(Counterpunch) The economic calamity is abating according to Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chief. What else could he say? But it is hard to be optimistic if you are a small businessman in Florida. This doesn’t feel like a “recovery” at all. “For rent” signs on commercial real estate are multiplying. The force of this Great Recession or Little Depression, as the case may be, is turning the scrubbed cheeks of Chamber of Commerce ‘visionaries’ unusual shades of pale.
A first step forward would be for Chamber of Commerce members to return their membership cards. Why? Because the Chamber and its associated lobbyists serve their constituents very poorly. In brief, the Chamber of Commerce acts as though all we need to do is wait a little while and the good old days will reappear– poof– like pigeons from a top hat. In the meantime, their conception is to find distractions scaled to their constituents’ anxiety. That is what the huffing and puffing against Florida Hometown Democracy is about. FHD is the proposal for a constitutional amendment in the 2010 state-wide election that would require direct vote by the electorate on changes to local growth plans. The Chamber is bellowing– soon to be followed by ugly, lying mailers– that the current economic catastrophe was caused by too much regulation, by too much interference by citizens, and too much of everything but their own culpability.
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