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Miami city is known for its sunshine and silky cool beaches to tourists all over the world. Home to several international luxurious hotels, and flourishing concierge and businesses travel services, it is a busting city full of life both day and night. From the famous south beach, the metrozoo and a series of restaurants ( such as the hard rock hotel, the Oakalee village), Seaquarium to the extravagant and affordable shopping outlets offering trendy and exotic items, the city is well accustomed to both Day and Night visitors. The night life for most part is even better with a series of posh nightclubs and casinos lining up the streets by night.
The City of Miami has an estimated population of over 462,470, which only represents a paltry two percent of Miami-Dade County's total area. It is the 16th most densely populated city in the Nation with over 10,000 people per square mile. It is as popular with business as it is with tourists. This touristic attraction to Miami has brought in a lot of revenue to not only Miami but to the Caribbean countries from the effect of spill over business (Centre for Immigration Studies)
As a result the economy of these Caribbean countries has benefited from the increase in investment in the tourism industry in Miami. Casino businesses from Miami have extended their trade to the Caribbean to entertain and serve guests and prominent people who would otherwise not gamble on American soil for fear of interference by media. Casinos in Miami are one of the most important businesses the prop the economy of the area with annual earnings of close to a billion dollars in profit (Brookings Institute).
Many investors who are looking to do business in Miami Florida mostly are attracted to the city due to lower taxes on business, less bureaucracy and the ease with which can register and start a business. The Gulfstream Park is one of its Horse racing joint that attracts patrons from around the country and the Caribbean in terms of fans and investments. The Miami American Airlines Arena attracts world class performing artistes from comedians to singers, bands and solo artistes and is very popular with families because it offers children tours and Ice shows.
Miami also controls the import /export business in the Latin America and Caribbean because it has maintained a good many airports, ware houses and Banks to help in moving goods from the Caribbean to other interior states. Some big multinational companies such as Burger King and Sony in America have their headquarters in Miami. The seaport at Miami has also enabled the import and export of commodities from the Caribbean. Because of the relatively strong and stable currency that is the Dollar many Caribbean countries prefer to trade using the dollar and this is advantageous to both Miami and the Caribbean countries because transactions can be made faster and less money is charged in transfer fees and other bank charges. Simply put, Miami's economic boom is also a boom to the economies of the Caribbean
What kind of economic impact does Miami have and what is the criticalness of Miami to the region?
Economic challenges are usually a disguised opportunities for businesses to find a new way to grow. The University of Miami in conjunction with Wexford Science and Technology a firm specializing in incubator technology Park Construction recently opened the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park (UM-LSTP), arguably the largest medical footprint in the country. The aim of this is to attract health care companies, entrepreneurs and high technology enterprise to invest in research that could yield to "commercial entities"( Olds, Fred:1)
The establishment of this technical hub is important because it assists in the flourishing of relationships between the city of Miami and capital venture firms which have previously developed trustworthy profitable relationships in southern California, Boston and North Carolina.
Miami has the ability to change the fortunes of the California region due to the large concentration of businesses (headquarters of large corporations and multinationals) which attracts Banks and other finance institutions. The fact that scientific research is currently driving the commercial success of many commodities, the impact of the establishment of the "Tech Hub" as a state -of-the-art facility for scientific discovery brings an intellectual community, diverse international cultures, and a rich portal to Latin America. The University opens its research discoveries and technology transfer resources to a company for licensing. In close proximity, Wexford provides all the resources necessary for an enterprise to make a "soft landing" in Miami and begin commercialization with the licensed technology. >
What is unique or significant of the political economy in Miami that appeal to Latin America?
Approximately 60% of Miami firms are minority-owned and Miami is one of the major U.S. cities where Hispanics dominate numerically, politically, and economically. According to census figures, the average household income in Miami was 6,000 USD below the national average with 18% of Miami residents falling below the poverty line. Miami now ranks one of the top 5 poorest cities in the United States (Miami: History in brief)
Despite the low income levels, Latinos, particularly Cubans, have had success compared to other U.S. cities. With an average per capita income of Latinos in Miami peeking $16,914 in 2000 compared to the national average of $12,111, U.S. born Cubans surpassed all other Hispanics to record the highest average incomes per year for any Hispanic group. Today almost 2/3 of American born Cubans live in Florida and influence the politics of the area due to their economic power (Centre for Immigration Studies)
There are 80 Latinos in the United States with riches worth more than $25 million USD. Of these, at least 40% are of Cuban origin. In addition there are Colombians and Peruvians who also form part of this wealthy group though in terms of population they are few. Most of them were able to rise to their positions as a result of attaining higher education in their home countries but fled because of political instability and ramshackle economy. The story is not the same for Nicaraguans, though. After the devastating coup and coming to power of a communist regime most of them found themselves at Hialeah and East Little Havana(Miami: History in brief). Because they had little or no education, were in their mid twenties and were poor in spoken English, they were unable to get good jobs and the effect has spilled over to the generations that followed to date. Consequently political power has remained in the hands of the Cuban Americans who are not only many in numbers but are economically superior, highly educated and well blended with the other groups. They therefore hold many of the strategic elective and non-elective posts.
What is unique about the ethnic relations the topic of most studies of Miami?
Miami is ranked "third among the nation's 100 largest cities in the share of non-white population, with an estimated 88 percent of its residents considered non-white" (Brookings Institute). It is hence referred to as the "majority minority" city, meaning that over half of its population is non-white attribute caused partly by growth in the minority population (Hispanic and Latino populations) in the City. Though this trend has been noted only recently in many states in the country, Miami is one of the first cities to achieve such a phenomenon in the early 1970s. "As such, the "majority minority" characteristic does not mean that Miami has become more diverse; rather it has become increasingly a city of immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America". This is because while the number of White and Black Non-Hispanics residents has rapidly declined since the 1970s, the number of Hispanic and Latino residents has grown steadily to constitute an estimated 65 % of the total population. Black and Non-Hispanic now account for 20 %, white no-Hispanic now account for 12 % and the rest are Asians and other non-Hispanics (Centre for Immigration Studies)
Miami is a cosmopolitan International city where most of the (2/3) speak any other language at home other than English. Hence children in school who do not speak Spanish at home are encouraged to take on Spanish classes while at the same time the syllabus is taught in English. This enables them to interact well with each other when they can go beyond the language barrier. In addition, the use of both Spanish and English in school fosters a cultural synthesis that allows the community to exist together as one. The University of Miami and other colleges in the city offer different courses in different languages from Spanish, Italian, and French to Chinese, where students from different backgrounds can interact and learn. The visible cultural influence in the style of business premises, the cuisine and social gatherings by different groups from Cuban, Mexican, Caribbean, White, Black and Asian, which is as cordial as one between siblings. These different communities not only trade together but also have something in common; they are mostly immigrants or descendants of immigrants from nations around the US.( Olds , Fred:1)
How does Miami defy most conventional thinking about cities and urban development in the United States?
Despite the overall success in the city in terms of economic growth, the cityy was ranked first in 2000 among poorest cities and still ranks high in the nation among those riddled with poverty. It is estimated that 47 % of the labor force in Miami has less than high school education yet at the county level it's 29%. Most of them do not have the skills to take technical jobs which are better paying. Most cities grow because they have a pool of highly educated labor force and majority of the population earning above minimum wage. Miami has grown inspire of the poverty and lack of higher education by residents
What is the significance of the Port of Miami in the region and in the development of Miami?
Miami Port has an annual cargo turnover of 7.42 million and 2,489 vessels cargo and 3.78 million passenger traffic. This allows free movement of commodities and human resources. With an annual revenue of 94.70 million the port is one of the highest revenue earners for the city. The Port of Miami has been for many years as the "Cruise Capital of the World" and "Cargo Gateway of the Americas". It was one of the leading if not the number one cruise/passenger port in the world accommodating some of the largest cruise ships in the world such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines, until the early 2000. It is the largest container port in the state of Florida and ninth in the United States. The Port of Miami is among the few privileged group of ports in the world which cater to both cruise ships and containerized cargo. It is crucial to America and the region of Florida as well as the Caribbean in accessing commodities form the continental Europe (Local10 News)
How is the city a force of globalization? What is the complexity of those forces?
Information technology has led the path toward globalization and Miami is one of the many drivers in the globalization effort. The Port of Miami is according to Mallete and Poleo, Miami-Dade County's second most important economic engine. Racking in close to 17 billion USD each year to the region's economy and generating 180,000 jobs it connects America to the South and Caribbean nations. It is estimated that Close to one million containers travel though the Port of Miami every year due to sophisticated computerized container handling systems that eliminate delay or pilferage. It is expected that by the building of the Port Miami tunnel Project, 600 more jobs will be created and the number of vehicles travelling through Miami will double by the year 2025 ( 1)
Miami is also the home to many businesses and conglomerates some of them foreign owned such as Sony and Cisco among others looking for foreign companies seeking entry into or through the U.S. market or companies seeking a local office in Miami to jump into international markets and open up business opportunities. In addition, due to the fact that many residents of Miami have close ties (cultural and family) with populations in Latin America and Caribbean, investments in real estate and housing is one of the ways that they've been able to keep those ties alive.
Several buildings in Miami have been financed by financial institutions in the Caribbean such as Espirito Santo plaza, financed by Espirito Santo Bank. The building's architecture is adopted from the St. Louis Arch and is the reason why Miami is commonly known as "The Gateway to Latin America," welcoming people to the states, a close resemblance to St. Louis' nickname, "The Gateway to the West." which welcomes people to the west? Others include Three Tequesta Point, the Vizcayne North Tower, The Mint, The Epic, The Axis and The Infinity among others have been financed by other investors based in Latin America and the Caribbean( Miami: History in Brief)
Miami has numerous International Banks that operate in the city giving business access to billions of dollars which are important to investors. Banco Popular, a Puerto Rican Bank which operates in Central and South America but recently opened a branch in Miami to attract the middle class high earning Latino community. Though B.A.C Florida is based in Miami, it mainly operates in Central America. But because it is mainly owned by Hispanics and Latinos who live in Miami, the strategic importance of Miami as a gateway to America favors the development of the Bank in terms of access to Capital. Brickell hosts Miami's financial district as well as luxurious residential and office apartments. The Capital on Brickell project was put on hold because of fear that additional construction of residential housing, offices, shops and condominiums would mean a buy out the land owned by the Brickell residents. The development financed by Fannie Mae is set to resume in the summer of 2011 and will be the biggest single real estate project in the history of Miami.