Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis

Puerto Rico is in a debt crisis and many people haven’t even heard of it. If they have, it was in passing or saw an article about it but didn’t read too much into it. I personally blame the media since all they talk about it Trump but I digress. Puerto Rico has run out of money and no one is talking about it. Having lived on the island for a time, I have seen its splendor and beauty. I have experienced the culture and history. I have gazed at what poverty looks like. I have a special place in my heart for the island and its people and that is why I am annoyed that this crisis is getting pushed over.

The island is more than $70 billion in debt and rising. Many credit agencies have downgraded the debt to non-investment grade. The unemployment rate is 12.4% and growing. Since Puerto Rico isn’t a state it cannot file for chapter 9 bankruptcy. Recently, the federal government has said it would allow the island’s government to reduce their debt with legal actions. Millions of Puerto Ricans have fled already thanks to this debt and the population just keeps shrinking.

In January, the island elected a new governor. His name is Ricardo Roselló. He is a member of the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico which seeks to make the island the 51st state of the U.S. This would be a step in the right direction. At least if they became a state they could file chapter 9 and receive help from the federal government.

Getting rid of the debt is paramount or at the very least reducing it. It has gotten to the point that if no action is taken, it may very well become the next third world country and how would that look; having an island under the protection of the U.S. being poor with no help.

The way I see it, Puerto Rico should become the next state and receive help from the government. Maybe it can bounce back and become a flourishing island community in the future.

Puerto Rico yo nunca dejaré de amarte.


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