The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Cha-cha-cha-changes


It's funny how quickly things change. I moved to my little slice of Paradise in December of 2006. I had purchased the land where the house is in 2004. It took the builder 18 months to finish the house, cheat me as much as possible, and not correct most of the problems. At the time I purchased the land, the area had a decent unemployment rate (around 6%) for a mostly retirement location and business was booming.

Most of that boom came in the form of housing growth. And the force behind that was people trying to get out of Dade and Broward counties while capturing the increased equity caused by the real estate bubble of 1995-2006. People were retiring early, some were intent on commuting to very high paying jobs back in their old areas, and some came just trying to get in on the next Big Growth area. I was one of the "retiring early" crowd. I could not ignore the "We'll pay you big bucks to empty your desk and leave" programs the company I worked for was offering.

And then it all went away, didn't it? As I waited for my house to be completed, I saw the Bubble start to deflate. I worried that I might not be able to get my hands on that inflated equity. I worried that I might have to find at least a part time job to carry me through. I worried for nothing, it seems. I did lose some of the inflated equity when I sold the old homestead in the Spring of `07. Just not enough to hurt. I didn't have to get a part time job.

And now the unemployment rate for my county is over 12% and things don't look to improve for the next year or more (some say several, maybe 5). In 2005 and 2006, new businesses were moving into this area, old ones were expanding, houses were going up left and right. And the political leaders were trying to stall off the growth. They might have been right to do so, looking back. The period of growth was not normal and it couldn't be sustained. If they could have kept the growth restrained, maybe the Bubble bursting wouldn't have hit quite so bad.

Now we have a lot of empty houses, empty and closed businesses, and a general feeling of missed opportunity. But, oddly, I am happy.

1 comment:

zeusiswatching said...

We just arrived in Cape Coral in June. The optimists say "...it will all come back, bigger and better than before..." I don't really know what they mean by that, but optimism isn't a bad thing.

Like you, I am happy. The assessment on my house has declined, but since I don't intend to sell it anytime soon, I don't really care. I am living in our castle in the sun and enjoying every minute of it. I am content, sometimes even at peace.