It’s raining on Florida

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.


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8 responses to “It’s raining on Florida

  1. Anonymous

    FL has never built a real economy w/IQ-intensive industries and QOL that can attract well-educated professionals who would want to live in FL, let alone raise kids there

    FL is a house of cards built on a low-skill, low-wage economy of tourism and RE bubbles…all with some of worst food in US and mediocre (at best) healthcare throughout (ironic given all the retirees but few talented physicians prefer to live/work in FL)

    Best contrast is TX which has both Dallas and Houston as global energy industry epicenters, as well as home to various big cos. like AT&T, etc and a few key hedge funds

  2. Chimney

    It wasn’t Fielder, it was Henry Flagler, a partner of John D Rockefeller, and he didn’t go bust. He died rich at a ripe old age- fell down the marble stairs in his Palm Beach mansion. A little more accuracy please.

  3. JIC Golfer

    Good. Send the ones who really can’t afford it home.

  4. "Fielder?"

    You are thinking of “Flagler,” CF.

    There is a “Flagler Drive” off North Street just north of Clapboard Ridge. I’ve long wondered if there was some connection to the Florida Flagler.

    I’ll bet there is.

  5. Henry Morrison Flagler

    BTW, far from “going bust” I left behind one of the largest fortunes in the country at the time. After the various twists and turns my estate went through, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is still to this day enjoying oodles of money from the fortune I made.

  6. FlyAngler


  7. FlyAngler

    BTW, Henry Morton Flager was also a philanthapist who established several schools of higher learning. He also helped our farmers who were nearly wiped out after a freeze of their crops. Lastly, we was far from wiped out when he fell down a flight of stairs which led to his death.

    Sure, he had his warts and divorced his institutionally insane wife because he could. However, the man’s accomplishments were vast.

    Sure not to change your mind about Florida however.

    So, how do you feel about Nevada?

  8. Anonymous

    No Henry Flagler of Florida fame was a Standard Oil partner of John D. Rockefeller. Your thinking of JOHN H. FLAGLER, a founder of NATIONAL TUBE CO.

    Died September 9, 1922, Saturday

    John H. Flagler, capitalist, died in his 85th year at his country home at Greenwich, Conn., of pneumonia following an illness of five days which started with an attack of bronchitis.