Oh boo hoo, the New York Times has discovered that Florida’s in a slump. This may be news to young reporters, but have the Times’ editors have no sense of history too? Railroad magnate Fielder built the Breakers in Palm Beach and then went bust (I think – in any event, the people who followed him down there certainly did). Florida was the home of swampland scams that would have made Bernie Madoff paint his rooms black in envy (oh, he already did that). I forget which Marx Brothers movie immortalized an earlier boom-bust cycle in Florida – “Dumb Coconuts”? – but regardless, this is Florida’s history and destiny. The state will do fine so long as it has sunshine and retirees grow tired of the cold.
Besides, Florida could use some downsizing – it’s entirely dependent on a rapidly depleting aquifer system, developers have been building in hurricane alleys and traffic is awful. I myself can’t stand the state, with the exception of Marathon Key, but even its biggest boosters would have to concede it could do with slower growth and fewer people.
The Times, of course, worries that with fewer people the state will suffer diminished tax revenues. It wouldn’t occur to the Times that few people could also mean lower spending because that sort of thing doesn’t happen in the Times’ world. Maybe they’ll learn something here.