News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Feb. 28, 2017

Linking ≠ endorsement.

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Real Estate returns in the US dips to 2009 levels – Financial Buzz

2) Top US Markets to Buy and Hold Real Estate | The Smarter Investor | US News

3) Upward Distribution of Wage Income Behind Social Security's Shortfall

4) China's overseas property purchases, investments slump as capital controls bite | Reuters

5) Here's LA's plan to make developers pay for affordable housing – Curbed LA

6) Cautious South Koreans rethink US real estate love affair | Real Estate Weekly

7) Record Demand Brings New Heights and Challenges to Industrial Real Estate Market – Area Development

8) German real estate market overheated, says central bank | Business | DW cOM | 20.02.2017

9) Employers Balk at Curbs on Generous Health Plans

10) The 10 Cleanest US Cities (and the Most Polluted) | realtor com®

11) Janet Yellen reversal on quickly raising interest rates – Business Insider

12) Trump tax Could Be The Biggest Change In Over A Century: JPMorgan

13) Elon Musk reaffirms UBI prediction at World Government Summit | Basic Income News

14) LA Times – Worst flooding in 100 years hits San Jose, forcing 14,000 to evacuate

15) From malware to cyber-spies, the 15 biggest threats online, ranked | ZDNet

16) Post-Quantum Crypto: Don't Do Anything – GovInfoSecurity

17) Property Managers, Cyber Security and the Built Environment | cre tech

18) Bedrock proposes tallest building in Detroit on old Hudson's site – Curbed Detroit

19) The US doesn't have enough affordable homes – Curbed

20) Historic Illinois Hospital Comes Back as Affordable Housing

21) The problem with Trump's border tax plan – Business Insider

22) Lecture 2: The trend towards an integrated society — Prime Economics

23) Lecture 4. Is America an Exception? — Prime Economics

24) United States Living Wage Individual | 2015-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar

25) Bill Gates: the robot that takes your job should pay taxes — Quartz

26) Report: Trump transition ordered government economists to cook up rosy growth forecasts – Vox

27) US Extends Crackdown on Money Laundering in Luxury Real Estate – Mansion Global

28) Jerry Brown comes out against LA real estate development measure | The Sacramento Bee

29) The IMF's Work on Inequality: Bridging Research and Reality | iMFdirect – The IMF Blog

30) California lawmaker proposes to raise renewables mandate to 100% by 2045 | Sustainable Cities Collective

31) The absolute dominance of the US economy, in one chart – MarketWatch

32) Fannie & Freddie's future likely in hands of court or legislature: CEO

33) United States 5 Year Note Yield | 1962-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar

34) Former IMF Chief and Dozens of Former Bank Execs Just Got Sentenced to Jail | Wolf Street

35) Donald Trump has a plan to boost the trade deficit in one easy step — Quartz

36) Three charged in relation to July house fire – News – The Dispatch – Lexington, NC

37) Monroe woman pleads guilty in connection to scheme to defraud insurance company | USAO-WDLA | Department of Justice

38) Dangers Posed by Thousands of Crumbling Dams in Michigan

39) Judge Rejects Bid to Dismiss Alabama Water Contamination Lawsuit

40) Homeowners in South Carolina Awarded $7M in Faulty Construction Lawsuit

41) 2 women arrested in insurance fraud ring

42) 17 Million US Homes Worth $4.9 Trillion Are in Environmental Hazard Zones

43) Homeowners in South Carolina County Seek Buyout of Flooded Property

44) February 23, 2017 — Orange County Woman Accused of Insurance Fraud

45) Woman Arrested in Connection with 28 California Fires

46) Everything You Need to Know About Cloudbleed, the Latest Internet Security Disaster

47) The Future of Not Working – The New York Times

48) Karl Polanyi on the Rise of Fascism and Market Economy | Economic Sociology and Political Economy

49) UPREIT Definition | Investopedia

50) Stumbling and Mumbling: Neoliberalism & productivity

51) NAHB Seeks Solutions as Lumber Prices Rise | NAHB Now | The News Blog of the National Association of Home Builders

52) China arrests 800 in underground banking bust | New York Post

53) Trump's EPA Budget Cuts May Unleash a Backlash as Risks Remain – Bloomberg

54) Trump's Budget Won't Touch Entitlement Programs, Mnuchin Says – Bloomberg

55) Advanced Storm Warnings May Fail Because People Can't Read Maps

56) California Governor Calls for $437M in Spending for Flood Control

57) Economic democracy – Wikipedia

  1.    Real Estate returns in the US dips to 2009 levels – Financial Buzz

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  2.    Top U.S. Markets to Buy and Hold Real Estate | The Smarter Investor | US News

    Attom reported five factors — in addition to potential returns on investment — which can be influential to an investor's analysis before deciding to enter a market: vacancy rates, homeownership rates, wage growth, a high population of millennials and the level of competition from institutional investors.

    Nationwide, Attom reports that 2.7 percent of all single-family homes purchased during the first seven months of 2016 were by institutional investors — defined as entities that purchased at least 10 properties in a calendar year. That translates to a 29 percent increase from the same period in 2015, following two consecutive yearly declines in institutional investor activity.

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  3.    Upward Distribution of Wage Income Behind Social Security's Shortfall

    Economist Dean Baker:

    The last time there was a major overhaul of the program in 1983, they set the cap at a level where only 10% of wage income went over the top, avoided taxation. Today, because there's been so much upwardly distribution of income, close to 20%, almost twice as large a share of wage income goes over the top, and avoids taxation. That's a big part of the projected shortfall in social security.

    You should care for the sake of your tenants: their ability to pay rent among other reasons.

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  4.    China's overseas property purchases, investments slump as capital controls bite | Reuters

    Those involved in helping Chinese invest overseas say it is now much tougher to get money out of the country.

    "In the long term, it seems like outflows are likely to persist."

    I disagree. Unless the Chinese overthrow Xi, he will continually tighten his control over everything.

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  5.    Here's LA's plan to make developers pay for affordable housing – Curbed LA

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  6.    Cautious South Koreans rethink US real estate love affair | Real Estate Weekly

    Rather than be in the common equity position if and when property values drop, they are seeking safety over returns, with mezzanine investments with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios between 50 and 70 percent. Protecting the principal is taking precedence over improving profits.

    Property values may not hold up. If interest rates continue to increase without substantial rent increases, cap rates will also increase and property values will adjust downward.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  7.    Record Demand Brings New Heights and Challenges to Industrial Real Estate Market – Area Development

    This is an interesting article. I wonder about how robotics will play out in this.

    Think guaranteed living income! Otherwise, kiss capitalistic money-making goodbye.

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  8.    German real estate market overheated, says central bank | Business | DW.COM | 20.02.2017

    The report singled out seven cities which were particularly affected by overheated markets – Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart.

    Those cities were affected by low interest rates but at the same time had a large influx of domestic migration leading to rapidly increasing prices as housing demand could not be met.

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  9.    Employers Balk at Curbs on Generous Health Plans

    FYI

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  10.    The 10 Cleanest U.S. Cities (and the Most Polluted) | realtor.com®

    Where to invest and not to? Pollution is a factor. There are many others, as you're probably aware.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  11.    Janet Yellen reversal on quickly raising interest rates – Business Insider

    The only explanation for her statement is that she thinks that having to raise rates more quickly in the future rather than in smaller but more frequent bites now would slam on the brakes and cause a recession. That, however, is nonsense, provided the Fed doesn't raise rates too much even in the face of a supposedly overheating economy.

    Regardless, I'm much more concerned with dragging out this anemic recovery.

    Raising rates now still makes zero sense to me.

    I think Janet Yellen has turned out to be less progressive than I had thought she was. She doesn't talk jobs and labor slack enough anymore.

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  12.    Trump tax Could Be The Biggest Change In Over A Century: JPMorgan

    Nobody can accurately model this plan.

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  13.    Elon Musk reaffirms UBI prediction at World Government Summit | Basic Income News

    So, I'm looking forward to it. I'm optimistic about it. I also want the income to not be basic but several fold that amount at least. That's just for starters.

    I don't get my meaning from my paid labor. There are zillions of other things I'd rather be doing, not that I dislike my work or that I get zero meaning from it. It's just not even remotely the central source of where my meaning comes from.

    Look, Elon is a smart fellow. All he needs to do is realize that he doesn't do his work to earn a living anymore. He's way beyond that now. He has meaning in his life by virtue of his goals and his work toward those.

    Automation does not have to create a goalless humanity, far from it.

    I think we've barely begun to scratch the surface of existence.

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  14.    LA Times – Worst flooding in 100 years hits San Jose, forcing 14,000 to evacuate

    The creek crested to a height of 13.6 feet at a river gauge point on Tuesday evening in South San Jose — nearly four feet above flood stage. The record before then was in 1922, when the creek crested at 12.8 feet, and before that, in 1917, when the creek reached 12.2 feet.

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  15.    From malware to cyber-spies, the 15 biggest threats online, ranked | ZDNet

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  16.    Post-Quantum Crypto: Don't Do Anything – GovInfoSecurity

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  17.    Property Managers, Cyber Security and the Built Environment | cre.tech

    As you can see, I'm starting to include more computer-security links as part of the "Risk" I use in the title of these news-aggregation posts. I hope you approve.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  18.    Bedrock proposes tallest building in Detroit on old Hudson's site – Curbed Detroit

    How many times did I go to J.L. Hudson's? More than I can remember. When I used to go there, the elevators had operators. Oh, each elevator had a gate/fence and then a door too.

    I wish Detroit well!

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  19.    The U.S. doesn't have enough affordable homes – Curbed

    Two of the cities with the biggest gaps between supply and demand are Raleigh, North Carolina, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. But Dallas, Texas, takes the unaffordability cake, with starter homes making up just 6.2 percent of listings but 18.1 percent of home searchers.

    I think it's a social crime that we have this situation. There are very decent profits to be made making housing affordable. Doing what is good and right should be incentivising. Do you agree?

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  20.    Historic Illinois Hospital Comes Back as Affordable Housing

    This is great repurposing of an interesting building.

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  21.    The problem with Trump's border tax plan – Business Insider

    The Peterson Institute for International Economics is often so off, think twice before summarily rejecting Trump's plans that institute doesn't like and going along with the ones it does like.

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  22.    Lecture 2: The trend towards an integrated society — Prime Economics

    In post-war Europe the separation of economics and politics developed into a catastrophic internal situation. The captains of industry undermined the authority of democratic institutions, while democratic parliaments continuously interfered with the working of the market mechanism. A state of affairs was reached when a sudden paralysis of both the economic and the political institutions of society was well within the range of the possible. The need for re-integration of society was apparent.

    This was the critical state of affairs out of which the fascist revolutions sprang. The alternative was between an integration of society through political power on a democratic basis, or, if democracy proved too weak, integration on an authoritarian basis in a totalitarian society, at the price of the sacrifice of democracy.

    The American social system is, in my conviction, not faced with this tragic dilemma. But if loss of freedom should be avoided, it will have to take two steps at the same time: – accept the need for integration and achieve it through democratic means.

    Does that sound current? It was delivered in 1940 by Karl Polanyi.

    I came to the same conclusion before I had ever heard of Polanyi. It's why I've said that there is no such thing as democratic capitalism.

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  23.    Lecture 4. Is America an Exception? — Prime Economics

    I'm just picking out the most important highlights in my view.

    The accumulation of capital, the concentration of ownership, the centralization of production, the passing of competition, the rise of monopolies, the incidence of the trade cycle, the emergence of an imperialist foreign policy, the growth of class tension, the introduction of factory legislation, social insurance and trade unionism all seemed to have their American counterparts in the giant trusts and Wall Street, big business methods, dollar diplomacy, the I.W.W., the Pinkerton men, the A.F. of L., the C.I.O., the New Deal legislation, and, bigger and better than all its European predecessors, the unexampled slump and mass unemployment of the Nineteen-thirties, and as time went on, similarity seemed to become even closer and closer.

    It is hardly surprising that the majority of scholars did not see much reason for hope that the institutional development in America would follow other lines than those which resulted in the tragic deadlock of European history.

    We have no escape via democratic capitalism.

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  24.    United States Living Wage Individual | 2015-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar

    Living Wage Individual in the United States increased to 1407.90 USD/Month in the fourth quarter of 2016 from 1399.20 USD/Month in the third quarter of 2016.

    That doesn't take into account cost-of-living differences by area. I sure don't think it should be used as the basis for a guaranteed income. It's way too low. If we are going to give an income, there's zero reason to have it be low.

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  25.    Bill Gates: the robot that takes your job should pay taxes — Quartz

    I had read that he said that, and I really didn't want to address it. However, even when thinking that, I realized that because he has so much money, people will automatically give his idea credence when it actually deserves none.

    We do not need to tax robots because we do not need money from taxes to pay for anything. We can create and distribute all the money we want and only need to be concerned about matching supply of goods and services to demand, which can and should be done democratically by a fully informed citizenry and not by technocrats.

    Taxes should only be used to reduce the money supply to reduce excessive demand causing unacceptably high rates of price inflation. Robotic work has nothing to do with the need for governmental revenues.

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  26.    Report: Trump transition ordered government economists to cook up rosy growth forecasts – Vox

    … reasoning the administration is giving for this is that "a regulatory rollback and a tax-code revamp will unleash growth that drives a recovery in productivity, sends business investment higher and draws idled workers back to the labor force."

    At the same time, however, it's projecting that an uptick in economic growth won't lead to higher interest rates, "because the U.S. would become a more attractive place to park money."

    That part is why I included this link. Matt Yglesias doesn't explain that Trump isn't hiding this. It's an ideological belief that is going to be put to the test. Even Steve Bannon has admitted that they are just throwing things on the wall to see if they'll stick.

    Let's get politically ready for when they don't stick (because they won't).

    The overall Trump plan does not contain the answer for unemployment and insufficient individual incomes and reduced welfare-state support.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  27.    U.S. Extends Crackdown on Money Laundering in Luxury Real Estate – Mansion Global

    Good!

    Title insurance companies have borne the cost of the program, but say it's worth the extra effort to protect the industry from illegal activity, Steve Gottheim, senior counsel at the American Land Title Association, an industry group representing more than 6,000 title insurance agents and underwriters, told Mansion Global on Wednesday.

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  28.    Jerry Brown comes out against L.A. real estate development measure | The Sacramento Bee

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  29.    The IMF's Work on Inequality: Bridging Research and Reality | iMFdirect – The IMF Blog

    The IMF is now welfare state and perhaps social democratic and no longer neoclassical (laissez-faire).

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  30.    California lawmaker proposes to raise renewables mandate to 100% by 2045 | Sustainable Cities Collective

    I think this is way too slow!

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  31.    The absolute dominance of the U.S. economy, in one chart – MarketWatch

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  32.    Fannie & Freddie's future likely in hands of court or legislature: CEO

    David Stevens, Mortgage Bankers Association CEO, talks about changes ahead in government-sponsored financial services corporations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    He's smart and knowledgeable but wrong. The GSEs are turning a profit for the taxpayers who bailed them out. There is no public risk, as the government can create all the money necessary to keep the GSEs fully functioning as is.

    That said, he's right about the need for regulations to keep them from speculating like a Wall Street casino. Doing that would avoid having to jump in to keep them liquid or even solvent if things were to become that dire.

    The reason to keep the GSEs is to avoid adding an unnecessary layer of profit for middlemen/women. We don't need to create a profit center that will only increase housing costs and only benefit those for whom the government would be creating make-work: the 1%.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  33.    United States 5 Year Note Yield | 1962-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar

    The United States 5 Year Note Yield decreased to 1.80 percent on Friday February 24 from 1.86 percent in the previous trading day. 5 Year Note Yield in the United States averaged 5.97 percent from 1962 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 16.27 percent in September of 1981 and a record low of 0.56 percent in July of 2012. This page provides – United States 5 Year Note Yield- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

    This is the one Fed watchers watch the most. It is also watched by mortgage-rate watchers.


    source: tradingeconomics.com

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  34.    Former IMF Chief and Dozens of Former Bank Execs Just Got Sentenced to Jail | Wolf Street

    The amounts — which did not show up on any bank documents, job contracts, or tax returns — may be small, given the magnitude of the misdeeds that led to the Spanish bank fiasco, but it's the principle that counts.
    Only 4 out of 90 Caja Madrid senior managers, executives, and board members had the basic decency to turn down the offer of undeclared expenses. For the rest, it was an offer they could not refuse.

    … But will the sentence be served?

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  35.    Donald Trump has a plan to boost the trade deficit in one easy step — Quartz

    For several years, critics of free trade deals, mostly on the left, have pushed for re-exports to be excluded from the grand total of US exports, arguing that it falsely inflates American trade gains. Now the Trump administration is considering a decision to make this method official.

    It's not a completely wild idea, but only if you could ensure that you're excluding re-exports from the import side of the ledger, as well.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  36.    Three charged in relation to July house fire – News – The Dispatch – Lexington, NC

    According to arrest warrants …, the pair "did maliciously burn the dwelling house"….

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  37.    Monroe woman pleads guilty in connection to scheme to defraud insurance company | USAO-WDLA | Department of Justice

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  38.    Dangers Posed by Thousands of Crumbling Dams in Michigan

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  39.    Judge Rejects Bid to Dismiss Alabama Water Contamination Lawsuit

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  40.    Homeowners in South Carolina Awarded $7M in Faulty Construction Lawsuit

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  41.    2 women arrested in insurance fraud ring

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  42.    17 Million U.S. Homes Worth $4.9 Trillion Are in Environmental Hazard Zones

    When you do your environmental hazard due diligence on a potential investment, use something such as this ATTOM data as part of the starting place. Don't rely upon it solely as your starting place, and definitely drill down into more granular data. A hazard can be extremely localized. A zip code can be way too large an area concerning some types of hazards.

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  43.    Homeowners in South Carolina County Seek Buyout of Flooded Property

    Sometimes the best thing is to not rebuild or repair but move. Consider that flooding might well only worsen if we don't stop global warming. I think we will, but nevertheless …. It might take a long time. I'm often overly optimistic. I usually give people too much credit for changing quickly given solid info. I'm learning to temper my optimism without giving up.

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  44.    February 23, 2017 — Orange County Woman Accused of Insurance Fraud

    Investigators allege Chabot activated water damage coverage after the damage occurred.

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  45.    Woman Arrested in Connection with 28 California Fires

    A case of pyromania?

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  46.    Everything You Need to Know About Cloudbleed, the Latest Internet Security Disaster

    Pardon the blue language (one word, one time) in this linked post.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  47.    The Future of Not Working – The New York Times

    So, this is what I've been talking and writing about for more years than I can remember. However, the money can and should come directly from the government creating it out of thin air (no borrowing, no issuing bonds). Also, the amount of money should be enough to live well, not just basically, not just above the poverty line.

    It's definitely doable!

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  48.    Karl Polanyi on the Rise of Fascism and Market Economy | Economic Sociology and Political Economy

    I came to all of these conclusions before ever having heard of Karl Polanyi.

    Nineteenth Century civilization was not destroyed by the external or internal attack of barbarians; its vitality was not sapped by the devastations of World War I nor by the revolt of a socialist proletariat or a fascist lower middle class. Its failure was not the outcome of some alleged laws of economics such as that of the falling rate of profit or of underconsumption or overproduction. It disintegrated as the result of an entirely different set of causes: the measures which society adopted in order not to be, in its turn, annihilated by the action of the self-regulating market. …

    Economic history reveals that the emergence of national markets was in no way the result of the gradual and spontaneous emancipation of the economic sphere from governmental control. On the contrary, the market has been the outcome of a conscious and often violent intervention on the part of government which imposed the market organization on society for noneconomic ends. And the self-regulating market of the nineteenth century turns out on closer inspection to be radically different from even its immediate predecessor in that it relied for its regulation on economic self-interest. The congenital weakness of nineteenth century society was not that it was industrial but that it was a market society. Industrial civilization will continue to exist when the Utopian experiment of a self-regulating market will be no more than a memory.

    With the liberal the idea of freedom thus degenerates into a mere advocacy of free enterprise—which is today reduced to a fiction by the hard reality of giant trusts and princely monopolies. This means the fullness of freedom for those whose income, leisure and security need no enhancing, and a mere pittance of liberty for the people, who may in vain attempt to make use of their democratic rights to gain shelter from the power of the owners of property. No r is that all. Nowhere did the liberals in fact succeed in re-establishing free enterprise, which was doomed to fail for intrinsic reasons. It was as a result of their efforts that big business was installed in several European countries and, incidentally, also various brands of fascism, as in Austria. Planning, regulation and control, which they wanted to see banned as dangers to freedom, were then employed by the confessed enemies of freedom to abolish it altogether. Yet the victory of fascism was made practically unavoidable by the liberals' obstruction of any reform involving planning, regulation, or control.

    Freedom's utter frustration in fascism is, indeed, the inevitable result of the liberal philosophy, which claims that power and compulsion are evil, that freedom demands their absence from a human community. No such thing is possible; in a complex society this becomes apparent. This leaves no alternative but either to remain faithful to an illusionary idea of freedom and deny the reality of society, or to accept that reality and reject the idea of freedom. The first is the liberal's conclusion; the latter the fascist's.

    Uncomplaining acceptance of the reality of society gives man indomitable courage and strength to remove all removable injustice and unfreedom. As long as he is true to his task of creating more abundant freedom for all, he need not fear that either power or plan¬ning will turn against him and destroy the freedom he is building by their instrumentality. This is the meaning of freedom in a complex society; it gives us all the certainty that we need.

    Think about all of that when you listen to the dictator of China, Xi, pooh-poohing democracy. Remember that when he, and those like him, do that, they are not referring to the least fascistic democracies on the planet or in history. They are not referring to those societies where social democracy is strongest. They are aiming directly at the current state of the USA's political economy, which is decidedly not egalitarian-leaning but rather still operating under the delusion of neoclassical capitalism (the fatally flawed system known as laissez-faire capitalism). They are not targeting the New Deal but the "free market" globalizers who call themselves libertarians, whom Karl Polanyi rightly identified as completely mistaken concerning the definition of liberty.

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  49.    UPREIT Definition | Investopedia

    Are you planning for the next generation?

    Because the partnership units' basis is stepped up to current market value when the owner dies, the owner's heirs can convert the partnership units to REIT shares or cash without triggering capital gains tax. UPREITs thus allow owners to transfer appreciated property to heirs tax-free, making UPREITs a valuable tool for estate planning.

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  50.    Stumbling and Mumbling: Neoliberalism & productivity

    I'm not going to comment on this other than to say that it's too deferential.

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  51.    NAHB Seeks Solutions as Lumber Prices Rise | NAHB Now | The News Blog of the National Association of Home Builders

    … client signed a contract for last week — a large custom home that includes a $60,000 lumber package. With an expected $18,000 cost increase, "there goes my profit," he said.

    [I immediately thought, what about an escalation clause? Then, …]

    … the NAHB Construction Liability, Risk Management and Building Materials Committee sent Strauss a sample cost escalation clause contract addendum. It's too late for this contract, Strauss said, but on Friday morning he sent a copy to his fellow Ohio HBA members so they can keep it in their back pockets.

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  52.    China arrests 800 in underground banking bust | New York Post

    This will slow real-estate buying. It's far from the last of it.

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  53.    Trump's EPA Budget Cuts May Unleash a Backlash as Risks Remain – Bloomberg

    If air quality and groundwater quality go down, if carbon burning isn't dramatically curbed via some means and soon, if fracking continues with its earthquakes (I've coin as frackquakes), property investments will become less valuable and more costly to make safe and to clean up. Let's not be penny wise and pound foolish.

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  54.    Trump's Budget Won't Touch Entitlement Programs, Mnuchin Says – Bloomberg

    Of course, slashing corporate taxes with no strings attached, won't work. Then they'll start clamoring to "reform" entitlements. They'll call for what they always have. Their real plan is to privatize everything so certain already extremely rich people will get a cut (they aren't getting now) by providing goods and services. On balance, such privatization schemes never actually reduce the costs to those lower down the economic food chain. It's not even just spinning our wheels. It's going backwards.

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  55.    Advanced Storm Warnings May Fail Because People Can't Read Maps

    "You are here" is coming our way? It has to.

    People just don't use maps the same way they used to.

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  56.    California Governor Calls for $437M in Spending for Flood Control

    … his plan would address just a fraction of the $187 billion in unmet water and transportation infrastructure needs he identified.

    Brown says taxes. Trump says public-private partnerships (meaning privatization). Personally, I don't agree with either approach. Debt-free money is the way to fund all of our public needs (and even our "private" ones if done correctly).

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  57.    Economic democracy – Wikipedia

    I believe this is where we're heading and also, therefore, to the democratization of money.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


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Furthermore, we, as insurance producers, are prohibited by law from disparaging the insurance industry, carriers, other producers, etc. With that in mind, we provide links without staking out positions that violate the law. We provide them solely from a public-policy standpoint wherein we encourage our industry to be sure our profits, etc., are fair and balanced.

We do not necessarily fact checked the contents of every linked article or page, etc.

If we were to conclude any part or parts of our industry are in violation of fundamental fairness and the legal standards of a state or states, we'd address the issue through proper, legal channels. We trust you understand.

The laws that tie our tongues, so to speak, are designed to keep the public from losing confidence in the industry and the regulatory system overseeing it. Insurance commissioners around the country work very hard to analyze rates and to not allow the industry to be damaged by bad rate-settings and changes in coverages. The proper way for people in the industry to deal with such matters is by adhering to the laws, rules, and regulations of the applicable states and within industry associations where such matters may be discussed in private without giving the industry unnecessary black eyes. Ethics is very high on the list in the insurance industry, and we don't want to lose the people's trust. That said, the industry is not perfect; but what industry is?

For our part, we believe in strong regulations and strong regulators.

We welcome your comments and ask you to keep in mind that we cannot and will not reply in any way or ways where any insurance commissioner could rightly say we've violated the law of the given state.

We are allowed to share rating-bureau data/reports and industry-consultant opinions but make clear here that those opinions are theirs and do not necessarily reflect our position.

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