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'Fighting for Their People,' Puerto Rico's Faith Leaders Condemn Austerity


#1


#2

Austerity, Economic: Impoverishing a country to make it rich. Based on the theory that taking money out of an economy strengthens the economy, like the medieval belief that bloodletting strengthens the ill.


#3

I lived in Puerto Rico several years ago and the stark contrast between the haves and have-nots was astonishing and heartrending; not unlike several cities I have visited in Mexico: Guadalajara, Mexico. DF, Nogales, Ixtapa-Zihuantanejo, Merida, etc. The poverty and living conditions were inhumane, especially when many of the impoverished faced the laps of luxury occupied by their "employers" who criminally underpaid them. The World Bank, GATT, U S Banks, and NAFTA are the world's gangsters preying on countries (and their populace) with the least means to oppose them and their parasitism.

The term "protectorate" applied to PR by the U S is an absolute misnomer and oxymoron. No one needs that kind of "protection."

To see the clergy coming to the aid of the victimized is restorative and I hope their pleas are taken to heart by the string-pullers.


#4

The tragedy of this era in the US is that even liberals have supported the austerity agenda, and Democrats have been the ones who are rolling it out, from the bottom up. The US has simply taken a different approach, implementing the austerity agenda incrementally, from the bottom up. Our welfare "reform" is a striking example of austerity measures, and liberals have responded by ignoring the consequences (i.e., the destroyed lives, the falling life expectancy of the US poor, etc.).

Right now, the rich are doing to the middle class what the middle class did to the poor -- often, interestingly, using the same "justifications," and all in the name of austerity.


#5

Why would we care what happens to the poor in Puerto Rico when we don't care about the poor here in the States?


#6

Please! why does everyone refuse to see the wood in the trees?
There is one, and only one, cause of all our economic woes. During the early 1900's our stupid/corrupt politicians signed away our Sovereign "rights" , that allowed us to print and issue our own interest free, debt free money; and since then we have all become "debt slaves". Our rights to print and issue our own money out of thin air were ceded to private banking Corporations, thus now, we borrow all our money from them, and they simply print it out of thin air, and charge us interest for the privilege. Given the nature of our economic cycles, the booms and busts, it is virtually impossible for us ever to repay all such debts, especially since, when they print our borrowings, they do not also print the money to cover the interest repayments. This particular economic consequence was recorded centuries ago in the well known fable about the boy who possessed a goose that laid "golden" eggs; he sold the goose for a paltry sum and forever thereafter he was destitute.

The remedy for our problems is simple; we abrogate any agreement previously made, reclaim our Sovereign "rights" to print and issue our own debt free interest free money.

This will enable us to stop income-taxing of individuals; we may pay everyone that needs it a social wage, based on a break even computation, this will eliminate poverty and deprivation; those in receipt of the Social wage will be encouraged into employment, without loss of this Social wage, and to work for any employer for additional income, mutually agreed between them. this gives control of work and income to the "workman". Employers will gain a workforce of people willing to accept much lower wages than previously paid, thus making the employer production cost significantly lower; plus, the employer no longer collects taxes for the Government. The employer Corporation/business will pay tax annually as usual. The collection of V.A.T. or G.S.T., consumer taxes will cease.

All Government expenditures will be provided by the planned issue of our own debt free interest free money using legislation approved by Parliament. Health, Education, University courses, Infrastructure of all kinds, etc. etc.

Provided that all of these expenditures are actually "spent" into circulation they will not create inflation; inflation will occur, for instance, when too much money chases too few "goods". The Government must own and run it's own Bank, just like the original Commonwealth Bank. No Private Bank or Corporation will be permitted to create money, under any guise; our financial system will revert to one of "sound " money. Sound money is that which turns around sound borrowing and lending, controlled by being liquid cash, backed by the ownership of assets, and strict criteria keeping them in balance; borrowing and lending outside of these criteria, characterised as "high risk", will be permitted between parties willing to accept such risk, and then, only when it involves their own wholly owned assets.

Interest rates in the private sector will be set by the private sector. The floating exchange rate will be converted into "fixed" rates decided by Government, and as decided between Sovereign Nations and embodied in trade agreements. Our currency will not be traded on "Exchanges", our Nation will be immunised against the manipulated predations of the "Market".

The foregoing explains the broad brush strokes involved, but in summary we would have a Nation with little or no foreign debt, a Nation whose domestic economy sits on a solid unshakeable base, a Nation better able to compete in the wider World, a Nation without poverty whose peoples are empowered to think and work for themselves, a Nation rescued from the avarice of the "Money Lenders", and above all, a Government able to be free and Independent, instead of being owned by Corporate money and influence. This is named "The Universal Economy" because it will operate anywhere.

For those who doubt the efficacy of this proposal, I suggest they study the United States example. The clever banking Corporations engineered the U.S. dollar to be the Worlds reserve currency. Ever since the U.S. has been printing money out of thin air, the only Nation to do so, now they have military bases in more than one hundred and seven Nations, they have engineered regime change and wars in countless Nations, and recently have printed trillions of dollars, called quantitative easing, and poured it into foreign banks and financial Institutions trying to prevent the next meltdown; but it is not working because their printed money was not spent into circulation, instead it inflated the prices of shares and real estate, the bust cometh.


#7

They just need to declare independence and go their own way.


#8

The markets will set the rates no matter what "fixed" rate is come up with. Fixed rates simply will not work. Witness Venezuela's fixed rate of 6.2 Bolivar's to the dollar, and the unofficial rate of 700 Bolivar's to the dollar, leading to vast arbitrage opportunities for those with access to dollars.


#9

Puerto Rico's "Faith Leaders" should be condemning overpopulation.

Even in 1960, Puerto Rico's population density was one of the highest in the world, 12X that of the continental US. Yet the RC Church continued to condemn birth control.

Today there are something like 5M Puerto Ricans in the US, and only 3M in PR itself, yet the island's population, thanks to the RCC and other exploitative natalist forces, remains unsupportable by the island itself.


#10

Faith leaders? Oh you mean they believe that if you pray to a magical sky deity everything will be okay. And you go to them for economic advise because?....

Also they tell people to have more children because that is the purpose of god's plan. Meanwhile resources are gone, but hey, just keep praying.


#11

It's almost as if math is real.


#12

"Which non-territorial option do you prefer?
Statehood

61.16%
Free Association

33.34%
Independence

5.49%
There were 515,348 blank and invalidated ballots counted alongside the 1,363,854 ballots which indicated a choice for one of the non-territorial alternatives. Under Puerto Rico Law, these ballots are not considered cast votes and are therefore not reflected in the final tally.[1]"

The above from Wikipedia on the 2012 Referendum. If Puerto Rico were to become a state, based on population, Puerto Rico would have about 7 electoral votes, the same as Connecticut. Its population would rank it either 29th or 30th, according to the last census. But if I recall these issues are still quite volatile in Puerto Rico, but the status quo is unsustainable.