By Ed Hoffman
As my listeners know, I’m an unapologetic capitalist. If you are too, then you know that some people believe the only good business is business that doesn’t grow. They believe that once an enterprise reaches corporate status, it automatically becomes evil. The even worse news? Those people are teaching our kids.
One of them is Professor Peter Dreier of Occidental College. Mr. Dreier, a Distinguished Professor of Politics (whatever that is) at Occidental, wrote a Huffington Post piece last month that was not just anti-capitalist, but also dangerously defamatory. Presenting a sympathetic story about a family being evicted from their home in Rialto (a home that was in foreclosure, and I don’t think I have to tell you why), Dreier depicted my friends at Wedgewood Inc. (known to the public at Maxim Properties) as an evil corporation out to get a family who paid their mortgage on time (which they clearly didn’t).
Right now you might be thinking, “So there’s a negative story on the Internet; isn’t that just part of being in business now?” Well, yes – but that isn’t the only thing Dreier did. He also posted the full names, ages and home addresses of the Wedgewood CEO and COO. Their home addresses! How would Dreier like it if someone did that to him on a forum with an army of activist-minded readers, as he did when posting these executives’ addresses on one of the most popular opinion websites in the world?
But to people like Dreier, he is a human being entitled to privacy and corporate executives are not. Once your enterprise becomes successful, you cease to be human in the eyes of anti-capitalists. It doesn’t matter if you employ hundreds of people, giving them jobs like painting, laying carpet and doing electrical work; all that matters is you are rich, and someone else isn’t.
From what I understand, Dreier wasn’t even the one behind the movement to stop the eviction; it appears he just wanted a topic to write about, and this one happened to line up with his anti-capitalist views. So he partnered with something called the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (whatever that is) to get background information (albeit false). The result was a despicable blog post that published the home addresses of two executives with families of their own. That blog post failed to reveal these facts:
- Dreier never attempted to gather information from Wedgewood.
- Wedgewood’s involvement with the property began in 2015, when it purchased the property at public sale. In other words, the family was already in foreclosure. (Gee, how did that happen? They only owed $140,000 in back mortgage payments.)
- Wedgewood had no involvement with the mortgage or the foreclosure process.
- After purchasing the property, Wedgewood received no response from the occupants. They continued to live in a home they no longer owned and never responded to the new owners, Wedgewood, who purchased the property legally. Legally.
Do I really need to tell you whose fault that is?
But anti-capitalists refuse to see facts; they only think with emotions. For those who sympathize with the family, here’s the final piece of the story you need to know: They finally responded to Wedgewood in December 2015, indicating they wished to buy the house back. Although Wedgewood had a legal right to perform a lockout based on a court’s decision, they sent company representatives to help the family figure out a possible solution to re-purchase the home.
Ultimately, all parties agreed the family would have until the third week of March to secure financing and submit a valid offer to re-purchase – or, vacate the property if they were unable to get financing. They were unable to obtain that financing and Wedgewood never received a written offer of purchase. (Yes, this family has legal representation. They are not on their own here.) Now, you tell me what is supposed to happen next.
That’s the real story. But anti-capitalists don’t care about the truth in these scenarios.
Ed Hoffman is host of The Main Event on AM590, which airs Saturday 9:30 AM- 10:30 AM and Sunday 4:00 PM- 5:00 PM. Follow him on Twitter @EdHoffman, and like him on Facebook by searching The Main Event 590.