Miami = Third World country?

TomTancredo.jpg

A Congressman from Colorado, Republican Tom Tancredo, has taken aim at President Bush for his immigration policies–saying Bush is too liberal (?!?) and lax on his patrol of U.S. borders. He lamented the over-abundance of immigrants, saying America is losing it’s identity–and used Miami as an example.

“Look at what has happened to Miami. It has become a Third World country,” he said. “You just pick it up and take it and move it someplace. You would never know you’re in the United States of America. You would certainly say you’re in a Third World country.”

(link here)

The rest of his speech was absolutely ridiculous, filled with fear-mongering and paranoia about the evils of de-Americanization that exists only in the minds of himself and Ann Coulter. Although he does have a point about Miami–even though it’s not for the racist reasons he probably meant.

The definition of a Third World country is where people live either in (a) great wealth, or (b) at subsistence level or in poverty. In other words, there’s no “middle class,” you’re either rich or you’re poor. And it goes without saying that Miami’s middle class is shrinking–skyrocketing taxes and insurance rates are making this city unaffordable, except to rich people who use it as a second home. Couple that with the uncountable numbers of illegal workers employed all over the city–who are probably not getting paid fair wages, and they’re definitely not paying taxes–and yep, that’s Third World status.

I swear, I was at Costco last week, and there were chickens running around the parking lot. No one even gave them a second look. CHICKENS. IN THE PARKING LOT.

The truth hurts, and the city should take a good look at the facts. It shouldn’t take a lunatic politician from a land far, far away to expose the truth. It’s not because the residents here were born in other countries; it’s what happens when they’re here.

9 Comments so far

  1. Blaine Zuver (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

    He can be reached by going to his website http://tancredo.house.gov and calling all the numbers. Usually Congress reps set up email so that non constituents can’t write them.


  2. Robert (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 11:39 am

    You said: The definition of a Third World country is where people live either in (a) great wealth, or (b) at subsistence level or in poverty. In other words, there’s no “middle class,” you’re either rich or you’re poor. And it goes without saying that Miami’s middle class is shrinking– skyrocketing taxes and insurance rates are making this city unaffordable, except to rich people who use it as a second home. Couple that with the uncountable numbers of illegal workers employed all over the city–who are probably not getting paid fair wages, and they’re definitely not paying taxes–and yep, that’s Third World status.

    The conditions above are also present in most major U.S. cities. There have been many reports done at the national level about the shrinking middle class, not just here in Florida. Are we ready to categorize those cities as third world as well, or is there something else at play here, something Tancredo touched on?

    Yes, we do have a problem with unaffordability in South Florida, no doubt. However, when I see the vast number of late-model cars on any typical South Florida road, the vast number of shoppers clogging ordinary neighborhood shopping malls this Christmas season, I have a very hard time believing that Miami-Dade County is truly third-world, at least compared to a REAL third-world city. I don’t see how chickens in the Costco parking lot do not consistute third-world status.

    Therefore I think your conclusion that Miami is third world is as flawed as Tancredo’s, although at least you don’t appear to be blatantly using the immigrant excuse.


  3. Robert (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 11:40 am

    You said: The definition of a Third World country is where people live either in (a) great wealth, or (b) at subsistence level or in poverty. In other words, there’s no “middle class,” you’re either rich or you’re poor. And it goes without saying that Miami’s middle class is shrinking– skyrocketing taxes and insurance rates are making this city unaffordable, except to rich people who use it as a second home. Couple that with the uncountable numbers of illegal workers employed all over the city–who are probably not getting paid fair wages, and they’re definitely not paying taxes–and yep, that’s Third World status.

    The conditions above are also present in most major U.S. cities. There have been many reports done at the national level about the shrinking middle class, not just here in Florida. Are we ready to categorize those cities as third world as well, or is there something else at play here, something Tancredo touched on?

    Yes, we do have a problem with unaffordability in South Florida, no doubt. However, when I see the vast number of late-model cars on any typical South Florida road, the vast number of shoppers clogging ordinary neighborhood shopping malls this Christmas season, I have a very hard time believing that Miami-Dade County is truly third-world, at least compared to a REAL third-world city. I don’t see how chickens in the Costco parking lot consistute third-world status.

    Therefore I think your conclusion that Miami is third world is almost as flawed as Tancredo’s, although at least you don’t appear to be blatantly using the immigrant excuse.


  4. JJ (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 9:48 pm

    Just the fact that this blog is about south america every other post proves his point. What is up with the Buenos Aires story? Is this a Miami blog or south america blog?


  5. R. (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

    no JJ, it only proves that you’re an idiot.


  6. gbajramo (unregistered) on November 30th, 2006 @ 10:13 pm

    Every resident of Miami should take congressman’s criticism seriously but for the right reasons.

    Miami has lots of problems which have less to do with races and immigration and all to do with the fact that local and state governments have done a terrible job in every aspect. First step to solving problems is recognizing them and connecting with the facts on the ground. Anyone who denies that Miami has one of the least educated and poorest populations in nation with more parallels to other poor cities worldwide than to US cities is delusional. Miami has no sense of community because of its diversity. With such division every group is janking in their own direction so nothing ever gets done – there is no progress (beachfront condominiumns don’t count as progress). Diversity is fine but Miami is segregated, not diverse. Cubans hire and help other Cubans, blacks other blacks, whites other whites, Jews other Jews. Marit and hard work mean little. Most positions are held by people not educated or experienced enough to hold them. Almost nothing gets done right the first time. Corruption is rampant on all levels of government and private sector among all groups. Without greasing a few hands, you can’t get things done even for basic services. It’s not just whites but all who want better life are getting away from this mess.

    It’s not accident that 9/11 Saudis chose South Florida as their base. It’s well known that government can barely be felt here. I’m not fan of government induced measures but change here won’t come from within. Miami needs a lot of help and it cannot help itself. Every resident of Miami needs to work on building a better community from ground up.


  7. Blaine Zuver (unregistered) on December 11th, 2006 @ 1:54 pm

    No government is good government. Remember the words of the Great Communicator -Ronald Reagan. ” Government is not the Solution – Government is the Problem. “


  8. JohnPaluca (unregistered) on December 15th, 2006 @ 6:56 am

    This city is truly a 3rd world country city. There are a bunch of very bad and mean drivers. The hostility in the streets and while driving I can compare it to places like Puerto Rico and many places in South America. You see a wreck every day on I-95, the turnpike, I-595 etc. Drivers drive on the shoulder, mediam you name it. Roads are bad.

    Taxes and insurance is extremely high and expensive. Cost of living is very high. Finding an affordable accomodations is very high. Paying 1K dollars for a 1 room apartment probably close to I-95 is cheap.

    This place is truly a 3rd world country. WHere the rich survive and the poor struggle to survive. But on the other hand you see a lot of very fancy cars on the streets. This may be either rich people or rich wanna be that simply want to pretend they have money.

    My 0.02 cents.


  9. John (unregistered) on December 17th, 2006 @ 9:52 am

    Folks…I moved to Miami last year for a job paying 70k. I came from Tampa where that is a nice middle class salary. I was shell shocked about the cost of living down here. I got a generous raise to 90k this year and I still do not want to stay. I figure you need an income of no less than 125k to qualify as middle class down here. There are pockets of affordable housing in Miami; ghettos. Otherwise you need to spend a minimum of $250k for a 1 bedroom/studio condo to live in a “nicer” part of town. Personally, i would not settle for anything less than 2 bedrooms. So that bring the cost to $350k. With 90k salary and a 100k down payment, i would be able to afford it until the association fees of $300-400 per month. This would have me eating canned spaghetti for every meal of the day. Nah, this city is not for me. I get ripped off every turn I take. The crooked taxi driver, the parking lots and I have never experienced so many service jobs expecting a tip. Waiters/Waitresses work for tips, not the cashier at Starbucks. Big bills and the nickel and dime expenses have me on the verge of skipping town. Oh yeah, the people are so fake down here as well. I have yet to find an enjoyable experience here. Tampa was so much nicer.



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