Puerto Rico’s Economic Fall Was in The Numbers
(Washington, D.C.) – A new presentation produced by the American Action Forum (AAF) provides clarity on Puerto Rico’s current financial struggles, as well as the irresponsible path that led to the current fiscal crisis. From labor participation rates to state expenditures, it’s clear that the economic crisis was foreseeable. The AAF data show clearly the dramatic drop in total personal income in Puerto Rico in 2014, which has been followed by an exodus of island residents for freer economic climates on the mainland. Besides its low employment rate, the data also show that the island’s expenditures surpass that of the 50 U.S. states. Republican leadership in The House of Representatives is working on a solution and is expected to debate legislation to address Puerto Rico’s fiscal situation in the coming weeks.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“The Puerto Rican government knew the economic crisis was coming, yet they failed to make tough decisions that would de-escalate the situation and head off a crisis. Too often, the leadership on the island have avoided making hard choices and borrowed more money to balance budgets.
The disappointing numbers on unemployment and labor participation should not surprise anyone, given the fact that the Puerto Rican government employs more than one quarter of the island’s workforce. When government becomes too big and too involved in the life of its constituents, it creates big problems – both economically and socially. It’s time to put an end to overspending, corruption, poor management of government aid, subsidies, and damaging federal mandates. These irresponsible government actions can’t be ignored or swept under the rug. In the meantime, residents of the 50 United States should learn from the lessons of Puerto Rico. When government grows too big we all suffer the consequences.”