Can Coral Gables Politics Change?

The following conceptually might be a view of the economy of the city of Coral Gables, with its local income inequality (clearly, not as bad as the national income distribution because of fewer poor); lawyer, developer, real estate and university interests who have captured city hall; and a voting class that prefers to vote against its own interests than risk changes in local government, even though government has been an outright financial fiasco and tolerant of taxes increases, even in bad times.

The obscene income inequality bequeathed by the three-decade rise of the financial industry has societal consequences graver than even the fundamental economic unfairness. When we reward financial engineers infinitely more than actual engineers, we “lure our most talented graduates to the largely unproductive chase” for Wall Street riches… Worse…the continued squeeze on the middle class leads to a wholesale decline in the quality of American life — from more bankruptcy filings and divorces to a collapse in public services, whether road repair or education, that taxpayers will no longer support.

via What Happened to Change We Can Believe In? – NYTimes.com.

The so-called “quality of life” that the city claims  to defend produces benefits for a few close interests in the city and a commercial development that is being paid for proportionally more by the middle class.  This will not change unless the taxpayers vote in more representative and progressive commissioners and mayor, but the city’s history is influenced more by the stream of money going to the favored candidates of interest groups.

The city government and it friends are surely over estimating the future path of the US economy and, except for a very few who always benefit from either growth or stagnation, the future will not exempt the city’s citizens from more taxes.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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