Contact 83 Degrees

About 83 Degrees

Index of Articles

What Others Are Saying



On Facebook


From 83 Degrees Magazine - Tampa Bay's new media sensation covering the talent, innovation, diversity and economic development of Tampa Bay from 83 Degrees in Tampa Bay.

Rail Defeat Hurts Super Region Cluster Plan

A tattered sign along a desolate stretch of I4 announces drivers are passing the “future downtown of Orlampa.”

That’s a rosy hopeful view from decades ago I did not care, or know, about till it suddenly became relevant to the new plans of my friends and benefactors' empty headed guru-lead buzz-word juiced scheme on clustering economic development.

There is nothing to Orlampa just empty fields, Has been that way for decades. But now government leaders from Tampa, Orlando and Lakeland have been pushing the concept of a super region that might compete against other US Cities and overseas. A regional buzzword concept that could have made Orlampa a reality.

As a lazy writer and a phony journalist I am duty bound to repeat verbatim the talking points and press releases distributed by these leaders, cleverly disguised as my own thoughts and writing. Since they thought of it then it is immediately branded a good idea.

The bullet train funding rejected by Governor Scott was to be a linchpin in the elite’s plan for a super region. Without the billions of federal funding they planned to swim in Scrooge McDuck style, the lofty plans for a regional sham are dealt a beep blow indeed.

The economic benefit to these people and groups are at risk if the Governor is allowed to think he runs the state. All the potential corruption and waste missed out on would be tragic. Hence local and congressional leaders are scrambling to keep the dream alive for their donors friends and cronies.

A department of Transportation study suggested the rail project could generate 21,000 temporary low paying construction jobs this year and as many as 9,700 next year. That would temporality replace 3.5% of the 876,500 jobs we have lost in this recession so far at a cost of only $91,215 per temporary low paying job. Image if we wasted that money on small business loans and developing new industries locally?

It is jobs creation, inefficient and horribly wasteful sure, but it is jobs creation. The numbers are not that bad when viewed with the lack of accountability expectations and transparency we expect to operate the rail line under.

For two years the Tampa bay Partnership and the Central Florida Partnership have had endless meetings, talks, cocktail parties and buzz word fueled press releases blathering on about creating a super region for their control and funding. It is key to these groups continued success that they absorb the smaller more efficient and honest local economic development groups. Without talent vision or success they can only grow via hostile takeovers.

High Speed Rail is more then a boondoggle of government funded feasting, it is an important symbol of the two groups’ dominion over the area thus legitimizing their power grab.

To be sure Tampa and Orlando already work together. They cooperate in a central Florida economic development group called the Florida Hi-Tech Corridor Council which has consistently failed to attract high tech industries. Furthermore, a few years ago they failed to lure the Olympics in unison.

The bullet train might have allowed the two cities, and their little annoying brother Lakeland, to work together to fail on a world wide scale of projects, as far as their self-interested fight for dominance and competition would continue to undercut their efforts.

The bullet train would have lined the pockets of all the right people while giving the appearance of a false hope to the economy. Damn you Rick Scott.

From 83 Degrees Magazine - Tampa Bay's new media sensation covering the talent, innovation, diversity and economic development of Tampa Bay from 83 Degrees in Tampa Bay.