Welcome to the World!

Jason and Kate Koler had a baby boy on Wednesday! Their lives have changed immeasurably. I’m sure they’re prepared for the differences they’ve already encountered and those they can predict, but to bend a familiar turn of phrase, “it is their first rodeo.” Good luck to little Koler and the big Kolers.

Joshua Koler is starting his life with some advantages (not the least of which is his noble first name.) His parents are warm, caring, intelligent, and generous human beings. Not a bad way to break out of the gate. What the rest of this world presents to our newest Keys resident however is a complete crapshoot.

The United States and indeed the world are changing as well. Maybe, just maybe, the evolution of our country as we go through our current turbulence will change things for the best.

I have composed a wish list for the heir to the Keys Weekly Empire:

As Monroe County and its municipalities work through the current turbulence, I hope the ability to earn a living is balanced with the need to maintain our incredibly fragile environment. It would be nice for Baby Koler to grow up fishing and diving – and be able to make a living.

The State of Florida must fundamentally change the way it funds itself. Recent proposals during the current legislative session have included turning Florida into Las Vegas east and loosening development restrictions on environmentally delicate land. I suppose Joshua Koler might enjoy playing blackjack in casinos perched at the edge of a swamp but I rather hope he has a chance to attend a state college for a reasonable tuition and graduate from a high school that ranks among the highest in the country.

Government officials and those in the highest echelons of the finance world have lost their collective minds. The best bet for our newborn is a marked change in the way we measure productivity and elect our leaders. First we must institute term limits for all offices. The argument that continuity and experience are important has been completely disproved. Second, we must take income derived from complex debt structures and “bookie” type option trading on Wall Street out Gross Domestic Product calculations. Young Master Koler should see how our economy rates when considering only goods and services that actually benefit the majority of our population and stimulate real growth.

I am willing to make a sacrifice for my namesake. I have paid into Social Security for 35 years and I will continue to do so that the generation ahead of me can get the benefits they planned on. I would like though, to stop Social Security as it currently operates. I do not want to collect social security retirement checks. Despite the economic oblivion Wall Street geniuses have heaped upon us, I’ll figure something out. I’m not worried. Young Mr. Koler doesn’t have to start paying social security to support my generation. Keep any program that helps the weakest members of our society, particularly the disabled, but other than that, no more!

Eventually Jason and Kate will limit their son’s exposure to me. The first time he pontificates about the need for an increased allowance by citing John Maynard Keynes’, “Consumption Function” I’m history. Before I go though, I’m going to work diligently, along with Britt Myers, to teach young Johsua how to dribble and shoot ambidextrously. Given Jason and Kate’s height, the Miami Heat could come calling.

Josh Mothner is the President of Haven Funding and the Middle Keys Community Land Trust. He is a past President of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce and has been a Marathon resident for 12 years. You can reach this columnist at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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