Puerto Rico Employment and Jobs - A Classic Myth Retold

I am a proud supporter of Abre Puerto Rico.  I fundamentally believe that the only way we can influence our future is understanding the facts about how we live now.

Take for example the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They maintain a tool called the Economy At A Glance(1). I've used it here many times to help explain my observations. For me, it cuts through all political propaganda. Which brings me to today's myth.

Let's play a game.  It is November 2012, and the candidate Alejandro Garcia Padilla has stated that, if elected, he will add 50,000 "new" jobs within 6 months.  Now flash forward to right now.  Did he meet his campaign promise? Here's one take...

It seems pretty clear, that in terms of net employment, it's been all downhill.

At least, until September 2014.  That sounds good, looking from here, but with the recent loss of both Radio Shack and Doral, I doubt we will see additional growth.

Lump in the confusion about the IVA and the Crude Oil tax, and it doesn't look good for the Governor.  No wonder he's in such a rush to implement the IVA, the dude's got to do something.  His administration is bleeding jobs and employees.  According the Puerto Rico Government Development Bank, the employment and participation rates are near record lows.

While, Garcia Padilla claimed that said 50,000 new employees were added, he didn't ever really claim it was going to be net growth, did he?

That takes me back to my old cellphone accounting days, when business success was measured in three ways, new additions, net subscribers and the churn.  Subscriber additions and cancellations were important, but also misleading.  In order to have the true performance of the wireless company, we had to look at overall net subscriber growth.  The same goes for el pais.

A Myth Revealed

So, based on the data, we can conclude that Garcia Padilla misled us.  Shock! Gasp!  Politicians lie!  I know, right? It's a political truism.

President Obama said he was going to close Guantanamo Bay prison, I guess he was lying. We all acknowledge that this happens a lot and use the results to fit our needs.

Political junkies, like me, know that fulfilling campaign promises is a complicated affair.  Sometimes they are possible, but to steal one of the master's lines, sometimes there are the unknown unknowns.  Things that you were clueless about during your campaign, and well, sometimes they are immutable; they simply must be accepted as is, and thank you very much, we'll be moving on now...

And still!  Still!  We act as the things that politician's say are true.  We act as though everything coming out of their mouths, is fait accompli.  And we're shocked when what they say, turns out to be nothing more than propaganda.  What to know my favorite joke?

Want to know when a politician is lying?  When he moves his(her) lips.

(1) Super Pro Gold Tip:  Looking to move to a state in the fine US of A? The Economy At A Glance is just the tool for you.  Available for all 50 states and, duh, the territories, too; it's the tool for you.

Use the Economy At A Glance (EAG) to research possible destinations.  Want to know which state unemployment rates are the lowest? EAG!  Want to know which state has the most IT jobs? EAG! Bon voyage!