The Sunshine Economy

9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays

The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN


Before the terrorist attacks, one of the pressing international issues for the U.S. Congress in the months ahead was trade. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an international trade deal between a dozen countries including the United States. The thing runs 30 chapters totaling more than 5,000 pages covering trade from autos to kimonos to mobile phone roaming charges. The final proposed tax was released earlier this month and Congress likely will vote on it early next year. South Florida Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart is among those examining the deal.


The U.S. Congress is back in session with the Western death toll to international terrorism climbing. Last Friday night’s attacks in Paris were the deadliest in France since World War II and the second deadliest in modern Europe after the 2004 train bombing in Madrid.


courtsey of Rep. Carlos Curbelo

WLRN's The Sunshine Economy spoke with freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) about the U.S. reaction to the Paris terrorist attacks and Cuba.

courtsey & Tom Hudson

There is a big gap between $635 million and $1.6 billion. Yet, those are the two estimates of how much extra money state lawmakers may have when they meet in January for their next legislative session. The lower estimate is the official figure from the Legislative Office of Economic and Demographic Research. The higher figure is from Gov.

Tom Hudson

Talking with people who make their living based on boats and many quickly mention what they think is the biggest threat to their livelihood -- a bridge.

That single bridge crosses the New River near downtown Fort Lauderdale. Florida East Coast Railway operates the bridge, which handles freight traffic now.

However, with All Aboard Florida's plans to run passenger rail service from Miami to Orlando over the same tracks, South Florida's marine industry worries what that rail traffic could mean for the flow of its business on the water.

Chabeli Herrera

Manny Miranda and R. David Paulison both grew up in South Florida. They grew up with the threat and reality of hurricanes. Both were here in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew cut a deadly swath through Miami-Dade County,  Paulison as the chief of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miranda overseeing the electrical power restoration in the communities devastated by Andrew.

Chabeli Herrera

Cuba is not foreign territory to American Airlines. It's been flying there from South Florida since 1991, though technically not as American Airlines. It flies an average of 22 of charter flights a week to the island from Miami and Tampa. It plans to launch another charter from Los Angeles before the year is over. And it wants more.
Don McDougall / flickr Creative Commons

  Howard Kass, Ubaldo Huerta and Hiram Centelles already are doing business in Cuba. They hope to do more next year as relations thaw and the Communist island opens itself up to more commerce with the United States. 

Chabeli Herrera

  Carnival Corporation is one the largest publicly traded companies calling South Florida home. Its market value of more than $38 billion is eclipsed only by NextEra Energy, FPL's parent company. About 3,000 people work for Carnival in South Florida making it one of the top 20 employers in the region.

    Becoming an adult holds the promise of new freedoms -- no curfew, driving, maybe living on your own -- but as everyone who has been a teenager knows, it comes with more responsibility, financial responsibilities in particular, whether you are ready or not.

For the first time, WLRN led a summer program teaching six high schoolers how to tell their own stories through sound. Working with them provided unique insights into what they’re thinking about their economic futures -- a future that is statistically challenging.