The Marin Post

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Methinks The Atlantic doth protest too much

The 4th of July Independence Day celebration is fading into history. The unhappy reality is we are witnessing Independence fading away as well.

The Atlantic (6/17/21) headline says, ”BlackRock Is Not Ruining the U.S Housing Market. The real villain isn’t a faceless Wall Street Goliath; it’s your neighbors and local governments stopping the construction of new units."

Read the article for yourself, but first consider this background information. In 2017, billionaire investor Laurene Powell Jobs (the widow of former Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs), acquired majority ownership of The Atlantic at a price reportedly north of $100 million. The purchase was through her Emerson Collective organization, with a staff member of Emerson Collective, Peter Lattman, being immediately named as The Atlantic's vice chairman.

Unlike our neighbors or the people we’ve elected to represent us in local government, Powell Jobs’ estimated worth is $19.5 billion, reflecting a gain of $3.1 billion since mid-March and May 21, 2020. But who’s counting? According to a google search, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ net worth increased by $67.4 billion on August 12, 2020, penciling out to making about $321 million per day.

Shortly after taking the helm at The Atlantic, Powell Jobs initiated cost-saving measures by laying of 20% of the staff:

Author Derek Thompson, and we assume owner Laurene Powell Jobs, defends Blackrock against what Thompson calls “noisy NIMBYs,” the disdainful, bullying reference to neighbors and locally elected officials who value and stand up for a healthy balance of rentals and home ownership, safe environments, and local control.

In 2017, Blackrock was ranked the top assets management firm with $5.4 Trillion under management. This same year Blackrock reported a $1.2 billion tax benefit in the fourth quarter from Trump's tax cut package. (from Giants: The Global Power Elite by Peter Phillips, p. 37).

The Atlantic author, Derek Thompson, points out that institutional housing investors have drawn criticism from Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

Derek Thompson proposes that the answer to more housing construction is to build single-family rentals. Do you (or your children) want to give up the dream of owning your own home? If not through mortgaged-based home ownership, how will young adults transform debt into equity? How will everybody get a slice of the American Dream?

Why is this important? Freedom and independence require vigilance and action.

The stakes over the California housing laws are high. Marin’s well-meaning Senator Mike McGuire, is supporting SB9 and SB 10, influenced by ambitious colleagues, institutional investors, and YIMBYs. The stakes are about to get higher. A national YIMBY (Yes in my back yard) Act, modeled after California's neighborhood wrecking bills, is working its way through Congress. We can expect a lot more NIMBY sneers.

What can you do about the influence of Silicon Valley, harmful housing bills, and a biased media? Join Catalysts Call any Wednesday from 5-6 pm for information sharing, informal discussion, networking and Q&A.

Do your part. Keep freedom current and independence strong!


The Atlantic, Derek Thompson, BlackRock, NIMBYs