Boom/Bust Cycles into Catch-22

Letters

BY SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY APR 30, 2016

Mr. [Tom] Barwin, if this note comes off as critical, please excuse as that is not the way I intend it to sound.

Your solutions that you propose are only minor stopgap measures at best. The City, The County and our world is caught up in a Catch-22 situation. We are caught up in an economic growth, no-growth cycle. Florida and the world itself is caught up in a boom or bust economy. What happened in the last 15 years in Sarasota is a wonderful example of that. In the mid-2000s we built as if there were no tomorrow. Greed took over; we made credit so easy and fraudulent that we had housing being sold to people who were not qualified. This debacle almost took down the world economy and the greatest transfer of wealth in world history happened.

We have the same phenomenon going on at the present. Thousands of hotel rooms, condos, residentials are being built all over Sarasota County and everybody like the last boom/bust cycle is saying the same mantra, “Its different this time.” Well it is not different. Profit, Power and Greed are still the driving forces in the Universe. 

You know and I know as long as we have cheap gas prices, subsidized auto transportation and business pushing for easy growth without regard to the consequences, we will have this auto-dependent economy. I think everybody rationally knows the a massive increase in motor fuel taxes or a dramatic rise in the cost of fossil fuel is the only realistic solution. However, you want to keep your job as you near your retirement goals and I have two interchange sites that for me to sell requires auto-dependent growth.

In the meantime we have Economic Development Commissions, Chambers of Commerce and Tourism Departments just for the purpose of attracting more people to the area. Then we have Economic Development Commissions and Chambers of Commerce lobbying for government to solve the problems caused by this growth. All at no new or increased taxes. Build more roads, buy more beach land and parking, bulldoze more environmentally sensitive land in the path of progress. But come hell or high water, don’t stop growth, solving the problems it causes, or we will replace you with someone who will do the Catch-22 dance! And I will be stuck with my two interchange sites.

Bob Richardson, responding to the "Car Dependency=Traffic Congestion" article by Tom Barwin in the April 23 edition of SRQ Daily.

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