"And yet if the Sunshine State is a larger-than-life reflection of where the country is heading, then the nation is still stuck, scared and uncertain of how far it wants to stray from the status quo. My travels through Florida make clear that - despite the urge to see recovery in improved housing sales - the costs of recent real estate mistakes continue to be severe."
"...Weaknesses in the approach emerged quietly, even before the bust, as overdevelopment and rising costs started pushing people away. Some were "halfbacks" - retirees originally from the North who ventured "halfway back" to Georgia or the Carolinas - but young families fled, too. In 2005, Broward County lost 1,756 students, in a district that thought nothing of adding 10,969 in 2001. Since 2004, enough parents have left to shrink the student body by 6 percent."