So if you have been paying attention to the news recently, you probably have seen that Puerto Rico is currently battling a 73 billion dollar debt and it looks like things could get ugly. So I’ve been getting many emails regarding such topic and I was asked if I was worried about Puerto Rico’s financial crisis. Well, I prefer to stay out of topics involving politics for obvious reasons, so I will try to be honest and explain my take on the whole thing as best I can without appearing politically biased towards one side or the other (because honestly I have no bias).
To start I’d like to put it out there, I am not affiliated with any political party in any way, at all. I am what some would call a “free thinker”, and I do not judge in any way the point of views of others even if they differ from mine (and in most cases they do differ). So my writings normally involve pros and cons from every angle so that you can make your own decision on what you feel is right.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, I will continue with the topic.
So, Am I worried about Puerto Rico’s financial crisis?
Honestly, NO. I am not worried one bit. There are many reasons why personally I am not worried, you may have other reasons. I will explain mine and I would love it if some people can join in the discussion in a respectful manner.
So Why am I not worried?
1. I simply do not worry about many things. Mark Twain said: “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe”. Simple, there are things I can control and things that I can’t. In this case, I cannot control what the outcome will be and I did not have anything to do with the reason why we are in a crisis in the first place, I do not owe this debt as I did not cause it, so worrying about it is a waste of my time and it would negatively affect my emotional well being. There is nothing I can do to make this better, except maybe staying in Puerto Rico and helping the community however I can rather than fleeing, so I will stay, because I do know I can have a positive impact on those around me (and you the reader).
2. The cost of living may go up, but, what else is new? Here in PR, we get taxed EVERYWHERE and get charged for everything! It seems that every few months a new tax is introduced! The recent gasoline tax, the new sales and services tax (IVU) just went up to 11.5% on July 1st! now, to be fair, this 11.5% is supposed to be only for 9 months. The water bill went up tremendously! Add to that the privatization everything, for example the main highways in order to have better roads, which now means that the tolls will go up in price; the privatization of the airport which means a somewhat nicer airport but more expensive fares. Now there are talks of privatizing the electrical company, prices will go down they say! Nope, latest news are that the price of electricity will go up as part of the restructuring process. Every time a previously public company has been privatized or has been converted to a public/private company, the prices have either stayed the same or gone up, however, the services generally improve once is privatized.
In order to ease financial crisis, the governor may suggest privatizing more companies and services, and that’s not necessarily a bad idea since you generally get better and more streamlined services, however, I would not expect it to be any cheaper, if anything I expect the prices of such services to go up. So the cost of living may continue to rise, but, what else is new?
3. Do we really know what’s going on? NO! Like I mentioned in the first point, there are MANY reasons why we are in the financial crisis that we are dealing with. Some say the Cabotage law is to blame, others say that we borrowed too much money in order to keep up with tourism competition, others say that the reason is because of how many people leave the island each year, and others blame the previous government administrations. Everybody is blaming everybody else! The political “analysts” tell you what they want you to hear, the other “analysts” tell you what they want you to hear, meanwhile there is no transparency from the government whatsoever! We really do not know what goes on in the minds of the government officials, we also don’t know the limitations, obligations, or interests they have! And guess what, chances are we will never know the truth behind it all. You can read all kinds of reports and analysis by experts in the field, but honestly, you will never know the truth, and you will have little to nothing to do with the solution to this $73 billion debt.
So while some are freaking out and either leaving the island or arguing about who’s right and who’s wrong and what’s about to happen (which no one really knows), I will be doing the same things I do now. I will help those around me (that includes you if you’re reading this), I will try to be the best citizen and neighbor I can. Let them worry about how to get out of this financial mess, they are the only ones that can really do anything about it anyway. I will continue to enjoy life with my beautiful family, friends, and beaches! =)
Now, some people may feel the need to leave in order to search for jobs or for other reasons, and that’s ok! But if you ask me if I will leave or consider leaving because of the financial crisis we are facing, my answer is no, and I am not worried about it either, the solution or lack there of will happen regardless of what I do or don’t do, just like the debt happened regardless of what I did or didn’t do.
All the best,