‘m not sure a world without Lou Grant is worth living in. Think about this. Ed Asner played Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore show in the 1970’s. I doubt that show could even be aired at this point because the Lou Grant character would be canceled by the current culture. No way the current world would tolerate Lou. He’s an old white guy with a slice of bigot and chauvinistic side. In present day television he would have to be a transgendered black man that identified as a woman. If the character was rewritten as that, he’d be in the best time slot available.
Also, think about this. Ed Asner was only 45 or so years old when he played that part. He seemed much older to 10-year-old me.
Here is another quick age-related factoid that might depress you. The Golden Girls were 52,62 and 63 when the series began. Yes, Rue McClanahan was 52 years old, and she seemed old! Seems much younger in retrospect.
Ok, excuse me while I step into my Republican dinner coat and rant. The eviction moratoriums that the Democrats continue to say are needed are a freight train headed toward our economy. Approximately 6.5 million renters are behind on their rent currently. Estimates indicate 16% of renters are behind on rent and the number has been fairly stable since March.
Democrats are quick to throw out anecdotal stories of a mother and her kids facing a homeless situation. The other side of the coin is that many have taken advantage of the landlord’s hands being tied and they are not near homeless, they are simply not paying rent. Either way, this thing must be fixed, and the government has to get out of the business of protecting renters that have not paid their agreed to rent.
Here is the problem. The people that own rentals are not mega national corporations. Many are your friends and neighbors, who buy property and rent them as a side hustle to get ahead. The other and much more innocuous owners are real estate trusts. These trusts are probably the most dangerous side of this situation. You might own some of these trusts in mutual funds or investments. Many own fractional shares of these trusts directly because they have offered substantially better returns than most other investments over the last decade.
The trusts have been able to continue because of the varied government assistance and the sheer size of the real estate portfolios they own. However, if they cannot start kicking out people that don’t pay rent, their house of cards is going to crumble and with it will be investments owned by people that had no idea their investment was in this kind of jeopardy. If the fund begins to falter, everyone pulls funds and that leaves the funds to start selling assets. Selling assets like the aforementioned rental houses and apartments. At discounts! Houses being sold at discount starts to shake the housing industry and there we have a full fledge problem on our hands.
The government has to get out of this very carefully or it is going to do damage. Based on our current military decisions, I’m not sure how qualified this administration is at carefully pulling out of problems. People have to start paying rent and the government has to make sure the pandemic rent funds that were allocated make it to the owners of the properties. If not, the anecdotal stories are going to be easier to find.
That sure was a downer of a column. I’m going to get a doctor’s appointment and see what kind of happy pills I can get because this won’t fly on a weekly basis. I’m not sure what the Landmark medical plan pays for, but I’m going to check with human resources. They’ll probably just tell me to skip the doctor and grab a dime bag of weed; they’re a little sketch on the benefit plan.
(Guy Speckman can be reached at email@example.com or sitting in The Landmark human resources waiting room)