As Chaos Ensues In Puerto Rico:
The United States
may face a major economic collapse.
I will now help you understand how a small Caribbean island could bring Goliath (the United States) to its economic knees.
“It’s much harder than anybody believes to bring up kids in a wealthy environment…People are ruined by challenged economic times. But they’re ruined by wealth as well because they lose their ambition and they lose their pride and they lose their sense of self-worth. It’s difficult at both ends of the spectrum."— Malcolm Gladwell in his book: David and Goliath
Approximately 4 years ago, I moved here to Puerto Rico. I have watched the economic status of this island decay to trash over that time. This decay has been going on for years.
It all coincides with huge amounts of funding coming from the United States, and mishandling of that funding by government officials.
I am absolutely sick of hearing the Red party (Popular Democratic Party) blame the economy on the Blue party (New Progressive Party). The Blue party turns around and throws mud on the Red party-and you then have the Independentistas...the Green party who both other parties detest because they would have to learn how to do it on their own.
I have been watching a slow chaos ensue in Puerto Rico.
At this point, Puerto Rico is over $70 billion in debt, and the government has no idea how they will pay it.
Puerto Rico does not have bankruptcy protection because it is not a State. A large percentage of Puerto Rican people are escaping to the mainland United States assuming it will be better there. They may soon find it as bad or worse, and the reason may fall back on the tiny island of Puerto Rico.
Water and electric
I have watched and heard some idiotic thought patterns recently from public utilities.
On top of the economic issues, we are on a water rationing plan now. There has not been enough rain, and Puerto Rico is short of water.
I don't understand this situation. Technology has shown where salt can be removed from ocean water and used, but the government of Puerto Rico did not adapt and use this technology.
Many people have cisterns on top of their homes that collects water so when it shuts down, they still have 300-500 gallons of water.
Now the ignorance that just came from the water supplier: They say that the cisterns are using too much water. Hmmmm...what happened to common sense. Cisterns just store water, they don't use water.
The electric situation is also working on pure ignorance. The sun shines consistently in Puerto Rico, but did they ever adopt solar power? No, they still burn fossil fuels. They have workers scamming the system. I have seen it with my own eyes. These electric workers taking multiple breaks during the day...while in company vehicles sitting at bars, but they get to work when the sun goes down and they are getting paid overtime.
People generally are afraid to speak up for fear of retribution.
Oh, so and so doesn't like how we are working. Shut their water off! Turn off their electricity! Puncture the tires on their car! so on and so forth.
I will have to be prepared once this hub goes public.
So why should people in the U.S. care?
Yes, you may live in Idaho, Iowa or Tennessee and are saying:
"Oh well. That island doesn't affect me or mine."
But it does
and it will!
When your retirement fund goes bankrupt;
When the investment fund you invested in goes belly up;
When Wall Street drops like a hot rock.
It very well could all fall back on this island that holds about 3.5 million people and is approximately 140 miles long by 40 miles wide.
Many large and small investment funds assumed that Puerto Rico bonds would be a great investment. They were free of State and Federal taxes, so the majority of debt owed by Puerto Rico is to American investment companies.
You will pay for a downfall of the Caribbean island. If Puerto Rico falls, Goliath (Uncle Sam) may fall too!
Like children and an allowance
When I study the complete situation with the Puerto Rico government and economy, I picture a child who has just been given his/her allowance and it is burning a hole in their pocket...They will spend on the first thing that catches their eye.
I see this situation in Puerto Rican government. Stupid spending makes for bad tidings at some point. They have this thought pattern that if they screwed up, Uncle Sam would cover it...well Puerto Rico's rich Uncle isn't rich anymore.
So, Puerto Rico needs to:
One of two things
Either allow Uncle Sam the ability of full, and complete control to fix the problem...or....
Cut ties completely with the United States
No matter which way they go, people are going to face major cutbacks and problems, but it needs to be one or the other.
If they allow United States full control, it needs to be a system where government leaders step back and United States leaders step in. Full audits need to be done. Anyone who has committed any crimes need to be punished to the full extent.
This is something I believe is happening in Puerto Rico. Some people working in government offices have discovered ways to rob and steal.
If Puerto Rico completely cuts ties to the U.S., it will be time for me to go and hopefully I can bring the Puerto Ricans I love with me...primarily Maggie and her family. I honestly believe that if Puerto Rico were to cut ties with Uncle Sam, a dictator will step in.
Now to make some people angry
I have my opinions on how the economy could be helped greatly in Puerto Rico.
I think the new tax rate is wise if the money generated from them is used intelligently...which I doubt.
Every pueblo has its own government...78 pueblos and 78 governments. All these have employees, and many of those employees are not needed.
I say centralize pueblo government offices. Have one for the San Juan metro area. Make Carolina over all the Eastern pueblos. Ponce over the South. Mayaguez over the West. Maybe Utuado over the Central and Arecibo over the North.
The Governor and Mayors need to take pay-cuts with all the money going toward the debt. No more overtime for any government workers, and that includes water and electric, except for a small emergency team.
Sell tax breaks
As was the old system, give corporations a reason to use Puerto Rico. Offer them a decade worth of tax breaks if they drop a lump sum in the economy now to help erase the debt.
Why Puerto Rico is not a strong entity in oranges, papaya, coffee and other agricultural commodities just confuses me. Find a way to make agriculture become a strength once again in Puerto Rico.
"Instead of generating either unnecessary alarm or a false sense of security regarding these fundamental issues, the best course is to empower people with the truth."— Dick Thornburgh
I am calling on the people of the U.S. to step up and show Puerto Rico how to get out and stay out of debt.
It will cause turmoil in the mainland if Puerto Rico defaults on their debts, so all of you do have interest in this situation.
I say take a trip here and help out by spending a little. Any help you can give Puerto Rico would be welcome.
© 2015 Greg Boudonck