The Match Game
“Imagine life in Florida without its 14 seaports”, is how the article in the ‘Daily Comet’ began. “Gasoline would be more expensive, if available at all. Building materials would be difficult to come by. Roads would be choked with trucks bringing in goods that would otherwise have been unloaded from ships. And new roads would be hard to build without concrete and asphalt arriving by sea. Meanwhile, someone would have to pick up the tax shortfall for nearly 15-million cruise passengers taking their business elsewhere.
“In short, life without Florida’s seaports would be inconvenient and much more expensive. It is time to recognize the vital role ports play in the state’s economy and plan for a bigger role in the future.”
The article then mentioned two items before the Florida Legislature calling for appropriations totaling $ 110 million to cover port expansion and improvements. “This should be one of the easiest decisions lawmakers will make this year,” the report stated. “For a relatively modest investment, they will help an industry that is responsible for 350,000 jobs and generates $ 1.3 billion in state and local tax revenues …
“More products coming into Florida seaports would boost the economy, create jobs that pay better than average, and increase tax receipts while reducing consumer costs on many products. Other Gulf Coast states recognize the opportunity, and that’s why they are pouring money into their ports. It would be a shame if Florida missed out because it failed to recognize the value of its seaports.”
Now let’s cast a glance to the north. A number of debating teams are participating in discussions and squabbles about container terminal construction in ports along the Delaware River. Believe it or not, there are actually elected officials who have yet to research the history and development of containerization. This ‘new’ industry will celebrate its 51st anniversary next week, and yet not many landlubbers in that region seem to know or care how much influence this burgeoning maritime industry has upon the lives of every U.S. consumer/taxpayer. Their heads are in the sand.
That ‘Daily Comet’ reporter should have included some parenthetical observations in the above-quoted article. Like these, for instance:
“Imagine life in Florida without its 14 seaports. (It would be like living in towns along the Delaware River.) Gasoline would be more expensive … Building materials would be difficult to come by … Roads would be choked with trucks … new roads would be hard to build … someone would have to pick up the tax shortfall … (just the way it is along the Delaware).”
“In short, life without Florida’s seaports would be inconvenient and much more expensive … ( just the way it is along the Delaware).”
“It is time (for Pennsylvania and New Jersey) to recognize the vital role ports play in the state’s economy … (It is time those officials took their heads out of the sand.)”