I was browsing through some news stories this evening looking for something to write. I came across these two items that almost seem to contradict one another.
From The Times-Union, this story about a recent UNF study on the economy.
It looks like the recession will continue for at least the next few months, according to indicators of future economic activity.
And the story also contained this interesting nugget from UNF Economics Professor Paul Mason:
“At this point, we believe that the stagnation is being exacerbated by continued new bailouts and stimulus activities that motivate businesses to seek additional government money, instead of finding solutions to weakness in their respective industries,”
Meanwhile, in The Business Journal, there was this somewhat upbeat assessment:
Florida moved up in the ranks to become the third-best state in which to conduct business, according to Chief Executive magazine. The magazine evaluated states on natural resources, regulation, tax policies, quality of living, education and infrastructure, among others. Florida ranked No. 10 in 2008.
Still, there were problems in Florida. The cost of doing business is high, and the state ranks low in education.
But do these stories conflict one another? It might seem so on the surface, but nowhere in The Business Journal story does it say the economy is good … it’s just that Florida appears to be the third best of a bad economy.
There have been some upticks recently. The Dow closed down a bit today, but has been on an upswing over the past few days. I was talking to a real estate agent at a Chamber of Commerce function Tuesday who said her office had closed dozens of properties in Atlantic Beach in the past month. Prices were down, but properties are moving. That’s good news for us with a townhouse in Atlantic Beach to sell.
But I think most disturbing is the survey finding that business are waiting for a government handout, rather than looking for innovative ways to solve their individual problems. And businesses aren’t the only ones. Governor Crist said today he’s holding back 15 percent of state spending over the next three months until he sees what kind of stimulus money flows into the state.
So we sit, as one of the best places to do business in the county in one of the worst economies in decades, waiting for our bailout money, while some banks use theirs to pay bonuses to people who drove the financial system of the country to the brink of collapse.
To quote the King of Siam in “The King and I” … It is … a puzzlement.