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News

Gov. Scott touts record tourism numbers

More tourism jobs likely to bring more low wages

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Wait, does that sound too harsh? We all did sign the deal when we moved to this particular penis-shaped paradise that we would survive on less in order to please the visiting masses with more, right? Well, let’s just factor in some facts beneath this gold-laced parachute of speculative economic development numbers. According to a study released in September 2013 by Florida International University, “Since 2000, Florida’s employment rate, median hourly wage and the average amount of hours worked declined by 4.99 percent, 4.34 percent and 3.11 percent, respectively. At the same time, the poverty rate, inequality and consumer prices (particularly housing, food and transportation) increased dramatically by 46.84 percent, 13.66 percent and 33.84 percent, respectively.” That sounds like a really fun rollercoaster, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, Scott, who has become a key target in the populist (er, Democratic) fight to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 in at least 30 states – especially considering that 71 percent of the population (including Republicans) supports the measure, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll – continues to dodge the idea entirely. Well, there was that time he told the Tampa Bay Times that it made him “cringe” because it was all “lies,” but since then he’s been all big business, all the time, because, uh, it’s your money. Dodge that question!

Organize Now director Stephanie Porta thinks that Visit Florida’s public-private number gaming may be as suspicious as another questionable business-coddling device of the state, Enterprise Florida, which came under fire last year for inflating its figures to include failed and out-of-state job creation to make business look stronger while justifying government incentives.

“We hope these numbers are more accurate than some of Enterprise Florida’s reporting,” she says. “If only the wages and benefits (like earned sick time) of hard-working middle-class Floridians were growing at the same rate as the corporate profits of Scott’s well-connected friends.”

Yep, if only. But if you think hard enough, you, too, can fly.

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