Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Debt Crisis in Puerto Rico

While I was catching up on the primaries the other day, I noticed an article about the debt crisis in Puerto Rico. See the following:
Puerto Rico ( currently has a population larger than 21 of the states of the US, including Utah and Hawaii:

For a long time, they enjoyed special low taxes as a commonwealth of the US (one of a very few). They thought that was great. That couldn't last, of course, and they have not been able to find ways to balance the budget since those low taxes ended.

A big part of the problem is that the government is in a kind of limbo. It's not a state, it's not an independent country. It's a territory, with some special provisions that they can't figure out how to work around.

In 2012, they held a vote: become a state or ask for independence. The result was more than 60% was okay with statehood, and more than 50% was okay with becoming an independent country. 75% of the people voted, apparently.

Then they submitted a request to the US Congress to start the processes to give them statehood:

It's four years later, now. What has Congress been doing since then? Surely, in between meddling in other countries fighting war on war terrified people terrorism, trying to push the TPP ( and other ill-considered international "agreements" ( through, and infighting between factions in the government, we could get Congress to act on this?

(I'm not sure why they would want to become a state now. Maybe we should require another vote, between statehood in this moribund political warzone we've become and full independence.)

Is Congress so willing to let an entire territory of the US become a population 3.4 million ghetto because they are hamstrung by their legal status as a territory?

What is the hold-up? Is it that so few speak English and so many speak Spanish and Congress isn't willing to let them be an independent country?

Shooting from the hip, if the US Congress is not willing, for whatever reason, to accept Puerto Rico as a proper state in the Union, we must ask them to become an Independent country and suggest, if they later still want to become a US state, to apply as an independent country.

Otherwise, we will continue to be the biggest contributor to the worsening conditions there.

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