An article recently published in the Miami Herald opposes the migration of Silicon Valley companies to Miami. The article, resentful and ignorant of what immigrants really are, spreads hysteria about what the migration of large companies to a region whose leaders are neither crony capitalists nor lukewarm democrats could mean.
“Miami does not want to be Silicon Valley”
The article seeks to make the point that the majority of Miamians do not want this phenomenon to continue. To try to legitimize itself, it uses a page called “We are Miami Tech” that aims to build “an equitable, collaborative, inclusive and thriving community for creators, technologists and advocates of the 305”. However, the initiative only has 406 supporters, out of 470,914 people in Miami-Dade and the metropolitan area 6,353,584.
The reality is that the 406 figure does not look like a majority by any stretch of the imagination. So, neither that number nor the initiative as such speaks for the citizens.
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They claim that they aspire “to be an ecosystem designed and embodied by inclusion, access, racial equity, diversity, upward economic mobility and seamless connectivity.” In that sense, they say they seek to “ensure that Black, Indigenous, other people of color and LGBTQ+ people are fully represented in all measures of opportunity.”
With this, we already understand that their “equality” is, in reality, not about competition but about quite a different agenda.
Diversity does not create business vanguards
“We believe Miami can be a global innovation center known not for its size, but for its impact and for the quality that Miami has always represented: diversity,” reads the Herald column. Although, in reality, the natural condition of an individual or group does not predispose them to success or failure. It is competition that determines the success of an initiative.
“Miami is a city of immigrants. We know what it is like to have our backs against the wall, to be the underdog, but still have the certainty that we will persevere in our efforts.”
When is the immigrant an underdog? Greater Miami’s majority population is Hispanic, at 70%, and leaning on the numbers Forbes revealed in 2019, “underdog” is a pretty dramatic term.
“South Florida,” the magazine notes, “ranked first in startup activity in the United States in 2017, according to the Kauffman Index.” “On the software startup scale, it’s likely to be smaller: in 2018, Miami ranked 11th in terms of investment dollars, $1.4 billion,” according to a report by eMerge Americas and Florida International University. In addition, A 2016 study by the Martin Prosperity Institute ranked it 15th in terms of venture capital dollars. Now, was it diversity itself that accomplished this?
Well, diversity is not automatically positive or negative. Moreover, diversity in the case of Miami is not as diverse as it is portrayed. Hispanics, who constitute the largest immigrant community, share a common idiosyncrasy based on work, entrepreneurship and conservative values such as faith and family.
This contrasts sharply with what the Herald article proposes. Lamondin and Cassel, authors of the lines, state that “tax policies and quality of life should not be the main reason investors come here.” So what should it be? Shouldn’t there be a first incentive for these companies to establish themselves and thus become “Miami-based”? Should they become Hispanic? Change their genetics? Speak Spanish with a Cuban accent?
What is the criterion that determines which incentive is good or bad for the business development of a place? This is not made clear by the authors.
They both forget that Miami, albeit a very diverse place, is composed of immigrants who initially left their countries because in Miami (and U.S. in general) there is an incredible quality of life, compared to Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua and Venezuela. It is a contradiction!
“Now, more than ever, we need a clear vision from our leaders that benefits all of Miami,” the article says. From here we ask: how would business migration and industrial development not benefit Miami? It means more jobs and more competition. However, the authors avoid arguing and continue, this “starts with our leaders spending more time in our own backyard, engaging the companies and founders that are already here and always will be.”
In reality, a company’s longevity is not to be ensured by articles, intentions or direct government action, but by its primacy in competition. Is the fear due to Big Tech? Governor DeSantis is doing his job in this regard, and Mayor Suarez should be in the same vein; if he is not, then it is up to the citizens to push to change the landscape.
Hispanics don’t like to remain silent when injustice is the law; we know that. But neither do they like to stand still, and they love to take action. So what’s the fear? Miami has not been successful because of diversity per se. Miami is successful because of competition and refusing to stagnate. Why change the formula or fear competition? Doesn’t the Florida anthem say, “Always shielding your own, yet giving welcome”?
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017