Under the banner of “economic assistance” for Puerto Rico, Marco Rubio has introduced a bill in the US Senate that would lower the minimum wage to $5.
It is called the EMPLEO Act (“Economic Mobility for Productive Livelihoods and Expanding Opportunity). According to Rubio, EMPLEO will “jump start” the island’s economy and create “new employment opportunities.”
EMPLEO is a very dangerous bill.
With a GOP president and congress, it could get fast-tracked and passed within few weeks.
Here is the text of the entire bill, which is designated as S. 3503…
The bill accomplishes two things:
It sets a minimum wage floor of $5 for everyone on the island, regardless of age. This goes further than the PROMESA bill, which also contemplated a minimum wage reduction …but only for workers aged 25 and under.
It creates a US federal wage subsidy of up to $2.50 an hour, for those employers who pay between $5 and $7.50 an hour.
According to Rubio, this will “reduce the cost of hiring new workers” and “make it easier to find a job.”
Oren Cass, a Manhattan Institute Fellow who helped to craft Rubio’s law, said that “reducing the minimum wage should create many more entry-level job openings.”
Cass also proclaimed that it will “mark a starting point for meaningful reform in mainland economic policy.”
Cass also called Rubio’s bill a “compassionate tool for addressing Puerto Rico’s challenges.”
PROMISES FROM DRACULA
There’s no other way to put this…Rubio and Cass are victimizing poor people in order to enhance their own careers, and possibly their bank accounts.
Their alleged “rationale” is that, even though the Puerto Rico median wage is only $9.42 (compared to the US median wage of $16.70), Puerto Ricans are being paid too much…and this is stalling the island’s economy. Therefore, say Rubio and Cass, a minimum wage cut will lift the economy…and benefit the people of Puerto Rico.
This is the same tortured logic that Dracula offers his victims, when he sucks their blood but makes them immortal.
LET’S DO THE MATH
The numbers are quite simple. Thanks to the Jones Act, the cost of living in Puerto Rico is artificially inflated…with all the excess profits going to US auto manufacturers, food suppliers, and consumer goods companies.
A recent study compared the cost of living in Puerto Rico to that of 325 US urban areas. Here is what they found:
In general, supermarket items in Puerto Rico were 21% more expensive than the US, and the overall cost of living was 13% higher than in the 325 US urban areas.
Electricity alone costs 300% more in Puerto Rico (25 cents per kilowatt hour) than in New York City…and next year, in 2017, the rates will rise another 22% !
THE PRICE OF CARS
The same car costs $6,000 more in Puerto Rico than in Miami. Since there are more than 3 million cars in Puerto Rico, this amounts to an excess profit – mostly to US auto manufacturers – of 18 BILLION DOLLARS.
According to the US Dept. of Transportation, the average life expectancy of a car is 13 years…so roughly $1.38 billion per year (18 billion ÷ 13) is leaving Puerto Rico for excess profits on cars.
The US share of this is over $1 billion annually…in excess profits.
And that’s for cars alone!
INCOME VERSUS EXPENSES
The per capita income of Puerto Ricans is roughly $16,000 a year…about half that of Mississippi, the poorest state in the US.
So if Puerto Ricans are twice as poor as the poorest state in the US, but their cost of living is 13% higher than the US, then how will lowering the minimum wage to $5 be a benefit to Puerto Rico?
The answer is…it won’t.
It will turn Puerto Rico into a land of beggars and billionaires…a playground for the world’s elite, and the broken human beings who serve them.
MORE DEPENDENCY, MORE DISASTERS
Rather than strengthen Puerto Rico, EMPLEO will increase their dependence on US congress.
It will force US taxpayers to subsidize billionaires like John Paulson – who will pay only $5 to his hotel and beach resort workers. Then Paulson himself will turn around – and pay no taxes on interest, dividend or capital gains – thanks to Acts 20 and 22.
The greatest disaster will arrive when congress “forgets” to include the employer subsidy of $2.50 in future federal budgets…and then Puerto Ricans will be paid $5 an hour, period.
If anyone doubts the likelihood of congressional “forgetfulness,” they can consider how congress “forgot” that Law 53 (the Gag Law) violated the first amendment… then “forgot” to include Puerto Rico in the 1984 bankruptcy law…and “forgot” to amend the Jones Act, every year, for the past 96 years.
THE PAYROLLS OF MARCO RUBIO
If Marco Rubio really wanted to “reform” the economy of Puerto Rico, he would join Congressman Gary Palmer and Senator John McCain, in their efforts to reform the Jones Act.
Rep. Palmer even tried to add a Jones Act exemption as part of the PROMESA bill – and was immediately shut down by Rep. Rob Bishop, the chair of the Natural Resources Committee.
But real reform is not on Rubio’s agenda.
Rubio will do nothing about Jones Act reform…he will even oppose it, in order to protect the jobs, unions, and campaign donors in Jacksonville, FL.
Rubio also has a well-known record as a “Senator for Sale,” specifically with regard to Puerto Rico.
In his own home state, the Florida newspapers reported that after receiving campaign donations from six hedge funds holding Puerto Rican debt, Rubio became the only U.S. presidential candidate to openly oppose bankruptcy reform for Puerto Rico.
Right now, thanks to Citizens United, Rubio may be on several payrolls:
HAPPY 100TH ANNIVERSARY
They give Puerto Rico PROMESA.
Now they send EMPLEO.
In 1917, they sent CIUDADANO.
The US has been lying to Puerto Rico for over a century.
Next year, 2017, will mark the 100th anniversary of Puerto Ricans as US “citizens.”
And what will we get?
A $5 dollar minimum wage, and a plane ticket to Orlando.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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