Second part of the Economic Solutions set, part of My 9-post series:
Drop subsidies for outside investors and focus on creating research centers: It is estimated that to secure a $1,000 investment, Puerto Rico "gives up" some $1,100. That's like playing blackjack to lose...on purpose. The loss starts with power and water subsidies, then tax subsidies and even extends to labor subsidies. (Hewlett-Packard, anyone?) The key transition is to stop giving away money and start developing a "service first" attitude. And the best way to do that is to transform Puerto Rico into an a la carte research center. You want to do biomedical? What do you need and by when? You're interested in nanotech? Give Us your shopping list and We can do. From buildings to broadband to bright-eyed associates, We can start selling Ourselves as the "just add you" place for scientific and technological research. Will it be easy? Hell no. But it has three advantages over the current "We'll blindly grease Our backsides" method of getting screwed: (1) It is an easy-to-market proposition; (2) It plays to Our strengths as a U.S.-connected, somewhat bilingual and highly-educated workforce and (3) It lets Us manage development costs as investments, not as losing propositions.
Make all welfare workfare...and if the U.S won't agree, opt out of every program: Yeah, you heard Me: No free rides and the hell with the federal government if it doesn't understand. We have an enormous population of people who live off the kindness of strangers and the venality of politicians in two countries. However, many of those on welfare would rather work than stay trapped in their subservient limbo. There's considerable debate about this point and I acknowledge that the number of "willing to work" may be quite low. On the other hand, if forced to choose between workfare and no welfare, how much do you want to bet workfare will be the favored option? Unless We get this large percentage (about 20-23% of Our potential working population) into the fray, We're simply feeding the underground economy, debasing any chance at a national will for economic growth and raising another generation of parasites masquerading as "the poor."
Of course, you won't see any Fool on this island or up north take the lead on this solution because they fear being labeled "enemies of the poor." But any true political leader worth more than a bag of pig crap has to be an enemy of the poor because their poverty implies that "the system" isn't working. And you don't help a poor person by making his/her poverty their best option: You help the poor by creating better options.
By U.S. standards, more than half Our population is economically poor. Well, Uncle Sam, here's a tip: Implement workfare in Puerto Rico and make it the starting point for a nationwide transition over the next decade. By starting here, you U.S. Fools would not be risking a major voter backlash...and you Republicans couldn't care less about the poor anyway, so what the hell do you care? It saves the government money and that's all you care about. And you Democrats should stop sniffing your anuses and realize that extending welfare prolongs poverty, and that the only sensible way back to a self-sustaining lifestyle is to actually have the welfare recipient work at sustaining themselves to some degree.
Go ahead, Fools, find reasons not to do this. You always do. That's why We continue to sink into Our own little patch of economic quicksand, a sludgy elevator to No Future Worth Wanting.
The Jenius Has Spoken.