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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Florida Gov. Rick Scott went to California last week to steal some jobs.

Guess how that brilliant idea turned out.

Scott urged California businesses to pack up and move to Florida because the minimum wage in Florida is only $8.05 an hour.

That was actually the thrust of his selling point: Why are you paying your workers $10 an hour? Floridians will work dirt cheap!

Scott spent lots of taxpayer money to carry this dubious offer to the Golden State, where it went over like a lead balloon.

In a caustic retort, Gov. Jerry Brown wrote: “If you’re truly serious about Florida’s economic well-being, it’s time to stop the silly political stunts and start doing something about climate change — two words you won’t even let state officials say.”

A Los Angeles Times editorial called Scott’s California trip “especially offensive.” It said he “should be home in Florida … trying to create well-paying jobs, instead of trolling for low-wage ones that he can steal in California, undermining this state’s effort to pay a living wage to more of its low-skilled workers.”

The impetus for Scott’s trip was California’s decision to raises its minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next six years. Scott says the wage hike will cost the state 700,000 jobs, a figure he got from a conservative think tank that didn’t even use California jobs data.

Meanwhile, a study by the Labor Center at the University of California-Berkeley predicted no net job loss in Los Angeles as a result of the state’s phased-in pay increases.

In Florida, we’re used to Scott’s obsession with job numbers instead of quality jobs. It will be the centerpiece of his U.S. Senate run in 2018, by which time we might lead the nation in convenience-store openings.

Last week’s “trade mission” to California was Scott’s second. His first try came in March 2015, and since then California employers have added twice as many new jobs as Florida employers have.

So, that trip didn’t work out so great, either.

Unfortunately for Scott, California’s economy is booming right now.

Although the unemployment rate is higher than in Florida, there is no corporate exodus. Ironically, census figures from 2014 indicate that more Florida residents are moving to California than going the other direction.

Florida is an easier sell to multimillionaires looking to relocate in a state with no income tax. That’s undoubtedly one of the reasons that Scott himself moved to Florida in 2003.

However, Florida isn’t so alluring to firms looking for a skilled and educated labor force. That’s because the state still spends an embarrassingly paltry amount on its schools.

According to the National Education Association, the average salary of public teachers in Florida in 2013-2014 was $47,780. That’s 39th in the country, worse than even Alabama or Louisiana.

In California, the average teacher salary that year was $71,396.

Now, if you’re on the board of Apple or Microsoft, where do you think your employees with school-age children would rather live?

It’s bad enough that Scott flies around the country bragging about Florida’s pathetically low wages, but he’s using public money to run radio commercials in other states, beseeching companies to close up shop and move to Florida.

Which would basically screw all the working people on their payrolls.

The governor’s job-poaching junkets are, as the Los Angeles Times said, offensive. But his mission is futile, and his lack of sophistication is breathtaking.

Scott puts the “goober” in gubernatorial.

In March, he invited Yale University to leave its iconic Connecticut campus and resettle in Florida, to avoid state taxes on its endowment fund.

That would be Yale University, founded in 1701. A perfect fit for Boca Raton, right? Or maybe Yeehaw Junction?

Whether Scott was serious or not (he insisted he was), he came off looking like a dolt. They’re still laughing at him (and us) in New Haven.

Out of courtesy to his GOP colleagues, Scott focuses his job-stealing raids on states with Democratic governors. There’s nothing for them to be afraid of, no manic stampede of companies — or Ivy League universities — to the Sunshine State.

All we Floridians can do is apologize to the rest of the country for any past and future appearances by our weird ambassador for cheap labor and mediocrity.

Don’t take him seriously. We certainly don’t.

Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for the Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132.

(c) 2016, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Florida Gov. Rick Scott addresses an economic summit in Orlando, Florida, in this June 2, 2015 file photo.  REUTERS/Steve Nesius 

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68 responses to “Gov. Rick Scott: Florida’s Ambassador For Cheap Labor And Mediocrity”

  1. RED says:

    This moron Rick Scott is two henchmen in purple striped jumpsuits away from being a Batman villain, the TV Show. Just a complete idiot. What is wrong with our country? How did we create a society that creates so many morons. And many of the most ignorant stupid idiotic morons are elected officials, called Republicans or Cons for short!!

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  2. Dominick Vila says:

    Boasting about low wages, sub-standard schools, and a proliferation of Dollar stores goes well beyond naivete. Gov. Scott, highlighted the failure and irresponsibility of Republican fiscal policies, their impact on the standard of living of the citizens in the states where such policies are implemented, and the contrast between failed state policies and those that not only raise the standard of living of the people, but attract businesses as a result of higher disposable income.
    As embarrassing as situations like this are, and as embarrassing as it is to have a Governor whose former company was involved in fraudulent activities and given one of the highest fines in history, I would not be surprised if he is our next Senator.

    • Siegfried Heydrich says:

      Not this cycle . . . the Tea Party is over, and at this point, I don’t think he could get elected to the Collier County commission.

  3. jeffromac23 says:

    What gets me is they poach jobs from other states and say they created jobs. They have not created anything they just stole jobs from another state. If they actually found a new company that was looking to open somewhere than getting that company to locate in your state would be creating jobs. Creating an atmosphere where innovation and creativity thrives and start ups can survive that would be creating jobs.
    The Republican governors running around the country trying to get companies to move to their states does nothing to help our country.

    • jmprint says:

      Yes and we end up paying with our taxes for the move with subsidies that are granted for 10, 20 an 30 years.

  4. Otto T. Goat says:

    Florida students score slightly higher on standardized tests than students in California.

  5. Otto T. Goat says:

    Odd you mention Apple. It doesn’t bother you Apple makes products in low wage China, but wage differences between Florida and California really upset you.

  6. Otto T. Goat says:

    If a minimum wage increase does not reduce employment, why phase it in?

    • Siegfried Heydrich says:

      To reduce the shock on employers as its phased in. I see you have a degree in economics as well as constitutional law from the University of Deadbart.

      • Otto T. Goat says:

        If minimum wages don’t hurt workers there wouldn’t be any “shock”. The consensus among economists is that the minimum wage reduces the employment of low-wage workers.

        http://www.nber.org/papers/w12663

        • Siegfried Heydrich says:

          Except, of course, for the fact that empirical evidence, which is to say real world results, indicate otherwise. Places that have raised their minimum wage have seen their economies improve, not decline.

          I’ll take a real world outcome over a think tank paper any day, especially one from 2006.You know, from BEFORE the Bush economic meltdown? But that’s our Otto, always well behind the curve.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            That paper is a review of peer reviewed academic research. You lose again.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Ten years ago. Reality trumps your theory. Or are you still one of the Phlogiston holdouts, and Flat-earth believers?

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            The reality is the research shows minimum wage increases reduce employment of low skill workers, your crying can’t change that.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            “The reality is the research shows” simply shows me what a tiny, insulated bubble universe you live in, and how little reality manages to penetrate inside of it. Reality has refuted your decade old think tank paper. But then, reality is all just a librul plot, right? Facts are all just leftist lies straight from the pit of hell?

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            The consensus of economic research isn’t “a bubble universe”, nothing in that paper has been refuted. The fact is you know nothing about economics, but you insist on pretending you do.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Reality is, by definition, outside of a bubble universe. The ‘consensus of economic research’ is falsifiable by empirical data. The consensus of cosmological thought was that the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth until Copernicus proved otherwise. Or are you one of those denouncing the ‘Copernican heresy’?

            The fact that you’re frantically clinging to a ten year old refuted paper tells me, or anyone else, all we need to know about how tenuous your relationship with reality is. Reality, it seems, is all a commie plot, amIright?

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            You don’t haven any empirical data, you are making things up. You claim, based on nothing, the consensus among academic economists is wrong. Recent research hasn’t changed anything, not that you care about reality:

            http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/2015/december/effects-of-minimum-wage-on-employment/

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            See you and raise you. Duh. https://www.dol.gov/featured/minimum-wage/mythbuster

            Dayum, reality sucks, don’t it?

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            That’s political propaganda, which is all you know.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Riiight . . . because everything that refutes your position is propaganda, while the sources you cite from WND, Deadbart, Infowars, and The Blaze is just the pure, unvarnished truth. I refer you back to the bubble universe you inhabit . . .

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            I cited a review of peer reviewed academic research. You’re a denier.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            You cited a review of a ten year old paper that events have discredited. Much like yourself, I might add.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            Nothing has been discredited.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Reality begs to differ. When events disprove a thesis, that thesis is, by definition, falsified. Which is the technical term for ‘discredited’. Or do you still feel that the ‘ peer reviewed academic research’ that showed Saddam as possessing nuclear weapons as still valid?

            Seriously, I just love the way you deny reality and cling to only those ‘factoids’ that have been either falsified or rendered irrelevant for support.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            Events haven’t disproved the standard economic view of minimum wages.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Except for that pesky ‘every place that has increased the minimum wage has experiences economic growth’ part. Your problem is that you’re arguing ‘view’ and cherry picking your arguments, while completely ignoring events out in the real world. So, have you got any Phlogiston laying about?

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            Overall growth tells you nothing about the effect of minimum wage increases on low skill workers. The economic research I cited examined the real world effect of minimum wage increases. You keep insisting it’s wrong, even though you haven’t read it and couldn’t understand it if you did.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            I read it. Facts on the ground have overtaken it. And just HOW did a paper from 2006 examine ‘the real world effect of minimum wage increases’ when there were none to speak of?

            Otto, you’re arguing from inside the Fox universe where whatever buttresses your position is unassailable, and whatever refutes your position is either fabricated, misrepresented, or just doesn’t count. The difficulty being, of course, that out here in the real, fact based world, the paper you keep clinging to is moot. The real world has falsified it just as much as the learned papers that ‘proved’ Saddam had WMDs.

            Which, I might add, your fellow dwellers inside the whackosphere keep trotting out to ‘prove’ that the Iraq war was justified. Reality simply doesn’t matter to true believers. You tailor your facts to fit your presumptions, whereas out here, we look at actual facts.

            Ordinarily, I’d suggest you give it a try, but my guess is that the presence of anything factual in your life would cause you to break out in hives.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            You keep insisting academic economists who study the effects of minimum wage increases are wrong, but never say how. You talk about facts, but fail to provide any. You claim research, research that you haven’t read, has been falsified, when it hasn’t. None of your comments have been substantive, and I predict your reply to this one will not change that pattern.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Here, Otto, real world. Knock yerself out. http://www.nelp.org/content/uploads/Minimum-Wage-Basics-Business-Effects.pdf

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            That group’s claims have already been addressed. Try to keep up.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Really? Where? And I’m sorry, I don’t ‘keep up’ with right wing paranoia hatesites.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            All my links have been to academic research. Learn how to read.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            You provided one link to a ten tear old paper that was written before the Bush economic collapse and whose methodology has been refuted. But hey, cling, Otto, cling!

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            You ignored the link to recent discussion, and nothing in that paper has been refuted.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Yet . . . so, what, we’re having dueling papers? Otto, places that have increased the minimum wage have demonstrated economic growth. Period. Seattle is booming. People have more money to spend, and that boosts the local economy.

            You want to argue abstractions. You want to cite papers. I live out here in the real world. Not in a bubble universe where you can just pick and choose your own facts. I’m not concerned with ‘theory’. I’m more interested in ‘results’. And results, I am rather pleased to say, trumps your theory. You can argue ‘what if’ all you like. My response will be ‘what is’.

            Here are the states and municipalities that have raised their minimum wages. Once again, the evidence – not your beliefs – show that a raise in the minimum wage stimulates the economy. Deal with it. http://www.epi.org/minimum-wage-tracker/

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            Economists who look at changes in low skill employment are the ones living in the real world. Seattle is doing well, however gains in non-minimum wage employment are not relevant. Again, the evidence shows minimum wage increases reduce employment of low skill workers, and there is no evidence it stimulates the economy.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Except, of course, for those pesky facts on the ground.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            Economists are the ones looking at the relevant facts, you make things up.

          • Siegfried Heydrich says:

            Economists write papers. Facts on the ground speak for themselves.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            The empirical data supports the standard economic view.

          • jmprint says:

            No, stupid, low skill workers still will make minimum wage even if it’s increased.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            In the real world, some will lose jobs, others will earn less from reduced hours.

          • jmprint says:

            Do your math if hours are cut down from 40 to 32 those that get an increase from 7.25 to 10.25 will still make more money on the 32 hour then 40 at 7.25 an hour.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            Do the math if those making $9.50 an hour get reduced from 40 to to 30 hours and those making $7.25 get fired.

          • jmprint says:

            Do you or have you ever own a company?

          • Independent1 says:

            And outright lie – raising the min wage has never been proven to reduce job creation.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            That’s what the majority of studies say.

            http://www.nber.org/papers/w12663

          • Independent1 says:

            As I responded above: Problem is, your peer group doesn’t know how to do studies. Because they’re wrong.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            Academic economists don’t know how to do studies? That’s idiotic.

          • Independent1 says:

            Why? Because you’re a gullible idiot that believes lies???

          • Independent1 says:

            Problem is, your peer group doesn’t know how to do studies. Because they’re wrong.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            You don’t know what peer reviewed means, that’s hilarious.

        • Independent1 says:

          Fact is lowlife, that in 2015 it was the 13 states that raised the min wage which led the nation in job creation. Like with some Harvard professors, those peer review groups you keep pointing out are no better at what they do than worthless polling organizations or the weatherman. Go with reality.

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            You don’t know what you are talking about.

          • Independent1 says:

            Really? So Fox News is wrong too? Here’s an excerpt from Faux News:

            The 13 U.S. states that raised their minimum wages at the beginning of this year are adding jobs at a faster pace than those that did not, providing some counter-intuitive fuel to the debate over what impact a higher minimum has on hiring trends.

            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/07/19/job-growth-picks-up-in-states-that-raised-minimum-wage.html

            Like I said: It’s your peer group that doesn’t know what they’re talking about!!!!

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            You have to isolate the effects on workers actually affected by the minimum wage increase.

          • Independent1 says:

            Hogwash! That’s why your peer group doesn’t know what they’re doing. They don’t fully understand all the dynamics associated with raising the min wage. What it does to individual groups is immaterial – it’s what it accomplishes for the entire economy and all the people.
            Mark Dayton proved that in Minnesota. In 8 years a failed GOP president named Pawlenty who governed with austerity and refused to raise the min wage, created less than 6,300 jobs in 8 years. When Mark Dayton took over and raised the min wage by over $1.50 and edicted that women had to be paid the same as men for doing the same job, and actually raised taxes on the upper 2% – in his 4 years 172,000 jobs were created. Over 165,000 more jobs in 4 years that Pawlenty could create in 8!!!!

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            Economists who look at minimum wage effects do know what they are doing. Your “argument” is absurd. Not only are you are attributing the creation of non-minimum wage jobs to the raising of the minimum wage, you are giving it credit for jobs created before the minimum wage raise happened.

          • Independent1 says:

            Hogwash!! Total BS!!

          • Otto T. Goat says:

            Great response to decades of peer reviewed research.

          • Independent1 says:

            Only a total right-wing moron such as yourself doesn’t realize that raising the min wage would create more jobs in all categories because the overall population would have more money to spend driving up the whole economy and thereby the whole job market!!!!!!! Which is one reason why the min wage jobs would shrink because people earning min wage would move up to jobs above the min wage!!!!!!

  7. Siegfried Heydrich says:

    And before anyone thinks that Hiaasen was speaking hyperbolicly, yes, no kidding, Florida does indeed have a town called ‘Yeehaw Junction’, pop 250 or so.

  8. Kristi P says:

    Carl Hiaasen?! Like the author of Hoot and Flush Carl Hiaasen? I loved your books as a kid!!!

  9. Norman Hirsch says:

    As Brown said: “We can understand why he’s coming back — there’s lots to do and plenty to learn. In fact, since his last 2,000 mile cross-country jaunt, California has added twice as many jobs as Florida, while paying down debt, building a robust rainy day fund and taking bold action on issues Gov. Scott continues to ignore, like climate change and poverty.” Scott is an imbecile.

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