Number One With Distinction?
When a recent report indicated that Tampa, Florida overtook Detroit, Michigan as the worst metropolitan area economically speaking; they did so because the Tampa area continues to be infested with mass foreclosures, double digit unemployment, now over 17%, faltering school systems and a commuter transit system that is so ineffective it is a joke. This report comes at a time when more attention is focused on the upcoming Republican convention rather than putting the infrastructure in place to secure more employment opportunities with real living wage jobs which by the way would go a long way to reduce the foreclosure rates that have contributed to Tampa's No. 1 rating in economic plight of any city across the country.
The citizens of Florida can probably thank it's Governor because when he refused the Federal Stimulus funding to help jump start high speed rail he literally but the brakes on the much needed economic growth that a mass transit system like rail service would actually bring into the state of Florida and to the Tampa area itself. Instead what the state of Florida and especially around the Tampa area is still in financial and economic limbo. Many envision Florida as being the vacation Mecca, the sunshine state, and home to Disney World. In actuality Florida is a state where it has 5 of the 10 worst roads in the United States [the Tampa area has the top two in the entire country] when it comes to fatalities, solar energy is still light years away from being affordable to most and a business climate that continues to underpay it's workers, those who are still working. These are just a few of the urgent crisis that need immediate attention if this state and more importantly the Tampa Bay area ever expects to renounce it most dubious distinction as the number one city of economic depression. Will we continue to reign supreme?
Now our most fiscally minded managers of government in Florida especially the Tampa Bay area are poised once again to impose their business acumen upon a most distraught population. Only this time their focus is on the new design for the renovation of the St. Petersburg Pier. A design that in appearances looks great but in reality to actually achieve the kind of economic growth that is needed to keep businesses afloat literally, this newly proposed concept of the renovation of the pier falls way too short. This is just another short sighted approach by the powers that be.
As of late our "wondrous" legislatures in their haste to slice and dice state budgets not only in Florida but also in California and others are actually cutting their own throats. Now add the "Wizardly" like decision of Florida's Governor in turning down federal stimulus funding of the magnitude that really would have made a difference in keeping the Tampa Bay area out of that number one rating replacing Detroit is not a lesson in frugality but one of stupidity. Now all that is left is a population who are so bewildered and perplexed as to why the state of Florida hasn't moved forward but only backward. This while Tampa slides down that preverbal path of failed state leadership where the Tampa Bay areas economic fortunes lay in waste all because of a political mindset of antagonism.
The task at hand is to elevate Tampa's rating so that no longer is that region an area made up of a depressed and destitute population where the majority of the people can't keep pace with the rising cost of living today let alone be able to achieve any kind of economic forward mobility. When there was recent talk of renovating the St. Petersburg Pier the conceptional design that was approved doesn't even come close to off setting the cost that will be incurred once completed nor does it include any real chance of a renaissance type economic rejuvenation that would propel the Tampa Bay area out from being the nations most economically depressed city. One that would secure a future that would continue to bring economic growth and stability not only into the Tampa bay area but all across the state of Florida.
This starts with a commuter rail service connecting St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa. This also would open up for mare rail connections that would cross the entire state connecting the cities of not only the Tampa Bay area but Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, and Key West. What is detrimental to this state in regards to achieving this and to grow the business community is the lack of a constant mass transit, lack of quality in our public schools, and an existing infrastructure that is far too inadequate to handle a resurgence of business growth. To rectify these contingencies requires investment. That is something our Republicans can't seem to grasp the concept yet. Most have lost all sense of priority when it comes to infrastructure development whether it is constructional of educational.
In this election year the present administration has a golden opportunity to lead the charge of economic development by reforming the policies that has led the United States to the edge of an abyss of economic depravation. The only way to avoid being pushed over that edge is with total reform. This begins with elected officials actually securing legislation that would generate the opportunities that would enable all Americans to be able to secure the quality of life that has eluded them for so long. This instead of being the self serving bureaucrats that they are today. With the implementation of National Economic Reform and it's ten articles of confederation is the only way to secure the resources needed to resurrect America's economy from Florida to California. Once implemented these reforms where in Europe whose economic fortunes rest with the United States being able to rebound will prove to be the salvation so many countries need. The world is watching and hoping that the United States puts in place the reforms that are needed to pull this country away from falling over the cliff.