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Today on Context Florida: Alimony bill veto, America’s future, more stuff and Florida’s economy

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Today on Context Florida:

Brian Burgess believes that Rick Scott should veto the alimony bill because it’s the ‘right thing to do.’ With Scott as governor, Burgess says he has largely lived up to expectations as a social conservative, albeit one whose primary focus is on the economic, rather than social issues that affect Florida’s families. Now, he is being asked to sign off on a similar bill that would also apply retroactively to Florida families and children, changing the rules of the game for existing alimony agreements and current marriages, including those already in divorce proceedings. As one family law judge Burgess spoke with explained, “this bill makes it much more financially attractive for the primary earner to walk away from their family, and makes divorce a financially terrifying prospect for those that sacrifice their careers to take care of their children.” For this reason alone, the governor is on solid conservative ground to veto the bill.

The presidential campaigns are making Ed Moore worry about America’s future. It seems to him like each decade we drop time off the front end of our experiences, as if there is only so much room in our memories for what we have experienced. What else could explain our repeated willingness to follow a new “Pied Piper” every four years, promising the world but offering few solutions.

Since most people are busy acquiring more and more things, Michael Bass argues that it may be past time to start thinking about the question: Do we really need more “stuff”? However, it can’t be too late if “stuff” is defined properly.

A glance at the March jobs numbers released last week suggests that the national economy is doing fairly well. Over 200,000 jobs were created and the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 5 percent. The numbers look even better for Florida, whose state unemployment rate has fallen below 5 percent and which has created nearly a quarter of a million new jobs over the past year. But Alfredo Ortiz notes that a different story emerges when you look deeper at the data. The national labor force participation rate (LFPR) – the employed and unemployed as a percent of the working age population – is at a historic low.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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