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Thread summary:

Florida economy crash or success, successful businesses, professional services, doctors, lawyers, retirees migrating from northern states, real estate market, commercial development

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Old 08-17-2007, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 23,796,698 times
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Take a few minutes and think about Florida's economy. There's a lot of talk about the economy and how many successful businesses are out there, but just what kind of wealth have they created? From the way I see it, the biggest employers in Florida are related to government, not profitable industry. There are professional services, like doctors and lawyers, and support staff fin the medical/legal field. Yet this seems to rely on a steady supply of retirees migrating from northern states, and questionable money from the east and down south. If snowbirds are bypassing Florida, and the real estate bubble pyramid scheme is going to crumble, what's next for Florida? Everywhere you look you see one of two types of development, residential or commercial. The most disturbing part of this is how the "commercial" development is retail stores, or warehouses for resale. None of it seems to be real manufacturing. Sure, there is some light manufacturing of home products, but can an economy exist by simply buying and selling from and to each other? What will support the vastly overinflated real estate market?
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:30 PM
 
2,313 posts, read 2,403,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
Take a few minutes and think about Florida's economy. There's a lot of talk about the economy and how many successful businesses are out there, but just what kind of wealth have they created? From the way I see it, the biggest employers in Florida are related to government, not profitable industry. There are professional services, like doctors and lawyers, and support staff fin the medical/legal field. Yet this seems to rely on a steady supply of retirees migrating from northern states, and questionable money from the east and down south. If snowbirds are bypassing Florida, and the real estate bubble pyramid scheme is going to crumble, what's next for Florida? Everywhere you look you see one of two types of development, residential or commercial. The most disturbing part of this is how the "commercial" development is retail stores, or warehouses for resale. None of it seems to be real manufacturing. Sure, there is some light manufacturing of home products, but can an economy exist by simply buying and selling from and to each other? What will support the vastly overinflated real estate market?
In Broward there are a few large employers. Motorola I believe has around 3000 employes. I was out at the American Express office a few weeks ago and out of curiosity I asked the girl how many people worked there. She said around 4000, Then there is or was I am not sure anymore IBM. We need large paper pushers to come here. I would not be that crazy to see them making cars or anything. Blockbuster main offices were here till they had a dispute with the city and moved out. UPS employes a lot of people. Then of course the post office. I think there are more large employers then we realize if we think about it.
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Old 08-17-2007, 08:56 PM
kar
 
Location: Tampa Bay
179 posts, read 696,012 times
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As a former resident of Fort Myers, Florida and now living in Nashville, TN, Florida does not have the economic infustructer to maintain a higher standard of living. Besides having a real estate depression, Florida is not moving forward in real job creation that will pay meaningful wages. The state is sitting on there hands and doing nothing currently in trying to attract companies that will provide jobs for highly trained professionals. The economy has been based on selling houses to one another. At one time Florida was moving in the right direction in trying to attract major business to the area, but when the real estate boom took off the state dropped the ball. Florida has a rough road ahead.
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:15 PM
 
2,313 posts, read 2,403,079 times
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Originally Posted by kar View Post
As a former resident of Fort Myers, Florida and now living in Nashville, TN, Florida does not have the economic infustructer to maintain a higher standard of living. Besides having a real estate depression, Florida is not moving forward in real job creation that will pay meaningful wages. The state is sitting on there hands and doing nothing currently in trying to attract companies that will provide jobs for highly trained professionals. The economy has been based on selling houses to one another. At one time Florida was moving in the right direction in trying to attract major business to the area, but when the real estate boom took off the state dropped the ball. Florida has a rough road ahead.
I don't think Florida has ever known what it wanted to be when it grows up.
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:45 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,604 posts, read 10,669,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kar View Post
At one time Florida was moving in the right direction in trying to attract major business to the area, but when the real estate boom took off the state dropped the ball. Florida has a rough road ahead.
This is exactly what I have been saying in previous threads about the Florida economy, and not only major businesses, but productive enterprises of all sizes over as broad a range of sectors as possible, and indeed progress was being made.

But, blinded by easy credit, policymakers concentrated more and more on the "easy" ways to make money through the credit/real estate/illegal immigration bubble.

The credit crunch that began about two weeks ago was actually the start of that rough road to recovery.

But if the Fed continues to intervene, rewarding, or at least protecting, those who made economically unsound decisions - from the policymakers themselves, to bankers, to mortgage companies, to real estate speculators, to would-be homeowners who got in over their heads - then we may never get out of this bubble and instead fall over the cliff like a bunch of lemmings, dancing to the tune of easy credit.

Interest rates need to be set at a level where only the soundest, most productive investment plans make it to market, and the rest of the population should be living within its means and saving to feed the productive chain.

Too easy credit and other various bubbles, including illegal immigration, introduce wicked, wicked distortions into that process.

Last edited by bale002; 08-18-2007 at 04:54 AM..
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:26 AM
Status: "The nicest curve on a woman's body is her smile" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Florida/Tennessee
2,376 posts, read 4,304,796 times
Reputation: 1263
Default Not every state must have....

the "perfect" economic balance. Success does not come by forcing an economic template upon a state that can not support rigid economic thinking.
Florida is that state where traditional economies will not fit.

Florida has a unique footprint in the US economy. The two primary foundational building blocks are tourism and agriculture. Florida has great success in both venues, but most importantly they fit. I do believe however, we have (as a state), allowed the sugar industry to create an agricultural cancer in the southern part of the Florida. That would be a whole other post... but if you live in Florida you most likely understand... but agriculture as a whole is doing well. Tourism is strong and will remain strong... over the long term.
As with any economy, foundational industries develop off spring. Housing certainly is a prime example. With increases in population support services such as utilities, water, services, retail must keep pace. This is where jobs initially grow.... and rightfully so.

Florida is a modern economy.... meaning we do not have roots in areas like manufacturing. As a result we have experience growing gains/pains. We probably never will be a manufacturing state in traditional thinking. I don't see Florida as a good location for manufacturing ... geographically. We are however, poised to be the "hub" for the Americas... as in North and South America. This is already taking place... and is a natural fit in the global economy.

Florida is in a real estate depression... I agree, but I also understand we will always be a "destination" for many, either as tourists or residence. Nothing wrong with that, and it is a viable sustainable industry(s), from which new and emerging markets will develop. A few come to mind, the Bio-Medical field,
bio-fuels (agricultural based), International Banking... but tourism and agriculture will always be our roots.

We should never try to be something ... we can never be. Alaska wouldn't make a good beach destination, and Florida isn't likely to be a destination for heavy manufacturing. Understanding our natural "fit" and then move away from traditional thinking will spawn new and exciting directions for the Florida economy.
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:17 AM
 
1,134 posts, read 3,627,575 times
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It goes without saying what bad development does.

Out-of-control retail has never helped an area, either.
No area has ever benefited from having way more
crappy 8.50 an hour, no healthcare type jobs than
manufacturing or tech.
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:29 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,604 posts, read 10,669,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_n_Tenn View Post

The two primary foundational building blocks are tourism and agriculture. Florida has great success in both venues ... but agriculture as a whole is doing well.
Oh really? According to very recent reports, Florida is deficient even in milk production which it must import from states like Wisconsin. What does that say about the state of animal husbandry in Florida?

How about orange production, has that increased in the past twenty years?

Although I do purposely shop for produce at local stands rather than in the major supermarket chains, even there I find a significant proportion of imported goods. And let's not talk about what you find in the supermarket chains.

Can you provide a reference to statistics - not just platitudes - on Florida's agriculture production (in the wide sense, crops & orchards, animal husbandry, seafood) and its food consumption, exports (both within the US and outside), and imports (same breakdowns)?

If you have a reference, that would be great. However, it may not be easy to find such statistics: I believe an interested independent researcher would have to wade through numbers from various sources and put them together, potentially a major research project.

Even a reference to a historical series on agricultural income, both absolute and relative to the state's overall GDP and employment, might be useful.

Nonetheless, I am willing to bet that agriculture's contribution to Florida's GDP, even measured as relative productivity, has not increased over the past twenty years or so. On the contrary, the increase in contribution has probably come from a variety of sectors.

You grossly miss the point of most of the above posts.

The rigid, traditional - by Florida standards - economic model is the one that is grossly skewed towards the real estate/tourism/retirement/rich foreigner model, while the modern, flexible economic model is the one that leaves ample room for sectors like bio-tech, alternative energy, international trade and financial services, etc.

This modern, flexible model was the one that was developing nicely until the credit/real estate/illegal immigration bubble threw it off track and the policymakers neglected it in favor of the rigid, traditional tourism, etc. model.

One more thing about tourism/retiree destination: if and when Cuba ever opens up, to what extent will Florida withstand the competition? Beyond the beach, Florida is flat and ugly.

Alternative destinations, with more geographical variety, like parts of Mexico and Costa Rica, are already doing quite nicely, thank you, not to mention the untapped potential of other regions of the US.

The point is that due to the current bubble-drugged economic model, Florida is in the process of pricing itself out, even out of its traditional, rigid strong points.

Beyond the emotion-induced exaggerations, no one is saying that Florida is going down the tubes. On the contrary, the debate is about a state that has made great strides and has a potentially very bright future.

But a rigid, traditional economic model grossly skewed towards the real estate/tourism/retirement/rich foreigner model that crowds out a relatively more modern, flexible, more diverse model risks preventing Florida from achieving the depth that it is well capable of.

No one is saying discard the tourism/retirement destination sector. Quite the contrary: if Florida does not remain competitive in a few other select sectors (and it makes no sense to prejudicially and rigidly exclude certain segments of manufacturing either), it risks an erosion of its competitive position even in its traditional sectors, and flexible people know they may have better choices.

Finally, I apologize if I'm being a bit overly polemical with you, Dave, because actually we all probably agree on more points than we disagree, but maybe we can start a real serious discussion about the Florida economy and more sharply define the terms of the debate to the extent possible within the framework of this forum.

Last edited by bale002; 08-18-2007 at 06:47 AM..
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:22 AM
 
2,141 posts, read 6,346,709 times
Reputation: 588
Quote:
Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
Oh really? According to very recent reports, Florida is deficient even in milk production which it must import from states like Wisconsin. What does that say about the state of animal husbandry in Florida?

How about orange production, has that increased in the past twenty years?

Although I do purposely shop for produce at local stands rather than in the major supermarket chains, even there I find a significant proportion of imported goods. And let's not talk about what you find in the supermarket chains.

Can you provide a reference to statistics - not just platitudes - on Florida's agriculture production (in the wide sense, crops & orchards, animal husbandry, seafood) and its food consumption, exports (both within the US and outside), and imports (same breakdowns)?

If you have a reference, that would be great. However, it may not be easy to find such statistics: I believe an interested independent researcher would have to wade through numbers from various sources and put them together, potentially a major research project.

Even a reference to a historical series on agricultural income, both absolute and relative to the state's overall GDP and employment, might be useful.

Nonetheless, I am willing to bet that agriculture's contribution to Florida's GDP, even measured as relative productivity, has not increased over the past twenty years or so. On the contrary, the increase in contribution has probably come from a variety of sectors.

You grossly miss the point of most of the above posts.

The rigid, traditional - by Florida standards - economic model is the one that is grossly skewed towards the real estate/tourism/retirement/rich foreigner model, while the modern, flexible economic model is the one that leaves ample room for sectors like bio-tech, alternative energy, international trade and financial services, etc.

This modern, flexible model was the one that was developing nicely until the credit/real estate/illegal immigration bubble threw it off track and the policymakers neglected it in favor of the rigid, traditional tourism, etc. model.

One more thing about tourism/retiree destination: if and when Cuba ever opens up, to what extent will Florida withstand the competition? Beyond the beach, Florida is flat and ugly.

Alternative destinations, with more geographical variety, like parts of Mexico and Costa Rica, are already doing quite nicely, thank you, not to mention the untapped potential of other regions of the US.

The point is that due to the current bubble-drugged economic model, Florida is in the process of pricing itself out, even out of its traditional, rigid strong points.

Beyond the emotion-induced exaggerations, no one is saying that Florida is going down the tubes. On the contrary, the debate is about a state that has made great strides and has a potentially very bright future.

But a rigid, traditional economic model grossly skewed towards the real estate/tourism/retirement/rich foreigner model that crowds out a relatively more modern, flexible, more diverse model risks preventing Florida from achieving the depth that it is well capable of.

No one is saying discard the tourism/retirement destination sector. Quite the contrary: if Florida does not remain competitive in a few other select sectors (and it makes no sense to prejudicially and rigidly exclude certain segments of manufacturing either), it risks an erosion of its competitive position even in its traditional sectors, and flexible people know they may have better choices.

Finally, I apologize if I'm being a bit overly polemical with you, Dave, because actually we all probably agree on more points than we disagree, but maybe we can start a real serious discussion about the Florida economy and more sharply define the terms of the debate to the extent possible within the framework of this forum.
Great Post! Its a little over the heads of most people.
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:30 AM
 
1,134 posts, read 3,627,575 times
Reputation: 652
Bale002 sez:
"But a rigid, traditional economic model grossly skewed towards the real estate/tourism/retirement/rich foreigner model that crowds out a relatively more modern, flexible, more diverse model risks preventing Florida from achieving the depth that it is well capable of."

To suffer a real life version of this, try living in the state I
just moved from, Vermont. The only big industries are geared
toward sucking in skiers and 4 month vacation homers.....
The young people are in mass exodus mode and the locals are
working 12 hours a day in the Quicky-Mart just trying to pay
for oil.
Diametrically opposed was were I lived in PA near the Hi-Tech
corridor. Very prosperous, even the lower end segment employees.

Nothing good has ever come of skewing an area toward bad
residential development and strip mall/garbage, no-pay retail.
America has been most prosperous when all segments of society
got to taste the pie. We need our manufacuring back !
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