The Warmth of The Sun
In this the year of the early spring. You couldn't tell that by the weather in New England though. But down here in Florida spring really does come early. Soft gentle breezes that flow ever so slow aided by the warmth of the sun brings an altogether unique sense of rejuvenation to the body and the soul. Maybe that is why spring break has become such a rite of passage for so many college students. They all seem to flock right here in Florida every spring. After all this is the sunshine state. They didn't call it that for nothing.
The harsh reality aside from all the joyous revelry from our rambunctious college students that descend upon this state every spring the state of Florida is in what many call the Twilight Zone of economic and energy development. This Twilight Zone is where the state can't quite come together in out lining a plan of direction that would utilize our natural resources like Solar, our surrounding coastline for hydro electric power, and the abundance of so much wind. The only wind that really is coming comes from all the hot air that is spewed out of Tallahassee by our illustrious legislators and most notably our governor.
The state does have one of the largest solar farms in the country and yet practically every new home or building are void of solar panels to augment energy costs. Technology has afforded all of us living here in this the Sunshine State to have readily available low cost solar energy equipped with wind turbines to manufacture independent energy for every household in this state. But, no our Neanderthal thinking bureaucrats in the state house insist that solar and wind energy are still too costly. The continuation of the use of energy that powered the first Industrial Revolution has only exasperated our current economic conditions. When the governor in his state of the state address was so quick to point out the efforts in tax payer stewardship again falls way short in telling the real economic plight the state of Florida and for that matter the rest of the country is in. In fact he failed to mention that under his leadership the state actually moved backward in economic development, not forward as he continues on insisting.
There is a similarity here between China and the United States and in Florida is no exception either. In China massive construction projects in developing urban areas all through-out the country has failed to attract much of their population. The biggest problem facing China right now is that all this construction primarily massive housing complexes as well as shopping malls are not in close enough proximity to the places of employment. Even though they are five steps ahead of the US in high speed commuter rail it isn't enough to provide access the these newly constructed complexes. It has been well documented that Chinese workers in many factories are residing on site or really close by in housing provided by their employer. And, still many Chinese workers are not making enough to contemplate or even consider the amount required to move into these newly constructed cities as it were. Again, like Florida and the rest of the country millions are making, that's if they are working at all, not enough to keep place with inflation let alone decent housing that still is too costly. Compounding this massive housing bubble in China that is already having a disastrous effect of the Chinese economy many major corporations outside of China had hoped to expand had failed to do so. This is causing a ripple effect of economic stagnation all through-out the country. Until millions of Chinese workers receive wages comparable to the cost of living for these housing complexes and have the infrastructure that will enable them to commute to and from employment this housing bubble is set to burst which will have a reverberating after shocks all over the world.
With so many foreclosures still occurring in Florida the state's tax base continues to shrivel. The lack of middle class wage jobs has also failed to provide much needed revenue for cities and towns. The failure to embark on a revitalization plan, one that would spark a complete reversal of economic fortunes for thousands of Floridians where infrastructure development is key has and continues to be absent in all legislation coming out of Tallahassee.
The main focus on improving the states economy falls within four major priorities. First: Education reform not just with the pittance of those wage increases but real authentic reform designed to equip our students for the jobs of the 21st century. Something that is sadly lacking today. Second: Urban areas with mass transit systems something the Chinese failed to provide when they started building all those developments. We need mass transit that connects cities like Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater with connections that criss-cross the state that enable commuters to have access to. Added a major upgrade in St. Petersburg primarily the St. Pete Pier that if redone would offer the city more economic activity. The cruise industry would be one very good option. Along with connecting rail service to the St. Pete Pier would attract more businesses as well. Third: The cost of housing is not really that affordable. The medium cost for a three bed two bath house is still too costly for the majority of jobs that exist. When you add the number of vacant homes due to foreclosures adds another crisis that must be addressed. There again like China where massive housing complexes remain vacant and too costly to attract tenets like in Florida where the vacant houses remain too costly also puts a squeeze on any type of economic growth. Fourth: Energy costs have continued to climb especially the cost of gasoline. When inflation outpaces ones earnings as in both cases in China as well in Florida and really the rest of the US any economic momentum is only going backward. So far any legislation that has kept the cost of alternative energy from being affordable has yet to make it's way into the legislature. Meanwhile fossil fuel continues to make energy costs rise not proportionally to incomes. This only has one outcome more wealth for the few while keeping the majority impoverished at best. There is no reason why the cost of gasoline today can't be kept at a steady rate of $2.50 a gallon or less. The other use of oil is for those who rely on home heating oil as well all the other petroleum products and by products that the United States produces. Energy supplied to ultility companies now has to come through the abundant supply of solar, wind, hydro electric, and the newly developed internet energy that is just begining to emerge. Just think now we would have more than enough oil for gas and home heating as well as alternitive energy sources that will supply all our other energy needs now and into the future. Nuclear energy should be eliminated all together except for powering our navy.
These four factors can be realized, but only if we have the leadership to educate the electorate on how the state can achieve the economic growth that this state so badly needs. Using basic economic principals that have worked in the past have to be applied today. it is time our legislators put petty party politics aside and embark on a united front to implement a revitalization plan for the state of Florida with the specific purpose that the rest of the country will follow. That old saying from the opening to the Six Million Dollar Man " Gentlemen we can rebuild him. We can make him better, stronger, faster, better than he was before." Well guess what people, we can actually accomplish real authentic economic growth that will enable the fulfillment of the "Williams Theory Of Economic Evolution." The state of Florida and the country actually has the resources and the capabilities to drastically improve everyone's economic fortunes. The warmth of the sun can and will work wonders for us all.