Puerto Rico Going out of Business?

Puerto Rico is out of money.

Puerto Rico’s government shut down Monday after the U.S. commonwealth ran out of money to pay 100,000 public employees, temporarily throwing them out of work.

About 500,000 students are out of school as the shutdown left 40,000 teachers idle. Forty-three government agencies and all 1,600 public schools on the island were closed.

The closure comes after the legislature and the governor failed to reach a last-minute deal to address the government’s $740-million budget shortfall. The legislature and the governor have been unable to agree on a budget since 2004 and debts continue to pile up.

I remember that nothing terrible happened when the U.S. government shut down. The only unfortunate thing I see here is that Puerto Rican politicians aren’t debating about how to cut spending, but over how high their new sales tax will be.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Puerto Rico needs to get out of the doorframe. Either come in, and become No. 51, or get out. That would be an interesting platform to run for federal office on.

  2. Stephen, I beg to differ about what happened in 1995, as I was a Fed employee back then, and all it did was show who always worked at keeping things running, and who could have been permanently jettisoned. But were such determinations made? Of course not!

    The “20/80 Rule” had been proven to be all too true. The ones who could always be counted on to handle all manner of problems were retained, and the f-ups furloughed. They got a nice little two-week vacation, and I got screwed…for being competent. To make matters worse, when I was about to leave for private industry, my boss and I had a brief little chat as to who was going to run my section, and my boss made it very clear it certainly wasn’t going to be my ‘partner’. Who probably is either retired or still on the Fed payroll, doing as little as she possibly could.

    Pity she didn’t work for the DEA; enough of her kind, and they’d be completely ineffectual…

  3. Kap,

    Valid point. I was in DC then, and the govt workers who actually worked were the ones who stayed on the job. We must have had the same experience.

  4. Oh, I’d love to purchase an uninhabited island. Are there any for sale?

  5. The uninhabited islands are pretty much only useful for getting crapped on by birds. In 500 years they’ll be fertilizer mines, then they’ll become Nauru.

  6. I live on the island and the tension is horrible. Sad situation because I moved here to relax and live happily ever after. lol