This article was posted on Monday, Dec 10, 2012

Success is what apartment ownership is all about!  We work, save a part of all we earn and then invest our savings in providing housing for others.  The politicians did not see us when we lived frugally and did without, in order to save enough for a down payment on an apartment building.
“Instant gratification” is one of the biggest reasons for failure.  To be a successful housing provider (not just a consumer), you probably at some time conquered many desires to immediately gratify yourself.  Instead, you saved a part of what you earned regardless of how little or big your paycheck.  You did not take the trip to Hawaii or Europe, buy a new car every two or three years, you did not buy that yacht, get fancy $35 haircuts, eat out every week and etc., etc.

It’s hard for a politician to understand this concept.  He spends more of our money than what he takes away from us.  No matter how much he takes, he can’t control himself and his need for “instant gratification”.  So what does he do?  He criticizes our success and punishes us with more taxes, fees and penalties and redistributes our wealth through tenant welfare, (i.e., rent control) and other programs.
He yells that we are not paying our “fair share” even though that top 10% is already paying 70% of all taxes.  Folks, please wake up.  Any politician who talks like that is in total agreement with a different economic system than what was originally intended for America.  You believe in our good old American economic system of free enterprise and property rights OR you believe as all Marxists do, in punishing the successful by redistributing their hard earned wealth.  They call it “progressivism”.
Call it what it is.  After you do that it is easy to determine what system will and has worked best.  Just study the history of every civilized nation the world has ever known.  The progressives lose every time!
Keep this concept in mind:  wealth is one measure of what an individual has contributed to society.  It is the difference between what you have produced and what you have consumed.

Most individuals receive a paycheck for what they contribute to others.  Let’s say that I earn $1,000.  I spend (consume) $900 and save $100.  I purchased and consumed $900 worth of goods and services that others produced.  That part that I did not take back from society is the excess of what I provided over what I consumed.  That $100 is a measure of my net contribution to society.  And the more I contribute over what I personally consume, the wealthier I become.  That wealth is a measure of what I produced for others in excess of what I consumed.
Stop and think about it.  The wealthiest people have contributed the most.  Housing providers have contributed more housing than what they consume.  That excess housing is a measure of your wealth AND a measure of what you are contributing to society!  Teach your kids this concept and they too will become wealthy!

The politicians, in their ignorance, do not appreciate this when it happens.  They want to “level the playing field” and make us all more equal.  As a result of this Marxist philosophy the total standard of living goes way down for everybody as we lose our desire to produce.  Just study history.  Also, look at what’s happening in France right now.  They just raised the top tax rate to 75% and many producers are already moving to other countries!
Redistributing an individual’s wealth makes that individual want to produce less for society.  So … society becomes poorer as they take more and more away from that “1%” who have proven that they can produce the most for our society.
I’ve got a new idea – let’s all go back to celebrating success.  Thank you for providing housing for others.  Thank you for consuming less than what you earned.  Thank you for becoming wealthy by providing more housing than what you alone consume.
Just think of what things would be like if you were not successful.  40 to 50% of the people in many areas of California would be living on the street.  Tenants should be grateful that you did not need “instant gratification”.  Thank God that you have been successful and, as a result, this world is a better place for us all!

Hoorah for Landlords!
By Patricia A. Harris

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You give them a place to hang their hats,
You even accept their dogs and their cats;
You fix leaky faucets – install a new screen,
The thanks when they move?  Your walls painted green.

You give them a fridge, you provide blinds,
Installing new carpet of various kinds;
They ask for new vinyl on all of their floors,
And then those nice tenants punch holes in your doors.

“Dear Landlord, please know, I’ll be having a guest,
It’s just for awhile – maybe two weeks at best;”
Eleven months later that guest is still there,
And he’s now getting mail, just so you’re aware.

You grant them extensions when rent is due,
You even ignore a complaint or two;
You don’t charge fees when rent checks are late,
They owe you two months and moved out of state.

For all that you give, and all that you reap,
For all of your nightmares and nights without sleep;
Water bills, taxes and city inspections,
Lawsuits, evictions and tenant rejections.

The roaches, the ants and “Hey, I’ve got mold”,
Excuses, bounced checks and lies you’ve been told;
For all of the tenants who take things for granted,
Who whined, caused a nuisance, they raved and they ranted.

For the tenants who love you and those dealing drugs,
For the ones who bring flowers and ones who bring bugs;
We’d like to commend you – send thanks out today,
To all rental owners – from your AOA.

Just a small token, but always be sure,
We are sympathetic for all you endure,
Hoorah for the landlords, those big and small,
Three cheers for the landlords, may God Bless you all!

Is This ‘Untruth’ Keeping You From Getting Rich?

A version of this article, written by Alex Green, the Chief Investment Strategist of Investment U,  first appeared on September 29, 2012 in the S&A Digest, published by Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, an independent investment research firm.  You can visit them at

I’m shocked and surprised by an ominous development in this year’s presidential election. No, not the personal attacks, negative ads, or over-the-top promises. Those have been staples in national elections for more than 200 years. What’s new – and troubling, in my view – is that some see political gain in demonizing economic success.
I don’t get it. As a kid growing up in a solidly middle-class family, I admired the businessmen, entrepreneurs, and professionals in my community who earned large financial rewards. I remember feeling that these folks must have studied hard, put in long hours, or taken big risks. I didn’t envy them. I wanted to be like them.
Yet there was former President Bill Clinton at the Democratic Convention stoking the flames of resentment with his remark that some “want a you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all society.”

I find this disheartening, in part because Bill Clinton is not a left-wing ideologue. Yes, he’s a card-carrying liberal but in his two terms, he promoted free trade, slashed capital gains taxes, and reformed the welfare system.
I thought the class-warfare remarks were beneath him. For starters, capitalism is about voluntary exchange for mutual benefit. Businesses don’t “take” money. Only government (which has a monopoly on the legal use of force) and criminals do that. Businesses merely collect the money that consumers and other businesses voluntarily trade for products and services.
Perhaps Clinton meant the rich “take” in that they don’t pay their fair share in taxes. This is certainly a debate worth having – and opinions are bound to vary. But we should begin with the facts. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the top 10% of Americans pays almost 70% of all personal income taxes. The bottom 50% pays essentially nothing. What would George Orwell say about calling the 10% of Americans who pay 70% of the taxes “takers” … and stoking a sense of grievance among the half that pays nothing?

I’m also confused about the “you’re-on-your-own” bit. No one objects to a social safety net for the truly needy. But when I reached the age of majority – after receiving a free public-school education and a library card – I expected to take care of myself.
If I couldn’t take care of myself in a pinch, I knew I might have to lean on family or friends temporarily. If I couldn’t find help there, I might have to count on churches or local charities for a while. And if that still weren’t enough, maybe I would have to turn to the state government as a last resort.
I never imagined that some bureaucrat in far-off Washington cared about me… or even wanted to meet me. Some folks seem to mistake government for community.

My point is that class warriors weren’t just attacking Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (two men with whom I have my own differences). They aren’t just vilifying the Republican party (a party fully deserving of some vilification). They are attacking the very notion of individual initiative and personal responsibility. Now that’s new.
You might reasonably ask what this has to do with investing. My answer is everything. Investment begins with savings. Savings comes from earned income. An income high enough to permit saving comes from education and hard work. And the desire to get educated and work hard comes from a belief that the system is fair and these qualities will be rewarded.
To me, it seems particularly corrosive to tell people – for political advantage – that they don’t have a fair shot… that the system is rigged… that Wall Street is corrupt… that the rich don’t pay their fair share… and that, somehow, you have less because “millionaires and billionaires” have more.
This strategy may win votes in some quarters… But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call it what it is: a profound untruth.   

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