Fred Grimm

Fred Grimm: How I might be Miami’s one-man economic stimulus


By the time you read this, I may already be a captain of industry, given that our main industry in South Florida entails sucking up to the rich.

I’ll be squandering my considerable wealth with the kind of ostentatious spending so very necessary to the local economy. Frittering it away on maître d’s, sommeliers, personal chefs, personal trainers, valets, tailors, supermodels (or reasonable facsimiles), cosmetic surgeons — the assembly line workers in the Miami pleasure factory. With something extra for the gatekeeper who decides which of us wealthy celebs gets into LIV ahead of the peasants. The Biebs? Or me, the guy with the $100 bill taped to his forehead?

I had a lot riding on that Powerball drawing Wednesday night. Well, $20 anyway. But you’ve got to spend money to make money. (Either that or concoct a Miami Medicare scam.) I realize that I wasn’t quite alone in this endeavor, with suckers from 44 states and three U.S. territories appropriating their children’s lunch money to buy lottery tickets, none of us math whizzes bothered by 292.2 million-to-one odds.

But I was already strategically positioned to win, as opposed to players from podunk places. Miami ranked up there with London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai in the Knight Frank 2015 Wealth Report as a hangout for us disgustingly rich folks.

Not for nothing does Miami have 22 dealerships selling Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces and Maybachs, or 64 luxury hotels listed by the Five Star Alliance. Me, I’d only need to move a few blocks to find a suitable mansion among my peeps. Of course, I’d need to get rid of my low-bred Humane Society mutts. Sorry Jasper and Zora, but South Floridians of my ilk are transitioning to $7,000 Tibetan Mastiffs.

But living in South Florida does put a $1.5 billion Powerball pot into perspective. I could opt for the 30-year annuity, but I’m no spring chicken. (Though that ought to provide enough money to buy spare parts on the human organ black market.) The lump sum payout, however, only amounted to $930 million, before subtracting a huge chunk for the IRS.

That would have left me a piddling $558 million, hardly enough to run with big boys hereabouts. I suppose I could scrape up enough money for Le Palais Royal, that oh so gaudy (restraint and good taste is considered gauche among us wealthy South Floridians) beachside mansion on Hillsboro Beach, asking price $159 million. But that would only leave me enough for a teensy private jet.

Worse, the damn billionaires have already bought up this year’s batch of presidential candidates. And overpaid at that, pricing us mere hundred-millionaires out of the market. At this point, I could hardly afford a Huckabee.

Nothing much to do but bob around on my yacht in Biscayne Bay, sipping Dom Perignon, complaining how much of my tax money is wasted on the free school lunch program.

I suppose I could always buy myself a Florida state senator or two. But, dammit, good help is getting hard to find.