The U.S. is responsible for the misery in Puerto Rico.
They created the colony. They forced a perverse relationship, that is now unraveling in the Caribbean. There are 73 billion reasons for this relationship to end.
But in all fairness, there is plenty of blame to go around. The U.S. is not alone in this. The politicians in Puerto Rico, have been their loyal servant for nearly 70 years. Consider this visual representation of the novel Animal Farm, by George Orwell:
The pig on top allows the wolves to feast on the peaceful animals below…so long as the wolves remain loyal to the pig.
Wait a minute…jumping jehosaphat…that’s exactly what’s happening in Puerto Rico!
In 2010, the government of Puerto Rico laid off 33,000 workers.
In 2013, it hiked the water rates and raised corporate tax rates to 39%. Also in 2013, islanders paid double the average electricity costs of the rest of the US, at 29 cents per kilowatt.
In 2015, it raised the gasoline tax not once…but twice.
Over the past five years, the government raised the retirement age, increased worker contributions, lowered government pensions and benefits, and eliminated health benefits for retired teachers.It got so bad that on January 20, 2015, the Majority Speaker of the PPD, Senator Aníbal José Torres, assured the island that the legislature would not approve any further taxes in Puerto Rico.
“No veo posibilidad de que se apruebe algún impuesto adicional,” he said. Those were his exact words. They seemed as ironclad as George H.W. Bush’s “read my lips…no new taxes.”
But later that same year, the legislature approved a second gasoline tax…then they raised the water rates another 67 percent…and hiked the sales tax to 11.5 percent!
I was curious to see what this man looked like…a “leader” who would lie to every Puerto Rican, before kicking them in the teeth.
Here he is:
This man has not missed a meal in his life. He looks like Baby Huey in a pin-striped suit.
The PPD has fed him well: as Chief of Staff to Governor Aníbal Acevedo Víla (2005-2009), Secretary of the PPD Party (2009-2012), and now Senator and Majority Speaker (2012-2106).
Exactly how well-fed is he? This much:
A Puerto Rican legislator’s annual salary is $73,775. Some get up to $110,663. As Majority Speaker, Senator Torres gets $84,841.
This annual base salary of $73,775 is higher than that of 47 state legislatures in the US.
But the pork doesn’t stop there. Puerto Rico has 78 mayors for an island population of 3.6 million: that’s one mayor for every 46,153 people.
New York City has 8.4 million people. Using this ratio – one mayor for every 46,153 people – New York would have 182 mayors!
But it gets worse. The average salary of a mayor in Puerto Rico (for a town of 46,153 people) is $68,194.
Using those numbers – if we paid them a “Puerto Rico style” salary – the 182 mayors in New York City would collectively receive more than $12 million dollars a year… $12,411,308 to be exact.
It gets even worse. Each mayor has his own bureaucracy. That’s 78 separate city agencies, for the mayors to stick their family, friends, mistresses and gigolos into comfortable no-show jobs.
It gets worse again. The salary figures were taken from this chart:
That chart is from 2012. But you see, in May 2013, the Puerto Rican legislature gave itself a pay raise.
This made the mayors jealous…so two months later in Vega Alta (pop. 40,000), Mayor Isabelo “Chabelo” Molina raised his salary from $78,000 to $90,000.
This set off an explosion of mayoral pay raises, all over the island, that are not reflected on this 2012 chart.
Besides the 78 mayors, Puerto Rico has 51 Representatives and 27 Senators. Some of them are honest, some are not. Many of them place family and friends into every job imaginable – since Puerto Rico has no real manufacturing base, no industry of its own, and the government is the largest employer on the island.
All of these pay raises, and mayors, and nepotism, has created this:
It is absolutely disgusting that while taxing the island to death, and forcing hundreds of thousands of people to leave the island, these politicians would give themselves a pay raise.
However, as I stated at the beginning, the U.S. is responsible for the misery in Puerto Rico. They haven’t allowed the island to develop its own shipping, its own international trade, its own factories, its own entrepreneurial class…nothing.
Aside from crime and the underground economy – government jobs and government corruption are the only game in town. In other words, the entire island has become one big crime scene.
This all stems from the colonial condition that the U.S. has imposed on Puerto Rico, for the past 117 years. Eventually, with no internal economic resources, government corruption was inevitable.
“All animals are equal…but some animals are more equal than others,” wrote George Orwell. Unfortunately in Puerto Rico, there is nothing left to eat. The wolves are starting to eat each other.
The moral rot is complete.
And the peaceful citizens…are fleeing the island.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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