Sunday, July 22, 2007

Behold a capsule portrait of the modern American mentality towards our businesspeople, about 1:10 into the video here: "It's not fair!" our representative cries out, tears in his voice.

The anguish in his voice is real, and it's not just the complaint of someone who got cheated at a card game. The tone is the tone of a man who has suffered a real loss of faith. But in what?

To begin: the bare facts. The developers of his Florida housing development, who cheerfully let him overpay vastly for his new house in December, just dumped 20 remaining unsold houses from the same development at auction, for nearly half off list price, scant months later when they ran out of rubes. Another resident is heard to complain that "They promised they wouldn't go below market value", to which the developer sensibly responds that market value was determined by the auction, and they didn't go a dime under that. Cold comfort to the saps who paid list price, who stand little odds of getting back over the next year or three if they have to sell.

But is the genuine anguish in the voice of Greg Toher, as he says, "It's not fair!", just money? It's sounds to me as if his faith in something deeper has been lost.

As a third distressed buyer complains:

I don't think they have loyalty to the people who purchased early. They're just trying to dump the houses and get what they can.

These are folks who trusted in the integrity of American business. Some of them, perhaps, looked askance at those parasites in government, but good businessmen, they thought, were under an ethical obligation to deal properly with everyone. Not to take advantage. Time was, they perhaps think, that all American businessmen, yea even Florida Real Estate developers, adhered to an absolutely sterling code of ethics, and would never take advantage. What have we come to now, when they only seem to be in it for the money?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a shame that Mr. Toher has flunked Economics 101, but IT WAS FAIR...

No one held a gun to his head when he bought his home in December. In addition, he should have realized that HOME PRICES DO ACTUALLY GO DOWN IN SOME MARKETS! Shocker, huh? When you buy anything at the top of the pricing range, YOU will be the one left holding the bag. That's how the stock market works, and that's how a free market works.

The homes were sold at market value. Market value is determined by what the market will bear. In December, Mr. Toher was the market fool, because the market bore $310K. Now, the gentleman who purchased for $145K today is the market. It is not the developers responsibility to maintain a glut of supply in order to prop up Mr. Toher's equity created by a flood of subprime, ARM loans...

9:18 AM  

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