Saturday, February 7, 2009

George Packer published a story in this week's New Yorker (the link, alas, is to the audiovisual portion; the story's only available in print) about the sordid history of Florida real estate. Ah, Florida -- "the state with the prettiest name," according to poet Elizabeth Bishop. "The Ponzi state" Packer calls it:
Florida has epitomized the boom-and-bust cycle of American business ever since a land rush in the nineteen-twenties ended with a devastating hurricane of 1926. The state's economy depends almost entirely on growth -- that is, on new arrivals and the wealth they generate in construction and real estate...Only Nevada has a lower proportion of native residents than Florida.

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