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The once and future Florida



My essay set for Perspective in tomorrow's Tampa Bay Times:

In the modern history of this big, important, interesting state, there is before World War II, there is after World War II, and now there is what feels like the start of … something new.

Florida grew and grew for 60 or so years after the war. Its elemental equation was a robust combination of tourism and retirement, affordable mobility and disposable income, rooftops in cow fields and orange groves and the intangible but still real sense of almost constant optimism. The Great Recession changed those variables.

The question, then: What now, Florida?

Want some DVD extras? Gary Mormino: "To be a Floridian, you need to be an optimist." And yet: "From a political point of view I think there are some rough seas ahead." Canter Brown: "The nature of the Florida economy I think has been drastically reoriented." David Colburn: "We're all looking for something. Everybody is looking for a little something from Florida." Bob Buckhorn: "If we don't learn lessons from the last collapse, we're going to get exactly what we deserve -- a mediocre state with mediocre jobs and an uneducated labor base."

[Last modified: Saturday, August 25, 2012 8:31am]


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