Desperate times, desperate measures.

November 4, 2013
Closed Sign in Yellowstone

Closed Sign in Yellowstone (Photo credit: bmills)

I believe in capitalism, and capitalism has risks.  It takes effort and ingenuity to succeed, but there are no guarantees.

Right now, I give myself credit for doing nothing more than hanging onto my business, when a lot of folks would have thrown in the towel.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, my business feels the effects of bad economic policy, maybe a bit more than others.

In 2006, 2007, and 2008, my annual net profit nearly doubled, compared to the preceding years.  The growth of my business tapered off in 2009.  Then 2010 was the first year my net profit was less than the year before.

In 2011 I made an all or nothing push to reverse course.  I dumped the percentage of my profits that should have gone to replenish my cash reserve, which was wiped out in 2010, into improvements which accommodated rent increases, and I also put in a great deal of effort to identify and reduce costs wherever possible.  Again my profit was near double that of the year before.

Then in 2012, I was brought to my knees.  My net profit for 2012 was only 36% of the year before.  I’ve mentioned the frivolous lawsuit in at least one previous article, and that isn’t what this article is about, so I’ll move onto the point.

This year I’ve managed to pull myself back up, but not quite as well as I had hoped.  My wife and I are now off of Medicaid, and our snap benefits are reduced, and right now I’m thinking about winter.

I am presently calculating a preemptive effort I have never been forced to consider before.

Everywhere I look, people are still losing hours at work, the cost of living is still ridiculous, and the cold weather is already here.  These things alone put a choke hold on the folks I do business with, but like everybody else, I don’t really even know how severe the effects of the ACA are going to be.

In the past, quality improvements were my best way to increase profit.  Better units bring better tenants, and tenants who are more satisfied with their dwelling tend to try harder to pay their rent.

Although it is very slow going, I am putting money into my properties again, but I really don’t think improvements are going to be enough this time.  I have already made the decision to reduce rents to make it easier for my tenants to pay me.  Right now I’m trying to work the numbers to find how much will actually do any good.

With the looming uncertainty it’s a shot in the dark anyway, but I have to try.  The fact is this chaos over the last few years has done more damage than anything else.  Like so many others, I’m focused on survival.  If these reductions help to stabilize my income, I can adapt and hopefully get by, long enough for the American people to stand up and force some changes.

Fortunately, envelopes and stamps are still fairly cheap.  I’m hunkering down, but I can still make my voice heard.  I recommend you do the same.


Senator Jon Tester
706 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2604
Phone: (202) 224-2644
Fax: (202) 224-8594


Senator Max Baucus

511 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510-2602

Phone: (202)-224-2651

Fax: (202)-224-9412


Glenn W. Uncles Jr.

Helena, Montana

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