Whether or not to embrace the artistic rendering of the most gaudy building yet proposed to disgrace the Miami coastline (and possibly any coastline ever) is but a minor decision to be made compared to the future of Florida's tourism economy.
Historically, Florida was boasted as a vacation destination for those seeking saltwater adventures, the wonder of the Everglades, and the exoticism offered by life intrinsically tied to the ocean and proximal to the tropics. In roughly the late 60's and early 70's, the state was overcome by Disney and came to be touted as a family destination where every child's fantasy could be satisfied amongst life size cartoon characters and "magic." Today, the NYTimes reports, that with the purchase of the Miami Herald building in downtown Miami and the Genting Corp's push for a 30 acre casino project, Florida decision makers are faced with a the decision to embrace a casino based tourism economy or not, beyond that which already exists.
But there are other ways of looking at it. Florida must decide how to best manage its booming population and limited social and natural resources. Whether it be casinos or another Disney park, continued development at this scale is not sustainable. Further, it is ironic these decisions are centered around growing a gaming economy as it is symbolic of the moral decisions facing the state and its most southern region. Who gets to make and influence policy in Florida? What values are going to take priority? Who wins, who loses, and who has to pay to make up the difference?
(10/31/11) In the NYTimes article linked above, Florida Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff (R-FLL) claims that
Everyone is sticking their heads in the sand... Florida has become the fourth-largest gaming state in the country — and we’re an anti-gaming state.In 2009(?) she is reported to have introduced HB 1157 to
Do away with the state Catastrophe Fund and Citizens. Insurers in the private market would turn over all hurricane insurance policies to a new, state-operated fund just for hurricane policies. Bogdanoff said that by taking on the "one risk" that is making large private insurers flee the state, those companies will return to Florida to offer other important property owner policies like flood and fire.
Bogandoff has a BA from UF in Insurance and Risk Management and
She spent the first 16 years of her career as a shareholder in Setnor Byer Bogdanoff, Inc., an independent insurance agency, and was invited to share her successes with other industry professionals as a columnist in American Agent Broker, a national insurance industry magazine.