walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
Feed
Features
Reviews
Podcast
Blue Model Goes Belly-Up
Is It Official? Has Puerto Rico Failed?

It’s nearly time to declare Puerto Rico a failed state.  Thousands of Puerto Ricans recently attended an event to learn how to immigrate to Florida and join the mainland workforce, reports USA Today:

Florida Expo organizers said more than 7,000 people signed up for the free event, which became a sort of one-stop shop for those seeking job opportunities, better quality of life and recommendations for the best neighborhoods and schools.

Dozens waited in line for more than an hour to submit their personal information and receive job leads and other data. Some criticized Puerto Rico’s government for not doing enough to improve the lives of working-class families.

Puerto Rico has lost nearly half a million people in the past ten years, a number greater than the total current population of its capital city. The government is now taking desperate measures to stem the tide:

The administration of Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla even launched a website this week to collect ideas from citizens on how best to overcome economic problems and prevent the exodus of people. During the launch, the governor’s Chief of Staff Ingrid Vila warned that those who move away often do poorly.

“Twenty-four percent of those who have left are unemployed,” she said.

Too many citizens have lost faith in the government’s ability to provide even the most basic of services. One resident told USA Today: “There’s more opportunities if you move. People who live off government support here are doing better than those of us who work and pay taxes.” Another said: “You see what the government does with your money over there [in Florida]. Here, you contribute and contribute and contribute and nothing improves.”

When the blue model collapses, it takes a lot down with it.

Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • Andrew Allison

    It’s far from official — as illustrated by, “During the launch, the governor’s Chief of Staff Ingrid Vila warned that ‘Twenty-four percent of those who have left are unemployed,’” People doing better on government support than working is by no means limited to Puerto Rico.

    • Curious Mayhem

      Yes, but Florida is a far better governed place and quite solvent by most measures.

  • Corlyss

    I thought it was official 50 years ago.

  • free_agent

    Puerto Rico could be going the way of Detroit. Then again, maybe it isn’t. There are a lot of cities that at one time or another were collapsing, usually after the major industry went bust, and later pulled themselves together and have been rejuvenated. I’ve never seen anyone analyze the patterns of success and failure.

  • RedWell

    Fundamentally, Puerto Rico is overpopulated given its agricultural and industrial base. This was a problem 50, 60 years ago. Why do you think there are more Puerto Ricans in New York than San Juan?

  • spunknik

    We welcome you to Florida and wish you the very best of luck.

    But is it too much for us to ask you to leave your culture of failure back home? Can we ask you to become Americans and adopt American ideals and our traditional work ethic? Will you please learn English and make American friends so that you can integrate into our culture? Can we ask you to reject the notion that the government is your big brother and that you are entitled to the spoils of your hardworking neighbors because of colonial-era grievances?

    Leave the culture of failure. It didn’t work there, and it won’t work here either.

  • centerroad

    Anecdotal and subjective, zero credibility. Not even propaganda grade.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2014 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service