Yesterday, lawmakers from all of the state including Florida Governor Rick Scott converged on the opening of WaWa near Seaworld. The northeastern convenient store chain will begin opening stores in Florida and should slowly start to put Floridians to work.
The opening was given the full, 1st class political theater treatment. Long lines out the door, a full media spray, and the ribbon cutting with those oversized scissors we all love.
Now, it’s important to point out that this isn’t a diss at WaWa. Everyone raves about the stores. I’ll be stopping in to try it soon and hundreds of those jobs are still better than no jobs at all but, we’re doing touchdown dances over field goals here. Especially when massive layoffs are expected at military contractors like Lockheed Martin.
We’re trading middle-class jobs for lower paying positions. This doesn’t lead to economic recovery, this leads to professionals leaving the state and going to Texas. More opportunities for Governor Rick Perry (Governor Scott’s friend and competitor) to attract companies, put people to work, and ….what’s the third one? Oops! Yes, grow the economy in the lone star state.
In fact, WaWa wasn’t even the most important jobs stop Scott made yesterday. He also stopped at Digital Risk, the mortgage risk-analysis software. They’re going to create 1,000 jobs in the coming months. Quality jobs that could attract other companies to come to the state and take advantage of the low tax rate.
Yes, Sunrail will slowly put people to work and we’re building more condos downtown that will stay empty but, real employment solutions are what’s needed. That’s in the health and military science fields that Central Florida is capable of housing. We’re moving in the right direction but middle class jobs need to be replaced with other middle class jobs and we can’t pretend every single position created in the state fills that description.