I have watched and read programs over the past several years that state that if you want to find out what is going on in America then you have to watch foreign news sources and if foreign nations want to find out what is going on in their nations, then they have to watch American television. The same thing happens on the local level.
Everyone loves to point the finger at other communities... other parts of the government, but there is an unwillingness for self-introspection. That is cowardice. I just don't see how people can face themselves in the mirror when they can't even be honest with themselves. I know that I have made several mistakes along the way. I have made several bad investments and didn't take advantage of some opportunities afforded me. I have learned, but wonder if I will ever have those opportunities again.
I love my house; bought it nearly 8 years ago in August. I spent years saving the money to buy it. I didn't pay attention and look at the negative momentum in this community. It's supposed to be the American Dream. It has turned into American Bondage.
Buying this house was an investment in this community. It tied me down to this community. I was making more money back then and I bought this house for nearly $20,000 less than what it was on the market for and $7,000 less than what it had been appraised at. Does that not sound like a good investment to you? And yet, I feel like I had bad information all around and I failed to recognize that bad information. That is on me.
The younger generations, the Ys and Millenials, do not want to be tied down to what is called Real Estate. Real Property isn't "Real" when its price is not attached to "Real"ity. I understand marketing, but the premium in the "Real" property market created by marketing B.S. is creating a hindrance to the economic realities of the property markets in communities throughout this country and beyond, especially when you have all of this married to the idea that providing un"real"istic expectations, embellished and just plain bad information is somehow good for communities. And to have droves of arrogant Overlord types provided with inside information that they use for personal gain, at the average person's expense, goes against the trust needed in a Free Market Capitalist system.
This lack of self-regulation is what has led to the necessity for the burdensome regulation we see today. But, in the end, those regulations do not create harsh enough penalties to stop those they were intended to regulate in the first place. And usually they create barriers to entry that further help insiders, while keeping start-ups from entering into the marketplace, thus hurting overall economic progress.
(Wikipedia) - A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in another... The presence of a conflict of interest is independent from the execution
of impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and
voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs.
For those geniuses that might not understand, what the above says is that it is not about the violation resulting from the Conflict. It is about the acknowledgement of potential conflicts. Such acknowledgements lead to transparency and usually lead to the prevention of personal Acts of Conflicts of Interest. And at least the public is better informed. Too many times we see elected officials acting towards the interests of a select few at the expense of a great many; all the while telling us about how it is for our own good.
Why would young people want to invest in this community at this point in time? Why would active seniors want to invest in this community at this point in time? Why would you want to invest in a community that refuses to get real with itself -- that refuses any standard of accountability? Why would you want to invest in a community that believes we just need to tweak a few things and everything will be alright; a community that has created its own economic stagnation? A stagnation that has been going on for over a decade.
The Ys and the Millenials have voted with their feet. They aren't going to bind themselves to this community. They need to be flexible in the realities of this economy so that they can get to where the jobs are. That is what the statistics show. Of course I pointed to this before it became a trend and long before it was accepted. Now that this reality has been accepted, we are told that we just need to convince (ie market to) these young people that they should stay and give Hickory a chance. All of this at the same time that the people at the top of the socio-economic structure move their children out of the community and tell them not to look back, with those children very willingly obliging. In other words they aren't practicing what they are preaching. They have gotten their children to the lifeboats, while they are telling the rest of us to ignore that gash in the starboard side and go back to sleep. You can always tell people's character by whether they practice what they preach.
The good jobs are few and far between here. And even with good jobs, you will be paid less than market value in this community. And they brag about this in National Publications!!! Wow, what wonderful leadership. The "It's Good Enough" mentality. This is the reality of our local Underemployment Economic model. Educated people understand that. Why should a young person accept that? Why should they invest in a community that for years has refused to invest in them?
So what am I getting at? In this age of propaganda and rogue entities only representing their own self-interests and not looking out for the good of the ecosystem, you have to do more than due diligence to assess situations. You have to read between the lines. The days of common sense and ethical conduct are out the window. There is no face value. It's a free-for-all and the onus of expectations are going to be placed on the individual -- placed on you. The young people do not trust the people who have bred this lack of trust.
If you are honest and above board, you will find yourself at a disadvantage to those who do not accept practical codes of ethics. Unfairly, I and others that I associate with have definitely been held to a higher standard than others in this community are willing to accept for themselves. We accept that it is what it is and we will continue to refuse to make excuses and lower ourselves to their (lack of) standards and practices.
This is where Hickory is headed if we don't change.