News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 17-18, 2018

Linking ≠ endorsement. News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 17-18, 2018

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) The verdict is in: The GOP's tax cut didn't work.

2) How to Know When It's Time to Evict a Tenant

3) Federal Tax Cuts in the Bush, Obama, and Trump Years

4) Simple Tips to Keep Your Home Safe from Electrical Shocks

5) US Manufacturing Jobs and Trade Liberalization with China

6) The conservative caricature of Keynesianism Stop using the word. It does not mean what you think it means.

7) Richard Werner: Today's Source of Money Creation

8) Rise of robots fuels slavery threat for Southeast Asian factory workers, analysts say

9) Stock Markets See the US Winning the Trade War, Defying Corporate Lobby & Media Propaganda

10) Hallmark of an Economic Ponzi Scheme, John P. Hussman, Ph.D.

11) How screening data can lower rental turnover

12) Worker wages drop while companies spend billions to boost stocks

13) The Debt Train Will Crash

14) It "Hit the Mortgage Market Over the Head with a Baseball Bat"

15) Chicago Targets 'Zombie Housing' for Renewal, Block by Block

16) 30 Cities Best Positioned for Long-Term Success

17) Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)

18) Survival of the Richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

19) The inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones

20) Which city is Texas' hottest multifamily market?

21) Good News? Percentage of Americans Who Believe Climate Change is Real Reaches New High

22) SoftBank-Funded Katerra Aims to Disrupt Change-Resistant Construction Industry

23) How to Budget Maintenance for Your Rental Property

24) Next Investments Acquires 576-Unit Multifamily Apartment Community in Houston Westchase District

25) Xi's overly-ambitious goals triggered US-China trade war Talk of becoming world No.1 backfired, hurting even dinner tables

26) Researchers Use Supercomputers to Quantify Quake Risk Across San Francisco Bay Area

27) Adair County man found guilty of arson / insurance fraud

28) North Texas woman heading to prison for burning down the house

29) Quick, make an offer! 5 cities where homes sold the fastest — and the 5 slowest

30) The Top 10 Rental Features That Attract Cream of the Crop Tenants

31) Lawsuit Alleges ADT Failed to Alert Officers to Alarms for Kansas Fire

  1.    The verdict is in: The GOP's tax cut didn't work.

    "Although President Trump promised the average worker would see a $4,000 pay raise due to the tax cuts, only 4 percent of workers so far are getting a bonus or wage hike," the report said. "Only 402 of the nation's six million employers have announced any plans to share their tax cuts with employees through bonuses or wage hikes. The total is estimated at $7 billion so far."

    The report card continued: "But that pales in comparison to the $77 billion in tax cuts that just 156 corporations are getting this year. Corporations are giving huge windfalls to their CEOs and wealthy shareholders in the form of stock buybacks, as they own most stock. Corporations have announced $484 billion in stock buybacks since the tax law was passed. That's 69 times more than the $7 billion corporations have promised workers through one-time bonuses and wage hikes."

    As for the deficit hawks being embarrassed about massively increasing the deficit, they aren't deficit hawks. They're privatizers. They drive up the deficit and then demand spending cuts to stimulate more private wealth at the top. It's that simple.

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  2.    How to Know When It's Time to Evict a Tenant

    ... two things that will force my hand. First, if the tenant does not follow an agreement we have worked out. Second, if the tenant stops talking to me.

    Safety of your other tenants is critical. Keep that in mind.

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


  3.    Federal Tax Cuts in the Bush, Obama, and Trump Years News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 17-18, 2018

    Since 2000, tax cuts have reduced federal revenue by trillions of dollars and disproportionately benefited well-off households. From 2001 through 2018, significant federal tax changes have reduced revenue by $5.1 trillion, with nearly two-thirds of that flowing to the richest fifth of Americans, as illustrated in Figure 1.[1] The cumulative impact on the deficit during this period is $5.9 trillion, including interest payments.

    By the end of 2025, the tally of tax cuts will grow to $10.6 trillion. Nearly $2 trillion of this amount will have gone to the richest 1 percent. By then, the total impact on the deficit will be $13.6 trillion, including interest payments.

    This analysis does not include hundreds of billions of dollars in so-called tax cut "extenders" for corporations and other businesses that Congress has periodically enacted under each administration.

    1950 was the pinnacle of the USA's economic power. Yes, it wasn't too long after WWII and many nations were ravaged and in economic shambles due to that war. However, the war was far from the reason for America's relative prosperity.

    Unions were at their strongest. The highest tax rate was 90%. Yes, you read that correctly. The richest of the rich were paying more than twice what they pay now. One income in the family was typically worth more than the two-income-earner household currently brings in.

    We had our problems. Industry was polluting like there was no tomorrow. We were raping our land for raw materials. Oil production was not sustainable given the technology at the time. It still isn't if we factor in the damage fracking is causing all over the place and the pollution that's still a major problem and a growing one what with indisputable global warming directly the result primarily of carbon burning.

    We had plenty of other problems as well. However, the solution was not and still is not globalization and corporatization of international law and governance.

    We could have made trade deals that would have seen other nations prosper moneywise even more than they all have while we insisted on those other nations, those importing to us now, rise to vastly higher environmental, health, safety, and democratic standards.

    What happened instead? The richest of the rich offshored everything and monstrously lowered standards so they could exploit the poorest of the poor around the world so they, the super greedy and self-centered, who are still in charge due to the foolishness and ignorance of a large majority of us, could simply keep more of the pie for themselves by overcharging us for products that were much cheaper for them to supply/import into America.

    Meanwhile, they took their added profits and bought US politics lock, stock, and barrel. Yes, I said politics, not simply some politicians. They bought the whole show so they could weaken bargaining power and pay us even less. They did that while brainwashing the masses into misbelieving that the rest of us were simply lazy and that trickledown economics was better anyway, even though it never existed and still doesn't.

    So, you want to live a decent life financially. Who can blame you for that? I'm not. It is shooting yourself in the macroeconomic foot, though, to join the superrich in their selfishness via real-estate investing. Things have not been getting better in the aggregate, and you'll have to live in that. If current trends continue, you'll be living in a dystopia when you could have been just as well off financially while living in the closest thing to Heaven humans could create on this planet.

    Make no mistake about it. If current trends continue, there won't be any escaping it all by going into outer space either. It will simply follow you there if you're even one of the first ones to leave the Earth forever.

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  4.    Simple Tips to Keep Your Home Safe from Electrical Shocks

    It's a good start, but I can't help adding things.

    I'll stick to highlights.

    Do not overload circuits regardless of breakers.

    Do not leave portable heaters near combustible fabrics.

    Do not use underrated extension cords. Check what the appliance requires against the cord before using it.

    Do not keep using stove heating-elements (aka coils, burners) if they spark or if they don't seem to be heating within the expected range given the temperature setting you've chosen. A setting on low can become high while your back is turned. That's one of the reasons fire-prevention experts tell us to remain in the kitchen during cooking. That's extremely important when cooking with grease or cooking things that release grease. Grease fires may not sound like electrical fires, but in the insurance industry, we think about the proximate cause (the original cause of the damage, as in a chain reaction).

    There's plenty more to know on the subject, so don't hesitate to look things up.

    Oh, and never use a none-fuse substance in place of a burned out fuse or by pass a circuit breaker by connecting wires behind the panel. I hope that's not like telling a kid not to stick his or her fingers in the fan, which presents a temptation to do just that.

    I know, I went into more than just preventing shocks, but that's what risk-management is all about: leaving no stone unturned.

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  5.    US Manufacturing Jobs and Trade Liberalization with China

    Expanded trade opportunities yield substantial benefits, including a more efficient allocation of resources, lower prices for consumer goods and intermediate inputs, and more dynamic firms and labor markets. At the same time, a broad range of research points to long-lasting adjustment costs for workers in industries and geographic areas that experience increases in foreign competition. When trade liberalization leads to abrupt adjustments, the shock to these workers may be more disruptive.

    So-called trade liberalization was supposed to bring democracy to China. That's how it was sold to the American people. What it did was grossly enrich totalitarian dictators in the Orwellian nightmare that is present-day China, getting worse by the day. It has made keeping down democracy in China easier. It has bolstered China's threats about taking over the entire South China Sea. It has also encouraged other dictators to sell the "China model" to the masses and to try to further erode what little democracy other nations actually have.

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  6.    The conservative caricature of Keynesianism Stop using the word. It does not mean what you think it means.

    The economic evidence suggests two facts. First, the Trump economy looks good because of classic fiscal Keynesianism on top of an economy that had been growing for eight years straight. And second, Epstein should never use the word "Keynesian" in a column ever again.

    I took him to task for the exact same thing.

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  7.    Richard Werner: Today's Source of Money Creation

    I take exception to the video.

    Intermediary and fractional-reserve is not either/or but matters of degree. The general money of the bank functions as both, in addition to the banks credit creation, which by the way is inherent in fractional-reserve. That said, the reserve ratio can be extremely low or actually nonexistent depending upon the jurisdiction and enforcement mechanism and application.

    Real decentralized decision-making is democracy and not community banks lending at interest.

    If a digital currency is created by the central bank that is owned and controlled by real democracy, it will create money (increase supply) not for business-cycle causes but the real economy (aka the productive sector) without creating debt, without holding out for interest. That money supply would not be switched off by some elite, as the supply would be controlled via nodes, as ordered and controlled by the real, relatively-pure democracy.

    The problem with Richard Werner's position is maintaining the completely unnecessary and counter-productive layer that's called interest and debt. Why do that?

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  8.    Rise of robots fuels slavery threat for Southeast Asian factory workers, analysts say

    This is why we need a guaranteed living income for everyone in the world.

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


  9.    Stock Markets See the US Winning the Trade War, Defying Corporate Lobby & Media Propaganda

    Agreed:

    ... not doing anything would allow the continuation of a trade war that has been waged against US workers for over two decades, largely by Corporate America's own ambitions to offshore production, profits, and cash.

    Tariffs are similar to "sin taxes," such as on cigarettes and alcohol. They encourage healthier behavior that is less costly for society. Tariffs will give Corporate America a financial incentive to bring some production back to the US in order to avoid the margin squeeze that tariffs represent. While this strategy will not bring back the old jobs from the 1970s — they have been obviated by automation — it will create high-value jobs in the US and whittle down the huge and unsustainable trade deficits that US has with the rest of the world.

    I'm not interested in depriving poor workers in poor countries. I'm interested in getting other governments to up the standards for their workers while I'm interested in US standards rising too.

    Frankly, we need a global currency and supranational real democracy.

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  10.    Hallmark of an Economic Ponzi Scheme, John P. Hussman, Ph.D.

    I found this to be the most salient paragraph:

    Put simply, when U.S. corporate profits are unusually high, it's typically an indication that households and the government are cutting their savings and going into debt. Combine this with the fact that corporate profits move inversely to wage and salary income, and it should be evident that the surface prosperity of the U.S. economy masks a Ponzi dynamic underneath. Specifically, corporations are highly profitable precisely because wage and salary growth was deeply depressed by the labor market slack that followed the global financial crisis. In the interim, households have bridged the gap by going increasingly into debt, while government deficits have also increased, both to provide income (and health care) support, and to benefit corporations directly.

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  11.    How screening data can lower rental turnover

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  12.    Worker wages drop while companies spend billions to boost stocks

    Just as plenty of us said would happen:

    When a company buys back some of its outstanding shares, the effect is usually to boost the value of the rest of its stock, sometimes making the company appear more valuable on paper. Because many senior executives are paid in company shares, buybacks temporarily boost their pay (as well as other shareholders' portfolios), sometimes at the expense of investments in infrastructure or workers.

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  13.    The Debt Train Will Crash

    The Congressional Budget Office thinks federal debt will be 200% of GDP by 2048, and that by 2041 it will take all federal tax revenue just to support Social Security, the various health care programs and pay interest. That's before defense or anything else the government does. And that's assuming relatively high growth and NO recessions and a rising stock market forever as we ride off into the sunset.

    It's also assuming we don't do anything to correct our course.

    Let me say that there are way too many young people who grew up during the Great Recession and know where money actually comes from, how it is created, for nothing to be done fundamentally and in a highly progressive manner. I can't imagine them sitting back allowing backwards economics to continue. This really needs to be the very last hurrah of neoliberalism. It should have a stake driven into its heart that can't be removed under any circumstances.

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  14.    It "Hit the Mortgage Market Over the Head with a Baseball Bat"

    I thought, did I miss it? Was China not mentioned? So, I searched the term and only found it in the comment section. Chinese buyers fueled the Australian bubble. China's government has clamped down on Chinese money leaving China. Among other reasons for the bubble's reversal, that clampdown has helped.

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  15.    Chicago Targets 'Zombie Housing' for Renewal, Block by Block

    Ojo and Michelle Patterson, parents of three children, just started the MMRP process to possibly buy a 3-unit building in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. They are renting an apartment in the nearby Auburn Gresham neighborhood for about $680 a month. They're hoping their income as a barber and hairstylist could qualify them to pay a $1,600 monthly mortgage while renting out the other units.

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


  16.    30 Cities Best Positioned for Long-Term Success

    It's worth noting that only two cities made both lists for short-term and long-term momentum: Seattle and Singapore.

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  17.    Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)

    This is good!

    Comparatively speaking, the relationship between GDP and GPI is analogous to the relationship between the gross profit of a company and the net profit; the net profit is the gross profit minus the costs incurred, while the GPI is the GDP (value of all goods and services produced) minus the environmental and social costs.

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


  18.    Survival of the Richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

    When the hedge funders asked me the best way to maintain authority over their security forces after "the event," I suggested that their best bet would be to treat those people really well, right now. They should be engaging with their security staffs as if they were members of their own family. And the more they can expand this ethos of inclusivity to the rest of their business practices, supply chain management, sustainability efforts, and wealth distribution, the less chance there will be of an "event" in the first place. All this technological wizardry could be applied toward less romantic but entirely more collective interests right now.

    They were amused by my optimism, but they didn't really buy it. They were not interested in how to avoid a calamity; they're convinced we are too far gone. For all their wealth and power, they don't believe they can affect the future. They are simply accepting the darkest of all scenarios and then bringing whatever money and technology they can employ to insulate themselves ....

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  19.    The inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones

    Are you offering wireless this, that, and the other at your properties? Do you use it for your business and/or personal life?

    One key player has not been swayed by all this wireless-friendly research: the insurance industry. In our reporting for this story, we found not a single insurance company that would sell a product-liability policy that covered mobile phone radiation. "Why would we want to do that?" one executive asked with a chuckle before pointing to more than two dozen lawsuits outstanding against wireless companies, demanding a total of $1.9bn in damages.

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  20.    Which city is Texas' hottest multifamily market?

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  21.    Good News? Percentage of Americans Who Believe Climate Change is Real Reaches New High

    Does this incremental shift in public matter? I would hope so. We all know that there's a huge disconnect between public opinion and public policy in the United States — due to the money-driven political system. What that means in this regard is that even with a solid proportion of people believing in climate change caused by humans, those percentages alone won't override the resources the fossil fuel industry can pour into maintaining the current disastrous system.

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


  22.    SoftBank-Funded Katerra Aims to Disrupt Change-Resistant Construction Industry

    Developments such as this will change the terms used. "Site-built" was already having to be modified to accommodate new construction, manufacturing, and assembly methods.

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  23.    How to Budget Maintenance for Your Rental Property

    You can use the age of each major component and the average time between redecorating, remodeling, and renovating too. However, always have a cushion for emergency situations. Don't think maintenance in the absence of repair.

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


  24.    Next Investments Acquires 576-Unit Multifamily Apartment Community in Houston Westchase District

    Who's going to manage it?

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


  25.    Xi's overly-ambitious goals triggered US-China trade war Talk of becoming world No.1 backfired, hurting even dinner tables

    You may disagree with Donald Trump on many issues; but, if you think he doesn't know what he's doing vis-a-vis China on trade, you need to read this linked article.

    The reason you've heard so many pundits saying Trump's tariffs are all wrong is because those pundits are neoliberal globalists, which means they put the profits of the wealthy, including Americans, above the US as a whole. Trump's tariffs throw a monkey wrench in their plans, even though it remains to be seen just how egalitarian Trump will turn out to be regarding the whole of the US economy. He does have some backward ideas on taxes. We'll have to see how honest he'll be about that once it is proven his corporate tax-cuts were just the opposite of making America great (whether again or not).

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


  26.    Researchers Use Supercomputers to Quantify Quake Risk Across San Francisco Bay Area

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


  27.    Adair County man found guilty of arson / insurance fraud

    ... Pritchard, along with his girlfriend, conceived a plan to set fire to their rental home on June 30th, 2011, in order to collect on a 50,000 dollar rental insurance policy.

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


  28.    North Texas woman heading to prison for burning down the house

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


  29.    Quick, make an offer! 5 cities where homes sold the fastest — and the 5 slowest

    • Seattle: It's taking just 36 days from listing until the deal is done. In April, home prices were up 19.5% from a year earlier in the technology hub that's home to giants such as Microsoft and Amazon. Strict zoning regulations make it harder to build new houses, limiting supply.

    • San Jose, Calif.: Time to sale: 36 days. This Silicon Valley epicenter was the most competitive housing market in the country in March, with 83.2% of homes sold above list price, according to Redfin. Home prices are up 22% in the past year.

    If you are a buy-and-rent investor, unless you really know what you're doing, it's typically not a good strategy to buy with only (hot-market) organic appreciation in mind. Focus on area stability and growth, net income, amortization, and depreciation (tax breaks) too. Increase income while lowering the expense ratio without sacrificing maintenance, repairs, and cost-effective upgrades.

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


  30.    The Top 10 Rental Features That Attract Cream of the Crop Tenants

    What do you think of this list?

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


  31.    Lawsuit Alleges ADT Failed to Alert Officers to Alarms for Kansas Fire

    I'm not prejudging this but simply bringing it to your attention.

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

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