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Old 05-05-2006, 03:38 AM
 
Location: Johnson's Neck-O'Neil, FL
121 posts, read 715,504 times
Reputation: 163

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There are a couple of economic factors that have made Florida attractive as a destination which are ending-- possibly permanently. First- cheap gas has meant that thousands flock to Florida yearly by car and this has fueled the predominant service economy in the state. Second, insurance companies have left or are in the process of leaving the state due to a significant uptick in hurricane damage probably brought on by a warming trend in the Atlantic/Gulf stream. Most of the population of Florida is located near its coasts and the windborne debris zone. Hence, the cost of construction and insuring construction in the state is rising significantly making it less attractive than other southern states with low construction costs unaffected by the Atlantic basin climate change (N. Georgia, Tennessee, and inland areas of the carolinas). What will this mean to Florida in the short-term? A lot of out-migration... since Florida has I believe the least rooted population in the country with the possible exception of southern California. A lowering economy will have a spiraling effect on the tax base and municipal services, making new development even less attractive. In the early 1970's the energy crisis led to an economic condition of "stag-flation": rising costs due in large part by energy costs coupled with a stagnating economy. Florida was severely hurt. Beachfront condo construction fell through almost overnight and there were a lot of half-built structures on or near the beach all over the state. I would not be surprised to see a return to this situation. The cost of gasoline is not going to go down. And finally, the Bush administration is owning up to global warming- but a bit late, methinks...
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:37 PM
 
38 posts, read 199,039 times
Reputation: 53
Daedalo,

Thank you for raising this most important subject. The economy is a making or breaking factor in any decision to stay or move.

You made several good points with respect to the economy, fuel costs, taxes and their effects. I would like to elaborate on the effect that high and rising fuel costs are having on the entire country. We are now seeing what economists all over the country are calling "the begining affects on the economy". Vehicle sales are down, airline costs are up and rising, among other major impacts, and thousands are losing their jobs as a direct result. The cost of living is and will continue to rise as jobs continue to be lost.

My point is that this is happening all over the country as a result of the oil companies being permited to commit highway robbery, literally. What people need to be asking is why there has not been *some kind of cap put on these outrageous fuel prices! The general thesis is that "we are running out of oil". As somone who's family member works for the Alaska pipeline (the largest in the country and one of the largest in the world) I can tell you that we are NOT running out of oil, not even close. I think that most of us are intelligent enough, without being told, to realize that this is nothing more than dirty politics. What we are running out of, though, is honest Representation willing to look out for the best interest of "The People" rather than big money. Ever wonder about those lingering questions everyone keeps asking:
Why does the gap between rich and poor continue to grow while eliminating the 'middle class'?
Why hasn't minimum wage been raised/ ajusted to meet inflation?
Why do taxes continue to shoot through the roof while spending continues to spiral out of control?
Why is Bush using this crisis to his advantage (!proposing a fuel rebate if everyone agrees to open ANWAR!)??

Big questions that few politicians will dare to touch on.

Daedalo, could you elaborate on the rise of cost for construction? Is this for materials, labor, codes? Cost of construction around the country is also rising, it's due to rising cost of materials.
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:11 PM
 
38 posts, read 292,720 times
Reputation: 53
Default Cheaply built homes

The reason that so many homes were destroyed in the hurricanes was the old building codes which made homes cheap. Homes after 1992 are almost always concrete block

Don't fool yourself people are always going to move to Florida. Taxes in NY are averaging $10,000 a year. The reason for property tax increases is because JEB BUSH gives tax breaks to evry business that comes to the state for 10 years.
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Johnson's Neck-O'Neil, FL
121 posts, read 715,504 times
Reputation: 163
Default CMU homes

Buddy,
I can't speak for the southern tier of the state, but really a small proportion of houses in the upper tier of the state are being constructed of concrete masonry (CMU) walls. The limitation on this inevitably is labor. There are only so many masons to go around. Here, while commercial and public sector structures are still steel joists and roof deck and various forms of steel frame or concrete bearing construction, tilt-wall or masonry bearing walls, almost all of the residential structures are stick built stud walls at 24" with osb (oriented stran board) sheathing and wood roof trusses with OSB sheathing or plywood supporting shingle roofing. Everything is tied together from footing or turned down concrete slabs to the roof with light gage galvanized steel connectors, which in time may rust away.
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Johnson's Neck-O'Neil, FL
121 posts, read 715,504 times
Reputation: 163
Regarding the tax base, yes people may still come here but the margins of disposable income for the masses will be severely curtailed. There is a huge sector in Pasco County, for example, of limited income snowbirds that live in mobile homes. This population could become virtually immobile and will eventually disappear.Our aging population will put an increasing burden on the health care system and other social services. For a broad brush synopsis of our national fiscal health or lack thereof see the frequent video presentations of the Comptroller General of the US. For a recent presentation at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard see:

http://ksgaccman.harvard.edu/iop/events_forum_video.asp?ID=2969 (broken link)

This is sobering and shocking.
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Johnson's Neck-O'Neil, FL
121 posts, read 715,504 times
Reputation: 163
On the petroleum supply, back in the early 1970's the club of Rome published a study where the Forrester world model (Jay Forrester, MIT) was utilized to predict growth and supplies of essential natural resources. Back then, a lot of the issues we are now discussing were hot topics. The book is "The Limits to Growth". One of the key issues is that eventually the petroleum supply will be more essential for lubricants than fuel. Just because there are a few billion barrels we can squeeze out of the ground in the US in the next 10 years does not mean we should do this. Once the supply is gone, its gone. So just like a dwindling bank balance, we better find a way to live more efficiently and with alternatives now, or we could be asking for a serious crash landing of supply and demand.
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Johnson's Neck-O'Neil, FL
121 posts, read 715,504 times
Reputation: 163
Construction material costs are generally driven by spot supplies of steel and wood. Some percentage of these costs are directly proportional to fuel costs, i.e. the procurement side of the materials- production and delivery, usually by truck. On the labor side, this is also supply and demand. If everyone is busy constructing, the cost to do work is driven up. In the early 1990's during the recession in the northeast any municipality that built could expect and did receive bids that were consistently 30% below prices just 3-5 years before during the boom. Every contractor was hungry and the list of bidders were enormous.
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