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?



11 Responses

  1. Well now I am confounded PT…. generally, conservatives are opposed to the entire concept of “growth management.” Especially at the state level. In theory, it sounds good; but I do not think it is very workable. Growth management does undermine private property rights.

    Now if you want to say that if I foolishly build it and then get blown away I shouldn’t have any governmetn help rebuilding, that’s one thing. But of course the political will for that is not there, just as it is not there for so many things.

    Thank goodness there is poker to distract me, or I’d go insane from the absurdity of it all! 😉

    Logic has little role here. I could give you mom-Florida examples. Shall we abandon San Francisco, built on a fault line, and just waiting for The Big One? Never happen. When it is leveled, it will be rebuilt.

  2. “Shall we abandon San Francisco,”

    That’s a whole different culture and mindset out there. Really it trully is. It began in 1849 and then mushroomed with frantic energy generated by nature and technology. Spurred on by Hollywood to the south, Stanford, and Silicon Valley. No other place like it in the world. Stir it up with earthquakes and furnace fires and you have “live for the day……failure IS an option” kind of venture capital feeding frenzy.

    Florida is not at all like that and never will be.

    Did you know that Walt Disney first approached Ed Ball to discuss locating DW in Wakulla County? And the conservative businessman told him to go pound sand. He wanted to protect his territory (and the environment)

    Conservatives may have mixed rationale for opposing unmanaged growth but it is not at all uncommon.

    But my point is that Government is really just the pawn of the deal makers. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.

    But if you are going to grow your business with population growth then you have to have it.

    Which is why I raise the point about limiting it.

    Maybe a building moratorium for 20 years would do it.

    lol……..did I say that out loud?

  3. I believe in the end that access to fresh water or lack of it, will be the only thing that ever curbs development significantly. (Might solve your population problem too.) Government definitely sucks at it.
    Did you ever read any of Carl Hiassen’s novels? In Tallahassee right now there is a situation right out of one of his books. A developer went out and illegally cleared a bunch of trees on this property he hopes to develop. The County came in and said he had to mitigate. He went in and put in a bunch of baby trees. Then he put goats on the property, which promptly ate all the trees. You can’t make this stuff up.

  4. Disney World in Wakulla?.. .now there’s an “interesting” scenario. Imagine Tallahassee as “Kissimmee”…lol!

    Ok, now if I”ve edited my profile correctly, you should see that my screen name is a clickable “link” back to my wordpress blog. If you want to have that for yours, go to “My Account” and then Edit Profile; under the “website” section, enter your wordpress URL.

  5. Thanks Anarchist…I am testing if that works. At least now I found out how to change my “gravatar”, but I decided to stick with the baby possums.

  6. Trying again.

  7. “I believe in the end that access to fresh water or lack of it” will be the only thing that ever curbs development significantly”

    I started to answer that and realized that it requires a stand alone blog.

    Everyone keeps telling me to read Carl Hiassen, i picked up one of his books and couldn’t get into it. Maybe I will try again.

    Funny story about the developer.

  8. Hiassen’s books, are frankly, a little stupid, but still amusing. I gather that many of them are based on actual events that have occurred in Florida.

  9. I don’t know anything about growth management but i do think that the rebuilding of New Orleans was just plain stupid.

    What will we do the next time a cat 5 rolls through and wipes it out again? A city below sea level makes no sense unless you build a giant bubble over it and call it Atlantis.

  10. ee…………exactly!

  11. Atlantis….that is truly, truly funny. I’m with Anarchist…you can find examples all over the country, that occur mostly because people have to live near water or where they can get water. And when you can get water from an aquifer or have it piped in and water is not a problem, we want to live near water either fulltime or parttime if we have that luxury. I think it’s some kind of primal thing.
    NOLA is a peculiar disaster. But currently, I refer you to: North Dakota.

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