I know it has been a while since I last posted. As I mentioned before, our family is planning to move to South Florida, so we’ve been working hard toward that goal and traveling a lot. And I have been gorging myself on Latin American food. (I can eat my weight in ceviche, y’all.)
It was an interesting trip, and I think said a lot about public sentiment on the scamdemic. On the news, all you hear is how people are dropping like flies in South Florida. They aren’t, the place is totally normal, and a large number of people are not even bothering with masks.
But our biggest problem with finding a house in South Florida is the real estate is selling like mad right now. After we had narrowed down the neighborhoods we would be interested in living in, we had found six houses we wanted to see. Three of those houses sold before we could schedule a tour, one hours after it was listed. Like it was listed for sale, my husband and I talked about it over breakfast, I got into the shower, and it was under contract before I had dried my hair. I kind of wanted to cry. So the place is the “new ground zero” for the worst plague in modern history according to the media, and people are getting into bidding wars to live there. Sure.
We drove through Daytona, Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Ft Myers, Cape Coral, and Naples on this trip. In other years, I would tell you that’s a solid mix of liberal and conservative places politically. I kid you not, I saw a grand total of three Biden yard signs in the entire week, and literally thousands of Trump signs. One man along I-4 turned his property into a Trump-themed amusement park by the looks of it. Marinas are a sea of Trump flags hanging from boats. I don’t have to see the RNC ratings to know that America has red-pilled hard.
I was trained during my time working as a government economist to look for proxy ways of measuring some phenomenon rather than relying on simple (often problematic) surveys, and it is something that I do all the time mentally now, especially as corporate media polls and news coverage have become such a pathetic joke. Real estate is a proxy for how people perceive the coronavirus threat, how they perceive the risk of living and doing business in a certain culture versus the cultures in other places, how they feel about their need to mitigate tax risks, and so on. There is not some exodus from South Florida to blue states, even though the demented folks in the media probably think there should be (and they will probably spend September trying to convince Americans there is). A spectacular rejection of the propaganda machine is underway.
Another interesting proxy is the number of people who are yanking their children out of schools. And I do not mean physical classrooms, as the media advocates for, but public education systems in general. This is about far more than safety concerns now.
Kids are returning to “school” this month, so we are finally getting some hard data on the decisions families are making. In our county, public school enrollment dropped by a truly shocking 25%. That is not just the number of kids in physical classrooms, which declined by more than half. That includes the virtual schools. I expect that decline to continue in coming weeks, as parents get a glimpse of what their kids’ learning environment is going to look like for real and start chattering with their friends and family about their own experiences.
This means that the district’s per pupil funding will also collapse by a large amount, which is a crippling budget gap for any government agency that will likely trigger a serious wave of downsizing. In a state with limits on property taxes and homestead laws, schools will learn the financial consequences of their behavior for the first time. Shit’s going to get interesting when someone finally does the math for them, but I have been screaming this was going to be an issue since March.
I feel like, absent the political bickering and highly visible pettiness, declines in enrollment may not have been this catastrophic. But teachers writing their fantasy obituaries, making parents sign agreements not to watch their children’s school sessions online, strikes, toxic social media posts, and all that jazz, have done something the coronavirus mania alone could not – it made people want to kick the public school system out of their lives for good. What could have been a timeout became an honest-to-goodness divorce with sole custody of the kids.