We're Number One! Part Two

Sometimes, it's not so good to be on top, as I mentioned last week. Here's further proof, in case you needed it.

As if the struggling economy weren't enough to bear, consumers in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area saw prices skyrocket at the fastest pace of any metro area in the nation in February.

Inflation has been burning a hole in South Florida consumers' wallets for quite a while. This area lead the nation several times last year, as well.

Consumer prices rose at a 5.3 percent annual rate in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area in February, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. That puts the local rate higher than the inflation rate in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The growth in inflation here is almost double what it is in San Francisco, where the annual inflation rate in February was 2.8 percent.
No disrespect to Steve, but this isn't good news, and it backs up Amy's assertion that now isn't the best time to move here. Sorry, Alesh, but I think you're at least a year too early for that level of confidence.

If you want a sense of how the current economy is affecting higher education, by the way, check out this lovely example of rhetorical crawfishing released by, as Mark puts it, "Our Fair University." Here's the nutmeat, as Stephen Colbert might say.
10. FAU has experienced budget reductions in the past. Is this situation different?

Since 1991-92, Florida Atlantic University has experienced approximately $31 million in reductions, excluding the current year reductions. In the downturn associated with September 11, 2001, FAU experienced a $10 million reduction over a two-year period. These most recent reductions are different for several reasons. First, we will reduce our current year budget by $9.6 million. Second, we will likely face additional reductions in 2008-09 that could be over $17 million if the legislature reduces our General Revenue budget by 10 percent. Third, the total reduction over a two-year period (2007-08 and 2008-09) could approach what the University absorbed over a 15-year period. Finally, these current reductions are impacting a budget that has already been stretched well beyond reasonable limits.
And it's not like we've been rolling in money to begin with.

It's not looking good, folks, and I see no signs that it's going to improve any time soon.

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