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Florida's "Recovery" Left Many Behind: State Near Last in Affordable Housing and Insurance Coverage

Categories: Recessionomics

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Rick Scott was ostensibly reelected this year based on Florida's economic recovery, but a new report from the Center for American Progress reminds us that that "recovery" has left many in Florida behind. That state lags behind in many poverty indicators, and Scott's own decision not to expand Medicaid in the state as well as clamping down on unemployment insurance is a big reason why.


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Jury Finds Alan Levan, Former Head of BankAtlantic, Lied to Investors During Housing Bubble

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via BBX

Alan Levan, the former chairman of Florida-based BankAtlantic Bancorp, has been found responsible by a federal jury for intentionally defrauding investors in 2007 right before the bottom fell out of Florida's housing market.

Levan will not face criminal charges, as the judgment came as the result of a civil suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Instead, the SEC will seek to slap Levan with a civil fine and ban him from being an executive at any public company.


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Miami's Most Charitable ZIP Code Is in Opa-locka, Stingiest Is in Downtown

Categories: Recessionomics

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Photo by Anahi DeCanio's Flickr | MNT Flickr Pool
Quick. Which neighborhood in Miami do you think gives the biggest percentage of its income to charity? The exclusive enclave of Fisher Island? The rich families of Coral Gables? The retirees in Miami Beach? Nope. Not even close.

Miami's most charitable ZIP code is 33056. That's a neighborhood in none other than Opa- locka. The average resident give 7.75 percent to charity each year there. You can view Miami's ten most charitable ZIP codes here.

It's stingiest? The downtown ZIP code of 33132, AKA Ground Zero for over-the-top luxury skyscrapers. You can view Miami's ten least charitable ZIP codes here.

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Miami's Median Income Is Second Lowest in America; Poverty Is Second Highest

Categories: Recessionomics

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Photo by James Livingston | MNT Flickr Pool
As Miami's real estate market has boomed to glittering new heights of luxury since 2010, the area's median household income remains the second lowest of any major metro area while poverty has continued to increase. It's embarrassing, if not depressing.

See also: Miamians Can't Afford to Buy Condos in Miami

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Unemployment in Miami-Dade Down 2.9 Percent From a Year Ago

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Unemployment in Miami-Dade is down 2.9 percent from a year ago, according to the latest number from the Florida Department of Economic Activity, indicating that economic recovery in the county continues. The unemployment rate in the county now sits at 7.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted), and the county added 29,600 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014.

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Miami Condom Innovator Says Gates Foundation Award Winners Stole His Idea

Categories: Recessionomics

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Photo by Michael McElroy
One long night in the late '90s, Coconut Grove native Robert "Beau" Thompson was "absolutely hammered" and about to get very lucky with the beautiful daughter of an oil tycoon. In the darkness Thompson fumbled for a condom, but he couldn't tell which side was up. Forced to resign himself to a window to be guided by the glow of a streetlight, Thompson had an epiphany: "There has to be a better way."

After the incident, Thompson, now in his late 40s and a master carpenter by trade, spent years developing a better condom, one that was so easy to put on that even someone drunk and in the dark couldn't mess it up.

See also: Sensis: A new condom for drunks

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People With College Educations Moving to Miami, While People Without Moving Out

Categories: Recessionomics

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Photo: The People Speak's Flickr | CC2.0
Is Miami's "brain drain" finally over? In a new analysis, the Atlantic CityLab's Richard Florida shows that between 2011 and 2012 the Miami metro area had a net increase in residents with some college education, a college degree, or a post-grad degree. Meanwhile, there was a net decrease of residents with just a high school diploma or less. It was the only major metro area in the analysis that followed such a pattern.

Of course, that might seem like a good thing but it doesn't tell the full story.

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Marilyn Monroe Funeral Items to Be Auctioned by Miami Shores Man

Categories: Recessionomics

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Photo by George Barris via Wikimedia Commons
Marilyn Monroe in 1962
In August 1962, when Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her Los Angeles home of a probable suicide -- lying face down in bed, nude, and with a telephone in one hand -- the news captivated America. But so did the star's funeral. Joe DiMaggio, Monroe's baseball star ex-husband, was in charge of arrangements and invited only 25 of Monroe's closest family and friends -- famously snubbing the Kennedys and Hollywood stars such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, whom DiMaggio held partially responsible for Monroe's death.

The service was performed at the small Westwood Village Mortuary Chapel, and DiMaggio asked Monroe's legendary acting teacher, Lee Strasberg, to deliver the eulogy. "Marilyn Monroe was a legend," Strasberg began. "In her own lifetime she created a myth of what a poor girl from a deprived background could attain...

"But I have no words to describe the myth and the legend. I did not know this Marilyn Monroe. We gathered here today knew only Marilyn -- a warm human being, impulsive and shy, sensitive and in fear of rejection, yet ever avid for life."

Now, 52 years later, a Miami Shores man is preparing to put the original manuscript -- the one actually read by Strasberg -- up for auction.

See also: Marilyn Monroe's Miami X-Rays to Be Auctioned

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The Average Miamian Can Afford to Save Only $18 a Month

Categories: Recessionomics

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Photo by Tax Credit Flickr | CC
Another day, another pointed reminder that Miami is an economic nightmare for all but the elite.

Interest.com compared the average expenses for residents of the county's major metro areas to the average income to find out how much "savings opportunity" a regular citizen might have at the end of the month. For Miamians, it's just $18 a month (or roughly the price of a mojito on South Beach). That's the second-lowest savings opportunity in the nation.

See also: Miami Rents Are Wildly Unaffordable for Average Residents

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Ex-Librarian Blames Miami-Dade Public Library Director for Budget Woes

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Photo by C.A.Mendieta / Wikimedia Commons
Like most librarians in Miami-Dade County, Julio Granda Jr. was worried about the financial future of his institution. Under County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the system had lost $30 million in funding over several years and, in the summer of 2013, was staring down an additional $20 million cut.

But when Granda confronted the man he held partly responsible for the library's woes -- longtime library director Raymond Santiago -- at a meeting, Granda says the director "went into a tirade" and remarked, as part of a heated monologue, that if he left "this organization is fucked."

See also: Why Libraries in Miami Are More Important Than Ever

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