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Friday, December 16, 2022

Commercial Real Estate 'StarChamber' Calls on #Biden to Fight #WFA

Here they come.  

The powers of the commercial real estate kingdom, a roundtable no less, are enlisting the US Government as return-to-office heavies, asking the Biden administration to consider back-to-office mandates for government workers.

"We are concerned..."

From a letter to the administration signed by Real Estate Roundtable Chairman and Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish and Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer -

"...we are concerned that certain administration policy guidance is encouraging federal agencies to adopt permanent work-from-home policies for federal employees and thereby actually magnifying negative economic and social consequences for cities,”
It's obvious that fewer renters mean lower revenues so commercial real estate companies are keen to get employees back to the cotton fields of the 21st century, office cubicles - an argument meeting unprecedented resistance.
The Real Estate Roundtable, which includes major brokers and real estate investors such as Brookfield Properties, Blackstone Group and Cushman & Wakefield, said it believes increased remote work will result in downgrades to credit ratings of outstanding debt on commercial properties, ultimately decreasing building values. - Costar
Instead of shifting revenue models, this special interest concern asks for laws and regulations to re-populate the office.

"The Federal Government Can Help..."

"Remote work for many is likely here to stay, however the federal government can help facilitate a
smooth, market-based transition to the new era by not aggressively promoting governmental remote work." 

The scariest words in America are, "I'm here from the government and I'm here to help" and it seems whenever free market demand is counter to big economic forces, those forces call in the legislators.  

It is almost funny except that over the past 36 months, we've been groomed to accept without protest, seemingly useless or proven to be incorrectly supported centrally authoritative mandates.

Madness is the norm.

"This Narrow Perspective..."

"...some federal officials appear to view agency remote work principally as a recruiting tool or cost-saving measure. This narrow perspective ignores the negative impacts of remote work on cities and communities, labor productivity and U.S. economic competitiveness, as well as the quality of government services..."

This paragraph illustrates the downfall of the status quo - remote working detrimentally impacts out-of-date institutions while unleashing the individual into a more fruitful and satisfying life.  A life that does not require middle management, upper middle management, parking lots or subway tolls.

The establishment will not tolerate such insubordination.

"Actions to promote ...remote working are out of step..."

"Moreover, federal agencies’ actions to promote permanent remote working are out of step with the current direction of private sector employers, who are increasingly recognizing the need and importance of bringing employees back to the workplace."

This statement cites a good study - but the study does not support a specific narrative. The data presented helps the reader form an opinion.

Regardless, there is more evidence that "the need and importance of bringing employees back to the office" is financially based, not employee-centric.

"The Threat of Remote Working to Cities..." 

"Less quantifiable but potentially even more important is the threat of remote working to cities as the
center and heart of our Nation’s social fabric. Cities themselves are engines of innovation that create
opportunity, spur cooperation, and enhance human capital through shared knowledge and learning."
Cities may be 'engines', but people drive those engines and today, few want to drive forty minutes to perform work they were doing in the comfort of their homes.  Productivity did not fall, functions were performed and goals were obtained.

"The density of the city and its role as the central place of work and play is a source of social cohesion,
bringing diverse racial, ethnic, and economic communities together that otherwise often reside in
disparate, homogenous neighborhoods. Cities create shared experiences that help build bonds and create a common purpose. These synergies are not easily replicated in a fragmented, remote working environment."

Whenever humans collaborate, social cohesion is achieved, and the Roundtable argument that "...synergies are not easily replicated in a fragmented, remote working environment..." is an argument from ignorance; a false flag.

I wrote about this possibility some time ago. It looks like future talk becomes real-world much sooner nowadays.

Here's the deal, empty offices mean less 'office technology', fewer printers, copiers, file cabinets, or reams of paper - this is a given.  And no matter where you fall within the ecosystem, profitability should not be legislated.  

Of course, corporate interests are always addressed by our elected officials, but that influence only goes so far.  Sometimes, manifest destiny is unenforceable.



The letter to Biden, here.
Corporate profits jump 25% in 2021.
Company After Company Reporting Record Profits As U.S. Economy Reopens.
Great study results here.  Not supporting any specific movement, it is up to you to form your opinion.
Biden's new workplace rules are set to affect contract workers.  Here.

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