Freedom for Puerto Rico!


The island is not  a state.  It can go its own way taking its massive self inflicted debt with it.  They have their own Olympic Team.  the UN has considered the Ricans to be an oppressed people.  So far as I know those resident in the island pay no federal individual income tax.  I have been to the island many times over the last fifty years.  IMO most Puerto Ricans resident in the island do not think of themselves as Americans.  They think of themselves as Caribbean Latinos.  In the recent referendum on statehood  some 27% of the electorate voted.  They overwhelmingly voted for statehood.  IMO this is a self evident case of special pleading based on a desire for a federal bail-out at the expense of the rest of us.   Self identifying living Puert Ricans should be given a choice of PR citizenship or US but that should be the end of it.  Unfortunately we cannot deal similarly with Illinois.  pl

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27 Responses to Freedom for Puerto Rico!

  1. Jack says:

    It seems the pendelum has swung towards the Hamiltonian direction for the past couple centuries and in particular during and after WW II. IMO, it is high time for the pendelum to start it’s swing towards the Jeffersonian model.
    Illinois is in the state it is financially because the politicians, in particular the Democratic party machine, have so thoroughly aligned themselves with public sector unions and bloated expenditures and future promises that the citizens of Illinois can’t really bear. So the state government have resorted to all sorts of shenanigans and obfuscation to pretend all’s well on the financial front
    Should citizens of other states be responsible for Illinois government’s financial chicanery?

  2. ann says:

    Or how many other States that are about to find their pension funds missing. Thanks for the chuckle.

  3. D. Mathews says:

    As a Puerto Rican (and an economics professor who teaches a graduate level economic history of the island) I would suggest that many islanders have been sold questionable impressions about what statehood would entail by a number of our island’s self serving politicians. This could be clarified in a heart-beat by the US Congress setting down and publicizing the conditions whereby the island could become a state. Until they do so, our local politicians will continue weaving their tales and the plebiscites will come and go forever into the future as they have in the past (even prior to the economic debt crisis). I get the impression, however, that Congress is reluctant to touch that hot potato, so the issue will remained unresolved.

  4. Fred says:

    Hear, hear!

  5. turcopolier says:

    OK, kid. You really don’t know any history at all, do you? Just the crap that circulates among millennials. In the 19th Century if you defeated someone in war you got a piece of their territory as loot. This was especially true of pieces of colonial empires. PR belonged to Spain. They lost to the US. There was a war, right? We got PR, Cuba, Guam the Philippines. CIA wars? You really are shallow. You do know the CIA was created in 1947″ Right. More trivial superficialities. pl

  6. Enrico Malatesta says:

    There are downsides to the economy of Puerto Rico that have been imposed by the US Congress. Unlike US States, PR muni’s are triple tax free for everyone in the US, making the creation of such bonds quite a bit more predatory than a US State.
    There is also the mandate that all goods to Puerto Rico be shipped on US flag boats, requiring that foreign containers be shipped to Jacksonville, FL, then re-loaded on a US flag ship to PR.
    There are lots of these little Congressional “gotcha’s” that increase the economic cost on Puerto Rico.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Enrico Malatesta
    You are right! Puerto Rico is a downtrodden foreign colony! They should not have to put up with the oppression! Freedom for Puerto Rico! I checked to see how many foreign US occupation troops are kept in the island to impose the Yanqui yoke. Basically the imperial garrison is made up of the lackeys of the Puerto Ricsn National Guard, the core of the future national army. Perhaps Guam, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa could be liberated as well. pl

  8. iowa steve says:

    In May, Puerto Rico filed for a form of bankruptcy pursuant to a special statute passed by congress which was necessary since PR is not a state and not normally entitled to bankruptcy protection. Orange County CA and Detroit are two of the largest governmental units to file in the past.
    Unless the federal government has expressly guaranteed some of the debt, I don’t see how the US is responsible for it. The banks will eat the debt as they should. Of course nothing would prevent Congress from making those banks whole as they did in 2008, but those funds would go to the pockets of the lenders and not to the Puerto Rican government. Trump has vowed to veto any such bailout, but with his top financial advisers being Wall Street blue-blooders you never know.

  9. Gene O says:

    This month on the 25th, will be the 119th anniversary of General Nelson Miles task force landing in Puerto Rico. The location was Gua’nica near the SW corner. They were met with cheers by the locals. First ashore was a landing party of sailors from the USS Gloucester.

  10. turcopolier says:

    Gene O
    Nelson Miles was a boy wonder volunteer officer in the WBS. He was generally a flaming ass, He and General Crook royally screwed Lt. Charles Gatewood and the Apache Scouts after the Geronimo War. Gatewood was chief of scouts I that war. pl

  11. Annem says:

    Statehood: Our Republican controlled Congress does not want all those presumably Democratic voters at the polls. End of story.

  12. Annem says:

    Re Puerto Rico’s debt, however irresponsibly grown by local elites, is now in the hands of the Wall Street vultures who have bought that debt and intend to squeeze out every last penny. If they were a country or even a state, they would have some bargaining power, but not as it stands now.

  13. turcopolier says:

    Great! Set them free, free of gringo and Walt Street oppression. pl

  14. turcopolier says:

    Annem no statehood! Freedom for Puerto Rico! pl

  15. TV says:

    So Puerto Rico’s significant financial problems are the fault of WALL ST?
    Look out the window.
    The spaceship to take you home is waiting.

  16. Klaus Weiß says:

    Puerto Rico was rescued financially by the same US-Ukranian Natalya Jaresko, who had helped Kiev … LOL

  17. scott s. says:

    Enrico, I don’t think you are correct on shipping (cabotage) laws. The mandate is that ocean shipping between US ports (including ports in PR and HI) be shipped in US built, flagged. and crewed ships. It doesn’t regulate any ocean shipping between a foreign port and PR. Also note that ocean shipping rates in the so-called “Jones-Act” trades are regulated as a common-carrier and must be done via tariff.

  18. Thirdeye says:

    There is about zero chance of Puerto Rican statehood in the current political environment. Puerto Rico will most likely flinch at the concrete reality of how independence would affect them. Result: status quo.

  19. BraveNewWorld says:

    If Puerto Rico was given statehood they would be free of the USD. They would be able to create their own currency which would allow them to expand their tourism which is their greatest potential money generator. They would also be able to default on their debt.
    But that is meaningless as the US is in the taking land business not the giving it back business. We all know the US will have plans in place to over throw any political entity there not willing to do the US bidding. Whether a US state or an “independent” state it will be run out of Washington for the benefit of the US. Any thing else would be Kabuki theatre.

  20. mike says:

    Colonel –
    Regarding General Miles: I’ve been reading Musicant’s book on the Spanish-American War. Miles and Secretary of War Adler rate a lot of blame for the overcrowded, disease-ridden, military camp at the Tampa embarkation port – plus the shortfall of rations and equipment, and the lack of tropical-weight uniforms for the bulk of US troops who fought in 110 degree temperatures in Cuba wearing their blue flannel.
    The one hero of that chaos was Fighting Joe Wheeler. He was the only man to hold a General’s rank in both the Confederate Army (during the WBS) and in the US Army (during both the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars). He slept in a tent at the camp with the troops as opposed to all the other generals and many field grade officers who took over the Tampa Bay Hotel. He ate the same rations as the troops in his cavalry division. After the war Wheeler cleaned up another disastrous situation in Camp Wikoff, the yellow fever quarantine camp at Montauk Point. He hired more doctors and nurses, brought in clean water, built hospital facilities, a steam laundry and mess facilities. He bought tons of special foods for the sick, and sped up deliveries of supplies by chartering steamships from ports in NYC, Providence and New London.

  21. turcopolier says:

    “We all know the US will have plans in place to over throw any political there not willing to do the US bidding.” Who are “we?” I don’t know that at all. The island is pretty much a basket case except for tourism. I see you are yet another anti-American Canadian. If we are so bad why do you exist? You would be easy, a country with a disarmed population and with token armed forces. PR is worthless to the US, a liability. Canada, or parts of it, would be valuable. pl

  22. Sam Peralta says:

    Whether a US state or an “independent” state it will be run out of Washington for the benefit of the US.
    What benefit is Puerto Rico to the US?
    Many Puerto Ricans can’t wait to get the f**k out of that island to the “mainland”!!

  23. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Is it true that Puerto Rico is the laegest single consumer of food stamps in US?
    Does anyone know?

  24. DianaLC says:

    The answer to your question from someone like me who balances her checkbook every single month and pays debts on time to keep my credit good, my answer to your question is “NO!”

  25. scott s. says:

    Your comment sparked a curiosity, knowing of Miles but not any real detail. What little I’ve seen so far I see he recruited a company for the 22d Mass Inf but Gov Andrews wouldn’t make him the Captain, instead only allowing a 1LT commission. This seems to have rankled Miles (who comes off as ambitious) so he finagled an assignment as AdC to BG O.O. Howard (at the time was Brigade Commander in Sumner’s division (later corps) of the AoP). As a staff officer he seems to have have impressed Howard and the other officers in the brigade and appears at least competent during the Peninsula Campaign. After Howard’s wounding and evacuation during Seven Days, Miles seems to have impressed Francis Barlow (then COL of the 61st NY Inf) enough that Barlow helped him get the vacant LCOL commission in that regiment. After Barlow was wounded and evacuated during Antietam, Miles became the new COL of the 61st.

  26. turcopolier says:

    IMO Miles was a typical scheming p—k. I have known many. They hate competence. pl

  27. Annem says:

    I’m not an economist, but before the winds of nationalism once again sweep the island, I hope that someone down there will do the math before deciding which way to go. They should also figure out whether the current elites will be any more or less democratic and representative than they are /are not now. If they yearn to be a Caribe Hispanic nation, then they should look around and see what the neighbors have/have not accomplished. American investment will remain a source of US influence whether or not they are an independent nation. Let’s hope SOME cooler heads are thinking all this through.

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