor Party solve that? It doesn’t. In fact, it makes things worse. The reason (as in one reason) given for the RPPSI is that as an industry we need to compete with other self-interests. This benefits our image how?

So, I’m thinking… What if? What if we turned away from that? What if we stopped wrestling with pigs and the dirty business of politics? What if instead of more politics, we opened our eyes to the extraordinary opportunity in front of us?

This site is a treasure trove and one of my favorite posts is, The Implied Accusation in real estate: How to win the war on your attitude… It’s not over dramatizing to say that this post changed the way I communicate with clients. In fact, I’ve printed parts of it to give to my clients, who also love it. In part:

The Implied Accusation is the underground river flowing through every unhappy relationship. To address good and evil, all you have to do is bring things out into the open. But after a while, there is simply too much to go through, too much that is too shameful to be cheerfully borne and revisited. Nothing lives underground, but nothing ever really dies, either, its just rots, becoming its own graveyard. In the end, it becomes easier to destroy the relationship than to go to all the work necessary to repair it.

Here is The Implied Accusation in real estate: “Realtors are stupid.” “Realtors are corrupt.” “Realtors are lazy.” “Realtors are self-serving.” “Realtors will say anything to make a deal.” These ideas are epidemic, a cultural undercurrent.

You know these charges are untrue, but what do you do about them? To leave The Implied Accusation unnamed, unaddressed is to seem to confess to it, or at least to plead no contest. Your clients begin their relationship with you with unstated doubts about your integrity, and you hope to counter those attitudes by your behavior.

This is not enough. You have to make the issue explicit. You have to make every bit of it explicit, and not just once. At any point in your relationship with a client — possibly years after a transaction has closed — you may have to address The Implied Accusation. When, specifically? When there arises the possibility of a colorable doubt about your motives. The trouble is not that your client might complain, but, rather, that he might not complain and yet walk away from your relationship feeling aggrieved.

Back to the grunt on the ground level. What if we said no to RPPSI? What if we saw in ourselves the opportunity to rise above politics, step away from politics as usual. What if we grabbed this as our chance to once and for all collectively say out loud to our clients,

“The most important point I want to convey to you is that I intend to work for you as if you were a member of my own family. If my mother were buying a home, if my sister were selling, if my son were getting his first condo, not one of them could expect better service from me than I plan to give to you.

“Why do I work that way? I believe in doing the right thing, no matter what, and that’s my overriding reason. But the fact is, if I treat you the way you want to be treated, you’ll bring all your future business to me, and you’ll refer all your friends and family to me. Furthermore, I incur a legal liability when I represent you in a real estate transaction. I’ve never been sued, and, god help me, I never will be. But my best protection against getting sued is to do right by you in the first place.

“I make my living effecting real estate transactions, and I don’t get paid until every step of the process is completed. But my legal and moral obligation to my clients eclipses every other interest in my life, including my own self-interest. I want for you to be happy at the end of this process — no matter how it ends. I want for you to be delighted with the work I’ve done for you, even if we end up not buying or selling a house. You are my client now, and I want you to be my client forever. I want to do everything that is right for you, first and always. And I want for you to bring me all your business — you and everyone you know. And I want for you never to feel the need to sue me. The moral is the practical, always, no matter what business we do — or don’t do — right now.

“Why am I saying all this to you? For two reasons: To make it explicit, and so you can feel comfortable holding me accountable to it. These are the terms on which I do business with everyone, and this little speech is your warranty that I will do business with you this way, as well.”

Dear NAR, It seems to me that you have a real chance here to rise above. This is your time to face the implied accusation head on. This is your opportunity to begin to right the wrongs of the past; to heal wounds, to repair the damage you’ve been a willing party to, and to make us proud…

If you make your moral code explicit — in real estate or in your life as a whole — and then live up to that moral code, you will be unassailable. The moral is the practical. We do well by doing good. And virtue — properly understood and properly effected — is all the reward you could ever want…

I want to be proud of this organization and this industry. I want to know that the NAR is the largest champion of private property rights- all private property rights- in the world. That our moral code is beyond reproach, and people anywhere in the world can look to the NAR for how to protect themselves (their property) from coercive forces…. Sigh. Otherwise, Dear NAR, now more than ever before, you will not speak for me.

11 comments

What might have happened if the NAR had not caused this economic downturn? We don’t know. What we know is that the National Association of Realtors was the sine qua non cause of the Great Recession.

This post is grown from a comment left by Brian Summerfield, editor of Realtor magazine. Before I begin, I want to commend Brian for daring to show up here to debate this topic. I think he’s wrong, but the man has more guts than the people who pay him.

Now then: I said:

Doesn’t mean that banksters would not have come up with other flavors of larceny.

To which Brian replied:

Greg, you toss this off as an afterthought, but I see it as a key point. You say the sine qua non of the Great Recession was NAR, but it was in fact systemic flaws in the global financial system. Without collateralized debt obligations or credit default swaps, there would have been no Great Recession. And NAR had nothing, nothing, to do with the creation of those “innovations” of finance.

As you, the reader, may have noted, there are people writing and commenting here who are more than unusually interested in philosophy — as a map of the universe and as a discipline of the mind. Brian’s argument turns on what normal people call “hypotheticals.” Jim Klein calls them contra-factuals, where I am apt to rave on about subjunctivity. In all three cases, we are talking about the same thing: We are making what we hope are logical claims about imaginary worlds, worlds not in evidence.

The universe outside our minds has an independent and prior existence, and the objects and events that comprise that universe are real and factual existents. When I make a statement about the real world — the universe of real things — my statement is subject to independent verification. The object I claim to see is either present or it is absent. The event I claim is happening is either occurring or it is not. Disputes about statements like these are possible only to the insane or to philosophy professors — but I repeat myself.

So: These things really happened:

1. The National Association of Realtors either wrote or lobbied for a great host of Rotarian Socialist laws devised to churn the residential real estate market for the benefit of real estate brokers and their salespeople.

2. In consequence, lenders issued a blizzard of highly dubious home loans.

3. Those mortgages were bundled by Rotarian Socialists on Wall Street into CDOs — collateralized debt obligations.

4. The risks associated with the CDOs were putatively offset by a type of securitization known as a CDS — a Credit Default Swap.

Brian’s subjunctive, contra-factual, hypothetical argument, quoted above, comes down to this:

If the NAR had not used rent-seeking legislation to induce millions more residential real estate transactions than otherwise would have occurred, nevertheless, lenders still would have issued millions of bogus mortgages, bankers still would have bundled those mortgages, and clueless European central banks still would have purchased the resulting CDS securities.

This is obviously a false claim.

By taking account of the events that really did occur in the sequence that they really did occur, we can see that steps 2, 3, and 4 could not have happened in the way they did without the instigation of the NAR in step 1.

Might other bad things have happened? You bet. But the bad things that did happen were set in motion by the National Association of Realtors — and by no one else.

Sine qua non means “without which not,” and that criterion excludes other considerations. The crimes the National Association of Realtors has consistently committed against consumers since it was first organized have finally caught up to it. What we are living through now was set in motion by the NAR alone, and these undeniably real events would not have happened in this way were it not for the craven, grasping, Rotarian Socialist corporate welfare of the NAR.

Moreover, this is the subjunctive, contra-factual, hypothetical question that really matters: What if the National Association of Realtors were the friend, and not the persistent, recidivist enemy of homeowners? What would have happened in the American economy if the NAR had fought against Rotarian Socialism in the legislature, instead of leading all the other corporate hogs to the welfare trough? Would there have been any sort of recession now, if the NAR had been a champion of private property, instead of being yet another regiment of over-dressed Washington welfare slaves?

But that question doesn’t matter at all, does it? They’re thieves. They always have been, and they always will be. They themselves do not believe Realtors have any value to bring to the marketplace, so they will continue to promote legislation that despoils consumers to the benefit of real estate brokers and their salespeople. They think we can’t actually earn a living without legislatively-sanctified theft.

Do you think the damage they have done so far is devastating? Wait until they’re $80 million a year richer.

In any case, as always: The National Association of Realtors was the sine qua non cause of the Great Recession. The more we talk about it, the more rigorous the case comes to be.

13 comments

What does it mean that the NAR won’t defend itself from the charge that it was the sine qua non cause of the Great Recession?

I threw down the gauntletand 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.

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

We know they’re spying on us. And we know their PR pimp demonstrated that he got bilked when he paid for his law degree, so poorly does he argue.

So: Why doesn’t the brave National Association of Realtors — the largest, richest, most-powerful Rotarian Socialist corporate-welfare-tit-sucking political pressure group in the land — why won’t it stand up on its hind legs and defend itself?

For a first reason: Because it can’t. Better than any of us, the grand poohbah blood-sucking vampires of the NAR know beyond all room for doubt that it was their legislative initiatives that were the seeds, stems, stalks, branches, trees and forests that caused the housing boom, the housing bust and the Great Recession.

And for a second reason: Because they are actively plotting to do still more, still worse damage to the American economy. They will not stop sucking until they have sucked the body politic dry.

How do we know all of this true? Cum taces, clamas. When you say nothing, you shout.

They don’t defend themselves because they can’t. They know they are criminals. They pray, every sleepless night, that you do not know it.

In fact, the silence of your putative “leaders” does not prove me right. That would require an argument — an argument only I am happy to make. But the fact that the National Association of Realtors does not challenge my arguments is potent evidence that they themselves believe I am correct.

Are you waiting for the NAR to argue that someone else is responsible for the Great Recession — for the ruin of your own finances and for the devastation to be delivered to your children and grandchildren?

Don’t hold your breath. They know they’re at fault. And so do you.

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