Today marks a historic moment. Today, May 1st, with the multiple work stoppages, boycotts, and demonstrations against the Governor's plans to lay-off 30,000 government employees, we are officially declaring Puerto Rico to be Socialist state.
Why else would so many same people reject reducing a government that is so large it's size is only dwarfed by that of California. Now let's consider this for a moment. California is estimated to have 36,756,666 residents. According to a recent article in the Dia, they have 394,000 government employees, or about 1.07% of all citizens. Puerto Rico on the other hand has an estimated population of 3,927,776 and has 300,000 government employees, or about 7.6%. What about other states?
- Texas = 282,000/23,904,380 or 1.17%
- New York = 249,000/19,297,729 or 1.29%
- Florida = 191,000/18,251,243 or 1.04%.
Disclaimer: I am not immune to the hardship caused by eliminating government jobs, but the fact of the matter is that if we do not DRASTICALLY REDUCE the size of our government, no amount of stimulus spending or economic development can ever rescue us from a catacylismic destruction of wealth in Puerto Rico.
Socialism is simply defined as a society where the government owns more than just manpower (the 300,000 workers). Staying with that simple definition here are the reasons why Puerto Rico is a Socialist society:
- The government is the biggest employer (by far)
- They own the water and sewer company
- They own the power company
- And they still own 10% of the telephone company.
Who's in the bubble now?
It is estimated that only about 29% of all eligible workers file a planilla. In general numbers, 4 million residents equals about 2 million eligible workers, equals about 580,000 planillas. If 300,000 are from the government employees themselves, then really you have a mere 280,000 workers funding the government. Of course we need to add in business tax income and the IVU.
With a contraction of the global economy on the heels of the elimination of generous tax benefits, bona-fide businesses and jobs are disappearing from Puerto Rico at such an alarming and consistent rate that our economy is in chaos. In the past three years alone it is estimated that the tax collections have missed their target by more than $2.7 billion, with another 800 million (it'll be more) deficit expected for 2009.
And yet, I've not heard any journalist, nor any politician, come forward and state the grotesque truth. We are socialists and are incapable of facing the "facts" that our government is 6 times the size it should be.
Let's say that anyone who doesn't recognize this is John Travolta. They should be VERY AFRAID that their bubble is about to burst. Someone with authority needs to step forward and lay out the facts. No matter how disgusting, nor matter the wailing and gnashing of teeth, if we don't dramatically reduce our government, the credit agencies will eventually downgrade our government bonds to junk, and then the proverbial fecal matter will really hit the fan.