Puerto Rico is the experimental laboratory of the US. They tested Agent Orange, contraceptive pills, and cancer drugs on the island, and used Vieques for target practice for 62 years.
In 2017, the US should try a new experiment: it should exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act, as part of the PROMESA recovery program.
The issue has enormous attention and support. Within two days, the following video received over 4 million views:
Widespread corruption is not limited to Washington, D.C. The shipping industry in Puerto Rico, dominated by US corporations, is also worm-ridden with it…and the stench is island-wide.
Between 2008 and 2013, six shipping executives with major responsibilities in the Puerto Rico shipping industry were sentenced to federal prison. They committed multiple felonies: conspiring to fix shipping rates, and allocating cargoes amongst the three companies which employed them.
Also, the largest shipping companies – Crowley, Sea Star, and Horizon Lines – were all found as co-conspirators who “conspired to fix and maintain rates for Puerto Rico freight services, to share freight customers between and amongst themselves, and to rig bids submitted to customers of Puerto Rico freight services.”
In addition to these jailed executives, the three carriers – Sea Star, Crowley, and Horizon – all pleaded guilty to violating the Sherman Antitrust Act in numerous other areas during 2011 and 2012, and were fined a total of 46.2 million dollars.
The Jones Act protects these companies – even though they are breaking the law, and strangling the economy of Puerto Rico.
A BROAD SPECTRUM OF SUPPORT
There is a growing chorus for Jones Act reform…and outright repeal.
The Heritage Foundation has been advocating on Jones Act reform for several years. Two of their analyses – thoughtful and well-documented – are available here and here.
Other conservative think tanks agree. Please read the Jones Act analyses from The Cato Institute and the Manhattan Institute.
The Capital Research Center and The Hill also called for Jones Act repeal.
The World Economic Forum and the World Bank issued a joint report, which found the Jones act to be the most restrictive cabotage law in the entire world – and therefore should be repealed.
The US International Trade Commission (USITC) found that in 1996, the Jones Act cost the US economy an estimated $1.3 billion. A subsequent USITC study projected an annual $656 million benefit to the US, if the law were repealed.
Even the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in a 40-page report in 2012, found that the Jones Act is hurting Puerto Rico. Here are some of its findings:
The New York Times has gone on record, in support of Jones Act reform in Puerto Rico.
The Washington Post abhors the Jones Act, entirely.
TWO KEY POLITICIANS…AND A BATTLE PLAN
Republican Senator John McCain has repeatedly attempted to repeal the Jones Act.
Republican Congressman Gary Palmer tried to amend the PROMESA legislation, so that it would repeal the Jones Act in Puerto Rico. He accompanied this with a press release.
McCain and Palmer should file a joint bill to exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act, or to repeal the Jones Act entirely.
This should be accompanied by a massive public education campaign, and a “Jones Act March” from Orlando to Jacksonville, Fl.
The U.N., the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the World Bank, and other international organizations should be informed – aggressively and repeatedly – on the urgency of Jones Act repeal.
JUSTICE AND COMMON SENSE
All of the following will happen, if the Jones Act is removed from Puerto Rico:
If the U.S. is serious about helping Puerto Rico, it must remove the Jones Act from around its neck.
This is not rocket science. It is justice and common sense.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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How can i help to educate my puertorrican counterparts about the jones act here on the island.Is not a topic that you hear from politicians here. Willing to talk to my peers andhelp them understand whats as stake.
Pepito…all your points are valid…thanks for lending a note of civility in a cyber-venue that often lack a lot of it.
Today, with the US presidential election in full-swing and reaching new heights of UNBELIEVABLE audacity, hypocrisy and inanity everyday, most “USAmericans” are held spell-bound by the headlines, pirated-videos and wiki-leaks that reveal how long, how deep and how far-reaching the COLOSSAL corruption within the USMainland “government” has been eroding its crumbling, faux-democracy sham.
So it is not exactly a time when I would expect any of the US government’s munchkins or Oompah-Loompah to even glance beyond its continental borders with regard to anything, let alone the affairs of our Island un-commonwealth/colony/concubine that most USAmericans couldn’t find on a map without a GoogleMap GPS app or typically confuse with Pago-Pago and Papeete.
Puerto Rico’s political, fiscal and status malaise will in time resolve itself…it has to. What other option is there when the Island becomes a ghost-town of less than a million residents wearing grass-skirts left to greet the Love Boat cruises with assortments of edible candy-flavored condoms or to sell our native coco-nut shell bikini and thong national costumes, J-Low maks or black-faced Hula-Hula dancer bobble-head dashboard ornaments?
Again, thanks…I appreciated your insights.
Response for Greg 9/30/2016 Blog:
I agree with all your recommendations. This might have worked say, in the 1970’s, when the U.S. constituency was a little more involved/motivated/better thinkers as it relates the PR question and most everything else. All that pretty much evaporated. And it’s going to take a generation or two to just have the OPPORTUNITY to get back what we lost in that era. The people on the mainland are not very likely to respond to any of it. That’s because they’re not too far behind the islanders plight. They’re worried about their own butts: rights being stripped, and their wallets being picked. Most are living paycheck/paycheck. And, it’s getting worse. Even if the island engaged in a complete revolt, AND happened to be successful, do you think that that news would register on most people’s radar? Again, the main-landers priority right now, and into the near-term future, IS survival. Survival should be even further up the priority list for islander PR’s. But, it doesn’t seem to be that way. They would have done something about it by now. At least in my lifetime, this fight needs to be happening on the island, by islanders and promoted by the islanders. It might be up to the 20 somethings to get it going. They seem to be the ones w/the most to lose.
The Virgin Islands were given freedom from the Jones Act and we’re still being economically restrained simply because Jacksonville jobs would be in jeopardy. So basically, a few thousand people’s jobs in Jacksonville, FL are worth more than the 3.5 million lives financially affected by this %20 tax tariff that is levied on the whole island of Puerto Rico. Where is the sound reason that justifies the strangle hold that these beurocratic measures impose on such a small populous?
This is why the world sees U.S. hypocrisy in their “Do as I say, not as I do” policies.
Democracy appears in the mouths of U.S. Politicians only when it’s useful in accommodating war propaganda where they can gain some territorial or geostrategical footing, but when it relates to local territorial acrimony it’s simply muddied with political jargon endeared towards the benefit of the wealthy businesses that they rub elbows with.
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This is true they allow the other islands to be without and the rig the benefits and we like the bastard kids to suffer hell no. Start petitions , make calls , inundate the media, the politicians , the government higher above with everything nonstop the more noise the more people they will have to listen because they can shut up an angry mob.
I know a 40 page report was needed to know the Jones Act is aping our Island and our families. Why the Jones Act has continued unopposed by our Puerto Rican constituents is a direct result of political corruption at its Grimiest. Our top two political parties have sold out the island and yet they drum up support by Boricuas on the island. How is it possible that this hoodwinking is still alive “It Boggles Me”. Why PIP political party has not gained momentum after all of this American treachery especially now when it’s in Your Face, Boggles me into thinking either Puerto Rico’s political voting system is rigged or Boricuas are brainwashed into thinking that these Walmarts , Home Depots, Popeyes Chicken etc are a good thing for the island. NOTT this is another successful plot to destroy island businesses on the Island and funnel the cash back to the Americans
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596 billion… How about the debt gets forgiven and we get some of that money Back? This seems to make more sense – Wouldn’t you agree?
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Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
It’s time …. end the Jones Act!! Old, unfair law from 1920!!!
Start a petition
Nelson…thanks for distilling the Jones Act to its most essential elements…thank you.
Next step for your “warriors” is to post a step-by-step guide on how Puerto Ricans both on and off the Island and ALL other Americans and all other Puerto Rico sympathizers around the world can make their “Repeal-The-Jones-Act” sentiments known.
A full page ad in the NYTIMES and all other USMainland mass-media publications, especially in Puerto Rican-dense cities is a good place to further promote this information.
Even a YouTube video, a Huffington Post “article” with accompanying video would be great too. And a full-page ad in EVERY American university and college newspaper would also help to inform the next generation.
I would also suggest sending “open-letters” to EVERY “La Tino” , “Hispanic”, “Nuyorican” or “Caribbean” Studies program faculties to inform all their students about the Jones Act. The reality is, virtually NO ONE in the US knows what it is.
I am not a fan of writing pointless letters to our Celebriqueño$ or Congre$$ional hacks and Sonia Sotomayor is busy with her Sesame Street cameo-appearances…they’re all on the take or busy promoting their “careers” and we know it.
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