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Small Landlord Letter

Lenore Monello Schloming M.A.
Skip Schloming Ph.D.

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On this page:

  • Capitalism vs socialism, a brief civics lesson

  • Why we never got the science on Covid

Miscellaneous Shorts

Mostly short comments, some longer ones, on housing issues and, given our varied experience, on other topics as well.

Capitalism vs socialism, a brief civics lesson

     Let’s remember that a free market, freedom of speech, a free press, and limited government all go together. Their opposites – controlled market, controlled speech and press, and big government – also go together. The two systems are incompatible with each other.


     A free market is capitalism, and it means that people are free to establish whatever business they would like, set the price of their product or service, and compete in the market to either succeed in their business or fail.

     Freedom of speech is the same, but with ideas. You can say whatever you think is true in the “marketplace of ideas,” and let the best ideas succeed and the poor ideas fail. Freedom of speech needs a free press to express all variety of ideas.

      Limited government is critical to both of these freedoms, that the government is limited by laws, especially the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and limited in tax revenues so that it cannot control the economy or speech.

     This view of capitalism is widely held in America, from classical liberal Democrats to libertarians to conservative Republicans. The moderate Democrats and many Americans are often intimidated to keep their contrary viewpoints to themselves.


     Socialism determines what businesses can be established, what a business’s operating requirements must be, and what prices can be charged for the business’s product or service.

     Socialism establishes a “party line” that all must adhere to. All contrary speech is rejected and punished.

     Socialism is big government. It operates with one-size-fits-all laws (mandates), which prevents the appearance of alternative or different ways to achieve a goal, so no one knows if the government’s rules are helpful and productive – or not – or even harmful.

The great American experiment

     Until the American Revolution, human history had been troubled by the growth of absolutist governments exercising dictatorial control over society. Eventually, these governments became corrupted and failed. America is an experiment to stop such arbitrary big government.

     After the British crown was defeated in the American Revolution, the new U.S. Constitution was drafted to ensure limited government. The three independent branches of government (legislative, executive, judicial) were intended to check each other and limit government’s scope.

     The Bill of Rights also limits centralized government. It ensures freedom of speech and religion, the right to keep and bear arms (not just for self-defense but to “secure a free state”), the right to a fair trial, just compensation for private property taken for public use, and other limits on government.

     Will the American experiment succeed? Unfortunately, we seem to be slipping towards socialism and absolutist government – the fast-growing executive branch,the administrative state, issuing edicts by executive order.

See what socialism has already wrought

     We should not shy away from looking at the current Washington administration and the impacts of its policies. From what we hear, the administration is following cues from the Democratic Party’s far-left socialists.

     And what do we have as a result? A high degree of social disorder:  crime in our cities, large numbers of new migrants moving into our lower-income neighborhoods and stressing our local resources, huge government expenditures bringing high inflation, bank failures, a deeply divided society, our military using up its weaponry in Ukraine while its budget (3% increase, lower than inflation) is effectively shrinking, Covid shutdowns and mandates that may have done more harm than good, and more.

     These impacts go on and on, no satisfactory resolutions to any of them. Which suggests that it is all deliberate. Ways to get votes, ways to create crisis after crisis that demand government intervention and more spending.

Why we never got the science on Covid

     As any scientist would have known, we did not get the true science on Covid. We got instructions and mandates from a few official "experts," who claimed to base their decisions on "the science." One of them even said "I am the science."

     For example, we were not told:  That masks are only slightly effective. That natural immunity from being infected is superior to immunity from vaccination (Dr. Fauci in 2004). That shutdowns were known to be ineffective but very costly in economic and psychological impacts (Wall Street Journal, 03/24/2022). That each new Covid variant was more contagious than the previous one, but not told that each new one was less serious than previously. That vaccination does not stop the spread of Covid. To mention a few examples. According to the New York Times (02/20/2022), "a large amount of [Covid] data" was not released by the CDC.

     Why were we not given all the available science? Because the science would have allowed every citizen to decide individually what to do to protect themselves from Covid. It would also have allowed many other medical and public heath experts (besides the official experts) to come up with their own recommendations. Knowing the science, yes, we might, as individuals or families, have made many different decisions and have been given various recommendations on how best to protect ourselves. But with these different decisions and recommendations, we would soon have been able to see which decisions were most effective and which were not. And then, we could reevaluate our private decisions.

     Without the science publicly available, however, a select few government officials (the "experts") were allowed to make one recommendation, one mandate, for each population group, which would apply to everyone in each group. But then, we would NOT be able to judge whether these singular government recommendations and mandates were right or wrong -- because we would not have any alternative evidence on what really works or does not work. Without the science, we would have no way to know if the government mandates were right or wrong.

     In other words, providing scientific evidence to the public and allowing decisions to occur at the family or individual level will result in better decisions in the long run -- instead of top-down, one-size-fits-all decision-making.

     The reality of government mandates of any kind is that they empower the executive branch to issue emergency requirements and mandates that take precedence over the legislative branch, over all laws. This tyranny, properly called, arises in what is perceived as a serious danger to the public.

     Thus, we easily get government mandates not just for Covid but for other public health or safety threats, for threats to national security, and now the looming big one: climate change and other environmental impacts. As we become increasingly interdependent with other nations, especially in trade, this latter threat could easily lead to a one-world government.

     The alternative might be to allow emergency powers to be invoked for up to 90 days, after which the legislative branch must approve or disapprove any mandates or create laws to replace them. Then, the public itself might have an opportunity to debate the issues involved in a crisis and influence the outcome through elected representatives.

     It amazes us that no public dialogue is occurring now regarding how best to respond to climate change, which currently focuses only on one single goal, achieving zero carbon emissions. Meanwhile, other environmental impacts are ignored, such as the looming depletion of our non-renewable natural resources:  declining water aquifers, deforestation, soil erosion, exhaustion of fossil fuels, using up minerals and metals, extinction of important species, landfills filling up, other forms of environmental pollution, and more.

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Defending the rights & interests of small landlords,
all small property owners & small business owners everywhere

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