05 January 2012

Emigration: What Does It Mean?

Over a 6-year period, covering 2005 to 2010, more than 178,000 of My Brethren left Our Island, a reported 28,000 in 2010 alone. The true number is almost certainly higher, suggests the Statistics Institute of Puerto Rico, but Let's just use 178,000 for now. It's bad enough.

What does this historic reversal of Our population dynamic mean? Beyond the evident flight from crime, limited economic opportunities, higher taxes, corruption (a particularly distinct form of crime) and diminished quality of life, what does this emigration really mean?

{You mean that isn't enough, Jenius? No. Many other places suck worse than Puerto Rico, but haven't lost almost 5% of their population. There is more here than meets the eye. That's what I'm here for. You're welcome.}

There are three distinct sub-texts to this emigration that also need to be addressed:

1) It is brain drain multiplied. The average age of Our latest emigré has dropped to 28. That means that most emigrants are old enough to have completed college and a graduate degree. Old enough to have gained work experience or career-related experience. Old enough to have established a network...that can be influenced to join the emigration.

My lovely friend Laura told Me six years ago, in late 2005, that nearly all her social circle had left Puerto Rico. Though most were above 28 in age (and thus in the median of the emigration age at the time), they were all connected in more than one way: school, work, hobbies, social organizations, etc. They moved en masse, with their valuable experiences, talents and energy leaving Our day-to-day society. As the study quoted in the article notes, many of the emigrants are doctors and engineers in their mid-30s and early 40s, key cogs in any society. Losing bright minds is never a winning proposition.

2) It reveals how divided Our society is. The Puerto Rican emigration of the 1940s and 1950s--a so-called "diaspora" by people who live inanely for melodrama--was largely a search for jobs and growth. But the latest emigration is quite divided: a very large group of "brain drain" qualified professionals who leave to expand their career opportunities and a shockingly large group of young, single men who move to the States...and don't get a job.

The obvious difference between the 40s and 50s and now is welfare, but there's a deeper current here: young, working-age men who can't or don't want a job here moving "there" to not work is a basic formula for crime. Or a backlash. Just as the "Puerto Rican welfare mom" was a cliché, the"Puerto Rican welfare bum" could become one. And Let's note that Our decades-long increase in women earning college and graduate degrees, exceeding the number of men by far, means We're looking at a society where women are generally better-qualified for most jobs than men, that they outnumber the qualified men and yet, must battle a machista society strangled by its own ignorance and barnacle-grip of the past.

It is possible that the emigrating men are a reaction to this "women are better qualified" trend, or that the "natural" tendency of Our men to think they can "hustle" their way to success--gansos ganseando, literally geese goosing their way up--has come home to roost. Or maybe the rise of the drug trade combined with the wholesale failure of the educational system has created an alternate path to economic success, one that involves investing several years in prison as part of the price. (We are exporting convicts...to Oklahoma. Steve, how's that for a connection between Us?) (Folks, that's a personal aside. My blog, My personal asides.)

3) This emigration means We aren't fixing Puerto Rico: it's headed for collapse. No, I'm not being melodramatic. Think about this closely: the economy has shrunk by double digits, the population decreased by about 5%, crime is rising dramatically [no matter what Our idiotic Larva of a (non)governor keeps prattling to the moronic contrary), corruption shreds the Island's socioeconomic fabric, education by imbeciles turns out ill-prepared adults (almost half not even completing high school), what passes for leadership in this country makes the average retarded monkey troop look like a Mensa meeting...

What, in Our panorama, gives Us the hope that collapse is not Our destiny?


Not. A. Thing. Because the people We need to right this foundering ship are leaving. With some of the rats.

To "fix" Puerto Rico doesn't take money; money is a tool, not a cure-all. It doesn't take a "status consultation" or "status fire drill" or "status tomfoolery"; We simply don't give a lab rat's cloaca about status and only demagogic pissheads ever have. It doesn't take "outside intervention," particularly not by Our gringo neighbors who are mired in fascism--President Obama's abject betrayal of the Bill of Rights now a fait accompli--and can't find their own lab rat's cloaca with a map.

No, only We can "fix" Puerto Rico. But the more of the key cogs leave, the harder it gets. Even when some of Our rats also leave, too many indifferent, ill-prepared, lizard-brain-first numbskulls remain...most of them in government.

Those of Us who have long seen what's happening would look around in 2005, 2006 and say "We have to get the others who think like Us together to make a difference." Now We look around--and this is hard to admit--We make plans to leave, because We certainly don't want to be one of the few left behind when the feces hit the fans.

Or the only one.

Damn it.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Update: 21 Jan 2012: From New America Media, a darker picture of Our emigration trend than reported in major mainstream media.]


Ms. Conciencia said...

My most appreciated Mr. Gil;
I do too feel kinda alone in these things. I feel that, like your friend commented to you, soon I will have a bunch of friends moving to the US just for economical and security issues. Actually, it had began recently. As I mentioned, I do also point another factor for why educated people are going to the States: We do feel unsecured in here. Even this x mas campaign to not shoot at New Years Day (you know which nonexistent one is)failed pretty hard. We closed a incredibly violent year... Well, it is actually awful. I even stayed at home...and yet, I had to stay away from the windows and front door JUST because some idiot(s) were shooting like crazy!!
I do agree with you in that We alone have to fix the Island...but how, if most of the population in here are fed daily with La Comay and peers? I really feel sad and without hopes that there will be a better Puerto Rico someday...

GCSchmidt said...

I find it sad that My attitude has gone from thinking about how to fix aspects of Puerto Rico to researching and surveying My prospects in various States. In other words, Plan "D" just moved up to Plan "B"...or "A-".

If you can find it, I suggest you read the C.M. Kornbluth science fiction classic "The Marching Morons." It's been on My mind a lot lately...

Thanks for dropping by!

angel pla said...

I agree with your views and am living in the States because it was nearly impossible, without the right connections, to get a job in Puerto Rico. It did not matter the education or experience. And when an offer was made it was ridiculous! “To "fix" Puerto Rico doesn't take money; money is a tool, not a cure-all. It doesn't take a "status consultation" or "status fire drill" or "status tomfoolery"; We simply don't give a lab rat's cloaca about status and only demagogic pissheads ever have. It doesn't take "outside intervention," particularly not by Our gringo neighbors who are mired in fascism--President Obama's abject betrayal of the Bill of Rights now a fait accompli--and can't find their own lab rat's cloaca with a map.” Right on the spot! We could fix Puerto Rico, only after we throw out the incompetent people we have elected! Maybe we are asking for much, since there is no better blind person than the one that chooses not to see!

JP said...

Man, I feel you are speaking to me. I'm a female with a JD, 28 years old, and just the right age to get out. No husband, no kids, so there's really nothing stop me. Friends that graduated with me are already gone to Washington DC. Its destressing.

GCSchmidt said...

JP, I'm sure you consider yourself an asset to Puerto Rico, even though you're a lawyer. (Sorry! Joke! I'm kidding!) You are an asset: educated, concerned and in position to do something.

If something were THERE to be done.

You face breaking into an entrenched system that is dominated by "connections" and political cronyism. Despite My joke, there are too many lawyers on the Island; the proof is the number of your classmates who've already left.

And you exemplify the problem of the well-educated woman in a society where men are increasingly less-prepared when compared to you. I'm not saying you have to get married, I'm saying your prospects for a satisfactory relationship (a basic human need, like water, food and reading The Jenius) are dimmed.

What's draining Us is that Our options are dwindling; in some cases, daily. It's not how I've lived My life and it's not how We should have to.

The AforeMentioned Steve said...

Amazing Gil. Amazing.

And the (private) prison systems are booming. It's(they are) now arguably the #1 industry in amerika. (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=867)

Man, I wish I could negotiate some kinda 'swap'!

But I love my freedom. I want to bike ride all over the island, see the sites, chase JP around, you know, have some fun.

Damn! And I grew up on an Island in The Pacific, I'd be perfect for Puerto Rico!



That, Steve Guy, OK.

That Steve guy, also said...

Oh yeah, don't miss this,...


Same guy as the last guy