Talk for Article "“It’s a social crisis, an economic crisis” – the dimensions to Puerto Rico’s disaster"

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    My bias: I have a couple friends in Puerto Rico, and I’ve been talking with them intermittently since the island lost power.

    A couple points: the incentives for the island meant that industries grew, and infrastructure was built to support them. Pharmaceuticals is a good example. When the incentives changed, much was pulled out, but these were not industries that left sites/equipment that were easy to “pivot” to new industries. Thus, rearranging the whole economy around new industries became a very difficult process.

    Since the incentives have changed, we have seen many professional and skilled citizens leaving the island for the mainland (for example Orlando and NYC). This has a further drain in that skilled workers are in lesser supply to deal with the problems that arise.

    It may also be interesting to point out the changes in the three major political movements (stay-the-same, independence, and statehood), as these events have pushed the issue.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Todd, thanks that’s interesting. I was loath to get bogged down too much in historical reasons for Puerto Rico’s slump but am open to changes if you feel the piece is inaccurate without these details. I would also be interested in doing a more up-to-date piece on how the recovery is going, and perhaps whether it has been affected by the power play between the federal government, island government and oversight board. Would be interested in further thoughts or contributions.

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