Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Florida is a "Ponzi Scheme"

CRChair found this first, but let me have the honor of posting it. NPR has up an interesting story claiming that the economy of Florida is one big Ponzi Scheme that has been relying on constant immigration into the state by tourists and new residents. Now that the Recession has hit, and Florida has seen its first net loss of residents since World War II, the state is wondering if it can survive with its current policies

It was bound to catch up with us. Gary Mormino, a distinguished historian of Florida, says our whole economy is more or less a big Ponzi scheme. The state funds its roads and schools by bringing in new investors — that is, new residents — to pay sales taxes and property taxes. When nobody can afford a condo in Boca, when tourists stop coming even for a week at Disney World, the Ponzi scheme collapses.

Now it seems as though everybody here knows somebody who has left, is leaving or wants to leave. Even the governor wants to leave — for Washington, D.C. He's running for the U.S. Senate after one term.
I have only been to Florida once for a Christian youth conference. I loved EPCOT and enjoyed the many anoles (small chameleon lizards) that infested the hotel windows. Otherwise, I never really understood the charm of living somewhere that is hazy, hot, and humid 365 days a year.

No comments: