Silicon Valley

Mayor Francis Suarez Wants To Turn Miami Into an Un-Woke, Pro-Bitcoin, Tech Billionaire's Paradise

Ignore the hype: Latin American immigration is (still) the city’s greatest strength.

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When the venture capitalist Delian Asparouhov suggested on Twitter last December that the tech industry should migrate from Silicon Valley to Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez (R) responded, "How can I help?" He also set up a billboard in San Francisco.

"Thinking of moving to Miami?," it read. "DM me."

Suarez's bold, roll-out-the-red-carpet approach to luring away Silicon Valley's tech elite has gotten so much attention, in part, because of how it contrasts with that of California's ultra-left political class. Take San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D), who's best known for her failed effort to stop Uber and Lyft from using contract labor in California to benefit labor unions. Gonzalez tweeted "Fuck Elon Musk" back in May of 2020.

"Message Received," replied Musk. In Miami, on the other hand, Mayor Suarez has embraced Musk's idea of building a $30 million tunnel for electric vehicles to ease congestion.

Suarez's publicity stunts, including fashioning himself an avid bitcoin enthusiast, have no doubt contributed to the city's momentum. He wants to turn Miami into a "confluence of capital," as he told Reason.

"We have the entire financial sector from New York," Suarez said. "We're going to see is a confluence of capital from New York and from Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco. That confluence of capital, we've never seen merge anywhere in the history of humanity."

But billionaires buying waterfront mansions won't shape the future of Miami. Immigration will. Latin American ex-pats don't garner headlines or donate much to political campaigns, but they have grit and talent that was largely wasted in the socialist countries from which they fled—not to mention their cultural aversion to big government liberalism and the woke ideology now prevalent in the Bay Area.

Miami's ascendence in the 21st Century hinges on whether it can continue to fulfill its role as the greatest city in Latin America that just happens to be located in the United States.

Written and narrated by Daniel Raisbeck; shot and edited by John Osterhoudt; opening by Paul Detrick, graphic design by Nathalie Walker; animation by NODEHAUS, and Isaac Reese; color correction by Regan Taylor; additional audio production by Ian Keyser.

Photos: Brian Solis/Wikimedia/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic; Illustration 107693289 © Realcallahan | Dreamstime.com;ID 55131105 © Vadymvdrobot | Dreamstime.com; Photo 6613609 © Rachwal | Dreamstime.com; Photo 37552835 © Asafta | Dreamstime.com; Photo 56569948 © Fotopoly | Dreamstime.com; Photo 181915347 © Coatchristophe | Dreamstime.com; Photo 91505069 © Asafta | Dreamstime.com; Photo 12385033 © Jodielee | Dreamstime.com; Photo 54358909 © Stefanocapra | Dreamstime.com;Illustration 881755 © Steven Wright | Dreamstime.com; Photo 181915347 © Coatchristophe | Dreamstime.com; Photo 134786561 © Kmiragaya | Dreamstime.com; Photo 88609881 © Viocara | Dreamstime.com; Photo 201768295 © mikechapazzo | Dreamstime.com; Photo 134786323 © Kmiragaya | Dreamstime.com; Photo 176647322 © Meunierd | Dreamstime.com; Photo 180601283 © Nednae | Dreamstime.com; Photo 54605132 © Eagleflying | Dreamstime.com; Photo 195269738 © Photovs | Dreamstime.com; Monica Herndon/ZUMA Press/Newscom 024371; Jim Tuten/ZUMA Press/Newscom 87952; Keystone Pictures USA / ZUMA Press/Newscom 232139; Tim Chapman /KRT/Newscom 169568; Lou Toman/KRT/Newscom 064539; KRT/Newscom 000688; St Petersburg Times/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom 833549; Giorgio Viera/EFE/Newscom; Aronovsky/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

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  1. “Even when he turns from religion, man remains subject to it; depleting himself to create fake gods, he then feverishly adopts them: his need for fiction, for mythology triumphs over evidence and absurdity alike.” – Cioran.

    1. It’s too bad all these billionaires are complete leftists.
      We don’t want them here in Florida.
      Miami Beach (not to be confused with Miami) is addressing it’s flooding problem by raising all its streets.
      Florida has an excellent program to bring businesses here by helping with zoning, cutting red tape, expedited permitting, etc.
      We would be much better off bringing the gun manufacturers here that are
      fleeing the north east states.
      It a inch of socialist billionaires.

      1. This is a Trojan horse. Anyone who thinks the government allows billionaires to be billionaires without first swearing fealty to the current neoliberal hegemony is brain damaged. And tech billionaires are the most loyal to the security state. How do you think a bunch of 120 IQ midwits ended up controlling the most powerful companies in the world? Do people here actually believe it was “free markets”?

        ‘Member c. 2006/2007 when social media was just getting off the ground and fuckerberg was shopping for VC tendies around Silicon Valley where he kept getting DENIED then all of a sudden Marc Andreessen (one of the richest and well-known VCs in the Valley with ties to defense companies) conveniently decides to take radioactive fuckerberg under his wing? ‘Member also that the NSA had been spying on Americans at this time and was looking to ramp up their program? Then all of a sudden, Facebook gets this big influx of dark capital and experiences hockey stick growth leaving all major competitors in the dust — even Google… Finally, in 2012 it’s revealed that the NSA has all of social media mapped. At the same time, Palantir takes off. Then in 2018, we see Apple hand over private cloud data to the Feds. In 2020, we see social media actively due the bidding of the woke security state actively amplifying the clearly astroturfed “racial reckoning” color revolution and shutting down all legitimate questioning of the regime. This culminated with social media actively coordinating with the FBI to trawl through billions of accounts and apply state of the art facial recognition to find PTA moms who allegedly committed misdemeanors that embarrassed the regime.

        What really happened: During the Bush / Obama years CIA, DOD, and other alphabet agencies laundered dark money (printed by the Fed during “quantitative easing”) into tech companies through VC pyramid schemes and outrageous government contracts agreeing to look the other way on all anticompetitive practices and antitrust issues in exchange for loyalty. At bottom, tech companies are STATE owned and operated companies that do the government’s bidding.

        So I ask, why would anyone want these dishonorable, backstabbing, amoeba-like lizard creatures in their city? Absolute filth.

        1. This is what I’ve been trying to hammer on whenever this subject comes up. These companies are big precisely because the government wanted them to be, so they funded them through front groups or individuals such as Accel Partners or Peter Thiel, in the case of Facebook, or directly via investment arms like In-Q-Tel.

          Facebook went from a shitty MySpace clone for college students into a social media juggernaut with a cutting-edge user interface and data mining capability right after they got their angel investment. Google’s search engine development and Google Earth were both funded by CIA/NSA dollars.

          Even if the current state of things isn’t fascism in the strictest sense, it damn sure is just like the Gilded Age trusts, and what’s worse, these intel agencies have leverage out the wazoo to ensure their power doesn’t get nerfed by some idealistic politician wanting to reduce their ability to violate Constitutional law.

          1. Exactly. Sort of like the Railroads in the wake of the Civil War. Why did the Vanderbilts get all the contracts? At same time, DOJ is expanding its “influence” (LOL) in the former CSA.

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          2. Might explain why such a popular service is free.

          3. Leftists must be cleansed form this country. Rich or poor.

        2. And yeah, everywhere these people set up shop, the cost of living skyrockets, particularly in housing.

          1. That’s because Keynesian economists or “planners” use one metric for planning and redistribution-median income. The introduction of high paying jobs leads to all kinds of global investors buying up housing as they figure rental income. ( HOAs that do not allow investors have housing around 30-40 percent lower)- some nice places in Littleton.

            Using high median income allows the higher than median incomers to spread the cost of energy, housing, transportation, public school, infrastructure expansion which subsidies low wage labor.

            Obamacare for every industry. 70 percent subsidie 30 percent.

          2. Some of it is natural supply and demand, but yes, one hopes they have learned their lesson. Or is this tantamount to a false-flag operation?

        3. *** Note that Andreessen’s ties to defense come from his work at Netscape in the early 90s and prior work on the World Wide Web heavily financed by Western Intel agencies and governments toward the end of the Cold War. This factoid, although obvious, is conveniently whitewashed from all bios and “histories”.

        4. And to anyone who believes that “the market” creates billionaires and not the government. LOL no. While possible, it can only ever happen by accident, and when it does, the CIA comes knocking.

          An individual with tens of billions of dollars would easily be able to successfully levy war against the government. They can build compounds, hire guerillas, and disrupt commerce. An individual with a few billion dollars can do the same at smaller scales. At the very least, they can afford absolute immunity. Do you think they wouldn’t be able to get to federal prosecutors or judges who stand in their way? Think about what Narcos do in LatAm with similar resources. Then ask yourselves why this doesn’t happen or hasn’t happened at least once. If all these individuals are becoming billionaires in a decentralized and independent fashion, at least one over the years would have engaged in this type of behavior at least once. We’ve seen it happen in history most notably in the age of piracy. Yet, present times are eerily calm.

          If you’re the U.S. government / current regime you DON’T want this to happen. Best way to accomplish that is to exert control over the pool of billionaires by either creating them yourself, embedding yourself in their business, or sufficiently threatening them (Epstein anyone?). This is the most likely explanation for behavior we see. Not to mention, competition for free tendies from the fed is a pretty strong motivator.

          When you see a rainbow logo in the next few weeks, ask yourselves why all these billionaires are all doing the same thing to market to 4% of the population? Must be the market… LOL

          1. They’re marketing to suckers and betting the average American has a shitty memory.

            So far, they’re entirely correct.

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          2. An individual with tens of billions of dollars would easily be able to successfully levy war against the government.

            Hell, that was the reason for both the Roman civil wars between Marius and Sulla, and later, Pompey and Caesar. A popular general that pays his own soldiers without government funding, especially through the plunder of foreign provinces, is a major threat to the establishment.

            Similarly, tech companies that are nominally local but global in operation (like much of America’s Fortune 500 companies) can wield outsized influence through the money gained via foreign investment deals.

    2. Perfect discription of a woke leftist.

  2. Joe Biden is already turning this entire country into a billionaires’ paradise. Which is what Koch-funded libertarians hoped for when they overwhelmingly endorsed him.

    #LibertariansForBiden

    1. Which libertarians? Name one.

      1. If you follow the link, 4.6 named themselves.

  3. The link to Twitter is broken.

  4. Miami isn’t a very good long term real estate investment for a company. Maybe somewhere else that doesn’t have to contend with hurricanes and the potential to be underwater in the next, what is it now, 12 years? 20? 100? It keeps changing.

    1. Most of Silicon Valley isn’t much higher above sea level, and at least FL manages to provide water for its inhabitants.
      And then SV gets to deal with ‘quakes.

      1. Does Miami do rolling blackouts? Although Biden just banned an efficient air conditioning component, hot and humid is intolerable

    2. More global warming = more titties on display.

      You can pump out the rising water, but you can’t make the women of NYC or San Francisco hot.

        1. Oops, I forgot the L.

    3. NYC also has the potential to be underwater. Flooded subways, anyone?

  5. underwater in the next, what is it now, 12 years? 20? 100?

    Next Tuesday I think, right after lunch.

    Hurricanes suck, but so do earthquakes. And taxes.

    1. Taxpayer subsidized insurance takes care of those minor inconveniences.

    2. Also, it’s been a while since I’ve heard of Miami or really any considerable portion of Florida turning itself into a fiery hellscape. California, OTOH, is coming up on that season again.

  6. Miami has a finite lifespan. Water already comes out of the sewers during high tides due to its low elevation combined with highly porous groundwater table.

    Pretty silly place to invest

    1. Flooding in Miami, also known as the area turning back into a swamp, and Cali returning to it’s geologic normal of extreme drought conditions. Fun on both sides of America.

      1. I point to the state capitals of CA, FL, NV—when the states were founded people really believed Southern California, South Florida, and Las Vegas at best could be seasonal resort communities…nobody thought they could have large year round populations…and so the state capitals were located to be close to the places they believed people could live.

        1. Actually the capitol of Florida was located in Tallahassee because it was almost halfway between Jacksonville and Pensacola. Truth be told there are two cities that really are half way between the two cities, Midway and Capitola. Both these cities made efforts to have the state capitol located there.

  7. And I’m sure all those amoral billionaires will pay lots of taxes to help out right

    crickets.

  8. but they have grit and talent that was largely wasted in the socialist countries from which they fled

    If they were so gritty and talented, how did they become socialist, allow the socialists to be so wasteful, and/or the socialism fail? Are they so gritty and talented that they destroyed their own government /country so that they could have ours? What makes them so gritty and talented in spite of their government, magic dirt?

    1. The author misses that “latins” are not a monoglot. Cubans are not Mexicans, are not Hondurans, are not Guatemalans.

  9. Ignore the hype

    If Reason is trashing him then he’s probably good.

    Latin American immigration is (still) the city’s greatest strength.

    Why don’t you just stop beating around the bush and stop calling yourselves libertarians? Literally the only remotely libertarian views any of the “editors” at Reason hold are those that the left agrees with.

    1. Living in Phoenix it is clear that immigration is valuable.

      1. Again, not saying immigration isn’t valuable, but it’s pretty insulting to say “This city’s biggest asset is all the people who don’t live here!”

    2. As a native Miamian, I concur with the idea that immigration is a great strength (perhaps it’s greatest).

      It was a typical southern backwater until the cocaine trade. The immigrants took it from there and turned it in to what it is today.

      1. It says a lot about a city when its greatest strength is refugees from communist dictatorships. Like, literally, “It could be worse, you could be in Havana.” or “Just like Caracas, except with fewer food shortages!”

        Not to mention that to want the Latin Americans to come here to be great rather than making their own country great is exceedingly nationalistic.

      2. It says a lot about a city when its greatest strength is refugees from communist dictatorships. Like, literally, “It could be worse, you could be in Havana.” or “Just like Caracas, except with fewer food shortages!”

        Oh, I left out the other one “Fuck last year’s/decade’s/generation’s immigrants!”.

      3. It would be nice if they drove their cars better, however.

        1. Many Miamians think the left-hand turn lane is on the right side of the road.

    3. They should stop calling themselves libertarian for supporting immigration? Which is a fundamental libertarian belief?

      How about you stop beating around the bush and admit your conservative? Nothing wrong with that but … it is difficult to call yourself libertarian and then say, screw immigration

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  11. Mother nature can tax the fuck out of you too.

    1. At least the tax mother nature collects, isn’t to fatten her wallet at your expense in the name of protecting you. It’s a part of life I accept, as the Serenity Prayer would suggest (as I don’t believe we can significantly change the weather, or the climate). Taxes on the other hand, we can change.

  12. The Birchers would be proud. Nah, it isn’t innovation or work, it is neferious conspriracies…please.

  13. When Suarez eliminates the Miami property taxes, I start listening.

    1. He could, at least, propose a flat sales tax to eliminate a good percentage of the property taxes.

    2. Florida has no income tax, state sales taxes are 6%, while Miami has a 1% county sales tax (and no city sales tax). I also found that “At a 0.83% average effective property tax rate, property taxes in Florida rank below the national average, which currently stands at 1.07%. Median annual property tax bills in the Sunshine State follow suit, as its $2,035 mark is over $500 cheaper than the U.S. median.” And ” Miami-Dade County collects the highest property tax in Florida, levying an average of $2,756.00 (1.02% of median home value) yearly in property taxes, while Dixie County has the lowest property tax in the state, collecting an average tax of $503.00 (0.51% of median home value) per year.”

      You have a point in Suarez taxing property owners more than other counties in FL. But elimination of the property tax means cutting a lot of government services. Suarez would do better cutting spending, so he can lower taxes.

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  17. Seeing a lot of Miami hype lately. New TV shows, etc. It’s really coming into its own, it seems.

    Or someone’s trying to pump it up just like they do Bitcoin whenever they need to buy a new yacht.

    Sell high and let some other fucker watch their house sink beneath the ocean.

    1. I was hoping to read that Suarez was libertarian given the title showing he’s unwoke (believes in personal freedoms like freedom of speech), and wants a billionaire’s paradise supporting alternative currencies such as Bitcoin (suggesting free markets). But I was mistaken. Suarez stated he sees government as competing for business; thus, cronyism. Nothing said about government subsidizing new businesses, to compete with existing businesses that don’t get the subsidies and how that is a “free market” which it isn’t. No mention of the libertarian position of a well run government providing safety and peace at a low cost, and the resulting lower government burden to help all business’ bottom line in the jurisdiction (providing lower prices for consumers, better wages for employees, a greater market share for companies there, and more return for the investor/owners).

      Suarez seems to me to be like a crony RINO, that at least isn’t on board the ridiculous woke movement of racism and intolerance. Also, no mention of the $400 million bond he got the ~470,000 Miami voters to approve, for the purpose of “to combat rising sea levels and support affordable housing” per Wikipedia. Wikipedia also suggests Suarez backs Bitcoin, because the law firm where he also works, started a cryptocurrency practice, which suggests more cronyism rather than free markets.

      1. I don’t know about all these labels, but I think it’s safe to assume that a human being making money, no matter what label he attaches to himself, will tend to act in whatever permitted way that makes him more money.

        You can be the most principled libertarian in the world, but if you have the opportunity to capture government for your own profit motive, you’re gonna take it, because you’re going to justify it by saying that someone else who’s less principled will just come along and do it if you don’t.

    2. Everything Is So Terrible And Unfair! ™ eh tony?

      Damn.

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  20. This article is almost humorous. Instead of drawing tech and finance creating millions of great paying jobs Miami should depend on being shaped by immigration. The last time I was there it had already been shaped by immigration. I stayed around Miami in the early 60’s and had not been back until a couple of years ago. What a sad loss of a great place.

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