"Free Trade", $35 billion a year in profits, A century of repression, austerity, Colonialism, electoral silencing of independence advocates, free mobility of capital, Hedge Funds, labor force participation rate, mass arrests, massacres, Neo-liberalism, Pete Dolack, pharmaceutical companies, Puerto Rico, super-profits, Systemic Disorder, The "financial industry", torture, United States
Everywhere it’s the same modus operandi: public debt underwritten by private sources used to curtail public expenditures so as to contract the economy, thereby creating crisis conditions for both the public sector and that of, in relative terms, small to medium sized businesses, to say nothing of the manner in which both rising unemployment and the threat of it depresses already woefully inadequate wages. The end game — as it has actually been since the time of the land enclosures in England — is the seizure of local assets, whether private or public. The result, in human terms, is the intolerable distress that comes from bankruptcy and joblessness and a foreclosed future.
Puerto Rico’s governor may have said the commonwealth’s debt is unpayable, but that doesn’t mean Puerto Ricans aren’t going to pay for it. Vulture capitalists are circling the island, ready to extract still more wealth from the impoverished island.
You already know the drill: Capital is sucked out by corporate interests that pay little in taxes, budget deficits grow and speculators swoop in to take advantage, leaving working people holding the bag. Already, the Puerto Rican government is considering imposing an 11 percent cut to Medicare and Medicaid for 2016 and more than 600 schools may be closed in the next five years on top of the 150 already closed by budget cuts.
To ensure more austerity, a group of hedge funds hired three former International Monetary Fund economists to issue a report on what Puerto Rico should do. And — surprise! — the report, released this week, says…
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