Sunday, October 08, 2017

On the demographic issues of Puerto Rico in an era of exodus


I was reminded of my post questioning the viability of Caribbean islands in an era of worsening natural disasters when I began reading reports of the devastation wrought on Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

Hurricane Maria is Puerto Rico’s worst in nearly a century, a double blow as it follows the destructive Hurricane Irma by just two weeks. The costs, both human and financial, have only begun to come into view. This much is certain: the U.S. territory, bankrupted by runaway debt, now confronts an even deeper economic crisis. Four months after the island’s government sought protection from creditors in the nation’s largest municipal insolvency, the odds of a speedy resolution now appear to be dimming. President Donald Trump said Thursday he plans to visit the island and declared Puerto Rico a disaster zone, which helps clear the way for federal assistance.

[. . .]

Already, the financial aftershocks of Hurricane Maria have begun to ripple through the U.S. financial industry. Prices on Puerto Rico general-obligation bonds maturing in 2041 fell to 48.7 cents on the dollar as Maria raked the island, down from 52.6 cents last week. It was another sign that bondholders increasingly doubt the island’s ability to repay what it owes.

“The human pain and suffering and tragedy is really significant,” said James Spiotto, managing director at Chicago-based Chapman Strategic Advisors LLC, whose firm advises on municipal restructurings. “Certainly for the bankruptcy, this doesn’t help. Puerto Rico needs to recover economically and financially for its residents and to be able to pay the creditors.”

The National Guard and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency were assisting Puerto Rico in restoring power, Governor Ricardo Rossello told reporters Thursday. He urged residents to stay off the streets and remain calm as many are still unable to communicate with family members. That includes the governor himself, who hasn’t been able to reach his parents. A key priority is reopening the port in San Juan to bring in generators, food and water, Rossello said.

“The communication systems have collapsed in general,” Rossello said. “And what I ask the people for is prudence, patience and calm.”

Legal issues should be put on hold as the island grapples with the aftermath of the storm, a judge advised the parties involved in Puerto Rico’s restructuring, according to Reuters, which didn’t name the judge.

The financial situation was dire before Maria hit. The island’s economy has been contracting for a decade, sending a stream of residents to find work on the U.S. mainland. As Puerto Rico faces catastrophic damage, it must restore the health and safety of its citizens while navigating the bankruptcy process to help it reduce a $74 billion debt load and a broke pension system.

Among the economic questions, one of the biggest is how Puerto Rico can reverse its out-migration. About 400,000 people have left the commonwealth since 2008.

“A declining population doesn’t make it easier to handle the debt that stays behind,” said Matt Dalton, chief executive officer of Rye Brook, New York-based Belle Haven Investments, which manages $6 billion of municipal bonds, including insured Puerto Rico debt. “It stays for everybody else to try to take care of.”


(Note, if you would, the importance placed on demographic issues in the above analysis.)

The seriousness of the emergent humanitarian crisis on the island is only becoming clear, as is the increasingly laggard, even dismissive American official response under Trump. Arguments that Trump's failure to respond as effectively to a disaster impacting four million American citizens as the Obama presidency did to--for instance--the 2010 catastrophe in Haiti are rooted in anti-Hispanic racism have been reported by (among others) the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale. Certainly's Trump mock-Spanish pronunciation of Puerto Rico is unfathomable, as are the many other things he has said. As Puerto Ricans drive around the island for days in search of a cell signal and Puerto Ricans remind the United States that they are also Americans and New York State mounts its own aid effort for want of federal intervention, a catastrophe is unfolding.

Demographic trends are at the heart of many of Puerto Rico's current and potential future issues. As Mark Hugo Lopez and Gabriel Velasco noted for Hispanic Trends at the Pew Research Group, in their June 2011 survey "A Demographic Portrait of Puerto Ricans", though there are eight million people of Puerto Rican descent in the United States, at the time these two were writing only half of them live in the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico.


Half lived on the American mainland, a consequence of heavy migration from the Caribbean island to the mainland United States starting perhaps a couple of decades after the American conquest of the island from Spain in 1898, after Puerto Ricans were granted American citizenship. Until recently, relatively high fertility counterbalanced emigration and allowed for continued population growth. In recent years, however, the island has begun to experience a declining population.



This emigration slowed down in the 1970s and 1980s as Puerto Rican incomes began to converge on those of the mainland United States but accelerating again after the 1990s, when the island's economy began to lag again following the expiration of tax incentives intended to spur industrial development on the island. The Puerto Rican economy has experienced unending recession for the past decade, government debt spiraling as GDP has fallen. The island remains rich by international standards, with GDP per capita roughly on par with that of Poland and Latvia and ahead of nearly all of Latin America. Just as Poles and Latvians, however, have responded to the relative poverty of their homeland by leaving for richer points as soon as they could, so have Puerto Ricans also left. A migration once centered on New York State, especially New York City, began to find other destinations, Florida for instance emerging as a major new destination for Puerto Rican migrants.

Forbes's Tim Worstall is hardly alone in noting that Puerto Ricans could, and in fact are, respond to the inevitable economic deterioration of the island by leaving. That this migration of people, especially of productive workers and young families, will make the island's finances more difficult to manage is inevitable.

While the court proceedings could eventually make the island solvent for the first time in decades, the more immediate repercussions will likely be grim: Government workers will forgo pension money, public health and infrastructure projects will go wanting, and the “brain drain” the island has been suffering as professionals move to the mainland could intensify.

It's that last line which is the truly important point here. Those who are owed the money are going to be screaming blue murder about how much of it they want back. And in one manner they should be able to get most of it back. Puerto Rico does, after all, have taxing rights over a number of people from now off into perpetuity. It's possible to keep squeezing those people for as long as it takes. Except, of course, it isn't as that brain drain points out. As I've mentioned before the people don't in fact have to stay and be taxed to pay the debt:

The population figures, which were released last month, illustrate how Puerto Rico’s fiscal and economic crises are likely to worsen. Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and as they leave the island to seek employment or retirement in the U.S., the island faces a shrinking tax base to pay for debts incurred over the past decade.

The Census Bureau report showed that Puerto Rico’s population fell 1.7% in the year ended June, an acceleration from the 1.6% decline for the year before that. The island’s population has fallen by more than 1.1% for five straight years.

[. . .]

This newer, or perhaps just realised, problem is that the population can just up sticks and leave: but the debts get to stay behind. And an economy that has a shrinking tax base and yet a static debt can all too easily fall into a death spiral. The debt per person, and the taxes needed to pay it, rise ever higher, leading to more of the productive population leaving and that raises the debt per productive capita again and thus the tax rate on those who remain.

This again speaks to Puerto Rico's specific legal status. Anyone and everyone can just get on a plane or a boat to the mainland. No visas are required, there cannot be an exit tax applied to them, they cannot be forced to take a piece of the debt with them. In this sense it's just the same as moving from one US state to another. It isn't like trying to move out of the US Federal tax net, where you do have to pay up all the taxes that you would owe even up to the point of unrealised capital gains and so on. Nope, just go and leave the debt behind.


Demography blogger Lyman Stone observed, looking at data on passenger traffic to and from the island, that the scale of net emigration from Puerto Rico is serious. He has observed that, according to some plausible scenarios, Puerto Rico might be set for a population collapse greater than that experienced by island after the 1840s, with the possibility of the island's population falling by half or more.

All this was before the catastrophe of Hurricane Maria. With the island's infrastructure devastated, and with economic sectors like agriculture wrecked, with no sign of an immediate recovery to a reality that had already been dire, and with Puerto Ricans being American citizens with the right to move, how many people will stay? Megan McArdle's suggestion, based on the precedent of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, that 30% of Puerto Rico's population might leave does not sound obviously implausible. Stone's suggestion of a sharp fall in the population of Puerto Rico does not seem impossible.

What will be done about this? A migration of such a scale will obviously have huge consequences for the United States. New York City may not be suitable for new Puerto Rican migrants--climate refugees--given its dearth of affordable housing, but family connections between Puerto Ricans on the island and the mainland make it a natural destination. Florida, in particular, may also become a major destination. Lauren Ritchie's suggestion in the Orlando Sentinel, based on interview with Puerto Ricans and migration experts alike, that Orlando may be as much remade by Puerto Rican migration as Miami was by Cuban migration certainly sounds possible. How will this effect--for instance--state politics? What will happen to the island of Puerto Rico and the people on it? Will the island finally be integrated firmly into the American federation, as a state as a bare majority of Puerto Ricans wish?

29 comments:

شركة المثالي سوبر said...

شركة تنظيف بالقطيف

Lyrics said...

Our line by line lyrics generator is great for writing and fine-tuning songs and raps, especially when you want them to rhyme. Unlike our other song lyrics.

Dylan Eales said...

Thanks for this informative content. It’s really good. Actually, I want to share some thoughts and reviews about an Australian assignment help company in Australia and the brand name is SAMPLE ASSIGNMENT. Here, I am working as an Academic Expert. To look at our online academic assistants who provide reference assignment including Accounting, Management, Finance, IT, Economics, Computer Science, Nursing, Marketing; all Academic subjects to University Students all over the Australia or even worldwide, Here is a big online assignment help providers who help students to get HD grades according to assessment guidelines and instructions. Those who are searching fo assignment help Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide etc. get a touch with Sample Assignment - the No.1 Assignment provider. Any student really wants to buy an assignment at the cheapest price goes to our branded website and has a look and opts our amazing and informative services, you can avail of our convenient online assignment help and samples available on our website for free. You can download it if you want. Are you ready to get 100 out of 100 in your university assessment? We assign the best writer according to the subject for your academic problems and provide support in assignment writing services. Our Customer Care Executives are available 24*7 hours to assist you in the best possible manner. Phone calls and emails are the best methods used by online assignment maker.

Alley John said...

MyAssignmentHelp experts could address students' academic topics quite well. Thus, they can opt for our service if they have difficulty in writing business law cases.

rickypauls said...

Assignment Help is the best answer to solve all the problems related to assignment writing and project submission. Make your work more effective and valuable with the help of academic experts of greatassignmenthelp For any help, talk to academic expert.
Assignment Help Online
Online Assignment Help
Assignment Help Online Services
Assignment Helper
Assignment Assistance
Assignment Help Experts
Online Assignment Help Services

hpprintercare said...

Prediction of this thing is quite difficult with the regard of performance as HP printer is not bound to provide the standard quality output. What will you do in case basic pre-requisite of HP Printer has been missed a lot and a common used does not know what to do or not? It is advised to know the real causes why does my HP printer keep going offline and consult with our expert to make the physical state of printer is online. No matter what kind of technical issue does lie in HP is, the great association of our technical team helps you to boycott the cramping issue in it. Needless to say that solution of any HP printer difficulties is not under the control of any person. Lastly, it sounds to be imperative decision to come on our third party professional team and get the soon solution. For knowing more information, you can browse our web portal.
Why Does My Printer Keep Going Offline
why does my hp printer keep going offline

Michael Jones said...

If you feel that you are not able to write an essay by yourself, in such cases, you can take help from online Assignment help.Programming Assignment help

Microsoft Support said...

This is the very first time I called and grabbed Microsoft Support with the intention of eliminating my Microsoft issues. The professional who answered my call is very friendly in nature as well as helpful in resolving problem. He step-wisely guided me to terminate my entire issues and didn’t leave me until my entire glitches are resolved. So, I would advise everyone that whenever you face Microsoft issues, then grab this support.
Website:- https://www.microsoftoutlooksupportnumber.com/

outlook Support Number
outlook Support Phone number
outlook Support
outlook Tech Support
outlook technical Support
Microsoft outlook Support
outlook customer Service
microsoft outlook customer service
outlook customer Support
outlook help
Microsoft outlook help
outlook Number
outlook Phone Number
outlook help Number
outlook help Phone Number
outlook Tech Support Number
outlook Tech Support Phone Number
outlook Technical Support Number
outlook Technical Support Phone Number
outlook customer Support number
outlook customer Support phone number
outlook customer Service number
outlook customer Service Phone number
Microsoft Support
Microsoft Support Phone Number
Microsoft Support Number
Microsoft Phone Number
Microsoft Number
Microsoft Support chat

Microsoft Outlook Office said...

Nice blog for getting Office 365 Support. I got the solution for my issue related to office 365 here. This blog is very important for Microsoft 365 Support. Thanks for sharing this blog!
Visit here:- https://www.microsoftoutlookoffice.com/office-365-support
office 365 help
office 365 help desk
office help
office Support
Microsoft office 365 support
Microsoft 365 support
Microsoft office 365 Help
Microsoft 365 Help
Windows support
Microsoft windows support
Windows Number
Windows support chat
outlook Support Number
outlook Support Phone Number
Microsoft outlook Support
outlook Support
Change Hotmail Password
hotmail change password
hotmail forgot password
hotmail password reset
how to change hotmail password
microsoft password reset
reset microsoft password

Max Willor said...

A special thanks to My Assignment Help for providing an exceptional assignment within a short period of time. Your work is really amazing. Hope you reach heights in the future.You can email us at cs@Myassignmenthelpau.Com or Phone Number: +61-2-8005-8227

Bella said...

I really enjoyed your blog Thanks for sharing such an informative post.
Paperssolution
topacademictutors
liveassignmenthelp

Canon Support said...

What Are The Steps Of Canon Wireless Printer Setup?
Are you wandering for getting an effective ideas of how to Canon Wireless Printer Setup? Willing to know the exact procedure of connecting wireless Canon printer? If yes, then do one thing, just put a ring on our 24/7 accessible helpline number and get associate with the techies who answer your call Canon technician. They will direct you on phone the entire steps with an ease without taking a single penny from you as we are offering free of cost services to our helpless customers. Therefore, if you don’t have money but still want to troubleshoot any kind of Canon Printer Offline related problems, hassle-freely, keep in touch with us.
canon usa support
canon setup
Canon error code 5b00
Canon B200 Error
Canon Wireless Printer Setup
Connect Canon Printer To Wi-Fi
Canon printer offline
canon pixma mx490 setup
canon ts3122
canon printer reset
Canon Printer Setup
canon printer offline

Olivia Crew said...

Excellent information Providing by your Article, thank you for taking the time to share with us such a nice article. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists. Kindly visit livewebtutors website we providing best assignment help services in Australia.
Read more now :- My Assignment Help

Olivia Crew said...

A very high level post with a knowledgeable information .thanks you for giving me such a nice information. If you need any college level Assignment Help at reliable quality with better work. Kindly visit livewebtutors website we providing best assignment help services in Australia, USA, UK, UAE, and Canada etc.
Read more now :- Assignment Help

Alex williams said...

Do you require HP printer setup for your mac operating system? Is your printer driver not suitable for macOS? Then visit the 123.hp.com to get the software and driver for better functioning of your printer. You can also call our expert HP support team for services.

canon pixma mx490 setup said...

Excellent information you have shared. It is very helpful for me. I am providing you complete information( How to do canon pixma mx490 setup) To do this setup. You need to visit the link.

Bella said...

This is really a great stuff for sharing.
Paperssolution
studyhawks
college paper writing service
write my research paper
eduhawks
topgradepapers
Assignment Help
Aiwah.pk

Automartz said...

Top 10 Most Expensive Car In The World!
10. Ferrari Sergio Pininfarina
9. Aston Martin Valkyrie
8. Bugatti Chiron Sport
7. Bugatti Veyron Vivere By Mansory
6. W Motors Lykan Hypersport
5. Lamborghini Veneno Roadster
4. Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita
3. Mercedes-Maybach Exelero
2. Rolls-Royce Sweptail
1. Bugatti – LA VOITURE NOIRE – $19 MILLION
KIA SELTO SUV advance booking crosses

john amber said...

I suggest all members choose assignment help Australia for the best guideline in your academia. The perfect and expert assistant your requirement and learning assignment project by the university.

john amber said...

Thank you for this wonderful information looking forward for more. We are Providing the best quality assignment help. You will find out finance assignment help service on firstassignmenthelp. And these services are very reliable, and they can provide information about any topic related to the academics. If you need any college level Assignment Help at reliable quality with better work. Kindly visit our website firstassignmenthelp.

Academic Assignment Writing said...

Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject.
accounting assignment writing service

VIP Girl in Pakistan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
VIP Girl in Pakistan said...

VIP Girl in Pakistan is one of the famous and VIP escorts agency in Islamabad. We are providing sexual needs in all over Islamabad and providing Escorts in Islamabad. If you want Vip, Teen, Young, hot and mature Islamabad Escorts you can contact us, We will provide you Independent Islamabad girls for sex, dating and for business party it’s the reason that our escorts agency in Islamabad is famous in all over Islamabad.
http://vipgirlinpakistan.com/

UK Dissertation Help said...

Hello Guys, Whole purpose of the Marketing Dissertation Help services is to form a product or service and explain the whole procedure of popularizing it within the trade and business business. Your selling thesis should be good because the business is continually changing and moving ahead. There are many students who stumble into having too big a marketing dissertation or having it too narrow.

Expo 2020 said...

Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.
rta bus timing

Online Casino said...

Online Casino Spielautomaten | Bestes Online Casino: Entdecken Sie Neue Online Casinos. Zum Casino Online >> Online Casino

HP Printer Supports said...

In HP printers WPS stands for "Wi-Fi protected setup" and one will not able to connect his printer to other devices without opening the WPS pin. So if you want to connect your printer through wireless medium and having trouble finding the WPS pin on your system then feel free to visit find WPS pin on HP printer.

Charlotte Noah said...


I'm very happy being Herpes free now. It was a sad incident that was announced to me after the check up in the hospital and I was diagnosed of HSV 2. I thank God now for using Dr.odey Abang to cure my virus. I'm not ashamed to say this because no virus of such can be detected in me. I'm Charlotte from Columbia. I thought about it many Times when I heard about this Herbal cures for Herpes. I was really happy when I came across blogs of comments of Doctors who run cures sicknesses and was comfortable to try Dr. Abang from patients testimony I came across here on my online page. I knew now they are real Africa herbalists who run cures for Herpes. There's every opportunity to be cure with natural herbs, because all medical prescriptions are derived from herbs and roots. Its really hard time living with Herpes on drugs which can't get you cure. I tried this and I can boost of myself now as a woman. I need to be loved not to lost, get your instant cure to all sicknesses from Dr, Odey Abang.
He cures HSV,HPV,Cancer,low spam count and much more from the evidence I saw 💯 % sure no site effects with active immune booster

Email him for you cure
Odeyabangherbalhome@gmail.com

Maira Smith said...

While using a computer, a laptop or any other peripheral device sometime users face some issue while using them. If you also came across some kind of problem while using an HP device. then no need to worry at all just visit HP support assistant or you can also Download Hp support assistant software for any kind of issue that you are facing.