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Old 06-01-2009, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
195 posts, read 607,742 times
Reputation: 114

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The World Link : Puerto Rico slashes government work force (http://www.theworldlink.com/articles/2009/05/31/news/doc4a20dc5402561678971437.txt?redirect=y - broken link)

A step in the right or wrong direction???
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Scranton
1,384 posts, read 2,800,731 times
Reputation: 1650
It was about time. The government in PR has grown way too big for its own good. How can the government fix the roads, improve healthcare, fix public buildings, etc..., when 80% of the budget is spent on payroll?
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:26 AM
 
1,995 posts, read 3,033,517 times
Reputation: 15825
Even if you think it was good or necessary, it is a terrible blow for many families. I am going to be keeping them in my prayers.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,210 times
Reputation: 105
Should not they first introduce laws that will make possible creation of 8000 jobs in the private sector?
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:25 AM
 
1,772 posts, read 4,074,725 times
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Before any of you get all self-righteous about the slashing of 8000 government jobs keep in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch. I agree, PR is a faux economy island shopping center fueled by credit and federal subsidy. Its biggest employer is the government and even then unemployment would make it the highest per capita if it was a state. That said, where do you think all these people are going to go? The private sector? If so, you need your head checked, and a cursory look at the island employment by the private sector along with its median income (hint: you'll have to look real hard cause its so small in both counts)

This is the same schadenfreude cheerleading that we see arise out of the contract slashing of automotive union workers. It's all good and great until these people show up in the welfare rolls. Now you're directly subsdizing them. How you like them apples? Self-righteousness and the aforementioned income disparities may feed your ego but it can get your head chopped off one day. Wiki: French Revolution.

All that's going to happen in PR with this news is that even more brain drain is going to occur in the island, as more college graduates find themselves not able to find employment in the only sector that had the promise of a living wage down there in aggregate (the govt). The non-existent private sector consists of a couple of pharmaceuticals, Best Buy and Taco Bell, that's a non-starter. The rest will fall on unemployment and inevitably into cash business (chump change jobs) and the welfare roll. Good job, you really showed those lazy civil servants, now you get to directly subsidize them from the mainland and this time they don't have to show up to a workplace for it. All is well with the world eh? Look I'm not justifying the existence of a welfare state, inefficient faux economy, but if anyone thinks there is a net gain out of slashing jobs, burying the book and closing your home's curtains as if the problem would go away if you look the other way, then the law of unintended consequences will ensure these people will become your problem in a more direct way than if you had kept bleeding the payroll. Watch the crime rate skyrocket this year.

Heck, might as well give the island back to Spain, they have a better handle on social policy (they're eating our lunch on health care and monetary policy, that's for dang sure) than we do, and since we're in the business of putting people on the dole might as well put the regal Red and Yellow on the passport and called it a day. *ugh*....

Last edited by hindsight2020; 06-02-2009 at 07:33 AM..
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,029 posts, read 14,493,535 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by hindsight2020 View Post
. That said, where do you think all these people are going to go? The private sector?...
... It's all good and great until these people show up in the welfare rolls. Now you're directly subsdizing them. ..
All that's going to happen in PR with this news is that even more brain drain is going to occur in the island, as more college graduates find themselves not able to find employment in the only sector that had the promise of a living wage down there in aggregate (the govt). ...The rest will fall on unemployment and inevitably into cash business (chump change jobs) and the welfare roll. Good job, you really showed those lazy civil servants, now you get to directly subsidize them from the mainland and this time they don't have to show up to a workplace for it. All is well with the world eh? Look I'm not justifying the existence of a welfare state, inefficient faux economy, but if anyone thinks there is a net gain out of slashing jobs, burying the book and closing your home's curtains as if the problem would go away if you look the other way, then the law of unintended consequences will ensure these people will become your problem in a more direct way than if you had kept bleeding the payroll. Watch the crime rate skyrocket this year.
Honestly, I couldn't disagree with you more. this is a painful but necessary step in rstructuring the island's economy. the bloated public sector is part of what has made PR so dependent on the US for subsidies. You are sorely mistaken if you think loss of government jobs is going to lead to a brain drain. you can't seriously think that the 8000 government workers represent the next Google or Goya. Putting them directly on welfare is a step in the right direction. I suspect many will relocate to the mainland, others will find cash business, and some into tourism. Without cutting the bloated government, the private sector will never thrive. taxes are high, but the government is finally addressing debt levels and it's unsustainable levels of public sector employment. your argument seems to be "this is difficult so let's not do it." In the long run this will enable the government to be more attractive to business.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hindsight2020 View Post
Heck, might as well give the island back to Spain, they have a better handle on social policy (they're eating our lunch on health care and monetary policy, that's for dang sure) than we do, and since we're in the business of putting people on the dole might as well put the regal Red and Yellow on the passport and called it a day. *ugh*....
what's the unemployment rate in spain? the spanish have the euro which they don't directly manage, of course.
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,029 posts, read 14,493,535 times
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here's the info
Quote:
Eurostat said Spain, where a slump in the construction industry led to record economic contraction in the first quarter, had the highest unemployment rate in the EU with 18.1%
Euro-Zone Unemployment Tops 9% - WSJ.com
that's higher than PR's 14.7% for anyone whose counting. Spain had a credit fueled construction boom like the western US.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:37 PM
 
8,750 posts, read 16,444,560 times
Reputation: 4168
Fortuno wanted to layoff 35,000..which would have been closer to the number that MIGHT make a difference. The reality is 8,000 people laid off makes NO difference. Is it a step in the right direction? I don't see it as a step, I see it as a SIGN that PR is ATTEMPTING to do SOMETHING...what that something is we do not know yet. True slashing 35,000, or 8,000 government employees will have a chilling effect, even if it is just psychologically, on the economy of PR. Many people will move, many will stay, but this has been the history of PR since its inception and certainly nothing new or out of the ordinary. However, until PR addresses the fundamental issue of its status, NOTHING will change. Even if Fortuno slashes 100,000 workers from the government payroll, eliminates 300,000 people from the welfare rolls, and implements profound changes to the tax code and brings new investment to the island...within 8 years (at most) he will likely be replaced by a rival party (there are 3 parties: statehood/independece/comonwealth) that will UNDO everythign he did, and run on a platform of "jobs" for PR (aka government hiring!), promises of new handouts (more welfare), and changes to the tax code (for whatever businesses have paid him/her off). That is the reality...so no matter what happens, until the status is changed, within 4 years or at most 8, everything will be undone and back to square one. That's just the way it goes.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,029 posts, read 14,493,535 times
Reputation: 2774
sobro, you sound as jaded as a Philadelphian. gotta love politics. I thought this 8,000 was the first phase of the 35000 which who were to be laid off in phases to alleviate some of the impact on the island.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:51 PM
 
8,750 posts, read 16,444,560 times
Reputation: 4168
I don't doubt that the goal is 35,000, but the lawsuits will ultimately drag it on forever, and probably the backlash from him actually trying to do the right thing and fix the problems will lead to him being ousted in 4 years. The new governor will swiftly rehire lots of people and things will go on as usual..that's just the way it goes. It is less about being jaded and more about being a realist. However, it is entirely possible that real change is possible by Fortuno, but the reality is at most he will be there 8 years, after that the new party will come in and undue what he has done and bring it all back. Why? Because until the status is changed, every party comes into power with their own agenda...one moves PR closer to statehood, and the two others move it away from statehood...so they just keep undoing whatever the previous adminstration did! It's a cycle that will never end and is what ultimately keeps PR from moving forward. Until the status is decided once and for all, the island will always be in this chaotic and depressed limbo.
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