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?)


6 Responses

  1. > “make a difference.”

    Did you know that exact phrase, in a exhortation by President Dr. Billy O. Wireman, is what popped out at me in 1970 from the Florida Presbyterian College admissions handbook?

    I never supported term limits. That was considered in the framing of the Constitution, then discarded. You are correct that the effect is to make bureaucrats more powerful.

    As for “planning” I am quite skeptical of it. The idea that government, or anyone else for that matter, can forsee what is coming in order to “plan” is ridiculous. Which is why all the “plans” kept changing every other week, which led DCA to say only two amendments per year. That led to Godzilla amendments the length of War and Peace which few could comprehend.

    Exhibit A: Capital Circle was built as a “beltway” to ease traffic so trucks etc not coming into town could “bypass the City. Tat is why it became called the ‘truck route.” But then look what happened: all the development along it made it one of the worst traffic monsters of all.

  2. “make a difference” yup it is a holdover from my youthful JFK enthusiasm.

    If you watch what is happening with St Joe/Arvida you will see the true story of Florida’s “growth management.” If they are successful in citing the international airport between Tallahassee and Panama City it will be a classic example of the one with the gold making all the rules. Both the existing airports badly under serve their populations already.

    Re-routing hwy 98 so that the gulf coast land can be developed is just another case in point. That land should not be developed at all, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

    And what makes it all possible is that we have no limit at all on population management. It is all a field of dreams. If no one would come and buy the new properties then St Joe wouldn’t have divested their mill and timber operations and focused on the commercial value of the land.

    I bet ole Ed Ball is turning over in his grave.

  3. Is there a holdup to the new PC airport? I thought it was under construction. The rumor is that Southwest will fly there. That will considerably reduce my commute to Jax airport.

    I heard that the problem with PC airport is its location near Tyndall. Approach is limited since otherwise they will intrude into military airspace. And if the AF is doing takeoffs, there is a coordination issue.

    A high school friend’s son is an ATC at Tyndall and he got us into the control tower, from which I had a nice view of some very cool looking military aircraft.

  4. The airport is indeed under construction, the first one in the US since 9/11. I missed the last court decision on an opposition group Feb 14

    The conflict with military was really a non issue, just look at Okaloosa Walton which has co-located civil and military air traffic.
    The current PC Airport is the 18th most expensive airport in the country, thereby making the PC area attractive to landing carriers that can make larger profits. Currently they only run about 3 international flights a year and those are mostly from the Caribbean. Don’t count your chickens on low cost airfare, the carriers like the location because there is not much competition.

    My point was that without St Joe “donating” the land, the entire project would not likely have occurred and the poor ole Panhandle would have remained less congested to another 6000 homes. Later someone will ask “why didn’t DCA MANAGE this growth?” Because there is no way of adequately forecasting what the effect of 6000 homes will have on stimulating the 2nd and 3rd round of development.

    Is it good economic development? Yes it is the best kind. The question is how much do the existing citizens really want? Let’s look at your case. You want Southwest for your personal savings. It may actually open for a short while before you retire and move to Costa Rica leaving behind the growth monster that is Florida.

    Now let’s look at mine, the Panhandle is exactly where I want to retire and I am not as keen on growth for that very reason.

    And if we had a flat population curve this could not happen at all.

  5. > move to Costa Rica leaving behind the growth monster that > is Florida

    > the Panhandle is exactly where I want to retire and I am not
    > as keen on growth for that very reason.

    LOL! Does this not exemplify how “personal” perspective affects our views, regardless of what is “rational;”, etc.? This pursuit of “self-interest” is what Ayn Rand and others of that mindset advocate. *I* advocate it….until *your* self-interest butts into mine!

    But since you’ve already retired, what stops you from moving here now? Prices are low; although selling your home may be a problem until things turn around.

  6. “But since you’ve already retired, what stops you from moving here now? Prices are low; although selling your home may be a problem until things turn around.”

    Yup I am not even thinking about trying to sell in 2009. I have lost as much as I intend to. I will wait for the housing market to rebound and hopefully the market will give back some of the loses.
    Many homes for sale in my area, some occupied some not.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: