Today is...  

The Puerto Rico That Was Not

by Don Jibaro

ith the Internet  phenomenon, I have found that most of my pals of the R&R youth years are still doing well... in Florida. Although many Puerto Rican rather have the island's landscape beauty, others feel the economy there is detrimental for the kind of lifestyle they want. College grads, policemen, teachers, artists and a slew of other professionals are seeking Florida. WHAT happened? Is the local economy THAT bad? Where's the money gone? (Please don't say the Governor's shoes)

When I was a kid in the 1950s there was no extraordinary reason to move to the Unites States. Puerto Ricans had been doing it for fifty years but somehow the post-war 50s was a time of some abundance, all over. Gasoline was 25¢ a gallon and you could have lunch for a couple of bucks. A salary of $20 a day could support a small family in PR.

We had big cars, like the '55 Cadillac, with 300 lb. bumpers
It took 2 guys to lift that in order to install it.

In 1956, my dad bought a big five bedroom house in Bayamón for just $3,000 !!!. There were some Boricua migrant travelers that came and told us about "Los Niuyores", but they weren't wearing the fancy clothes of the Hamptons, so we assumed we were OK in the Barrio. Our military served in the later decades to no avail. No affluence or loots ever came from it.

Today Puerto Rico suffers the same old economic malady... businesses are staggering, blame it on Wall Street, The Politicians are crooks, the customers are not there... yada, yada... What happened?  FLORIDA... that's what's happened!! After years of ubiquitous inflation and nothingness, families packed up and joined the fulanos in Miami

Ever heard "Miami of Bust!"?

Fulanos are thousands of middle-class professionals who have fled Puerto Rico within the past twenty years, becoming what some people are calling "Flori-Ricans." They can't stand the impasse. Just like the Jews in Pharaoh's time... They needed an Exodus!!! Let My People Go!!!!

The title "Exodus" derives from the Greek ξοδος, Exodos, meaning "departure, out-going," the name given to the book in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of Jewish scriptures made between the 3rd to 1st centuries BC. In Hebrew it is called Shemot (שְׁמוֹת) from the opening phrase Ve-eleh shemot, ואלה שמות, "These are the names", a practice in line with the other four books of the Torah. So there.

All we want is jobs to feed our families... in Miami... Arf!

The fulanos are behooved into thinking that they should stay and work for this country. Well, they claim to be tired of the sacrifice of their families due to unfulfilled promises. The same old sandwich with a different bread. The departure of the Vieques Navy a while back, left 1500 jobless... and if I'm not mistaken, Ramey in Aguadilla left also a trail of dusty joblessness

The ever-present corruption in the government has left a bitter taste in the mouths of the constituency. "NO... not again" ...says Rufo, a local from Puerta de Tierra, as the Newspaper headlines ANOTHER indictment against the governor... two, three, four.. five. It's too much, too soon. ¡Ay, Caramba!

HARD FACT: Too many corrupt officials are being caught with
 their suits on but with their hands full of cookie dough...
 How can such legislation influence the economy?

Many would-be-emigrants are called traitors when people ask, 'Why don't you stay here and work for advancement?' WELL...Armando says: "How long are they supposed to? They want to help push Puerto Rico forward, but what about their kids?"

It seems that the jobs are not hanging from a coat rack just waiting to be picked up. These guys are fed up by an island wracked by inflation, unemployment and the ubiquitous of crime grown out of control... ah, and the crooks in government who are filling their own pockets in Switzerland.

Puerto Rico, after the first recession, let masses of people move to Florida as first-time voters in a presidential election year, banking that the Sunshine State would provide new opportunities. This time, the Puerto Ricans leaving the island are highly educated professionals whose departure both provides a safety valve to growing unemployment and threatens the island's skilled work force. As they leave, looking backwards... they see nothing but smoke fading into the blue Puerto Rican skies

In theory, waiting in line for The American Dream is everybody's dream.

Studies show at least 200,000 of Puerto Rico's 4 million people moved to Florida from 2000 to 2006. About half of Florida's nearly 700,000 Puerto Ricans live in Central Florida, particularly the Orlando area. That's close to one million!

But census figures do not reflect the wave that began two years ago, when a budget crisis forced the Puerto Rican government to shut down for several weeks. More than 70,000 people were temporarily furloughed, so it was not long before nurses, doctors and police officers joined the teachers and out-of-work public servants who headed for Florida.

Then gas prices climbed, and people saw their electric bills reach as high as $1,000 a month. Yikes! Government statistics show food prices have increased 12 percent this year, and housing 15 percent.

Products in US markets sell cheaper because there are more people buying them. Merchants can afford a lower price due to volume selling.

Professionals in Puerto Rico make around $25,000 a year, give or tale a thousand or two. Day care centers and private schools cost $600 or $700 a month. Typical car payment - for a Suzuki - was $500 a month. Many are falling behind in mortgage and other loans. Stay behind and complain? You have to find opportunities.

How many Puerto Ricans have arrived in Florida in the past two years, it's hard to tell. But government estimates show some 65,000 are leaving the island each year. The island's government has largely ignored the problem, because it offers a safety valve for an economy that experts say shrank by 2 percent last year....2%? I don't think so!

People can only leave so fast...

Experts say the exodus could be temporary, particularly as people realize Florida is suffering job losses, too. (Mmm, would it better to be unemployed there than in PR, huh?) Emigration is part of the Puerto Rican mentality, and so is returning home after several years abroad. Puerto Ricans know how to read, and once in Florida, it just a matter of reading the Road Maps. Pa' Mississippi me voy!


Puerto Rico is losing its population and not just a few. Where are they going and why? Is Puerto Rico another failed liberal progressive state? I think you already know the answer and where this is going.

We all know that Puerto Rico isn't a state. Rather, it's a commonwealth. It's an unincorporated territory of the United States. In 1898, Spain ceded the archipelago of Puerto to the United States as a result of its defeat in the Spanish–American War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.

Thousands of Puerto Ricans recently attended an event to learn how to immigrate to Florida and join the mainland workforce, reports USA Today:

Puerto Rico has lost nearly half a million people in the past ten years, a number greater than the total current population of its capital city. The government is now taking desperate measures to stem the tide:

Ever heard "Miami of Bust!"?

I can imagine that Florida isn't too happy with all these Puerto Ricans immigrating to the Sunshine State with the economy still plodding along, although Florida is much better off than liberal blue states.

Here's how Puerto Ricans view living in an essentially socialist state run by liberal

Too many citizens have lost faith in the government’s ability to provide even the most basic of services. One resident told USA Today: “There’s more opportunities if you move. People who live off government support here are doing better than those of us who work and pay taxes.” Another said: “You see what the government does with your money over there [in Florida]. Here, you contribute and contribute and contribute and nothing improves.”

Obviously, there are some Puerto Ricans that can see the light and realize the failure of Puerto Rican government to provide opportunities for people willing to work and achieve. The failure of Puerto Rican government is just another example of many, that liberal progressive governance simply does not work.

Government that tries to be a nanny government fails it citizens. Government that wants job creation for its citizens, can do so with reasonable rules, regulations and low business taxes. This would promote a pro growth business environment that creates jobs. When businesses can lower their costs with less government intervention, they can afford to expand their business, which entails hiring more employees in the business expansion.

“Live in such a way that no one blames the rest of us 
nor finds fault with our work.” —(2 Corinthians 6:3)

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