Is Florida the Sunset State?

Beset by a housing crash, environmental chaos and political turmoil, Florida confronts the death of a dream

Andrew Kaufman for TIME

Water Crisis Mortgage Fraud Political Dysfunction Algae Polluted Beaches Declining Crops Failing Public Schools Foreclosures

Greetings from Florida, where the winters are great!

Otherwise, there's trouble in paradise. We're facing our worst real estate meltdown since the Depression. We've got a water crisis, insurance crisis, environmental crisis and budget crisis to go with our housing crisis. We're first in the nation in mortgage fraud, second in foreclosures, last in high school graduation rates. Our consumer confidence just hit an all-time low, and our icons are in trouble — the citrus industry, battered by freezes and diseases; the Florida panther, displaced by...

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