My latest for NBC Latino.
Originally posted on NBC Latino:
It took me three days to absorb the rather sobering and depressing story in Sunday’s Washington Post about the ongoing economic crisis in Puerto Rico. The article basically summed up what I have always known from family, friends and conversations with island experts and politicians: Puerto Rico is bleeding.
Consider some of the more stark statistics from the article:
- The loss of 54,000 residents from 2010 to 2012, a 1.5 percent drop in population.
- A drop in population of 138,000 residents since 2006, bringing the island’s current population to 3.7 million.
- A $70 billion debt that is raising comparisons to Detroit.
- $37 billion in pension obligations that are not funded.
The story paints a picture of a sinking island, one with no way out. But lost in all the numbers and tales of woe, is a very perceptive analysis by Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner and a non-voting member of Congress. When asked to share his thoughts, Pierluisi said the following: