Almost absent from the news flow today is the fact that Rubio took Puerto Rico in a landslide. FOX news has it in a ribbon at the bottom of the coverage of Nancy Reagan passing.
Rubio: 74.7 % Trump: 13.4 % Cruz: 8.7 % Kasich also ran... about 1.4 % IIRC
I’m mostly posting this just so that anyone not watching FOX 24 x 7 might come to actually know there was another primary today, that it was in Puerto Rico (who can’t vote in the Presidential Election, not being a State, but can vote in the Primary, as that’s party rules), and that Marco Rubio got it in a landslide.
This matters mostly due to Florida.
In the last couple of years, many Puerto Rican’s, especially the younger working age, have left for the mainland.
The departures of island-born Puerto Ricans have contributed to an uptick in the number of island-born Puerto Ricans living stateside, to 1.4 million in 2012, up from 1.3 million in 2000. The island born, however, are a smaller group than the faster-growing mainland-born Puerto Ricans, who numbered 3.4 million in 2012, up from 2 million in 2000.
As the island population has dwindled and the mainland population has grown, the number of stateside Puerto Ricans reached a record 4.9 million in 2012, and since at least 2006 has exceeded the number of Puerto Ricans on the island (3.5 million in 2012). Meanwhile, the overall population in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, including both Hispanics and non-Hispanics, declined to 3.6 million in 2013, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.
Few want to buy with the island in crisis mode. More than 1 in 10 people can’t find jobs and the government is deep in debt. Since Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, many are simply packing up and moving to Florida, Texas and other states.
The island has lost over 10% of its population — roughly 440,000 people — in the past decade. The exodus appears to be accelerating since the island defaulted for the first time ever in August.
“People are literally leaving their homes empty with the keys in the house,” says retiree Maria Milagros Rodriquez. They let the bank deal with it.
Many of those Puerto Ricans have moved to Florida making a vibrant community there. ( I found I really liked Puerto Rican food when living in Florida…)
Marco wants to win Florida. With such a big win in Puerto Rico, and add in the Cubano population, he’s got a large voting block in his camp. With this news, they will be more inclined to “make a statement” and vote Rubio.
(I suspect that Cruz is not so popular due to being born in Canada, having a strange quasi-Texas accent, and having at best mediocre Spanish. What I’ve heard of his Spanish sounds mighty Gringo to my ears… while Rubio is clear and auténtico.)
In short, this “amps up” the possibility of a Rubio win in Florida and it takes him out of the ‘zero wins’ box.
Puerto Rico also has 20 delegates, so it’s a non-trivial win.
This short article gives some background on the vote:
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (AP) – A deep economic crisis was on the minds of many voters in Sunday’s Republican primary in the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico.
Residents of the island cannot vote in the general election in November but they can take part in the party primaries. Voters in the GOP contest said in interviews that they want a U.S. president who will help the island emerge from a decade of recession and a debt crisis that threatens basic government services.
“We need a radical change,” 53-year-old Richard Suarez said as he waited to cast a ballot for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in Guaynabo, a city in the San Juan metropolitan area. “Otherwise, we’ll be stuck in the same situation and will have to keep asking the U.S. government for favors.”
Raul Octaviano, a 65-year-old retiree, declined to say which candidate he favored, but said it would be someone who would help the island deal with economic conditions so grim that tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans have moved to the mainland, mostly to Florida, in the largest exodus in decades.
As of now, the labor participation rate in Puerto Rico is 40%, while fully 20% of them work for the government. Yup, 1/5 the working labor force is employed by the government… That, plus other issues, are what has them in a death spiral. Can’t support 100% of the people on 32% in actual production and 8% dead weight government (and 60% a mix of retired government, other retired, welfare, etc. etc.)
is from 2013, but things have only gotten worse since then…
Oct. 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Puerto Rico is in serious trouble.
The economy has been in and out of recession, and at 13.5%, its unemployment rate is painfully high.
Last week, The Economist compared the island’s economic crisis to the situation to Greece as the country undergoes further rounds of austerity.
4) How did everything go so wrong?
The Puerto Rican economy has been in and out of recession since 2006, when an earlier fiscal crunch caused San Juan to shut down (yup, they’re an American territory alright). That was also the same year federal tax breaks for an experiment designed to pump up the island’s manufacturing sector expired.
But the island has never been terribly competitive. The island’s labor force participation hovers around 40%, and the public sector accounts for 20% of all employment.
The Great Recession did not help matters. Three Puerto Rican banks went under as the world’s travelers couldn’t afford to vacation to the island nation.
Everything came to a head this summer as unemployment hit a 2-year high and an index measuring Puerto Rican economic activity shrank 5.4% in August, the biggest drop since 2010, Bloomberg’s Michelle Kaske says.
That helped send bond yields spiking to record highs, triggering the current crisis.
I expect Sanders to do well in Puerto Rico as well…
Not much to add, really. Rubio won, and it is a win that matters as it sets up for a Florida improvement.
Puerto Rico is a beautiful place with some great folks, in a financial mess due to borrowing way more than they can ever repay. Now compounded by lack of production and the best and most productive moving off the island.
But perhaps all is not doom and gloom. I hope to visit Puerto Rico soon (a year?) and maybe even find a way to make some money out of it. Seems that they have passed a few laws to make it attractive as a ‘tax haven’ of sorts:
On January 17, 2012 the Puerto Rico government enacted Act #20 Export Services Act and Act #22 Individual Investors Act.
To enjoy the benefits granted under these Acts, you will need to apply for and obtain a tax decree under the applicable Act, and enter into a tax relief and investment contract which will be signed by the Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico. MOVETOPR assists clients with the tax decree application process and with other relocation needs and requirements.
The Export Services Act # 20, as amended on July 11 of 2012 includes the following incentives:
• 4% maximum corporate tax rate
• 100% tax exemption on dividends from export services businesses (for residents of Puerto Rico)
• 60% exemption from municipal license taxes
• Decree duration of 20 years, guaranteeing the benefits
• Individuals and corporations who “reside” in Puerto Rico are not subject to any US Federal taxation.
Act #22 to Promote the Relocation of Individual Investors provides that when an individual moves to Puerto Rico and becomes a “resident individual investor” (RII), this individual may enjoy significant tax advantages. The individual must be a Puerto Rico resident and must not have been a resident of Puerto Rico during the 15 years prior to January 17, 2012.
Any gain for investment appreciation that was accrued prior to becoming a RII will be taxed at: a) 10% if such gain is recognized within 10 years after the individual became a RII. b) 5% if the gains are recognized after the individual has been a RII for 10 years.
In addition, the law contemplates other tax benefits:
• No taxes on dividends
• No taxes on interest
• No taxes on short or long term capital gains
• As with the other laws, individuals and corporations who “reside” in Puerto Rico are not subject to any US Federal taxation.
Puerto Rico can be considered the only tax haven within the US jurisdiction. By taking full advantage of the current Puerto Rico tax law individuals and companies can reduce taxes, enjoy a Caribbean life style, and keep their US passport.
I’d only note that USA law says any US Citizen is still subject to US Federal Income Tax, so I’d be careful about “not subject to any US Federal taxation” and check it twice… I think it only applies to non-US Citizens.
So maybe living a while in Puerto Rico is in my future… While they are generally bi-lingual, so am I, and I’m very fond of the Caribbean style food. Housing is relatively cheap as is labor rates. With low costs, low taxes and good food and beaches, well, let’s just say I’m thinking about it…
Besides, now that the Son is married into a Puerto Rican linage, “I have family there”… even if only by marriage and a few generations back.
So “Go Rubio!”, and may Florida treat you well. And best of luck to Puerto Rico and the folks living there. IF the debt monster can be slain, and a bit of fiscal discipline followed for a while, it could be a great place.