It’s not just Hollywood, Politics and Journalism where accusations of sexual assault are flying. The Real estate business is in the crosshairs now too… Landlords beware! Get ready for the most NOT politically correct but TOTALLY RATIONAL thinking on that whole sticky topic you’ve ever. I’m Bryan Ellis. This is Episode #285 of Self-Directed Investor Talk.
Hello, Self-Directed Investor Nation… welcome to the broadcast of record for savvy self-directed investors like you where, in each episode, I help you to find, understand and profit from exceptional alternative investment opportunities.
Ok folks, it’s a new world out there, and it’s not all good. We have absolute, undeniably creepy SOB’s like Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Russell Simmons and Charlie Rose whose bad – correction – awful behavior is catching up to them.
Well… some of them. Al Franken won’t lose his Senate seat. Mark my word. He and his party will prove themselves hypocrites of the worst order. But that’s another issue for another day.
In the real world, outside of politics, very high-placed and otherwise highly regarded people are just dropping like flies as a function of sexual harassment accusations. It’s simply astounding to me. It’s so widespread that, this morning when I took my 3-year-old into a local Chic-fil-A to have a nice daddy-son breakfast, a group of about 15 guys sitting at another table were talking about this one, and one of them expressed shock and dismay when a colleague of his received a sexual harassment complaint simply by using the phrase “Herschey’s Kiss” in a wholly appropriate, non-sexual manner all because a woman at the table had the last name Herschey.
And look: I don’t fault women who have been legitimately harassed. That’s vile, it’s terrible and it should never happen. So that’s the point of today’s broadcast. Two points, actually:
First, to help you to understand that this is an issue that’s reaching the real estate and alternative asset community; and second, to offer some reason in an environment that’s starting to look a lot more like Salem, Massachusetts in the late 1600’s than like a first-world legal system where innocence is assumed and guilt must be proven.
Today is episode #285 of Self-Directed Investor Talk… so that means you can reach today’s show page at SDITalk.com/285. You can also join the conversation by telephone at toll-free 833-SDI-TALK, by email using the address feedback@SDITalk.com, and on our facebook page at Facebook.com/sditalk.
Ok, so the sexual harassment thing is reaching into the real estate industry by way of charges levied by HUD – not by the offended woman, but by HUD – against a Kansas City property owner.
So to be clear, if the way the press release from HUD reads – and you can see that at SDITalk.com/285 – then this property owner is an awful human being and deserves to be punished. So let’s get that out in the open from the start. Of course, we don’t know if any of it’s true, we only know what the press release says, which is basically that this guy tried to force sexual favors from two women – one serving as his property manager, and the other apparently a tenant of his – against their will.
If that’s what happened, it’s awful. And this guy is headed towards an administrative hearing with HUD, which means he’s going to lose. The government rarely ever loses administrative hearings. It’s like a stacked deck.
Curiously, the wife of the accused is also being charged with sexual harassment and discrimination, not because she was involved – as I read it – but because she is co-owner of the property. So the tentacles of this charge are spreading rather widely.
So my friends, this is awful in every way. If the accusers are right, then the property owner is in serious trouble. But if they’re not right, the property owner is still going to be ruined due to legal expenses, because this is not a minor legal issue. So one way or the other, the accused will suffer, and the accusers may have already suffered.
I tell you this, my friends, not because I think that a lot of you are demanding sexual favors from your tenants like this creep was doing, but because one thing that the whole Weinstein avalanche has shown us is this: The definition of what constitutes “harassment” is going to do nothing but get wider… even to the point of irrationality and undue harm. And the implications are downright terrifying.
Here’s what I mean: I saw a survey recently that was absolutely astounding. The survey said that 25% of the women surveyed therein considered it to be sexual harassment if a man offered to buy them a drink. He doesn’t have to grope her or stick his tongue down her throat like Al Franken; he doesn’t have to force himself on her as Weinstein is accused of; he doesn’t have to attempt to force a child into sexual activity as Kevin Spacey is accused of. No, all he has to do is offer to buy her a drink.
DEAR GOD, people… this is way past insane. The foolishness of this is so stark, so broad, so fully subject to the convenience of those who choose to ignore standards of decency in favor of a moving goalpost based on the identity of the accused rather than the actual actions taken. It is subjective, it is hypocritical, and it’s wrong.
No, I’m not defending sexual harassment. If you think I am, you’re a fool, too. What I’m saying, what I’m WARNING you of, is this: This issue has taken on a witch-trials type of fever pitch, and like the witch trials, I fear that many real estate owners will soon find that their tenants find it easier to level claims of sexual harassment than to pay rent.
And really, if the mere act of offering to buy a woman a drink means the man is guilty of sexual harassment, then what is stopping your tenants from leveling such charges at you?
It’s a world gone mad, people. Right about now, all of the morons in Washington who viciously criticized Vice President Mike Pence for his rule about always having his wife with him when he dines with other women or attends events where there’s alcohol present… well, those morons should be apologizing right now. That may or may not be the right rule for everybody, but by God, it’s a damn fine one.
Watch your backs our there, people. Maybe someday, there will be a moral awakening. It would do us all some good… including us capitalists.
My friends, invest wisely today, and live well forever.
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