Ideas for Puerto Rico, Public debt, and its Future (translation)


This whole thing about Puerto Rico’s credit getting degraded is the talk of the week. I’m surprised, and frankly, pissed off at the few ideas both politicians and the media actually have. The keep talking about the “only solution”… Well, I have a few ideas, I think they’re good, and they can be implemented at both short and long-term. Politicians should stop talking crap and start using their brains. That is what they’re paid for anyway.

  1. Legalize marijuana completely. Stop joking around with this. It won’t kill you and it could be a gigantic source of new income that doesn’t come out of your pocket, but out of the already existing underground economy. Moneys spent in court and stupid pot head cases could be saved. Also we can grow hemp for ropes, cloth, oil, and medicine.
  2. Fundraising for Debts. Politicians are experts at conducting fundraisers for their political parties and make a huge buck. Let’s invest that time and energy towards fundraising money to pay the debt and help the people. Local artists can donate their talent and time. Concerts, auctions of local art, etc.
  3. Schools should administer themselves and be by district instead of administered by a central office. That money should go towards teachers, materials, and the schools.
  4. Freeze all government salaries immediately. Mayors can’t keep doubling their salaries and raising payments to their friends at the electric company. Seriously, the county isn’t doing good. Everybody has to give!
  5. Stop giving tax credit.  5a. Make it easy to do business in Puerto Rico. It should be the same for foreign companies as well as locals. Let it be easy and cheap to do business here at the bottom level (meaning less permits and license fees that are really high and slow down the process) so that there are more earnings at the net level. Net earnings are the logical things to tax anyway. Sure there will always be some evasion, whatever, if there are more businesses contributing, there is more. What we need is a lot of small businesses and some bigger all putting their share in the pot.
  6. Extended Home Room. From 10th grade on our students need to start learning and understanding about how the government works, global economy, legislation, bonds, credit, etc. These are things we should all understand. I suggest we use an extended period during Home Room to read and openly discuss 1 current news every morning.  They should be pertinent to local or international current events of importance, government issues, economy, social responsibility, etc.  This kind of dynamic will help enhance knowledge and critical thinking in the future voters of Puerto Rico. That’s something very important in order to avoid putting the same charlatans in power in the future.

That’s it for this round. I will continue to explore and share ideas. I would love to hear other ones. Got any?

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Ideas pro Puerto Rico, deuda y Futuro


Esto de la degradación del crédito de Puerto Rico está caliente. Me sorprende y francamente me encojona las pocas ideas que tienen los medios y los políticos. Pues yo tengo muchas y son buenas y se pueden implementar a corto y largo plazo. Aquí van. Dejen de hablar mierda y pongan a usar su cerebro que por algo les pagan.

1. Legalización full de la marihuana. Dejen el chiste. No mata a nadie y puede ser una fuente gigante de recursos nuevos que no salen del bolsillo de uno sino de la economía subterránea. A eso liberamos dinero invertido en cortes y casos estúpidos contra mafuteros. Además se puede cultivar el hemp para sogas, ropa, aceite, y medicina.

2. Fundraising pro deuda. Los políticos se la pasan haciendo fundraising para los partidos y sacan un billetal. Pues inviertan en el fundraising para el pueblo y que los recaudos sean para pagar la deuda. El talento local puede donar tiempo y/o algún arte. Subastas de artesanías locales, conciertos de artistas, etc.

3. Las escuelas por distritos que se administran ellas mismas en lugar de ser administradas por oficina central. Ese dinero debe invertirse en los maestros, materiales y plantas físicas.

4. Congelar absolutamente TODOS los sueldos de gobierno. Ningún alcalde puede estar duplicando sus salarios ni dando aumentos a los panitas en la AEE. Mano, en serio, andamos mal. Todo el mundo tiene que ceder.

5. Déjense de estar dando crédito contributivo de casi todo a las corporaciones foráneas y demás.

5a. Faciliten el negociar en Puerto Rico. Para corporaciones locales por igual que las extranjeras, grandes o pequeñas. Que sea fácil y barato hacer negocios aquí, pero le cobran taxes a sus ganancias. Mientras más económico el negocio abajo (es decir, menos permisos y pagos y licencias que cuestan un montón y atrasan y encarecen el negocio) más ganancia genera. La ganancia es lo que sobra y es lo más apropiado para el tax. Sí, whatever, la evasión, pero si hay más negocios participando hay más recaudos y eso es lo que queremos: Que hayan MUCHOS negocios pequeños y otros grandes y todos estén aportando.

6. Salón Hogar Extendido. Nuestros jóvenes de 10mo en adelante necesitan entender de gobierno, economía global, legislación, bonos, créditos, etc. Son cosas que todos debemos entender. Sugiero que durante el salón hogar de las escuelas se escoja una noticia para leer y discutir todas las mañanas. Deben ser noticias pertinentes a lo que ocurre en el país y el mundo actualmente. Esto fomentaría el conocimiento y pensamiento crítico en los futuros electores de Puerto Rico. Algo sumamente importante para evitar seguir poniendo los mismos changos en la silla.

Bueno, eso es todo por esta tanda. Continuaré la exploración de ideas. Me encantaría escuchar otras buenas ideas. ¿Tienen?

Economic Slavery


The economy is dwindling, apparently all over the world. Why? Frankly, I find global economy to be one of the most perplexing subjects to discuss. To this day, I don’t feel I truly understand it. However, from observing how things seem to be working in this day and age, the conclusion about economy looms over my head like a vulture. Why is everything so upside down?

My conclusion is that it all stems from slavery. Oh yes! Slavery was the economic pillar with which the entire economy of the America’s was established. Huge vast stretches of land just waiting to be conquered and cultivated. In came the slaves. It was so easy having all these able-bodied people working hard on the land so the landowners could make loads of money while sipping their tea. So easy, that a whole war was fought in order to keep it.

Slaves received homes, food, and 0 rights in exchange for their hard physical work… And then slavery was abolished. Suddenly all those workers who had 0 education had no place to live and no food to eat. The landowners had to dish out payments to the slaves and the slaves had to pay for their homes and food. Slavery didn’t really end. The landowners kept enslaving the workers by lending them money. Now, they worked in order to pay off their debt. Since the debt never ended, they could never stop working. Someone please tell me how this is different from now? Isn’t everyone up to their noses in debt and unable to retire and quit their jobs because of it? Slavery.

And what did the smarter or simply different business owners do? They outsourced their production to countries where “slavery” was more acceptable (ex. China, India, Thailand, etc.) Anyone ever heard of a sweat shop? These countries provide the cheapest paid service available, equaling it to slavery… almost… kind of.

So, just like in slavery times, things are produced by poorly paid people with very few rights or commodities. The business owners then take their cheaply produced products and sell them with a 500% profit margin to everybody else. In my head, it is reminiscent of sugar and cotton plantation times. Nothing much has changed. Businesses still wish they didn’t have to pay their workers and will do anything in their power to reduce costs at this level. Nobody hires anymore, it’s all freelance now. And yet somehow, the big companies are buying the little ones, making vast amounts of money for the shareholders while everyone else gets poorer. How? Because it’s a slavery economy.

You know what the worst part is? We keep buying their slavery produced items that we don’t need, enslaving ourselves at a higher level, but enslaving us none the less. It’s time to truly abolish slavery.

Heart Attack Caused by Bloomberg TV


Last night at around 11pm (rough estimate) I think I had a heart attack. It was a Bloomberg TV video link. I hear the words “Puerto Rico debt… default… reverse prediction” of course I start tuning in. It was a post from that very same day. Oh oh! More crappy news about our economic situation that will make everything worse. Yeah! I thought it was just a bad report, until a hear a very familiar voice.

Oh no! Our current Governor of Puerto Rico Alejandro García Padilla is on American TV. Brace  yourselves people, this promises to be an interesting ride. Note interesting includes from mild amusement to permanent brain damage from a heart attack or violent body spasms reflecting your whole being’s rejection of reality.

The problem is not that he speaks with an accent. Anybody who speaks a second language has an accent. The problem is the man cannot construct a cohesive sentence in the language and refuses to use an interpreter. If you refuse to use an interpreter, then damn it, take some English lessons!

With every stutter, I felt my heart stop. I leaned into the computer struggling to understand him. What did he say? I wonder if his interviewer understands. Did he say “farmine industry”? What is that? (I think he meant pharmaceutical… I think)

I don’t think she understood him, or perhaps she hadn’t done enough research, but even though the constitution does guarantee paying of debts, it only guarantees 10 of those 70. He says they’ll close the government first. How reassuring!

Then the Governor starts to stutter again and it almost sounds like he’s trying to do a Puerto Rico tourism commercial.  Good idea, since according to her “all they have is tourism”.

This morning, the nausea and pain returned as I was reminded by every single post on Facebook. A ranting blog post ensued.

Here’s the video link people. Might as well laugh a bit.

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/puerto-rico-has-no-liquidity-problem-governor-says-Gs_JUSQqRCKMEBD9IcqB~w.html

The Expensive Side Effects of Rules


Life is expensive. At least, it is so in developed countries. But why does life have to be so expensive in one place, and so cheap in another? The problem must lie in the place of residence itself. So what is it about the United States of America and Puerto Rico that makes life so costly? The answer is obvious: The Government. After all, they set the rules. Right?

When I compare life in the 80’s to now I notice a tendency: There are more rules. And with every new rule the Government makes, comes a new expense for the people. Because the rules either impose a monetary sanction for doing something wrong, or not doing something at all, for example a seatbelt ticket, or the rule requires a person to have  a permit or certification for doing something. And that permit costs you money.  And sometimes they make you renew that permit yearly, or quarterly, or whatever. Making you yet again spend more money.

For example, the rules make it really expensive to “properly” care for a child. They make you vaccinate your child for stupid things like Chicken Pox and spend ridiculous amounts of money on them only to have them tell you, they’ve been held off because their contaminated, or 5 years later you need a booster because people have been getting sick despite the vaccine. What? So you made me give him something that wasn’t even properly researched? And it cost like a $100 dollars? And for what? Me and everybody else I knew from childhood got it and nobody died; nobody got any permanent damage. What’s the point of it then?

In addition to that, the list grew in 5 years (the difference between my two children). Suddenly I had to give the little one vaccines I never had or the older one never had. Hmmmm… If I opt not to vaccinate, I need an affidavit from a lawyer stating why. That costs more money too. So I don’t have to as long as I pay?

Then there’s the car seats. They make you have to have one. They cost like $100 and they EXPIRE. Yes people. The plastic things expire, making you have to buy a new one after a certain amount of time. WTF? And if you don’t have one, what do they do? They make you pay money. It’s not, “leave your car here and we will transport you and your child safely”. It’s “just pay more money and go ahead and have an accident. If you do, we’ll just make you pay more money again”. (This is the same attitude they have with seat belts.)

Then there’s school. For some reason they decided school should end at 3pm. But now a days everyone has to work until 5 or 6pm? What do you do with them between those hours? You need to spend more money on extended care or a nanny. Brilliant!

So let’s say you decided to open up your own business in order to avoid these costs. The Government requires a ridiculous list of permits in order for you to do that. And what happens if you operate your business without the permits? They make you pay.

How devoid of creativity! Their only options of punishment are either pay or lock you up. Subliminally it even sends the message that money is THAT important. So it seems the laws are all wrong. They’re the ones making our lives expensive. They are also the ones establishing the moral code we are to follow. I find it a bit out of whack that when someone who steals money gets caught, they go to jail for 20 years, but when someone who rapes gets caught, they only go for only 5 (or child molesters, for that matter). It tells the world stealing is worse than raping, and I’m not so sure about that.

So the point of the whole rant is that we really need to evaluate our laws. If we aim to reduce our costs, we must do so at the root. What’s with all the rules and requirements and expenses?

I could go on… There’s a lot more where this is concerned. What do you guys think? The other day I read some states don’t allow people to collect rain water. Again more fines if you do… This list is probably endless.

What Ever Happened to The Milkman?


The other day I was having coffee with my parents and I don’t really remember how, but suddenly the milkman was mentioned. Having thought of the idea already, I mentioned that we should “bring back the milkman;” that I could really use some “fresh milk at my door 2 to 3 times a week.”

I fantasize about grocery delivery on a regular basis. I have two kids and they down a gallon of milk in two to three days! The late night trips to the store for morning milk are countless, and so I dream of waking in the morning to find fresh milk at my doorstep, delivered by a unseeming angel in a truck. It can’t be that far off. After all, the milkman came to my house when I was a child… It wasn’t THAT long ago!

My mother quickly argues that it would be “too expensive” to pay so many drivers, etc. To which I respond with: “It’s more expensive to have them unemployed.” My dad agrees with me. His “ok” quiets my mom and I actually get to argue my case.

BRING BACK THE MILKMAN PLEASE!

The milkman used to bring milk every other day or so (I don’t really remember exactly) in glass jars. He would leave them in a crate by the side door of the house, two or three bottles (again I’m not too certain). My mom would leave the empty glass bottles from the previous delivery outside the night before. The norm was to reuse the bottles. These things were boiled and sterilized so nobody got sick from it.

The simple concept of the milkman represents exactly what Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is all about. Reusing the glass bottles basically generates zero (0) trash. The bottles are in constant continuous use. If one should break, the glass can be recycled. The way it is now, every time I buy milk I produce a plastic bottle of trash. In one week, I amass about 4 to 5 gallon bottles. Sure they are recyclable, but why should we process all that trash, when we don’t really have to? Recycling trash is expensive.

With regular delivery I get FRESH milk, not something that has been sitting in a fridge for two weeks and is on the verge of turning sour. With regular delivery, I don’t have to run out for milk every so often; or buy two gallons of milk to save myself a trip.  Regular delivery also means less wasted milk. The milkman would just be awesome!

Of course these people need to be paid, but it is better to pay someone to do something than to pay them to do nothing, as welfare does. There are plenty of big trucks delivering milk anyway. This way, the whole process would go micro. More, yet smaller delivery units. More jobs, better service!

So what ever happened to the milkman? Why did he stop coming? In the ever-present hope of making everything cheaper someone decided to off the guy. In Puerto Rico we had a commercial that said the following slogan: “Lo barato sale caro” (cheap things turn out expensive). I think it’s true. Eliminating the milkman made it more expensive. We’re up to $6.00 a gallon. Nothing is actually getting any cheaper, and yet they keep trying to bring down costs. The amounts of trash are copious. We need to bring back the milkman now!