Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Blueprint for Economic Success, For Florida and Beyond

The following is a blueprint for economic success for the State of Florida. It is my hope that word will spread band that its suggestions will be enacted. By sharing these points, across the board, I hope that other states will enact those parts that can be of benefit to all, as we use common sense principles to get America’s economy rolling again.


The following is written Florida’s unemployment levels are above the national average. Given all that the State of Florida has to offer small business, it’s hard to believe that our unemployment rate is actually higher than the national average. It’s nothing short of insane that we haven’t managed to do more about this. Public servants and candidates in other states feel similarly about the situation in theirs. As we’re all in this together, I suggest the following to get small business rolling across the board.


Small business used to be the bedrock of our jobs market. And we were a lot better off when it was. The State of Florida has more to offer budding businesses than almost any other state in the nation. As Michigan and New York falter under high taxation and shrinking growth, Florida should be absorbing the lion’s share of business emigration. But we’re not. And here’s why:


LOOK WHERE THE PROBLEMS LIE – AND FIX THEM


1) We Don’t Ask for Business


First and foremost, the major problem that challenges Florida’s economic expansion is so simple that everyone misses it. Decision makers in corporate boardrooms, when discussing relocation, think of Arizona and the opportunities presented there. They discuss New Mexico’s unused resources, and so on. Florida isn’t brought to the table. In fact, people in the Northeast and in states like Michigan still think of Florida as being synonymous with hurricanes, even though our natural disasters are far less of a problem than those faced by other states.


We need to change this dynamic.


Other countries, with far less favorable business and taxation environments, advertise in business magazines and on well watched business shows. Their advertising pays off.


Few states in the nation have as favorable a business structure as Florida does and few places in the world can offer as much talent for employers to choose from. But nobody knows about it. Worse, those who do don’t think of it.


Targeted ads, that list all of what Florida has to offer, to Michigan based businesses and other areas from which business is fleeing, will pay off. It will change the dynamic and get people talking. It will get corporate boards and decision makers talking. That, in turn, breeds results.


2) Incentives


Tax breaks to C corporations that wish to move into recession stricken areas (areas with an unemployment rate of greater than 10% or that have seen a 15% drop in economic activity) will be the deal clincher in garnering new business to Florida.


3) Education


Business skills and financial literacy need to become a part of Florida’s public high school curriculum. I wrote a course on this subject, which was approved by the Broward County School Board and used by the United Way. We need to ensure that some kind of business knowledge is taught in Florida schools, in ways that students can relate to. Doing so has the added benefit of giving students clear reasons to finish school and to avoid crime.


4) Energy/Untapped Resources – Key to Florida’s Economic Development


Florida Atlantic University has been working on developing energy from the ocean. Wave technology as well as other natural water based forms of energy technology are areas that must be developed. The Northeast has used water-based electricity for decades and FAU and its Center for Ocean Energy Technology are leading the way in making this resource more efficient and reliable.


Ocean based energy is renewable, clean and cost effective. Its development should go in tandem with all other forms of sustainable and sensible energy development, including oil drilling (especially given the fact other nations are already drilling as closely to our shores as they can, without the protections to our coasts that we would enact).


Energy, agriculture and health innovation are key to the redevelopment of Florida’s economy and to bringing jobs to the state. There’s no reason why anyone should be moving away from Florida. We can easily harness our potential and revitalize the state.


5) Transportation vs. Wasteful Spending


Transportation projects need to make sense, be cost effective and streamline traffic in areas where congestion is an actual problem. Pure jobs creation projects can focus on other areas, first among them teaching – which is an investment in Florida’s future. Streamlining of transportation and solidification of existing bridges and similar structures are necessary works. We just have to be careful and sensible about where resources are spent.


Construction efforts can be augmented by using alternative sentencing for non-violent offenders. Doing so would not only save costs to the struggling construction industry, it would prevent first time offenders from become career criminals, leave them with hope and incentive to change and punish only the criminal, as opposed to the criminal’s family. It’s a recipe for a better society, plain and simple. And as always, doing the right thing makes economic sense too.


LET THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLE DICTATE OUR COURSE OF ACTION


Government cannot and should not take over the free market. Not now and not ever. What government can do is use common sense free market principles to bring business and jobs to the state. This is what I propose to do.


All in all, we need to get back to the same small business based economy that helped propel America and the State of Florida to economic greatness. Civic mindedness and personal responsibility, not to mention passion and ingenuity, are best fostered in a climate of small business. As we struggle to come back to our founding principles of faith, family and good neighborliness, small business has an integral role to play in the above.


WHAT CANDIDATES CAN DO


Candidates have a responsibility to propose common sense solutions that improve people’s lives. During pressing economic times, voters should demand nothing less. Unemployment is at crisis levels and tackling this issue should be of utmost importance to all who seek public office.


I’d like to share this proposal with other candidates and hope that they implement it, or something similar to it, in their districts. Before doing so, candidates are advised to speak with an attorney regarding any potential liabilities. There are likely many attorneys in your area who will appreciate the concept and would be willing to provide such advice pro-bono, if they’re approached.


A week and a half ago, I announced a Jobs Fair for my district. The model we’ve put in place is unique, and designed to have the most immediate impact. Employers get in front of politically/civically inclined applicants and prospective employees are quickly made aware of job options within the district and its surrounding areas.


The details are as follows. Of note, to do this, I established a separate campaign email, which in my case is jobs@abetterflorida.com. It is highly recommended that each campaign that wishes to use my system first create an email such as jobs@.


This was the main part of my announcement:


South Florida Jobs Fair

My campaign will be hosting a two part jobs fair to bring jobs to people in the district and strengthen local businesses by introducing them to qualified applicants.

PART 1

Streamlining Technology to Combat Unemployment

The 1st part is an effective and fully functional way to connect local business owners with local job seekers. In this process, the confidentiality of the job seeker is assured. The job seeker sends an email (preferably with a resume, so we can narrow down areas of interest) to jobs@. They then get on a list to receive all available job updates.

Employers looking for qualified local job candidates (after all, this service is only being circulated among the politically active or those who read up on local news), send a description of the job offer to jobs@. The job with the employer's contact info is then sent to the list of prospective employees.

This is a fast, streamlined and effective process, the goal of which is to immediately connect employees with prospective employers.

PART 2

Live Fair and Interviews

Local employers will be offered the opportunity to participate in a live face to face job fair on Wed. Mar. 17th to be held at Campaign HQ (or find a local business to host a fair) from 6-8 pm. Prospective employees will be invited to sit down with all employers during that time.

To participate please email jobs@. For additional information, please email or call .


This is just one of many things that candidates can do to stimulate the economy in their districts. I highly recommend that they pursue such a course. Politics is about public service and regardless of the result, these initiatives can help a lot of people, which is what politics should be about.

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