Skip to main content

The Economy, Version 2012 #2

EP036153
I was out running errands on the north side of Orlando around the 436/434/I-4 Altamonte section. I had to swap out some supplies at Florida Hospital up on 434, turn in some paperwork with my accountant off Lee Road, and make some final Father's Day returns with Kohl's up at the intersection of 436 and 434. It was at the last errand at Kohl's that I found these three small defunct businesses in the general vicinity. Right next to Kohl's was what appeared to be a Mexican restaurant. From the outside it still looks fairly new and well kept. According to the sign it's a "fully equipped restaurant." (Note: I do not work for the company trying to lease this building, nor will I get some sort of commission; I just happened to see this empty building sitting here.)

In the same parking lot, next to the out-of-business restaurant sat this defunct restaurant. I have no idea what used to be here, but the oval sign looks like a Fazoli's or Donatos. The only problem with calling it a former Donatos is that the Donatos buildings were very distinct, square, and brick. And all of the former Donatos have been converted into other businesses. By the look of the exterior weathering this place has been empty for quite a few years. There wasn't even a "For Lease" sign on the property.
EP036156
EP036164
_7030809
_7030806
Finally, on the way out from the Kohl's shopping area I spotted this California Burrito Express. This had to have been a recent closure, as the signage was still up. The interior looked clean enough to where it could be opened and back in business within a week.
EP036169
EP036173
Barack Obama likes to campaign about how small businesses "are the backbone of America's economy."  From what I've seen since 2009 around Orlando and continue to see, the backbone is pretty broken. Part of the problem is planning. Within less than a block there are three restaurants that are essentially service industry small businesses. Two of them appear to be former Mexican food businesses. There's only so many ways you can serve any given ethnic food before it all just looks and tastes the same. And the cost of eating out keeps going up, while folk's incomes remain static or disappear entirely due to layoffs.

These three buildings are the only empties I saw within this block. As I looked at the other shopping centers I saw more empty store fronts. I didn't bother to photograph them because it wouldn't have added to the store one way or another. If you want to check my facts you can always drive up there and look around. But the majority of the buildings I've documented as empty over the last 3 1/2 years are still sitting empty. Even some of them that were converted have gone out of business again.

We've got a problem here in Orlando and in Florida in general. We've got an economy that depends too much on service industry and too much on sales taxes that fluctuate wildly. We've had Republican governors for the last 12 years, since Jeb Bush was first elected in 2000. After over a decade of Republican stewardship (Jeb Bush, Charlie Christ, and now Rick Scott), we're far worse off economically today than when Jeb first took office. We can't blame this on Washington. The blame for all of this rests squarely in Tallahassee and on Florida in general for electing them in the first place. These empty small businesses are the most visible sign of the problem, and they seem to be growing worse, not better.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…