Miami: Success in the Sunshine City
Miami, the US gateway to Central and South America, once famous for cocaine cowboys and a comfortable retirement, is booming with an unprecedented growth in real estate, tourism, banking and the tech sector. The city’s leaders say Miami is more than just a regional hub. They believe, it can be a global city. But while many do well, others languish, with the gap between rich and poor casting a shadow over the city’s progress.
We visit Miami’s port where, according to the director Bill Johnson, the impact of growth in the emerging economies of Latin America – Columbia, Peru and Brazil – is significant, with 55% of the port’s trade from the south. We hear from estate agents about the influx of people into the area, and about the business boom that is fuelled by this immigration boom. And, it is not just traditional business that is doing well. The tech sector is doing well, too. As one group of young tech entrepreneurs explains, diversity and modernity seem to be the key features that give Miami its unique entrepreneurial drive.
But the flip side of this economic success is the prevalence of the city’s poor. Katy Cunningham is 63 years old. She makes just over 200 dollars a week and it is not enough to live on. Mayor of Miami-Dade County Carlos Gimenez argues increasing the minimum wage is not the answer. He believes that the future of the city lies in continuing to diversify the economy, pulling people up via the economic growth of a city which seems determined to make the most of what it has got.
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