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Old 12-21-2017, 12:09 PM
 
469 posts, read 816,500 times
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Since Hurracaine Maria it seems everything in Puerto Rico appears to be changing.

First there was the massive devastation left by Maria. Then came Trumps visit to the island, making fun of folks by throwing them paper towels, and to all people but to residents of Guaynabo an upper class neighborhood of rabid statehooders. Then there was the fiasco of hiring a Montana company, which no one had heard of and giving it a multi billion dollar contract to fix the electrical grid destroyed by Maria. This fiasco was almost immediately followed by the approval of Trumps tax reform, which many predict will be a More destructive force than hurricane Maria.

The island already has lost 200,000 people and counting. Many left because conditions after Maria were appaling. Others were running away from a rapidly deteriorating economy. Other folks , the majority so far, 78% according to recent studies, left in order to sign up for the latest “ Federal programs” before the avalanche many expect will out maneuver them for benefits.

Overall the general mood of the island is a combination of depression and worry, not knowing what next to expect. Their only solution is a rush to the airport hoping to escape what many fear may be coming down the pike.

What is it? A good question for a discussion.
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:50 PM
 
2,565 posts, read 3,085,679 times
Reputation: 3720
For more than a decade I have sadly but admittedly stated that life in Puerto Rico is unsustainable. For years, Puerto Rican society reminded me of a cartoon I once saw wherein six morbidly obese slobs sitting on a plate were being supported above by three skinny weakened guys beneath. One could arrive at several conclusions as to the moral of the cartoon; one being: a weak society can sustain only so much before it breaks . . . and that is the status of our beloved Puerto Rico today.

The mighty weight of gov't budgetary mismanagement, political and individual corruption, high unemployment, an under-maintained electrical infrastructure, misguided waste management policies and strategies, a people who often see things from an emotional standpoint versus well reasoned/researched understanding, the idiocy of those who despise being a Territory of the United States - the same ones who often make zero effort to learn English (the language of business, commerce, and trade), the entitlement mindset of many [yet fortunately not all], the Jones Act, the "Let's-have-a-good-time-first" mentality, the excessive use of alcohol and recreational drugs, and now a disastrous hurricane have weakened and brought Puerto Rican society to its knees.

How can any society dig itself out of such deeply rooted problems and wrongly entrenched ways of thinking? It will take generations for Puerto Rico to correct itself. If anything, maybe the US gov't should reinstitute the Section 936 Tax Exemption to bring back jobs. Create the jobs and the people will follow, and with them, an enlargement of the tax base making debt repayment somewhat obtainable.

Merry Christmas!

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Old 12-21-2017, 09:49 PM
 
1,738 posts, read 3,884,568 times
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Well, considering the tax plan just passed, and maintains the tariffs while PR is still going to be considered as a foreign entity for tax purposes, this pretty much spells game over for the island. No chance in hell any kind of Section 936 redux will appear imo. The remaining pharma in the island is about to get slammed, and they will high tail it back to New Jersey in short order.

This, in a place with effectively no private industry, a public sector saddled with $50B in unfunded pension liabilities, plus another $70B in public spending debt....and they're about to run out the last remaining sources of private above-median income jobs. It's game over folks. Towel folding economy for all my compueblanos. Just like those euro-centric Pilgrims prescribed for you coconut head island people. Ever read the Insular cases? Who you think wrote that garbage? Makes for pretty cozy reading on a nice balmy afternoon in the colony, without electricity or first world medical access, I must say......

I'm heading down there this weekend to join my parents for another round of my begrudged at this point, yearly trek to Mecca. Half the place still doesn't have electric, but it still costs me almost $1500 per person to fly there from Texas. WTH. Yet the damn airplanes always packed. It's insane, the level of cognitive dissonance of my formative home. Of course I patronize that nonsense. There's gonna be some Come to Jesus talks in 2018 though. It was cute as a single man, but now hauling a family to an island paradise one year and post-WWII dystopia the next, russian roulette has me a bit weary.

But my parent's made it pretty clear on September 21st 2017 that they are sticking around with the sinking ship, so I'll have to watch them struggle until they cry uncle and I have to come proverbially airlift them outta there.

2018 is going to be the year of reckoning though. You are not going to hear much until the federal judge adjudicates the title III case. People got distracted (legitimately so) by the devastation of Hurricane Maria, but the real hurricane of consequence is coming. When that judge summarily shuts down PREPA and AAA, watch out. We're not talking about piddly PR Telephone Company here. These people have the keys to the basic life sustaining infrastructure on the island, and they will not go quiet into the night. People are seriously underestimating the second tier effects of scorned PREPA and AAA employees post title III.

The other piece is the pensions. That's where my parents are gonna get clobbered. They've already started to align their real estate shedding. It's a tragedy, and the longer it takes them, the bigger the bath they stand to take on the sales. Who the hell are they gonna sell to? Their children's generation? Oh wait they left....I digress.

Government workers of today are the last piece. You have cops without life insurance, no fuel budget for patrol vehicles, no pension, all in an island with zero degree of palpable personal security outside the tourist area, nevermind the caseríos. Druglords openly buy cash goods with gangstas rolls in plain sight in the middle of Plaza Las Américas and as every native Puerto Rican can attest to, you stay nice and non-chalant whilst in their mixed company. Nothing to see here and everybody gets to come home at night. Joke of a lawless place.

Medical professionals will continue to emigrate and with them, the aging population (like my parents) will follow. The title III adjudications will absolutely assassinate public worker's chance of a first world outcome in their chosen professions, compared to the outcome of their diaspora counters in the mainland. At that point this won't be a surprise either, so caveat emptor to those who decide to stay because abuela or whatever the eff potato.

No politician in the island is interested in a legitimate conversation about the kind of economic overhaul actually required to restore bona fide tax revenue to stop the devolution of this so-called US territory. Their only charter is keeping the small influential families in power, while the plebe grovels in misery, or emigrates. See the almost "mysterious" lack of interest on the part of a pro-statehood administration to lobby for the treatment of the island as a domestic jurisdiction for tax purposes. Standing which historically has been the default position for all incorporated territories right before becoming a State of our Union. Funny how the way you act speaks louder than what you profess.

So that's what's happening to Puerto Rico, but nobody with access to the podium has the political will to say it. Every man and woman for themselves. I just want my parents to have a more peaceful and secure lifestyle in the last 2 decades of their lives, for all their trouble and sacrifice in working life. PR is not going to provide that for them, but Texas could.

Happy Holidays to all of you and may 2018 bring health and contentment in whatever endeavor you find yourself in.
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:44 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,581 posts, read 42,755,715 times
Reputation: 57257
I can only relate what is happening from the standpoint of my DILs family. They are prosperous landowners in Puerto Rico, so would never leave the island permanently. Having money, however, does not buy you anything more than what the poor people get right now.

Her aunt has electricity, but her parents and grandparents do not. One of their properties has reliable running water, some have none, and some have intermittent water.
They all have generators, but wait for hours for the rationed, expensive diesel to run them. Her elderly grandparents had a whole house generator, but a tree fell on it during the hurricane. They can’t get parts for it, so went to buy a new one. The price was $8000. and her grandfather wouldn’t pay it. As time went on, the $8000. didn’t sound so bad, but by that time, the generator cost $20,000.

Her parents just visited NC for a week, but had to get back to watch over everything. All they wanted to do was relax and watch television. Theft and break ins are more common. Her elderly grandparents have a walled, gated casa. They go to their daughters at night and home during the day. One night, their home was invaded and robbed. Thankfully, only electronics were stolen, but not valuable things like art and silver, etc.

They have worked out a system of coping. It’s the new normal. I think they feel strongly that in the long run, their infrastructure will be better than before.

Hindsight2020, as you said, even if someone wanted to sell property to relocate, there is nobody to buy it at a fair price right now.

My DILs little brother bought a fixer and was going to sell it for college money, but now it sits vacant without electricity until things pick up again.
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Old 12-25-2017, 02:42 PM
 
9,080 posts, read 3,062,547 times
Reputation: 4292
Quote:
Originally Posted by hindsight2020 View Post
Well, considering the tax plan just passed, and maintains the tariffs while PR is still going to be considered as a foreign entity for tax purposes, this pretty much spells game over for the island. No chance in hell any kind of Section 936 redux will appear imo. The remaining pharma in the island is about to get slammed, and they will high tail it back to New Jersey in short order.

They are not going to move. If they move back to the states they have to pay a 21% Corporate tax rate and the wages are more than double in the states than in Puerto Rico.........during the new tax law, U.S. Corporations in P.R. will pay 12.5% tax on any income generated from patents and licenses held by foreign companies outside the U.S......all foreign countries will pay the same thing.


Puerto Ricans (most of them) always wanted for Puerto Rico to be treated as a foreign entity when it comes to federal taxes and for over 50 years they did, now that they have to pay a 12.5% tax they cry me a river and that the sky is going to fall....come on.

I just don't see the hysteria coming from people and the politicians in the island about the 12.5%, I think it's fair since Puerto Rico will receive over 100 billion dollars in federal aid to reconstruct P.R. not counting the billions of dollars they get a year from the feds in all federal programs in which they don't pay federal income tax.



The governor of P.R. and many politicians in the island are in the pockets of these Corporations in the island and they defend their interests of these companies over the people of P.R.......12.5% corporate tax rate is millions of dollars a year that goes to the federal pot that goes back to Puerto Rico in federal aid and federal programs a year that these companies want to keep in their pockets and since they donate to the politicians in P.R., well you get the picture why the political class in P.R. are crying foul.




But these companies are not leaving.......it's a bluff.........they rather stay in P.R. and pay 12.5% and lower wages to their workers than move to New Jersey or the other 49 states and pay 21% corporate tax rate and more than double the wages. .....it's a no-brainer.


I noticed from living in P.R. that their politicians tend to exaggerate things to get more federal aid. Politicians do it here too but you notice it more in P.R........you know the Puerto Rican saying: "el que no llora no mama"


Merry X-Mas and Happy New Year.
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:16 PM
 
469 posts, read 816,500 times
Reputation: 439
It appears that the over population that Puerto Rico has suffered for generations will at last be coming to an end. From a top of 4 million, the way things are going, the island will bottom out at a million and a half. Not even Munoz Marin’s enticement, fooling thousands upon thousands to leave the island In the 1950s will compare to the present exodus.

On the other front, just when America is PERCIEVING that it’s Anglo identity is being corroded because of immigrants storming the gates and refusing to assimilate as previous others had, in comes a massive influx of American citizens hardly speaking English and accustomed to the goodies bestowed on them by the Federal government for 118 years.

As Florida, and other states ready themselves for this exodus, of which the majority is uneducated and has lived off welfare for a generation, taxes for essential services will rise adding to the massive defits coming down the Pike with Trumps tax reform.

The Moral of this story is:

That’s the curse of having had Colonies. Same happened In France with its Arabs and Britain with its Indians, Pakis and Caribbean blacks.
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Old 12-27-2017, 03:38 PM
 
2,487 posts, read 1,272,895 times
Reputation: 3383
Quote:
Originally Posted by clip314 View Post

That’s the curse of having had Colonies. Same happened In France with its Arabs and Britain with its Indians, Pakis and Caribbean blacks.
As well as The Dutch..
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Old 12-27-2017, 04:22 PM
 
248 posts, read 100,738 times
Reputation: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
For more than a decade I have sadly but admittedly stated that life in Puerto Rico is unsustainable. For years, Puerto Rican society reminded me of a cartoon I once saw wherein six morbidly obese slobs sitting on a plate were being supported above by three skinny weakened guys beneath. One could arrive at several conclusions as to the moral of the cartoon; one being: a weak society can sustain only so much before it breaks . . . and that is the status of our beloved Puerto Rico today.

The mighty weight of gov't budgetary mismanagement, political and individual corruption, high unemployment, an under-maintained electrical infrastructure, misguided waste management policies and strategies, a people who often see things from an emotional standpoint versus well reasoned/researched understanding, the idiocy of those who despise being a Territory of the United States - the same ones who often make zero effort to learn English (the language of business, commerce, and trade), the entitlement mindset of many [yet fortunately not all], the Jones Act, the "Let's-have-a-good-time-first" mentality, the excessive use of alcohol and recreational drugs, and now a disastrous hurricane have weakened and brought Puerto Rican society to its knees.

How can any society dig itself out of such deeply rooted problems and wrongly entrenched ways of thinking? It will take generations for Puerto Rico to correct itself. If anything, maybe the US gov't should reinstitute the Section 936 Tax Exemption to bring back jobs. Create the jobs and the people will follow, and with them, an enlargement of the tax base making debt repayment somewhat obtainable.

Merry Christmas!

Sadly, this^^^ is all true.
I moved out of PR 12 years ago when I thought things were bad.
Since then, I have missed my island every single day I have been on the mainland, but I have never regretted leaving. Life there is, like chacho_keva said, unsustainable.
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:46 PM
 
737 posts, read 475,277 times
Reputation: 908
Checking Zillow there seem to be many properties for sale in millions of dollars range. Who can afford them? On the other hand there is very little acreage for sale - tracts of over 20 acres-farms etc. How come they aren't selling?

The market is confusing - to say the least.

Will prices continue to slide?
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:40 AM
 
469 posts, read 816,500 times
Reputation: 439
Property prices appear to have held steady in beach areas and developments like Palmas Del Mar in Humacao.

There are still a huge amount of folks with a lot of money in Puerto Rico. Those are the ones who have kept alive the Philharmonic Orchestra, the museums, the high end restaurants, many of them, despite the crisis, are full 24/7. They are the ones who must be keeping IBERIA flights full twice a week, Condor to Frankfurt once a week and Avianca and Copa to South America serveral times a week.

Jet Blue and all other american carriers are full carrying the poor to Florida and other east coast states.

Basically the ones fleeing are the poor, something many Puerto Ricans refuse to believe. They are the ones who’s shacks were destroyed by Maria all over the island. Many flee because they are duped into believing that jobs are plentiful in the US at salaries way beyond their imagination. This is how Munoz Marin duped thousands to go to NY back in the 50s.

They got stuck there and the majority barely have moved into the lower middle class after many generations. The most recent PEW study ( 2015 ) found that Puerto Ricans living in statehood are the poorest of all Hispanics. We compete with African Americans for poverty funds.

Immigrants coming from nations who have been independent come with skills that African-Americans or Puerto Ricans have never developed. Putting it simply, coming from independent countries have trained them TO SWIM WITH THE SHARKS. Something American Indians, Blacks or Puerto Ricans have never learned or given a chance to do beyond depending on Federal handouts.
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