Jeb Bush’s basic idea of investing “cold, hard cash” in a venture that may or may not pay off in the distant future comes under attack in this Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel editorial. Meanwhile, the Ft. Myers News-Press tallies-up Florida’s biotech investment and the payoff in jobs here with a balancing piece here. The Ft. Lauderdale piece is primarily an anti-Jeb! piece, while the News-Press laments the slow pace of job creation.
I seem to remember that the federal highway system was expensive and took a long time to complete. But it turns out that it was a pretty good investment in terms of economic impact. Well times have changed and we are solidly in the information economy. We don’t need a new interstate system, more skyscrapers and airports. In fact, some areas are now downgrading paved roads to gravel.
The future is less industrial and more information based. But expectations and mortgage payments won’t wait. There is reasonable anxiety over the time lag between investment and payoff. This generation of workers is rejecting an investment that will benefit their own grandchildren.
The Tea Party is going after virtually all public investment that does not pay off now. Florida’s biotechnology leadership must loudly, publicly defend Florida’s investment. Florida’s biotech investors must recognize that loudly, publicly creating jobs now may be their best investment. All of Florida’s biotechnology industry needs to get ahead of this public argument or become roadkill.