Comments on: Puerto Rico is America’s Greece http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/ Bridges, budgets, bonds Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:29:08 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: USAisnotAmerica http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-2413 Thu, 27 Feb 2014 01:19:56 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-2413 I excuse myself for my lack of economic argot. I’m a soon to be graduate, 25yo jobless male born and raised in Puerto Rico. I do not disagree with what this article states but I feel it’s important to give a little context, right after expressing some deeply founded opinions about “America”.

I respect Reuters. It has always served as a quick outlet for relevant news. I value the quality of the information and, above all, the fact that it’s not as sensationalist as other media outlets.
Having said that, which might have been a poor observation, I find that the title for this article is either wrong on the basis of fact, or wrong because of non-objectivity.
“PR is America’s Greece”.
“PR could be described as America’s own Third World country”
America is a whole continent, half of which has already been very naively denominated as “third world” for whatever political purpose, rendering them intuitively “behind” on the global economic scale, which is something to debate, but not at this point. Anyone using “America” to refer to the “United States of America” (as well as the consequence of labeling all citizens of the USA “Americans” and the rest of the continent’s inhabitants can find their own name), is either ignorant, or arrogant because it portrays that USA is the only (relevant) part of America.
Assigning “latinamericans” and “southamericans” to other Americans simply because (?) is another longstanding linguistic attempt at associating these people as intuitively “behind” of the economic prestige, the cultural advancement and the political foresight many southern American countries have demonstrated in the past decades, all while being constantly and consistently pillaged by local and foreign enterprise.
You know what it is? There is no equivalent to “of the United States of America”. It’s almost as if a citizen of the United States of America has no nationality. If you believe me to be wrong, please correct me, but if there is NO word for a concept, if the most historically significant nation cannot “come up with” a word that can replace “of the United States of America”, then I believe it was intentionally never defined so that the linguistic inception mentioned earlier would eventually happen.
OR referring to both The United States of America and citizens of the United States of America as America and Americans respectively, is just people avoiding those previous mouthfuls, in other words, being LAZY.

“..per capita income of $15,203..”
“..official unemployment rate is 15.5 percent..”
“..45% of PRs live below the poverty line..”
“20% of personal income [] comes from federal or Puerto Rican public funds”
reported facts, I see them as undeniable.
“it’s an economy going nowhere”
of COURSE it’s going no where. Some of us here have been aware of that fact for a LONG while. But we (the people that understand the problem and live the problem, always minority) have no means of asking USA leaders for some kind of intervention, because if we ask our political leaders, we get ignored and even attacked because the general populace has learned to vote themselves more privileges and easier access to that federal stipend, as well as the local public treasury.

Oh, that sweet federal river made of money. It’s a goo of solid poison that will eventually make anyone corrupt their own reality. How is it poison? How is it that my welfare state has gotten to the point where it is right now? Imagine the following scenario:

During the decade of 2000-2010, the Government was pushing for a rebirth of the dying coffee industry, which by then could only account for the 2-5% of the locally consumed coffee. They allocated resources, they gave the farmers tax exemptions and they facilitated loans intended for the needed infrastructure, as well as took other actions over and under the table; but this is to be expected, since coffee is seen with pride by the local populace (because they don’t know the actual state of the industry) this government initiative was widely supported in opinion, but not in reality. The initiative failed by massive margins, having only revitalized enough to provide for 10-15% of the locally consumed total coffee at present date.
The reason? That sweet fed goop.
A general populace interview was conducted about the whole coffee business. The conversation usually went a little like this:
“Are you employed?”
“No”
“How many children do you have”
“3”
“So have you heard about what the government is doing with the coffee industry?”
“Yes and I think it’s great”
“Oh so do you plan on becoming part of the work force and moving to the mountain to go pick coffee beans?”
“Why would I do that?”
“Well… because you would be patriotic while gaining a job, right?”
“I already get the unemployment check. If I get a job I will lose that and spend time I don’t have doing something that sounds really boring, instead of with my children and my family. I already live in a ‘government subsidized building’, and losing that is a risk I don’t want or need to take.”

This situation has repeated itself over and over, with different scenarios, circumstances and players, over a period of (I would say) 50 years at least, because the general populace hadn’t become accustomed to the status quo of voting and welfare manipulation. And when you have government policies that include getting more welfare money for having more children (this goes against everything that is proper) combined with a poorly administered education system, you end up with as much as 3 to 4 generations (its quite common) of people that have not only been raised to believe that this welfare state is “natural”, but people who will actively engage in social campaigns like the notorious “Con la fianza no se juega”. The Government was trying to pass a bill to deny bail possibility if the case in question was of an “extremely violent and inhumane nature”. Suddenly everyone was talking about it, and the slogan “You don’t play with the bail” started popping up everywhere. If I’m not incorrect that bill was not passed. The criminals did their job well. As if anyone who is decent and hardworking was interested in not passing this bill.

Friends of mine are more literate than I, and we refer to this little paradise as Macondo Island. For anyone who didn’t get the reference, it’s the spanish version of Neverland (where anything and everything is probable). There are so many examples of illogical decisions/policies/practices, due to that great big federal “help” that I simply wouldn’t end writing this response.

And this river of money has a source. It has a faucet. Politicians here act as though that faucet will never close. Or they know it will but they are just putting as much into their own pockets as they can before it closes. And then they happily live in Washington or Florida or Miami. Because they don’t emigrate, they take vacations. Some of us on the other hand won’t even have time or enough resources to actually abandon the island if things turn really sour. Some of us simply chose to get shot in the face by a hoodlum before allowing the power of a bullet or a dollar to continue inducing fear into our hearts. But most of the people here are a little more “logical” and less “passionate” in that sense. Most don’t actually love their land. They haven’t really fought for it. And they can “jump” to the states whenever they please. So, what’s the point of fighting for lost causes?

But this isn’t new. In fact why is everyone suddenly noticing that all of these are facts. Oh, I see, because “the voracious appetite that tax-exempt investors have for higher-yielding bonds”, in other words, because of the blind greed portrayed by entities of a system that is fundamentally flawed, a system that should have changed as technological breakthroughs became more pervasive, a system that uses tools and solutions from it’s “failed” competitor to sustain its current evolutionary pathway, a system that has failed to actually bring anything, except the birth internet and the production of the situation that gives most power to the least amount of people.

I kind of hope PR ends up becoming the poison that kills the beast. It would be very poetic. Instead I actually do think we will get a bailout. The fact that Puerto Rico is USA’s foothold in the Caribbean has been “less true” as time goes on, not that they need the military presence but lets see some numbers. During the 2008 recession, I know of at least one Military base that shut down: I heard that $40 million/year was lost merely by having removed those soldiers from the local economy. I admit this figure I heard could be exaggerated but I’m confident that it wasn’t only one base that got shut down, and that it was a lot of people that left the island.
Having already made clear the high reproduction rate of people who have learned to feel entitled to that great fed goo, and the recent statistics of people who have been abandoning the island I’m pretty sure that if the situation doesn’t change, this island will become inhospitable by 2040, which is when I will be 50, which is the same amount of time that i have had to see the changes that have occurred in the past slowly manifest themselves into the future, many times over.

Thank you for having read this, if you have any thought that merits voicing out, by all means, share it with me at jose.taveras@upr.edu. I have stated all facts that I have previously read but maybe I need to provide sources as this is a combination of context and interpretation.

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By: KimHaden http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-2223 Fri, 05 Apr 2013 18:00:33 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-2223 I think a big difference between states and Puerto Rico that’s going to have an impact on the outcome of this story is that Puerto Rico is in part a cap gains tax haven–you don’t have to pay on stocks if you’re based in Puerto Rico. This wasn’t the case with Greece. You can read more about it here: http://www.puertoricoreport.org/go-to-pu erto-rico-to-avoid-tax-on-stock-profits/

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By: PRleechers http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-2031 Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:42:18 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-2031 This article is spot on. Puerto Ricans pay no federal taxes but instead leech off the US government. Most Puerto Ricans receive some kind of assistance whether it is food stamps, disability, or public housing. The true unemployment rate is MUCH higher than 15%, I’m guessing more like 50% if you count people not looking for work. This economy is non-existant if not for the US government money. Nothing worthwhile is produced in PR. The US receives NO benefit from keeping it a US territory. Let’s give it back to the people and watch it become Afghanistan in a few months.

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By: GCSchmidt http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-1610 Wed, 01 Aug 2012 13:39:59 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-1610 As a Puerto Rican born and bred, the level of discourse here is embarrassing. In too many cases, the writing level is atrocious and the “facts” are, to say the least, warped through a political prism. What frosts my perineum is that most of the comments were most likely written by supporters of statehood for Puerto Rico (in witless defense of the current government administration) and by virtue of their hideous spelling (spell-check function, people?) and pathetic grammar of the language they WANT to live in every day in every way, all they do is reinforce the long-held impression of obviously being “not American”.

Not that the average American writes much better, but you know what I mean.

To compound the impression and shove it into the realm of ignorance, the post is about the precarious situation of Puerto Rico’s municipal bonds, not about status or invasions or whatever the flippin’ hell roils in a statehood supporter’s febrile noggin. Stick to the topic, look at the facts and have someone teach you where spell-check is. Better yet, learn English in the 16 years of schooling most of you (may have) completed.

Stop embarrassing yourselves, which might be asking too much of the plainly self-deluded. And one last point: Recent events have proven the post’s point. The massive debt increase in a weak economy/contracting economy means greater investor risk and the possibility of needing a bailout. Like Greece needed a bailout. We might be years or months away from that, but we are getting closer to that, rather than farther away.

Moody’s Downgrades $16 billion in Puerto Rico bonds: http://puertorico.municipalbonds.com/bon ds/moodys_report/19457/

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By: rodridon67 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-1595 Sun, 22 Jul 2012 19:54:36 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-1595 Puerto Ricans not only pay State Tax but also Federal Taxes. Yet we do not have a representative in the Congress or Senate of the US. The US was founded under the belief that Taxation Without Representation was wrong. Just like the 13 colonies believed this to be wrong in the 1700’s, it is still considered wrong today. Yet Puerto Rico is the only US Territory without representation. And please don’t say that we are represented by our Resident Commissioner. That position has no say in Congress with regards to issues of the US that affect Puerto Rico and can not vote on the issues.

In short Puerto Ricans pay federal taxes but are not represented with a vocal and Voting representative. This friends is the definition of Taxation Without Representation.

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By: Omaha29 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-1581 Sat, 14 Jul 2012 20:38:34 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-1581 Gee…I thought the gist of the article was to beware about buying PR bonds because they may not be repaid in full?? Then I read the comments that discussed everything except the finances of PR Bonds

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By: PR2012 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-1241 Fri, 29 Jun 2012 23:16:58 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-1241 I hope my puerto rican people survive anything

Because years years ago puerto ricans were hard as workers mayby a lil more then anybody! But once u see what america does to you its lazy because america is the disque (so call) free life when it actually no its not it just has more money then other countries and a lil less laws and gangs tht is corrupted in other nations such as central america

Puerto rico would of got independence years ago by spain but remember even some of you said it u.s just walked in on puerto rico all didily dadly how the white rednecks say it and did things without our permission! So its not puerto rico fault blame yah white gringos for this situatuion u started it now finish it an old saying!

Puerto rico won’t ever become a state been trying for years and still won’t happen
I have faith in my people as well as you guys do for your country

Remember before u.s came in puerto ricans were hard ass workers then u show them your life and made them lazy even though I see puerto ricn busninessed and they trying to work as ahrd as they can!

Debtts is out of hands everyone owes everyone money

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By: Howtrue http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-896 Tue, 10 Apr 2012 02:06:50 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-896 The Governor on where they’ve come from and where they’re going:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FnFmngIS QA&feature=youtu.be

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By: Kberg http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-894 Sat, 07 Apr 2012 08:00:27 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-894 Many problems with this article rhetoric aside,

1.Puerto Rico has an Emigration issue, skilled workers leave and workers in puerto rico are often immigrants,

2. Puerto rico does not get state aid like other states but also is left on its own due to non-state hood, calling it america’s greece is silly, as it isn’t a state, the demographics, economy, language, infrastructure, history of the USA has little or nothing to do with puerto rico,

3. Greece’s problems are due to the Euro a one size all fits currency, tax evasion, and spending unwisely, greece is soverign , puerto rico is basically a colony with a few rights due to its status not being final,

4. Food Stamps have long been gone in puerto rico, almost 30 years, before the book was published, a switch to a less costly block grant program was given.

5. The “Greece scare” is common amongst folks, ignoring the facts, greeks work very hard and tax evasion is a problem, take a look at ireland one of the “pigs”, austerity and low corporate taxation would make conservatives smile, but alas to no avail, of course I am not saying conservatives are wrong, but to use rhetoric and not get the facts straight, credibility of your point and argument, in fact high spending states such as sweden and finland are doing fine.

In summary, Puerto rico cannot be America’s greece because the former is more like a wanted/unwanted stepchild and stepparent.

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By: Piry25 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/03/08/puerto-rico-is-americas-greece/comment-page-1/#comment-873 Mon, 19 Mar 2012 19:38:50 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=8209#comment-873 Amazed me to see the fanatics writing in this post. The blames continues pnp, ppd whatever. The issues of Puerto Rico has been created from both main parties. The ay bendito and the corruption that is rampant in their local government is a complete disgrace.

If you believe PR has a strong economy you must be kidding. When everything cost almost double than in the states and the salaries of people are stagnant how that can be progress. If you tell me that the underground economy is making money I will believe you “drugs” everyone. Indeed they are making a killing at there.

Now Mrs. Long has not posted anything that is not true about PR economy that is a completed fiasco and if you really believe that the USA will bail you out you better think twice that rhetoric. In your dreams!!!!

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