Warren Buffett: Slumlord and scurvy little spider


When Warren Buffett first moved into the manufactured home business, it seemed like his much-touted philosophy of investing for value would be a boon to the industry that provides so much of America’s affordable housing stock. His reputation as an investor who sought out quality goods and services, growing his fortune with their success, suggested he would focus on the beneficial aspects of factory-built homes, leading away from the unsustainable predatory practices and value-less rent-seeking that have plagued the business. But that didn’t happen. Buffett’s “value” talk, it turns out, is pure shinola. And he’s raised value-less rent-seeking to an art form. [Read more...]

Down at the stadium they’re waiting for the end of the age


Some links for a soggy Wednesday: Two stories about the two options the future holds for manufactured home-owners. Mabel Williams lived a remarkable American life. A terrific video on why Philly tawks the way it does. There’s no such thing as a humble young-Earth creationist. [Read more...]

7 things @ 2 o’clock (8.22)


Good news for manufactured-home owners in California and New Hampshire. Want to buy a house for $1? The “Bible Prophecy Blog” is not a blog and it is not about Bible prophecy. I apparently graduated from the third most beautiful Christian university. Another “no duh” study explains why that Lexus just cut you off in traffic. The one-man NAFTA Superhighway. [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war

"Dives in Hell and Lazarus in Heaven" (1510)

The same old story from two more manufactured-home neighborhoods; lecturing the poor while cutting food stamps and Meals on Wheels; “deficit reduction” turns out to be job-reduction for 1.5 million Americans; taxpayers subsidize low wages at Walmart; Ben Bernanke reminds lucky rich kids that they’re lucky. [Read more...]

Social Security benefits should be going up, not the land-rent for seniors

*Jun 11 - 00:05*

“Residents of the Greenbriar Village development say owner Equity LifeStyle Properties has been unjustly increasing their land rents, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Equity is the largest manufactured home community company in the United States and in some cases has increased land rents more than 100 percent in a year, said Randy Schaffer, the president of the Greenbriar homeowners association.” [Read more...]

A positive, but partial, step for manufactured homes in Pennsylvania

In 2006, 50 families were displaced when the land beneath their homes was sold. Six years later, the lot sits empty. (Express-Times photograph)

“Some of the Barbosa residents had lived decades there, with everything they owned tucked between the prefab walls of a 60-foot-long trailer. Under previous rules, they had 30 days to vacate and no required help in paying to move.” [Read more...]

Same American story, this time in Wisconsin

A 2007 photo from the Wisconsin State Journal shows homes in the former Monona neighborhood. That neighborhood, those homes, and the families who lived in them, are all gone now.

“News coverage of the park’s final exodus was predictably depressing: Hickory Lane residents without the means to rent apartments were faced with living in their cars, at a campground or in a homeless shelter.” [Read more...]

The state of the American Dream in Stonegate and Sunset Village

Here’s a story from the Chisago County Press. That’s Chisago County, Minnesota — north of the Twin Cities and south of Duluth. The county is home to about 54,000 people, including the 50 households of a neighborhood called Stonegate in Lindstrom, Minn. The Press’ Denise Martin tells us about those families and their impressive battle [Read More...]