I thought I’d share this letter with you. It merits a wider platform than my email inbox, and provides a fitting bookend for last week’s series on the ethical challenges of selling houses in a horny age. Besides, it fits well into the confusion of this pathetic blog, and reminds us that if anyone knows how badly politics sucks, it’s probably me. — Garth
Long time reader first time responder. As much as it pains me to suggest that a man with your ego doesn’t fully appreciate his own worth I felt compelled to comment on Friday’s post.
I have enjoyed ‘Ethics Week’ and the morally reprehensible behaviour of all the various players in the real estate industry laid bare in the pages of your blog. But in Friday’s post, and in other posts in the past, you have drifted in a direction that worries me. You have done the difficult work of finding the dirt, collating the dirt and then publishing the dirt. But with all that done, your readers informed and the corrupt elements of the market on notice that you are watching and writing you do something strange…..you check it to the gov’t. I can only assume that as someone formerly involved in gov’t you feel a nostalgic benevolence toward the coffee chugging, Moore’s suit clad throngs of cheerfully incompetent cubicle dwellers.
Which leads me to the part about your ego. Surely you must understand that you are doing more than they ever could and that you accomplish it all without laying a finger on the stick of state. I doubt F and Harpo could find their own asses with both hands even with Trudeau and Mulcair helping. Their ability to affect things lays entirely in their ability to force the market to move. You manage your contribution with, in addition to some actual work, lots of potty talk, off colour jokes and tremendous aggrandizement of your own physique. In case no one has mentioned it let me be the first to tell you that this elevates you to a level of moral purity completely unimagined by most of your detractors.
Now the part that worries me. When you suggest that there is a role for your former colleagues you lend the considerable weight of your opinion to their misguided and obtuse thrashing about in the market. As soon as you pick up the stick of state or implore those currently wielding it to do so in your interest or for your cause celebre you relinquish the high ground of economic rectitude and cast your lot with the knuckle dragging central planners who, in my experience, probably couldn’t run a water stand in the desert let alone steer the national real estate market. Those working at the Department of Moral Hazard Creation are the last people on earth who should try and do anything to rectify the mess they have been so instrumental in creating. And I wonder why you would lend your powerful voice to the chorus calling for them to try. If people want to know ‘how corrupt the real estate industry is’ they need only type that into Google and read the first couple of links, if they choose not to…well you tried. The last thing we need is for F to try and ‘fix’ it, you can’t fix stupid which means F definitely can’t fix stupid. F only has one tool: force; and if there is one thing I know it’s that when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. The only thing they can do is find some way to relieve of our wealth those of us who are paying attention and are not busy pouring it in bucketfulls into the back of Lamb’s ride. The last thing we need is for F and the peckerettes to get involved and ‘redistribute’ my kids college savings, or my wife’s salary or the value I have in my portfolio, or what remains of the value in my home into the pockets of those friends of mine (who despite my strident urging to the contrary chose to purchase vinyl sided, sawdust and glue wonder houses at the height of the spring market last April) or more likely the bankers who underwrote their hormone infused rampage.
We’ve already had the party, now comes the hangover and there is precious little anybody, especially F, can do to stop it. I know it’s going to be an unmitigated train wreck disaster, there are so many red dots on the MLS map of my area that it looks like someone sneezed blood on the screen. There will be an endless shrill choir screaming for somebody, anybody, to please do something, but I implore you please don’t join that group, you are doing something, you have been doing something and you will continue to do something. Those that choose not to listen cannot be saved and those that did listen should certainly not be sacrificed in a bumbling rescue attempt.
So in conclusion….and I can’t believe I’m going to say this….you should toot your own horn a little more. You have shown with scintillating clarity the power of an informed, competent and motivated observer to affect a market and its participants (being ripped and tanned doesn’t hurt either). Make sure you tell everybody who you can get to listen that what you do is keep the market honest and open and you do it all without force, or fraud. If you want to ask F and his crew to do something ask them to go on a really long vacation….tax payer funded of course…those are the best kind.