Today on Context Florida: Florida wealth inequality, bulldozer politics, alimony “reform” and occupational licensing

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Today on Context Florida: Unless your annual income ranks near the top 1 percent in Florida, writes Daniel Tilson, the economic news coming out of two major new reports is not good. Without state income or estate taxes, it is difficult for the 99-percenters to derive any benefit from the concentration of wealth.

As the curtain rises on the 2014 Florida legislative session, the biggest stories are what lawmakers will ignore, rather than what they accomplish, says former State Sen. John Grant. But the worst repercussion of term limits is this: the “bulldozer politics” when leaders know when they are exiting, so they leave the heavy lifting to their successors, he adds.

Alimony “reform” would result in higher rates of divorce, according to Julie Delegal, while exacerbating already declining marriage rates. Ending permanent alimony could remove the incentive for a partner to “sacrifice vocational pursuits” for the benefit of the family, and alter the values children learn.

The high prices associated with occupational licensing in Florida represent some of the career-entry obstacles that Robert McClure sees as oppressive. For example, the cost to become a licensed cosmetologist — with compulsory training far more than necessary — are regulatory overkill, and prevents new people from entering the field.

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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.