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Old 05-19-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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And lastly...you are claiming that PR needs to produce things in order to be viable..but you are clearly not understanding the PR economy, the US economy, or the global economy. The US's economy is 70% CONSUMPTION..how then does the US survive if we are not "manufacturing anything." Secondly, you are right that PR would still need to trade..but as of now IT CANNOT as the US controls trade, and you can bet that whatever trade pacts the US agrees to is solely to benefit the US, and not PR. And I also agree that the lack of motivation is due precisely to the culture of dependence, that was started with Spain and taken to a whole other level with the US, which is exactly how the US wanted to transform PR. Not into an independent country, but into a market for US products, a tax loophole economy, and a totally dependent country that is at the mercy of the US and its whims. So you are right, until PR gets OFF the US's welfare economy that was imposed onto PR, it will never change nor be able to sustain itself...and the ONLY way to do that is to move AWAY from the US and towards independence.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,029 posts, read 14,495,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
PMAN my comments to you: 1-I agree it was a "way" to improve the situation on the surface, but the real reason was to create a new market for American goods and products. Period. 2-There is reason to believe American car companies purposely did that because that is what they did!
this is all well and good but it's far from the only reason the streetcar died, though the elft seems fairly obsessed with that idea (probably because they hate business so much they'll blame everything on them). many streetcars were owned by public utilities. this became illegal under FDR, which cut streetcars off from their cheap source of electric power. further, employment patters were changing and buses were far easier to reroute than trolleys. to this day trolleys are nothing but playthings for the rich because buses are operationally more efficient unless there are large amounts of people and dedicated rights of way.

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Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
It is not 1 industry that is owned by a foreign entity..it is ALL industries owned by foreign entities, and the US is BY FAR the largest and growing still. If PR's beer industry was owned by Japan...nobody would care because that is not a driver of the SOLE driver of the economy, furthermore, the US makes its own policies and tax regulations to ensure that SOME financial profit STAYS in the US, whereas PR HAS NO SUCH POWER. All money is sucked out. Period. You fail to realize that PR does NOT OWN THE HOUSE! The house is owned by the US...how then can PR "get its house in order." It is not their house, the US evicted them long ago and now are just squatters.
I'd appreciate some economic theory. the profits are "sucked out?" those profits wouldn't be there anyways. they produce jobs. that's not to say USD economic policy is always beneficial to PR but you're shirking the responsibility that lies within PR. it doesn't have to be a mismanaged, corrupt, bureuacratic nightmare but it is. that's the island's own fault...though fortuno looks ot finally be addressing some of these issues. many US industries are falling under foreign control.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,029 posts, read 14,495,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
And lastly...you are claiming that PR needs to produce things in order to be viable..but you are clearly not understanding the PR economy, the US economy, or the global economy. The US's economy is 70% CONSUMPTION..how then does the US survive if we are not "manufacturing anything."
now that's an excellent question. in the short run debt. this unprecendented amount of debt is made possible because the USD is the world's reserve currency. However, in the long run, the US economy will NOT survive without producing anything. 70% consumption is impossible to sustain. there are already signs of change
China and Brazil: Dump the Dollar - BusinessWeek


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Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
Secondly, you are right that PR would still need to trade..but as of now IT CANNOT as the US controls trade, and you can bet that whatever trade pacts the US agrees to is solely to benefit the US, and not PR.
this part, I agree with. it is a hinderance, though what is available PR could do a better job of exploiting. only last year did chile open an office in san juan. and what about selling to the mainland? only recently have I ever seen visit PR commercials and I still can't find Don Q.

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Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
And I also agree that the lack of motivation is due precisely to the culture of dependence, that was started with Spain and taken to a whole other level with the US, which is exactly how the US wanted to transform PR.
This is mostly true but you view the US as one entity with one purpose, which is false. the US is an enormous country that mostly is only tangentially awaare of PR's status and it's chick full of competing interests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
Not into an independent country, but into a market for US products, a tax loophole economy, and a totally dependent country that is at the mercy of the US and its whims. So you are right, until PR gets OFF the US's welfare economy that was imposed onto PR, it will never change nor be able to sustain itself...and the ONLY way to do that is to move AWAY from the US and towards independence.
Actually, it's a choice. PR doesn't have to suck at the teat, there is substantial freedom to reform from within. fire public employees, streamline bureaucracy, and improve infrastructure. Like it or not, PR is a small fish. what do small fish do? they swim under the protection of larger fish. I don't think statehood is good right now (the US is going to have the same problems, overconsumption, lack of production, high taxes, etc). Personally, I think fighting for more local power within the current framework is the best way to go, and addressing some real issues. one of the worst things about san juan is the traffic (maybe the whole island). would streetcars resolve this? no. rapid transit is needed. they should start with an old san juan and port to the airport line, IMO.
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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PMAN based on your comments I can see that there is a gray area which we can agree. I think you recognize some of the issues at play, but still fail to recognize that you PR is in fact not in control of itself, or itself. PR can change itself only so much as the US allows (US laws apply, as well as whatever the US feels is best for the US, regardless of what PR wants). I agree that PR is a small fish, where we differ is the notion that they "swim under the protection of larger fish" which is the main issue I have with your views on PR. The US is not "protecting" PR from anything, it is only protecting its own interests and its own health by providing PR as a conduit for tax evasion for American companies, as well as an enslaved population to serve US interests (via low wage/skill employment, government welfare, and consumption). The difference is this, the Big Fish is not protecting the little fish, that is just a byproduct of the fish staying close enough to the big fish so as to keep other predators away, but far enough from the big fish so that it is not eaten. Unfortunately, PR is now stuck with just the scraps, and is totally dependent on the Big Fish for everything. Maybe the small fish will be worse off and be eaten should it be independent, or maybe it will succeed and grow into a Big Fish also. There is only one way to find out...as there are plenty of fish that have succeeded and failed, and I think PR can succeed.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Philly
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do you not acknowledge that the PR government has long engaged in excessive and irresponsible spending which, now, has resulted in high tax rates? Probably the biggest problem that is only partially under their control is the fact that the most ambitious leave PR for greener pastures on the mainland. there are plenty of things PR can do to make itself mroe attractive but first and foremost is a taxes and better public transit (and no, I don't mean antiquated streetcars). at least for me, those two things keep us on the mainland instead of in SJ. as beautiful as it is, I find the traffic incredibly stressful. mind you, it's not the only place that has these problems and for all your assertions, there are plenty of places on the mainland who are in the same boat...decrepit economy and increasing dependence on the federal teat. I think you overemphasize the role of "US interests" for tax evasion to PR. My wife's home on the southern side of PR where there's vacant industry, an underutilized port (ponce came to prominence by evading spanish trade laws), and foreign owned industry isn't much different than the mainland. our port is underutilized, the only large manufacturing plant left is foreign owned (arcelor-mittal) or glaxo-Smith Klein. It's not anti-Puerto Rico policy, it's poor policy nationwide that has favored public spending over production, borrowing over addressing structural deficiencies in our economy. the only real exceptions have been Texas (energy), DC (government), and NY (debt).
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:18 AM
 
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I agree with that assessment that excessive and irresponsible spending has resulted in persistent and pervasive fundamental problems in the economy...and guess who sold that economic "solution" to "develop" PR into a mature and wealthier market? It was the US...and the US is now dealing with that problem itself, as it is suffering the same problem from the recent credit/waste/spending binge/fraud over the last 10 years or so. It is not unique to PR, it was in fact imposed on PR first as the way to "lift" the economy, and then to "sustain" the economy, and lastly to "prevent the collapse" of the economy...same strategy....for so many different (and wrong) reasons over 100 years. Yes I agree that public transportation is a major factor, and it is being addressed, as the new train opened several years ago. But what is the REAL problem? The constant in fighting between the statehood/commonwealth/independent factions that spend all their time fighting over the future of PR, at the expense of actually making things better. Of course, none of that would be happening if PR actually MADE ANY DECISION (no not the non-decision of commonwealth) so that they can cut the BS and move forward either with statehood or independence and work towards 1 goal..and not 3. At this point I don't care..either statehood or independence..something needs to be chosen..because the limbo that they are in now prevents progress, which is THE REAL REASON why transportation, government reform, healthy development, local business investment, etc never happen (or at least not for the benefit for the locals).
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,029 posts, read 14,495,720 times
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Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
as the new train opened several years ago.
it's a good first step but a second train is really necessary to have any semblance of a functional system. you can't get to condado, old san juan, the airport, and large sections of santurce.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
But what is the REAL problem? The constant in fighting between the statehood/commonwealth/independent factions that spend all their time fighting over the future of PR
and th epoint was that rather than fighting abouth teh future, they should concentrate on making PR a better place to live whether it goes statehood, stays the same, or goes independent.
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Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
Of course, none of that would be happening if PR actually MADE ANY DECISION
you'll find pointless bickering happens in a lot of political systems.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
. At this point I don't care..either statehood or independence..something needs to be chosen..because the limbo that they are in now prevents progress,
this is where we disagree. I actually think that limbo is just fine for now. Fortuno, though a statist, seems to be pushing through some serious reform.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:48 PM
 
8,750 posts, read 16,446,121 times
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Yes they do need more trains...it was just a first step. 2-Because they are too busy fighitng about which way to go, they will never make things better. Every new administration just undos everything the prior administration did..and they start from scratch..every 4 or 8 years. Ridiculous. There is pointless bickering in all political systems..but this one is easily avoidable..PICK ONE AND MOVE FORWARD. Limbo is the root of the problem, because it is a non-choice which only feeds the bickering and back and forth about PRs future (or lackthereof). Nothing is ever accomplished..it is the US vs Them mentality, and PRs are the ones that ultimately suffers. Until a decision is made, we will be having these same discussions 10, 50, 100+ years from now..becuase no decision is ever made.
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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It's funny no one mentions the biggest disincentive to becoming a state: Puerto Ricans would have to start paying federal taxes. Conversely, the biggest disincentive to becoming independent is the immediate cessation in federal aid to the island. Puerto Ricans already realize they will never have it better than they do now, which is why the overwhelming majority supports the status quo.

Puerto Rico is a welfare state almost wholly dependent on the beneficence of its owner, the US. Tourism has been on the decline for years, the island can't begin to feed itself with its meager agriculture and the biggest employer is the bloated government. Remove US dollars from the equation and the island will quickly descend into political and social chaos faster than you can say "banana republic."
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,327 times
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It would take three or more generations to change the approach of society towards work ethics and self motivation for improvement. Each of these generations would have to be totally and completely devoted to the social and economic improvement. Even after the successful transformation of these three generations, the burden on the government for social security and medicare benefits to pay for the aging "welfare minded" populous would be staggering.

SobroGuy's vision is a wonderful one, but its implementation has to navigate waters described by Helvetico and hindsight2020. I agree that Puerto Rico should try to become independent, but what if the experiment fails? Are you willing to live with the consequences? Therefore, before anyone thinks about becoming independent, the appropriate steps must be taken to build up economic strength of the island through investment into private sector and education of future generations. The ultimate goal is to create a healthy middle class that will be essential to the well being of the independent Puerto Rico. This must be done while maintaining a tax code that fosters private entrepreneurship at all investment levels and one that supplements infrastructure development, public education, and eliminates any deficit. (Sounds tough, but that is where the trying-to-become-independent plays the key role.) If this cannot be done with the financial support of the US, then I don't see how this can be done while being independent.
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