Ironic how the Left went from calling any form of federalism "racist" and "neo-confederate" to suddenly embracing it wholeheartedly now that Trump has become president and we need to "resist." I note this hypocrisy as well as the history of nullification and federalism in my latest article over at Mises,
"I’m old enough to remember when the Tea Party was making hay about nullifying Obamacare and Rick Perry even floated the idea about Texas seceding from the union. Not surprisingly, the Left was rather opposed to such antiquated ideas.
"Rachel Maddow referred to talk of nullification as “confederates in the attic,” Chris Matthews described it as the “terms of Jim Crow” and Princeton professor Sean Wilentz referred to the doctrine of nullification as “the essence of anarchy” and “neo-Confederate dogma.” I’m sure nullification and states’ rights are also sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic, but these are short segments so they had to be concise."
Now, all of a sudden, things are different,
"The rallying cry for the Left so far has been “resistance” and that includes more than just protesting in the street. The Hill notes that 'In blue states, agenda is clear: Resist Trump.' The New Republic ran an article titled '10 Ways to Take Trump on' and item number 3, written by California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom is 'Look to the Cities and States.'"
That "Look to the Cities and States" bit is a direct call for nullification.
Funny how quickly people forget about certain principals when it gets in the way of what they want, isn't it?
If you're a real estate investor and are interested in the BRRRR Method (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) than I would recommend checking out my latest article at BiggerPockets.com titled "Case Study: My BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) Success—All In Under 75% ARV."
In it, I describe the process from beginning to end of buying, fixing, renting and refinancing a single family property. In the end, we were able to refinance out (or will be able to, more accurately) all of our investment, have a sizeable equity cushion and get some cash flow. Although, I should note, I'm getting hammered in the comments for settling for too little cash flow ($800/year), despite that being an 8% upfront loan with conservative expenses.
Anyways, here are our critiera, which this particular property fit in very well,
"1. Our total cost into the property will be less than 75 percent of the ARV, allowing us to refinance out our entire investment.
2. The property must cash flow with a fully financed 8 percent interest only loan on it (this is what we usually get from our private lenders).
- Note: If a property doesn’t meet this qualification, we would likely flip the property.
3. The property must be in at least an OK neighborhood. Blue collar and lower end properties are fine, but we are not looking to buy D properties as rentals. There are just too many headaches and problems.
- Note: If a property doesn’t meet this qualification, we would consider wholesaling the property to an investor who specializes in such areas."
The rest of the story is all there. Go check it out.
Once again I pick up where I left off discussing Robert Cialdini's great book Influence and particularly how it relates to real estate investment. (You can see my whole series at my BiggerPockets archives here.)
This week I look at the scarcity principle,
"Indeed, one of the key rules of sales is that “you must always be willing to walk away.” This in and of itself highlights the principle of scarcity, because if the seller of buyer knows you are on the hook, then they will know they have all the leverage. They have at least one buyer or seller. But if you’re willing to walk away, they may have one buyer or seller, or they may have none at all and be forced to start over in their search to make a deal."
As Cialdini notes, "People seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value." And this very clearly relates to real estate investment as every guru will tell you (minus the psychological terms of course),
"Every real estate investor knows that an important key to finding good deals is finding motivated sellers. The reason is simply that the seller fears missing out on a chance to get rid of the property more than missing out on getting a good price, so there’s an opportunity there."
But that's only scratching the surface. There's much more an investor (or anyone for that matter) can apply this principle to.
It doesn't happen often, but once and a while I can't get a time-sensitive article through the editor's for any of the sites I write for. This was one of those times. The article piles on Justin Trudeau and other Leftists who made a fool of themselves praising or at least sort-of-praising Fidel Castro when he passed. While it's no longer topical, I still think you'll find it an enjoyable read.
Will the Left Disavow Fidel Castro
Demanding disavowals is all the rage these days, at least on the Left. Indeed, Donald Trump got skewered for—pathetically--failing to disavow David Duke in one interview even though he had disavowed Duke before and many times since. Trump’s son even said David Duke “deserves a bullet.”
Trump’s also been asked to disavow the KKK and the so-called “Alt-Right” and many others associated with it such as Jared Taylor. Even still, many on the Left refer to him as “openly racist” and John Oliver thinks that the KKK’s endorsement is enough, by itself, to mean no one should have even considered voting for him.
Disavowals are sort of weird to begin with. If A endorses B, than B must unendorse A or something like that. Of course, this only seems to work in one direction. After all, John Bachtell, the Chairman of the Communist Party of the United States endorsed Hillary Clinton, and shockingly, no one ever asked her to disavow.
“Comrade Hillary, some pinko commie who runs an organization with 2000 people endorsed you. So, can you tell us; are you a crypto-Stalinst commie who wants to open up a bunch of Gulags in northern Alaska or are you not?”
Yes the Communist Party of the United States is so small as to be basically irrelevant. But then again, it’s about the same size as the Ku Klux Klan is today (which thankfully, is also all but dead), and the CPUSA may very well be larger given that I suspect something like half of the KKK’s members are FBI informants. And we already knew the FBI was in Trump’s corner.
On that note, it’s worth pointing out that the white nationalist conference everyone was up in arms about the other week only had about 250 attendants. For comparison, the last BronyCon convention, a convention for adult men who love the show My Little Pony, had 7609 attendees in 2016. Keep things in perspective folks.
But I digress. We now come to the recent passing of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Now, if A endorsing B means that B must disavow A. What should we demand when B endorses, or at least fawns over, A?
One would think liberals could criticize American foreign policy (I, for one, am certainly a critic) and a communist dictatorship at the same time. Apparently, such a duality of thought is problematic. A few quotes:
Jill Stein, Presidential Candidate for the Green Party: “Fidel Castro was a symbol of the struggle for justice in the shadow of empire. Presente!?”
You know Jill, the same disingenuous fluff could be said for Osama Bin Laden.
Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States: “Rosalynn and I share our sympathies with the Castro family and the Cuban people on the death of Fidel Castro. We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country. We wish the Cuban citizens peace and prosperity in the years ahead.”
I remember fondly the camping trips I took with my family when I was a kid and the distinct lack of brutal dictators that accompanied them.
Jesse Jackson, Civil Rights Leader: “In many ways, after 1959, the oppressed the world over joined Castro's cause of fighting for freedom & liberation-he changed the world. RIP”
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada: “It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President. Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation. While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.’”
Well, if “budgets will balance themselves,” I guess communism may actually make economic sense.
Trudeau quite hilariously got lampooned on Twitter for this nonsense under the hashtag “TrudeauEulogizes” with such gems as “While Emperor Nero was controversial, his dedication to song and writing poetry signaled a Roman artistic renaissance.”
Even Barack Obama gave a wishy-washy statement noting, “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”
Others who have had rather fond things to say about Castro include Oliver Stone, Naomi Campbell, Steven Spielberg, Chris Matthews and many others.
While we certainly don’t need to celebrate someone’s death, even if that person was horrible. We also don’t need to “give a balanced account” when almost all that account holds are debits. I would be dishonest to say that Castro is akin to Hitler or Stalin. No, his death toll was probably only in the tens of thousands. As far as communist dictators go, he was one of the better ones. Which is akin to being one of the most beautiful blobfishes. If one were to compare Castro to rightwing dictators, the likes of Augusto Pinochet or Francisco Franco would come to mind. Strangely enough, I don’t remember many conservatives or libertarians mourning their passing.
Still, just because Castro was no Hitler doesn’t mean he wasn’t a reprehensible dictator. Most estimates on the numbers of deaths he was responsible for are at least in the tens of thousands. R.J. Rummel estimates it to be 73,000. Miguel Faria puts the number at between 30,000 to 40,000 and that doesn’t include the many thousands more who died trying to flee the repressive regime. For comparison, Augusto Pinochet—who the Left has a particular hatred for--is estimated to have killed is about 3200.
Castro also imprisoned political dissidents as well as homosexuals (so much for being progressive) and basically shut down any semblance of a free press. In 2016, Freedom House gave Cuba its lowest rating possible for political freedom and its second lowest ranking possible for civil liberties. Perhaps Jesse Jackson meant “freedom fighter” in the same way most of us use the phrase “fire fighter.”
But at least Castro gave Cuba universal healthcare!
(FYI, the economy of Cuba has been, not surprisingly, quite poor under Castro’s communist regime and contrary to Michael Moore, its healthcare system is nothing to write home about.)
Now I for one would like to see the political dialogue in this country lifted up a notch. But I haven’t seen anything even resembling an olive branch coming from the Left even when going against far more cordial politicians and pundits than Donald Trump. Instead, the Left’s opponents seem to get labeled as a racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist more often than not.
For those on the Right, calling everyone on the Left a commie seems to have gone out of style. Well, maybe it’s time to “Make Red-Baiting Great Again.” Is Justin Trudeau “openly communist?” Perhaps he’s just a communist sympathizer. I mean, after all, he did give a fawning eulogy to a communist dictator, did he not? Perhaps conservatives and libertarians should start demanding disavowals en masse. A lack of a disavowal equals the Trumpesque nickname “openly communist [name].” A wishy washy disavowal gets a “communist sympathizer [name].” Or for brevities sake, “Comrade [name].”
I’m not sure I actually want to see this come to pass as it would just degrade political debate in the United States all the more. But perhaps only then can we agree to a mutual ceasefire where we actually, you know, discuss ideas and policies rather than fall into the sewer of ad hominem’s and guilt by association.
So, Justin Trudeau, Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson, Jill Stein and Barack Obama… do you disavow?
New BiggerPockets Article: How the Powerful Concept of Authority Bias Plays Into Real Estate Investing
My most recent post on "authority bias" and the natural, human instinct to obey authority even when it's completely irrational is up at BiggerPockets.com. As I note,
"Argument from authority is a well known logical fallacy. The authority could be from experience, reputation, or just simply a title. But just because Socrates or Thomas Jefferson—or even Joshua Dorkin himself—said something, well, that don’t make it true. Unfortunately, our minds naturally think in ways that are packed full of logical fallacies. And one of the most obvious is the power of authority."
I also discuss how this relates to real estate investment,
"That being said, you don’t just want to become an authority on real estate investment through education and experience; you want to display that authority to the world. This can be through simple things such as getting a nice website, owning quality business cards, and dressing well when meeting with lenders and the like. (Although I should note that you don’t want to dress too nicely when meeting with sellers; it can come off salesman-ish. Remember, you want to connect with them on a friendly and relatively casual level.)"
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
Star Slate Codex
Consulting by RPM