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Sorry, media: Florida is still America’s paradise no matter how you spin it

New York Post – NBC News, recently in the news itself for firing ex-Republican National Committee head Ronna McDaniel just 48 hours after the network hired her, ran a pernicious story about Florida by Shannon Pettypiece, NBC News digital senior policy reporter, declaring “rising costs and divisive politics” have people “fleeing the Sunshine State.”

As a close reading of Pettypiece’s lousy article shows, she couldn’t be more wrong.

Based on only one grossly misrepresented statistic and interviews with exactly five disgruntled ex-Floridians, it paints our state as a nightmarish place, groaning under high expenses, worsening traffic, scarcer services and — what else? — extreme weather.

At least she didn’t bore us with a predictable diatribe about alligators (responsible for 30 fatalities in the last 76 years, six fewer than the number of New Yorkers murdered in January 2023).

But the hard facts prove the opposite of what she seeks to put over on hapless readers: Florida is in fact booming, popular, happy and free. It is, indeed, America’s own paradise.

While Pettypiece claims almost 500,000 people moved out of Florida in 2022, she barely acknowledges the fact that well over 700,000 moved in that year, and the ratio of new Floridians to those moving away is rapidly increasing.

Our 2022 net gain of 249,064 people was the largest of any state in the union, as it was the previous two years — while blue-state crime rates soared and most of our nation’s Democrat-governed big cities turned into underpopulated wastelands of crime and decay.

Florida had a net gain of 365,205 people from July 2022 to July 2023, according to data Pettypiece consulted but didn’t bother to cite, while the state’s Chamber of Commerce predicts another 225,000 to 275,000 arrivals in 2024.

Unsurprisingly, the four states with the greatest net out-migration in 2022 were radical-Democrat-governed New York, California, Illinois and New Jersey.

New York City alone has lost more than 400,000 people since 2020.

So many state residents left, that year’s census cost New York a seat in Congress while Florida gained one.

Having added more than a million new residents overall since 2020, migration to Florida has sometimes topped 1,000 people per day.

Many have horror stories about life up north you will never see in an NBC News column.

For those who come and stay, our state is routinely ranked No. 1 in new business creation, job growth, talent development, entrepreneurship and ease of doing business.

At 2.9%, our unemployment rate is the lowest among the 10 most populous states — so low, it meets economists’ definition of functional full employment.

Tourism is at a record high.

Crime is at a record low.

Our 9.3% gross-domestic-product growth in 2023 was the nation’s highest and twice New York’s.

A net nearly $40 billion in adjusted gross income has passed into our state since 2020, the largest amount of capital flow into any state in American history.

Florida’s $14.6 billion state-budget surplus (compare with New York’s $9.5 billion budget deficit) is so high, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed bills to cut state taxes and fees, reduce tuition for our state’s No. 1-ranked public system of higher education and provide universal vouchers for all Florida school students.

If Florida were an independent country, it would have the world’s 14th-largest economy.

As New York’s benighted authorities plan to boost their state’s tax burden (already the country’s highest) even more, Florida state income and inheritance taxes have for a century been outlawed by constitutional amendment.

There is a reason 158 financial companies managing nearly $1 trillion in assets left New York for greener, and often sunnier, pastures, as of August 2023. More than a third of them went to Pettypiece’s disfavored state.

Are there costs? Sure.

As Pettypiece’s paltry band of dissatisfied interview subjects told her, real-estate prices are higher, though average house prices are still about 20% lower than in New York.

Traffic can be a challenge, especially in the burgeoning business zone between Miami and West Palm Beach, where many former New Yorkers live and work.

With the competition from blue-state transplants so great, some new Floridians have trouble finding doctors, schools and other essential services.

Yet Pettypiece’s blistering ignorance causes her to miss not only the basic law of supply and demand but a profound truth about life in the Sunshine State: These inconveniences are by-products of Florida’s runaway success, rather than symptoms of any supposed deficiency.

The plain fact is people want to be here, and not where she is, in greater numbers than ever before.


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