The Voice of the Rural Rim
Tuesday February 20th 2018



Straight Talk on Real Estate, Wall Street, Politics and Lamplighters!

We squeezed in a trip to the Phoenix zoo this weekend so this is getting published a few hours late!  Deb loves that place and I get a kick out of enjoying it with her!  Wow!  They have made quite a few changes in the last several months.  What a perfect and fun day to be in God’s beautiful outdoors surrounded by some of God’s prettiest, craziest, and most homely creatures!

We talked about it last week and this week we are moving forward.  I want to hear from folks to see if I am receiving the correct message or if tinfoil rabbit ears are creating static!  As a Christian business person, I take seriously my responsibility to do business based on the principles I claim to believe in.  Using Lamplighter to do what I am calling others to subscribe to reflects me “putting my effort where my mouth is.”  The thinking that I ask for reaction too follows.

I am one that wholly subscribes to the theory that businesses, owned by Christians or others, will only be truly successful when they follow Christian principles.  Understand the principles I am talking about are the basics; such as fairness and respect.  Think of business as a marriage relationship.  The same principles that make a good marriage make a good business relationship.  Regular readers know that I am convinced our nation has headed down the wrong track.  As I have declared here, we are on a train headed over a cliff if we don’t change tracks.  I am convinced that one of the major dynamics that got us on the wrong track involves our financial sector from Wall Street.  They threw out the ethics called for in business in favor of cooperate greed to accomplish personal greed with wanton disregard for how that affected others when they foisted the whole mortgage securitization scam on the world and broke the world’s economic back in 2008.   Such actions of betrayal implode marriages and they also implode business relationships.  This created the perfect storm for another national dynamic that will take us off the cliff just as well as our imploded economy!

Political leaders used these Wall Street abuses to usher in the idea that we needed government more involved in everything, from the financial sector to health care to protect us and entitle us to care we had not chosen or paid for.  My freshman economics Prof at UNL repeated his favorite economic truth at least 10 times every class:  “There ain’t no free lunch.”   To stay sustainable, we have to earn enough to pay for what we buy as individuals and as a country.  Yes, autoworkers, fireman, policeman, and teachers have served important roles in our nation, but reality must intersect personal wishes at some point!  Fairness says limited resources have to be divided fairly, not just given to the ones with the loudest union voices.  Otherwise we can ride that train, like the Grecians over the cliff!  We can have people shouting out the window, “it ain’t fair, I am entitled” and trying to set fire to the dining car but the fact is they are on the way over the cliff and wanting us to join in the ride they have chosen!

The only way a train does not go over a cliff when the track takes them there lies in getting “switched” to another track.  The people running the railroad get on a computer and throw a switch that diverts the train onto another track that does not have a cliff at its end!  That’s what we are needing as a nation.  We need people in power that have the sense enough to know we need to switch tracks and switch fast!

That takes care of my “plug” to get out and vote in our next national election.  Although important, hear that not to be my main point.  I am wanting to take us far enough back up the track and repair the track so we don’t “jump” track again over to a track leading off a cliff!

Let’s pick up my marriage illustration.  I am saying that Wall Street greed was the straw that broke our economic back!   You can’t have a marriage partner become so greedy that they don’t care if it takes their spouse dying so they can take all the family money and expect a healthy, happy marriage.  Neither can you have a spoiled spouse that thinks their mate should support them while they sip wine and watch soaps!  Neither of those approaches to marriage work well!

As a Pastor that has done some significant amount of marriage counseling, I find the number one initial objective lies with having each person step back and look at their actions from their mates perspective and the perspective of an uninvolved third party.  The hope lies in getting people to realize that their actions would not be acceptable to them if they were on the receiving end!  Therefore they should not think that they will be found acceptable by their mate.

Applied, I would love to set down with the jerk at Countrywide that was in a decision making role when we had to short sale our Concord home and explain to them how outrageous I believed it was for them to start foreclosure on me when we had made our payments for years and I had personally dumped in thousands of dollars of improvements to that property that I was about to lose that did not include funds borrowed from them.  There are those with the lenders and those in the world that would retort, “you signed the mortgage saying you would pay on the first and if you didn’t we could foreclose; so you got what you had coming.”  I would love to make them hear, “ yes, I signed that paper in good faith but I also thought you were acting in good faith!  I had no idea you were out selling that mortgage for a wildly inflated price and sticking insane money in your pockets.  Any person in their right mind knows that could not go on forever without you finally ruining the whole real estate market for all of us.  Now you want me to lose more so you lose less—even though you betrayed me!  What in that represents “good faith” Try to be reasonable!!!  Your greed got us both in a jam!!!  Work with me here!”

No way!  CW had the most power and the best lawyer—just like the plots in the grade “B” movies about the ruthless businessman dumping his plain looking wife for the “bombshell” and taking everything from her in the divorce.  Those movies tick off people watching them just like Countrywide and all the major lenders have ticked me and many others off!  They are outrageous and unfair!  Yet some Lenders regroup, come out with TV ads showing little kids getting tricked and say , “that’s not a fair way for a bank to act.”  What a farce!!!  I have done short sales where that very bank acted that way!!!!

So—lest I get wound up; I conclude saying; businesses need to treat people the way they want to be treated.  The form of leadership known as servant leadership does that best.  Let the leaders serve their employees and customers in a way that models right treatment. Provide straight talk, be fair, take actions that prove that they believe the best way for them to succeed lies in helping others succeed!  Lamplighter’s contribution to getting the train going in the right direction lies in providing some straight talk education on topics that will empower people involved in real estate transactions.  Give us your thoughts and feedback in that regard—or anything else on your mind!

Check out our web-site for tools and answers to your real estate challenges.  Learn about Lamplighter Realty, Lamplighter Financial, and Distressed Property Academy at  For your real estate needs, call Gene’s message center for Lamplighter Realty 480-307-6459 or dash off an email to him at God Bless!

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