The first time I heard of / learned of Puerto Rico’s financial difficulties was one time when Lin-Manuel Miranda slammed a plea for PR debt forgiveness into an interview. He mentioned some obscure “little” IRS law (Section 936 of the Internal Revenue Code) that changed PR’s financial outlook dramatically and perhaps irreversibly.
Interesting, I thought, though I don’t have much connection to PR other than a few friends who hail from there. That was a few years ago.
Then this article in today’s WaPo made me think on this subject again and through the insightful lens these reporters created in showing how ALL the US Territories are suffering similar problems as those rural America is facing: job loss, China-fication of manufacturing, brain drain, lower property taxes when the economy falls, and, as a result, less money for government to invest in people, education, roads and services.
The issues they face are genuine and deep.
And I’m curious how the US will treat these territories in the coming years and decades.
An island with 50, 80, 147,000 people! That’s barely a small city in the US. And their populations are dropping. Quickly. Rapidly.
This is an important article to read, imo. I don’t have any great understanding of history– military or otherwise, nor am I an expert on such topics of economies and governments, but I do understand that things are connected, inter-related.
And it sounds like these territories — these U.S. territories — are in trouble and the kind that’s only still brewing.