Puerto Rico’s Financial Crisis Continues

Puerto Rico is not yet a state, but that didn’t stop Barron’s from calling it the “worst state” in their recent “State of the States” report.

Puerto Rico not only scored 51st of 51 in the economic comparison, but “Puerto Rico is off the charts in every metric.”

The metrics in question include the amount of debt compared with the amount of production in the states and the territory, the amount of unfunded pension liability compared the the amount of production, the bond ratings, and the amount the states and the territory have to pay to borrow money.

Puerto Rico has to pay 8.3% more than the rate paid by AAA-ranked states. This is the highest rate by far in the Barron’s report.  Total debt is 87.9% of the GDP. “There’s little evidence that the depressed Puerto Rican economy is turning around,” Barron’s observes.

So how is the current territorial status working out for Puerto Rico? This isn’t a difficult theoretical question. We can see that Puerto Rico’s current status as an unincorporated territory with little or no voice in the laws that govern the island is not good for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico needs to have the status question resolved. As a state, Puerto Rico would have a voice in the legislature, access to the same federal benefits as the states, and the same chance for prosperity as the otehr states — all of which are currently in far better financial condition than Puerto Rico.

As an independent nation, Puerto Rico would have the power to control its own economic destiny. Either way, Puerto Rico should have the power of self-determination, and people who live in Puerto Rico should have full citizenship rights.

This is not an impossible dream. True, the 2012 vote for statehood has not led to statehood. But the legislature has taken action to resolve the status of Puerto Rico. For the first time, a federally sponsored and funded plebiscite is planned. The funding for this referendum is in the 2015 budget.

We need to make it clear that we want action from our representatives in Congress and the Senate. Contact your legislators and let them know how you feel — we make it easy.

Please also sign the petition. If you have already signed the petition, won’t you tweet this story or just invite your friends and family to sign? Thank you.

The story was originally written in English and may be being translated automatically by Google.

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