Every week there seems to be at least one letter to the editor by someone concerned or complaining about the population growth in Florida and Manatee County in particular. Most often new housing developments, increased traffic and impact on the environment seem to top the list. Well, one undeniable fact is that the population of the world, the United States and the state of Florida is growing every day.
Growth in Florida has been going on unabated since the end of World War II, and it is not going to stop anytime soon if ever. Some 8 to 10 million baby boomers are reaching age 65 every day. Not every week of every month, but every day.
Many are retiring after a lifetime of working and are looking to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Obviously moving to the Sunshine State has become a priority for many of them. In fact, many of today's complainers regarding the current growth cycle probably moved here from somewhere else themselves.
Builders and developers are not going to invest millions of dollars in new homes, condos and apartments just for the fun of it. Don't be so hard on them. They are simply responding to the demand for new housing.
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This all seems to be perceived as bad. Let's look at the positive side of things. New development creates jobs. New residents pay taxes on their properties. They support the local economy.
All this creates a demand for new restaurants and a variety of other businesses. This expands the job market and the new workers also pay taxes and become new consumers.
So if looked at objectively, growth is neither all bad nor all good. What it is for sure is inevitable and unstoppable. Complaining about it does no good. Preparing for it is a far more positive approach.