Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

La Isla del Encanto

I worked for 15 years at Latino Health Institute in Boston. About half of my colleagues there were Puerto Rican. I have visited the island, and a college girl friend (it's a painful subject, but still) was Puerto Rican. So I feel an affinity for the island and its people.

I fear they are suffering a catastrophe from which they will never really recover. The country was already in trouble, due to a combination of policy changes by the U.S. federal government (into which they have no real input) that eliminated some advantages for manufacturers on the island; competition from lower-wage countries; and fiscal mismanagement, mostly by local governments. The population was actually shrinking as people moved to the mainland.

Now the infrastructure and the economy will be utterly ruined. It will likely be months before electricity is fully restored, and perhaps it will never be in some places because they will become uninhabited. The housing stock, businesses, roads and bridges, all massively destroyed. I expect a mass exodus now. It will likely never be the same.

The warming waters of the tropical Atlantic cause hurricanes to be more powerful. The horrific destruction in the Caribbean this year was absolutely exacerbated by climate change. Another place that's getting trashed is Kenya, where the rains have failed three years in a row and children are now starving. The UN report on the situation is horrifying, but nobody here in the US seems to care. We're all too busy taking health care away from 32 million of our own people so that the Koch brothers won't have to pay taxes on their blood money.

Cue the fool to tell us none of this is really happening.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, Puerto Rico is pretty much screwed.

The 'policy changes' was mostly the elimination of the tax credit only available to Puerto Rico that essentially eliminated any tax on profits for corporations manufacturing there. Most of them were the evil drug companies.

And you're right in that the politicians gave lots of free stuff racking up massive amounts of debt that will most likely result in a default. This should be a lesson to those who don't believe debt matters.

As tough as it is, I don't think the war on corporations by the left will ever roll back Section 996.

Looks like the cost of your Viagra ain't going down.

(part about global warmingsism politude omitted)

Don Quixote said...

Hey, the fool was cued! The offensive jackass rudely asserts that Cervantes is taking Viagra (the fool himself has no sex life, as is patently one will sleep with him and he long ago stopped caring). This is just a typically piss-poor right-wing-jackass attempt at humor; he's like Trump in that he has no sense of humor and is, therefore, an incomplete human being. He also talks about a non-existent "war on corporations by the left," when corporation are actually waging a war on humanity--more right-wing projection by people who can't own their own shit--and then demonstrates his total and stunning ignorance of fiscal policy with his national debt dogma propagation. Read Krugman and listen, jackass--he knows infinitely more than you do.

Oh, I forgot, nobody else knows anything you don't.

Your grammar sucks, too..."The 'policy changes' was mostly..."

Ever hear of subject and verb agreement?

His last comment is, again, meant to be funny...but he has no real sense of humor, regrettably. He is, typically, mean-spirited, miserable, sans sexual life, and annoyingly persistent.

It's nice of you, Cervantes, to let him comment at all on your blog. I still say "kick him the fuck out." He's worse than a waste of time. Stunningly, he actually LIKES this negative attention. It's the only kind of attention he ever learned to get because of whatever his particular fucked-up upbringing consisted of. Same as Trump--people who deep down hate themselves project hate out onto the world.