Confessions of a Sausage Maker Redux

After publishing Confessions of a Sausage Maker I googled population control and discovered a lot of activity out there. Sad to say much of it is just as bad as the bureaucracy that already exists (or worse). There’s a whole lot of conspiracy and intrigue published around population control, none of which had any impact on my thought process at all. Except my college memory of Paul Ehrlich’s book


My thinking comes from my experience in working within the system to plan and manage growth. After spending many years with my 3 passions, baseball, jazz and government, I am very comfortable in realizing that I understand the first two pretty good and believe that they will continue to thrive despite human frailty. Government on the other hand is a continuing frustration.


So the basis for my theory of continued failure to manage growth is, as with most things, simple logic based on observation. Let’s take the most recent observation first: New Orleans and Katrina. The simple truth about New Orleans is that it should be somewhere else. But man has put it there because of ease of commerce (The Mississippi and The Gulf making it a dynamic port city). From a growth management perspective it can not be justified, only from a commerce perspective. Katrina proved its vulnerability.   And what did we do afterward? We rebuilt it. Is that growth management or insanity?


When I was a boy Florida’s population was 3,000,000 (now its 19,000,000). One could drive from Ft Walton Beach to Panama City and see only 2 hotels and a few mom and pop motels. Anyone could have a picnic and enjoy the breathtaking beauty and the people mostly lived more inland. Not so today, it is very densely developed with major hotels and condos. What’s gonna happen when the next Katrina hits that area. Opal was cat 3 when it hit in 1995 and caused massive destruction and loss of property. What did we do? We rebuilt it. People keep coming to live there because there are more people to come. What’s kinda funny is that many of the newcomers are horrified of the changes wrought by their arrival and want to prevent future similar changes. But few leave. Few want to make a personal sacrifice, so they turn to government.


We do not have growth management in Florida nor most of the US. We never will as long as there is a profit to be made for developing places for people to come. Government is just as greedy for the additional revenue as the developers are. But it is we, the people, who feed the insanity and then call for government to bail us out.


Until sensible people can come together and develop mutually agreeable legislation and implement population control world wide much of the world’s problems will continue. Of course it’s the most sensitive of all subjects as it deals with human life and crosses all religious, moral, cultural and political boundaries. It doesn’t help that day to day headlines fuel the fires of misinformation and mistrust. i.e. the Pope calls for elimination of condoms in Africa. How insane is that?



Confessions of a Sausage Maker

Much of my adult life I have worked to “make a difference.” I have worked in Government and later with private/public coalitions of the leadership of Florida. I believe I have in fact occasionally contributed to some relevant and beneficial accomplishments.


I know how the sausage is made and the process is definitely one that, although the general population thinks they want to know and see how the decisions are made, the vast majority of us don’t have the stomach for it and nothing would get done.


The real problem is that we are not dealing with the underlying cause of most of our cultural stress……. population growth.

“A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies – often horribly. A similar fate awaits a world with a population explosion if only the symptoms are treated. We must shift our efforts from treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparent brutal and heartless decisions. The pain may be intense. But the disease is so far advanced that only with radical surgery does the patient have a chance to survive.” Paul Ehrlich The Population Bomb

We create entities to “manage” growth that are so bureaucratic they are almost non functional. Just scroll through the following link. We have created an agency to administer growth management and the first act we set aside is the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) which describes the process to CHANGE the requirements on a project by project basis.


Florida’s population is projected to top 20million by the end of 2012.


We now have term limits on our legislators, which many haled as “good government practices.” The net effect is however that they can not possibly absorb the complexities of the many many government regulations in their brief time in Tallahassee so they rely on staffers to brief them on content of existing regulations and on proposed bills. The staffers are neither elected nor appointed, in many cases they have risen to their level of incompetence and now exist in a symbiotic marriage of convenience.   


Growth Management is an oxymoron, as long as profit is the net result, those who understand how to “get er done” will do so. Because they can, because we continue to supply feedstock to the process………more people. I know what the problem is but I don’t know how to fix it. The first step is admitting the problem (huh?)

Where Have All The Leaders Gone

It is truly sad to read the daily news these days. One wonders how much longer the republic will stand with such foolishness going on with our leaders. All too often we are all playing the blame game and not really trying to work together to preserve the greatness that is America. I am carefully avoiding finger pointing in this blog to keep on point. And……the point is we have so much wonder in our own back yards that I think we just forget what the true joy of a free America offers and why it is worth putting down pettiness and coming together to preserve our future. My wish for us all this beautiful Sunday morning is that we can truly become one nation with liberty and justice for all.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. “ Ronald Reagan