In these days, the property management business is one of continual surprises. Tenants who have faithfully paid rent for over 30 years are in trouble and paying late or not paying at all. The tenant doesn’t get paid, then the landlord doesn’t get paid, then we don’t get paid either. Yes, the chickens are coming home to roost.
One of the great tenets of our American republic was the rule of law. Up until now, America was a good safe place to do business. Why; because we were a nation of laws. Laws governed business. Laws not based upon the whims of our leaders (who you know) or laws not based upon who you can pay off (campaign contributions) but our laws were built upon long standing principles rooted in our Judeo-Christian heritage. The System has worked well—up until now. And now the chickens have not only come home but they are crapping in our nest.
Our government leaders handling of the Chrysler bankruptcy and the General Motors take over have rewritten the law. They have moved secured creditors to the rear of the line in the possibility of recovering some of the money they invested. Unsecured creditors (namely unions) were moved to the front of the line for political purposes. (Unions deliver election victories.) Yes, the re-ordering of these creditor priorities was a big political move. Sadly to say, in the last week the Supreme Court has gone along with this nonsense. These actions will have a long lasting effect upon the American and foreign investment community when they consider American businesses as a “former safe” investment.
Manure slides down hill. I just got out of a meeting with a “feel good” non-profit organization. They are in financial trouble because of reduction in State funding. We have a lease in place, a legal binding document; the lease is for two more years. I was told (I don’t have a problem with people telling me things but…) in no uncertain terms, this non-profit would not abide by the terms of this lease. Upon their whim, they rewrote the law. They are following our countries leaders; we will rewrite the rule of law as we go. They told me the lease is of no consequence. I was told I must rewrite the lease or they will walk. It was a feeble attempt on their part of trying to be street thugs in alligator shoes.
I know times are tough. We are working with tenants to rewrite leases which work for the good of both the tenant and the landlord. I’m sick and tired of playing by the rules, keeping my nose clean, sacrificing to do what is right and end up being steam rolled by people who on a whim want to rewrite the rule of law. They operate with an attitude of arrogance and condescension. America, we’re in trouble!
You may say, “Beef, quit your whining. How does this affect me?” In business when the rule of law is gone, your 30 year, 5% mortgage can be changed to a 20 year mortgage at 15%? Who is going to stop them? This could happen or should I say, in some ways it has already happened.
Who wins when no rule of law or no moral restraint is applied? The one who wins is the playground bully. The playground bully is the one with influence and power, even if that power and influence is diabolical. He wins, or does he?
In Acts 12, King Herod was winning. He was writing his own rules as he went along. He was the playground bully and no one could restrain him…so he thought.
Herod was in the people pleasing business. Acts 12:1-3 says: “It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.”
Herod was also strutting his stuff with the people of Tyre and Sidon. They were hungry and needed food from King Herod. They wanted peace but at what price? Acts 12:19b-22: “He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. Having secured the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king's country for their food supply. On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man."
Yes, it was a grand party. The Jews “had connections” to get rid of James and have Peter imprisoned. The people of Tyre and Sidon had connections with the Kings servant Blastus; they now had full bellies but empty hearts. In their stupor, they celebrated. Acts 12:21-24: “On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man." Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. BUT the word of God continued to increase and spread.”
Herod was struck down, eaten by worms, and then died. Notice the sequence. He did not die and then was eaten; he was eaten by worms and then died. Not a pretty sight.
Listen brothers and sisters, this nonsense must stop. We are abandoning principles and laws which have formed our nation. We are a nation of sheep being lead to destruction. But remember this; God is still on the throne. His plans are never thwarted. In spite of playground bullies and others, the word of God spread. The church survived and flourished. We may suffer and be persecuted and some may have to die, like James, but our God reigns.. The playground bullies will be held accountable. Therefore, sleep well, Christian, sleep well.
Do not lose hope. God help our nation. Forgive us Lord. Amen.