12 June 2006

Trouble in the Overfed Fat Cat

---KUDOS! To My Mom, who today received her Master's Degree in Education. I owe My Mom for many things, but her achievement today is a shining example of striving for knowledge and excellence, regardless of age. I love you, Mom.

---Oh, Lucy, joo got some 'splainin' to do! Go ahead and Google "brain dulled", sans quotation marks. Go ahead! Or click here. Yeah, ranking up there at Numero Uno is none other than Yours Truly. How's that for a Monday morning greeting?

---But wait! There's more! Do that Google thing with "jenius monkey", again sans quotation marks. Or, well, click here. Not only is Moi Numero Uno, He is also Numero Deux. A Top Two in jenius monkey?! I say We invade Canada and build a wall around its icy sneeringness!

---Thanks to My lovely friend, Laura Homar, for sending Me a link to a recent Economist Magazine article titled "Trouble on Welfare Island." How could you not love an article with so gentle a title as that?

Based largely on an interview with the Mayor of My birthplace (Aguadilla), Carlos Méndez, the article makes reference to the recent Brookings Institution report on the local economy. (The so-called Center for the New Economy co-authored the report, but that falls squarely in the category of "lipstick" to the Brookings Institution "pig.")

Some chosen gems from the article:

The territory's economy...has fallen further behind the national one over the past three decades. Bad government—not just locally, but also federally—is largely to blame. Yet most Americans are oblivious to the Caribbean island's problems.

Now that The Economist has made it clear, maybe you statehood pukes will grasp that The Jenius has been right about this point all along.

...Puerto Rico grew impressively in the decades after the second world war, even outperforming Asian “tigers” such as South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore (which has roughly Puerto Rico's population). Since the 1970s, however, Puerto Rico has been outpaced badly by the Asian tigers and Ireland, another place to which it is often compared. It has also diverged from the United States, losing ground even to lowly Mississippi.

The Jenius lived in Mississippi. The Jenius studied in Mississippi. The Jenius knew Mississippi. And you, Puerto Rico, are certainly no Mississippi. And as the article graphic points out (nicely titled "The Overfed Tiger"), Our GDP per person as a percentage of that of the U.S. has declined steadily since the early 70s and is now barely one-third that of Singapore. And dropping. Translation: We are sucking big time.

Puerto Rico's bloated government also bears much of the blame. Around 30% of the territory's jobs are in the public sector. Among other things, a big and coddled bureaucracy undermines Puerto Rico's educational achievements in two ways. First, nearly half those on the education department's payroll are not teachers; quality has fallen because of low accountability and mismanagement. Second, because of the small private sector, too few well-educated Puerto Ricans are gaining useful skills and experience in the marketplace.

The government directly employs almost 30% of the workforce; if you add indirect jobs, the number comes closer to 43-44%, a staggeringly overbloated festering tumor currently mismanaged by a jellyfish, hyenas, Fools and outright crooks (led by Pedro "I'm the Poster Child for Mental, Emotional and Moral Voids" Rosselló.")

And one more little factoid: teachers make up barely 50% of the (Mis)Education Department, but only 29% of its payroll. Yep, them "upper-level" swamp hogs gobble up most of the payroll, but add nothing to the classroom except static.

And here's the closing:

As he walked through Aguadilla's town hall recently, Mr Méndez boasted about each employee's university or graduate-school credentials as he introduced them. The trouble, he says, is that “All they want to do is find security only. They have no ambition...Everybody wants to work for the government.” Manuel Reyes, of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, also sees little hope that the government's role will shrink. “There is no light at the end of the tunnel,” he says, “because we are still in denial.” And the rest of America is still indifferent.

Seeking "security." Lacking ambition. My people in denial. And Americans indifferent to Us. Nothing--nothing--The Jenius hasn't hammered at repeatedly. It's about time the rest of the world caught up with Me. I wonder when the rest of Us will.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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