Serfs Are Starting to Get Upset
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The serfs are PISSED! Apologies.
America was not founded by people that ‘went along to get along’, or that were willing to accept economic or political serfdom. Though they did so until a critical mass of frustration was reached.
It is human nature to seek and then protect the benefits of privilege. To some extent this is a positive attribute. It’s the foundation of Capitalism. It is only when dishonesty and manipulation of laws becomes prevalent that the system is at risk, and not operating properly.
We had dueling to keep honorable people honorable two hundred years ago. That was one of the first things the dishonest hucksters and charlatans made illegal. Then they convinced us that only attorneys and accountants could possibly make laws and policies. That common sense had no part. Only professional politicians can lead – not mere citizens as was originally intended.
We went back to being serfs with mediocre retirement promised if we were good and loyal to some business for 30 years of our lives. Until that too presented untapped opportunities to steal.
Initially by the likes of Jimmy (The Weasel) Fratianno and other’s with access to union pensions. Yeah, I know, THAT could get me in trouble with the bosses. But truth is truth. Later on, seeing how profitable THAT was, MANY politicians and their attorneys / accountants wanted a piece of the action.
They brought us Lincoln Savings & Loan and RTC, Enron, FIRREA, (DAMNED inconvenient that one was!), repeal of Glass-Steagall, 2% Option ARMS with pick a pay and negative amortization built in, for maximum risk high yield securities that necessitated three to five year refinances.
The serfs are starting to get upset.
Then the biggest “legal” ‘theft’ of public funds in history orchestrated by Hank Paulson via TARP I; quickly followed by TARP II and Quantitative Easing ad infinitum because free enterprise can no longer afford the interest on the national debt without it. The serfs are starting to get upset.
For appraisers, OUR Concord was HVCC. We KNEW we had a problem…it just took us so long to do anything about it. Many became frustrated and stopped trying. But some of us KNEW something COULD be done if we only tried.
I’ve seen it first hand, so I’m less discouraged than many. VERY small numbers of committed people can have influence far beyond their numbers, or stations in life.
We see it all over today in our current politics (regardless of which side you are on). The serfs are PISSED! Apologies.
First State coalitions, then combined coalitions to fight at higher levels were formed. A VERY FEW recognized appraisal associations became demonstrably active FOR ALL appraisers. Most notably the ASA though not to diminish the contributions of others. One, sadly, works for the benefit of only a few of its members.
None of these have critical mass though. There are after all, only 78,000 of us left. In a nation of 330,000,000+ serfs how much influence can they have divided?
The answer is “A LOT!”. Consider:
Only 66% of the above are eligible to vote. Of those 66% only 57% actually voted in 2012. About 38% of all eligible (+/-83,000,000) and about 25% of total population.
Each major party has very roughly from 35%+/- to 40%+/- influence or shared empathy with those people. That’s about 29,000,000 on any given issue at any given time. Given two sides of any issue, they are concerned MOSTLY with what the 50% +1 are concerned about. That’s only 14,500,001.
ALL politicians accept that everyone that appears or takes the time to write in on an issue reflects the views of from at least 10 others to as many as 100 others. Trust me on this or go ask you own elected officials. I once ran for office and was VERY involved in influencing community issues.
AARP claims 3,000,000 members. That’s about 21% of the majority perspective noted above (any issue). No one denies that AARP is influential. As a (former) AARP delegate, I could get into my Congressman’s office for a sit down meeting to present views ALMOST at will. Certainly every time AARP had a new issue to promote. This was the same congressional office that I had written to for over three years as an appraiser, asking for help on HVCC (admittedly under a previous non responsive hack).
Point is, that IF ONE (1) involved person equals 10 to 100 other similar views, the Congress member ASSUMES AARP could influence 30,000,000 actual VOTERS!
The American Guild of Appraisers (AGA, OPEIU/AFL-CIO) can speak for roughly 13,000,000 consumer, taxpaying, members, retirees, and their families at any given point in time, on real estate valuation related issues. OUR political leaders have to assume we COULD be speaking the views of up to 130,000,000 Americans and we are NOT limited to one party!
Federal & State Bureaucrats are deathly afraid of even ONE LETTER, that can end their careers or cost promotions. Federal Agencies have only 48 hours to respond to a Congress members official inquiries. They don’t like specific issue or personnel complaint letters to go to Congress members.
Our issues usually transcend political party interests. MY political leaders work for me, not the other way around. I don’t mind reminding them of that.