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Coffee and the Shock Doctrine in Puerto Rico


Coffee and the Shock Doctrine in Puerto Rico

John Vandermeer, Ivette Perfecto

In Naomi Klein’s framework, The Shock Doctrine is the well-worn strategy of capitalist development in the “shock” mode. Part of this framework contends that in the aftermath of disasters, capitalists will descend, purchasing land and other capital goods at basement bottom prices, using their deep pockets to undercut anything or anyone who would strive to relieve the hardship. Why?


I didn’t understand this from the story: WHY in 1998 did Congress get rid of business incentives having to do with taxes for Puerto Rico-----why did CONGRESS end this? What Congress people voted for this and why did they?
I am also wondering if any people who enter Congress , afterwards leave Congress owning close to what they owned before entering---------OR do too many of them leave a l=whole lot richer?


This sounds like efficiency to me. Over the last 200 years Big agriculture has freed up 79% of the human population to do things other than weed fields and shovel manure. That’s a GOOD thing.

Mabey it will bring Purto Rico closer the 21st century.


stardustIBID, section 936 was labelled an “expensive giveaway” by congress because it exempted US companies from paying federal taxes. It lasted about 20 yrs. before they eliminated it. Not sure if either party pushed this or both voted for it.
Most members of congress leave with much more wealth than they came with. Members of congress are not prosecuted for insider trading, and many take advantage of this, you can imagine how much information they receive.


Thank you ReconFire… a clarity! : )


We might bring up the same subject that Cuba and China bring up to the UN each session: Why didn’t the US grant Puerto Rico independence back in 1898? Like they had for Cuba. Why didn’t the US grant Puerto Rico independence back in the early 1950s, when the FALN was demanding it? Why doesn’t the US grant Puerto Rico independence now?

And how would Puerto Rico’s economic situation be different now if any of those what-if-s had happened or do happen?

And a side word on those Wall Street Vultures. They purchased those bonds quite cheap, for rather less than 22 cents on the dollar, from people who feared that they would get nothing at all. If the vultures did get 22 cents on the dollar they would make enough money to continue their business. It is typical for borrowers advocates to demonize the vultures and demand that the vultures receive nothing on the bonds they hold.
– If that happened, then the risk on all bonds would go up (called ‘contagion’), and so would the interest charged on them, and several issuers would be unable to sell bonds, either because the credit ratings have gotten tougher and they aren’t considered good risks to pay back the loans, or because they can’t afford the interest rate.
– There is a ‘good’ element to that. Such issuers would have to finance their development themselves, from their own taxation and internal borrowing, a slower process, but then they wouldn’t owe anything to Wall Street, London’s City or anyone else and would 100% own what they have developed, owing only their own people.