* The Weekly Image Thread 20 11 30 #504 *

Started 4 months ago | Photos thread
Craig from Nevada
Craig from Nevada Veteran Member • Posts: 8,585
Re: San Juan, Puerto Rico: same trip

19andrew47 wrote:

It is a great and I believe neglected area of the U.S.. Like most of the Caribbean it is a gorgeous location, but with a lot of poverty (and wealth too but I am not sure about who it is that has the wealth).


Puerto Rico has many problems. The US acquired the island in the Spanish-American war of 1898. It had strategic value as a coaling station to protect the approaches to a Panama Canal that was ultimately built.

All its citizens are also US citizens. Its legal status--is called "Commonwealth". It is not a state and it is not an independent nation. The residents voted for statehood by a narrow margin recently. This issue has been kicking around for decades.

Very high unemployment and many have relocated to the US for jobs and send money home. There were some big Pharmaceuticals down there thanks to big tax breaks. These breaks expired and the firms left. There is not much else going on I understand. Tourism is one thing. Consequently, the island is losing population. This was accelerated by the hurricanes a few years ago.

The island's government is insolvent. Mostly pensions and services it cannot afford to provide.

The electric utility (state owned) has super high rates and is falling apart. The hurricanes destroyed the what was left of the crumbling grid.

Sad story. They are better off than many of the neighboring islands but substantially poorer than US states. Not a great candidate for independence or statehood and commonwealth status rolls on.

This is probably more information than you want or need on the last Monday in November.

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