May 25, 2018

Notes From Readers: The Fiscal Debate

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Notes From Readers: The Fiscal Debate

Readers talk back on the role of government in the economy and how bad data affects the industry.

The Fiscal Debate

I find it difficult to comprehend Ralph Martire as the head of a Chicago-based (supposedly) bipartisan economic think tank when he is actually a well-known liberal expounding Keynesian policies. (Last Word, “The Fiscal Horizon,” March/April 2013) He enumerates the economic problems of today, Medicare, Medicaid, education, infrastructure . . . with the only solution being deficit spending. That doesn’t sound bipartisan. My dad, a former REALTOR®, always told me in very basic terms, “you can’t spend yourself rich.” —Fred Landers, REALTOR®, Atlanta

With respect to the “The Fiscal Horizon” article, it is not up to the government to watch out for my financial well-being. The government’s job is national security. Ralph Martire’s thinking that not taxing Americans enough caused the problem and spending more money we don’t have is the way to get out of debt is ludicrous and, unfortunately, appears to be the common belief of recent administrations. In the same issue were articles concerning the wisdom of reducing individual debt and getting on a budget. Somehow the same principles that apply to the individual and businesses work the opposite for government? I don’t think so. —C.A. Geluso, ABR, e-PRO, RE/MAX Assured, Maitland, Fla.

I strongly object to your interviewing somebody like Ralph Martire who, regardless of claims of coming from a bipartisan think tank, is obviously a liberal ideologue in his position on the very politically polarizing issue of tax policy. You might as well have interviewed President Obama, because you would have gotten the same statements. —John Sheats, Continental Properties Inc., West Palm Beach, Fla.

We cannot overcome our financial deficits by spending and taxing. We will end up like Europe. The solution is in reining in current unnecessary spending. Yes, we should spend money on infrastructure. However, we should stop spending billions on studies about animal behavior and bonuses for Fannie Mae directors and their staffs and other government and quasi-government organizations. I wonder if people who spout the deficit spending mantra live that way with their own finances. Many REALTORS® did in the last few years and ended up in bankruptcy. Are we to allow the country to end up the same way? —Howard D. Hulen, Cecil Simmons & Co., Chesterfield, Va.

I appreciate that REALTOR® Magazine provided Ralph Martire’s perspective on our national economic policies. I was shocked to read such clarity in our trade magazine. You made my day. —Tim Stone, Gavin Bros. Auctioneers LLC, Baraboo, Wis.

Overcoming Bad Data

Sorry, but Jay Thompson of Zillow is being disingenuous when he tells brokers in effect to make lemonade from the lemons his Web site gives us (“What’s Your Data Source?” March/April 2013). Why should I be forced to discredit Zillow’s data before presenting mine to a seller or buyer? This creates an unprofessional atmosphere with the customer that I then have to overcome. It’s all very well to tell me that this is an “opportunity” to show my expertise, but brokers have to work hard enough already to establish and maintain credibility with today’s suspicious buyers and sellers. —Chuck Leathers, CRS, Chuck Leathers Real Estate, Frisco, Colo.

Great Takeaways

I’m not sure what happened to REALTOR® Magazine in the past few months, but this issue (March/April 2013) was outstanding. There was a ton of useful information. There’s always one good takeaway each time I read it, but this month’s had page after page of great items. Not many people like to talk taxes, savings, and retirement. That’s one thing I think is really lacking in our industry. It was great that you touched on it. Looking forward to the next issue. —Ken Pozek, Keller Williams Northville Market Center of Novi, Mich.

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Note: Letters and blog posts are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter doesn’t constitute an endorsement of the writer's views by the National Association of REALTORS® or REALTOR® Magazine. Submission of a letter constitutes permission to publish it in any form or medium.

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