Friday, January 23, 2009
Do not move to Florida, unless...
The nation is in deep economic trouble. Florida's situation mirrors the nation's problems. For Floridians in need, it is becoming more difficult to get help. If you try to apply for state
unemployment benefits, you can expect a major hassle.
My suggestion is do not move to Florida unless you have a stash of cash or great retirement benefits, or one hell of a good job.
Jobs of any description are becoming more and more difficult to find. In fact, Florida's unemployment rate is now over 8%, the highest in 16 years!
One reason Florida is suffering economically is because in Florida, under Jeb Bush, we liked tax breaks for the rich, which, of course, devastated the state budget. But that wasn't enough. We liked tax breaks of any kind, even for the middle-class. So, we did those, too. Didn't solve the problem.
It did, however, create another huge problem. The state government, which has always been financially strapped, now has even less money to provide basic services for the people. Local governments and school districts share the same fate. Many of these have had to lay off people because of lack of funds, which means less services and poorer service.
If you're already in Florida, or are so dumb as to actually contemplate a move, be prepared. You may have to pave your own street, dig your own well, and dump your trash in your backyard. You may have no other choice than to home-school your kids, carry a gun for protection, and make sure you have enough water on hand to fight a fire.
I'm exaggerating, of course. Still....
One big and symptomatic problem is rearing its ugly head at the state labor department.
Go ahead and try to apply for unemployment benefits. According to an article in the Miami Herald, "there's no way to sign up in person, and those who apply by phone can expect either busy signals or waits of up to 90 minutes to speak to someone. ...
"In December alone, the department handled more than 157,000 applications, or almost triple the number from the same month in 2007. For all of 2008, the department handled 1.3 million applications, or almost twice as many as the previous year."
It appears other states are having similar problems keeping up with the workload as so many people are out of work and needing help to survive.
You may be one of those out of work people.
But, never fear, just remember what Limbaugh said: We're not in a recession or a depression. That's a lie perpetrated by the media. Furthermore, just get out there and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You shouldn't be looking for help from the government anyway!
The Miami Herald article is here.