Puerto Rico - Statehood and attack on the Jones Act


#1

As I am sure others have been following what is being put out as news concerning Puerto Rico and them wanting to go back to being a Sovern Nation plus the usual B.S. about the Big Bad Jones Act!

As has been mentioned in other posts, there are a lot of costs that do / should remain the same when it comes to getting products to outlying areas. The cost of fuel is one but another is the cost of the Longshoremen / Dockworkers which in some cases is one of the more expensive costs. Plus let’s not forget the largest expense, Corporate Profits! I am sure that any savings would not be seen on the shelves but rather, the share holders or owners would see larger profits. These expenses are usually forgotten about when the Jones Act is under attack.

Now as for Puerto Rico, I worked in Puerto Rico back in the 90’s and got to know some of the “Locals”. What really surprised me was the either you had men and women that worked very hard trying to better their lives or you had those that worked just long enough to get government benefits and then got fired. Also, as being a non-Spanish speaker, I was not treated very well. I remember checking out at a Walmart and having the cashier speak only Spanish to me until the gentleman with me began to tell me what she was saying. She quickly switched to English once she knew that he was going to translate for me. Now, I have traveled to many Countries and totally understand that it is up to me to know the Local Language and never expected them to know English but when it came to the locals in Puerto Rico they seemed to enjoy screwing with me until they found out that I would know what was being said. This happened more that once. Please understand that I am not saying that all of the people were like this. There were many very nice people that I met there and still consider some of them friends.

Also, there was a very wide split on how they feel about either becoming a State or going back to being a Sovern Entity. As far as I am concerned, Let the GO! With the way the politicians run things, I do not see things ending well for them and why it should OUR Problem to keep them afloat after them deciding to be there own country.

My personal feels are the them go!


#2

Puerto Rico has voted against going several times over the years. They have also voted against seeking statehood.

They will never vote to go because they are completely addicted to the US welfare system. They are not going to give up Benefits like: U.S. citizenship, the right to live and work anywhere in the US, social security, disability, unemployment insurance, food stamps, WIC, Obamacare, etc.

If they voted to go, they would quickly become one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, right down there with Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. It will never happen.

You are quite correct that the cost of goods on the shelves in Puerto Rico would not drop at all if those goods were shipped on foreign ships.


#3

Puerto Rico $70 billion in debt and has partially defaulted already. The citizenry will be unable to withstand the harsh economic reality of sovereignty. I doubt they go anywhere, unless we cut them loose.


#4

This is why PR wants the status quo. If they were a state they would pay more taxes, if they were independent they would be 3rd world in no time flat. They would be like Columbia at the hight of the coke wars quickly.


#5

If they were to become sovereign what would happen to their individual citizenship. Would they all still be US citizens anyway. I don’t think we’ve ever revoked citizenship.


#6

Philippines. Twice actually. Both times without individuals’ consent.


#7

But in today’s world how do you decide who it applies to? By birthplace and if so what about all the Puerto Rican born who now reside in the US.

I’m all for cutting them out, or them becoming a state either way something definitely needs to change in our relationship with them. I just think it’s going to be extremely complicated.


#8

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;171863]But in today’s world how do you decide who it applies to? By birthplace and if so what about all the Puerto Rican born who now reside in the US.

I’m all for cutting them out, or them becoming a state either way something definitely needs to change in our relationship with them. I just think it’s going to be extremely complicated.[/QUOTE]

I say let them become an independent sovereign nation…they have nothing they provide us or to the world in general. They are nothing but another Dominican Republic or Cuba on their own so let them go and cut all the Federal expenditures they get. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say!

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and they can then use all the miserable unseaworthy decrepit pieces of shit vessels to bring them their rice and beans


#9

There isn’t going to be any change in the status of Puerto Rico.

It’s almost always a mistake to give up control of territory, especially when it’s right next door.

If they become "independent, Putin, the Chinese, and Iran will be there to “help them” the next week.

Do we want a US State where Spanish is the official language? I don’t think so.


#10

1)Well, as the links I posted on the El Faro thread indicate, it is not just Puerto Rico – Hawaii is also lobbying to be exempt from the Jones Act. Where is the President from?

  1. It’s is interesting that the El Faro story has largely disappeared from the news --until the $100 million lawsuit was filed. And yet both the conservative National Review and liberal New York Times published stories a few days ago against the Jones Act. The National Review story was strongly attacked by Maritime Executive. The Oct 14 New York Times story was reprinted in the Seattle Times yesterday (heads up, Saltchuk).
  1. Meanwhile, the lowly sailing community sends in this video of a recent secret meeting in Washington:
  1. The $100 million lawsuit is interesting. The law firm has to know that it is wasting time (hence money) unless
    it can meet the requirement of the Liability Limitation Act and PROVE negligence by Tote Shipping. Maritime law is
    different from ambulance chasing on land. So why did they file? Is the suit a vehicle for a political agenda?

#11

PS The New York Times followed up its Oct 14 story with another one yesterday – re problems on the El Yunque:


#12

[QUOTE=Carruthers;171900]1)
4) The $100 million lawsuit is interesting. The law firm has to know that it is wasting time (hence money) unless
it can meet the requirement of the Liability Limitation Act and PROVE negligence by Tote Shipping. Maritime law is
different from ambulance chasing on land. So why did they file? Is the suit a vehicle for a political agenda?[/QUOTE]

In my experience with maritime lawsuits, which spans about 20 years, the validity of a maritime injury or death lawsuit is of little importance. The unrealistic dollar amount of $100 million is a common psychological ploy by the plaintiff’s lawyer, simply meant to send a signal to the defendant, which is: “I intend to sue you for a lot of money. Or, we can settle out of court for a tiny fraction of that amount, quietly and without admission of guilt on your part. If you want to go through the whole legal dance you’ll probably win, but you will rack up $$$ in lawyer’s hours, court reporters, court costs , etc. in excess of the amount of the settlement. Since you’re a businessman, do the business-like thing and cut your losses. Give us the settlement. Oh, and remember that in the deposition process we may find some dirt that will mean [B]BIG[/B] bucks for us. Maybe–just maybe–there’ll be enough dirt where we [I]will[/I] get $100 million in a court decision! More likely, we’ll find dirt that will allow us to identify another plaintiff which we can advise to sue you for something completely different. $500k here, $700k there–after awhile it amounts to real money…Do you, the defendant, really want to roll the dice this way? Depositions, my friend, are like Easter egg hunts–you never know what goodies you’ll find. So now that I have your attention with the absurd $100 million, let’s talk about $800,000 and keep the whole thing quiet…”

This is the norm for maritime injury and death cases. Not the exception.


#13

I agree. Unfortunately, a dead seaman’s life is not worth much.

Willie E. Coyote is probably a car accident lawyer. He is going to get a rude awakening as to the limited value of a maritime wrongful death action. The value of the case depends mostly on the Seamans age and income and what he has for dependants.


#14
  1. The demand of the Puerto Rico governor to be exempt from the Jones Act may have more
    power in Washington than you guys think. Puerto Ricans may determine which party gets the
    electoral votes of Florida in next year’s Presidential election – and hence which oligarchs get a
    return on that $2 billion in campaign donations.

  2. Puerto Ricans can’t vote in US federal elections but Puerto Ricans who move to the USA
    CAN. I noted earlier that about 300,000 Puerto Ricans have emigrated in recent years because
    of Puerto Rico’s recession. News reports indicate that many of them are moving to Florida.

  3. Recall that George W Bush beat Gore in Florida with about 500 votes and the influence of
    his brother governor and the Supreme Court. Obama won with a somewhat larger majority but it was
    still close. Democrats are focusing on Puerto Ricans in Florida because they think they will
    be the decisive factor:

  1. This also plays into the attempts by Jeb Bush, Rubio and the Democrats to court the Hispanic
    swing voters of Texas, Florida, and California – states with a huge number of electoral votes.
    Hillary’s primary sugar daddy is Israeli Billionaire Haim Saban – who purchased the USA’s
    fifth largest TV network – the Spanish language Univision – a few years ago. Look at Wikipedia’s
    entry on Haim.

Jorge Ramos , the Univision news anchor who has been attacking Donald Trump , is Haim’s
employee. See Wikipedia’s article on him.

  1. How many votes and campaign dollars do you guys have? Because if the answer is
    "not a lot" then you and the Jones Act may get thrown under the bus in next year’s election.

One thing the lowly bilge rats on sailboats learn is that if you look up on a dark night, see a
red light on your right, a green light on your left and the two lights moving apart then it
can be a good idea to put down the Mount Gay bottle and grab the tiller.


#15

Puerto Rico is spending all of its political capital on an effort to persuade Congress to amend the bankruptcy laws to make it possible for Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy. Puerto Rico can never repay it huge debts. It either needs to go bankrupt or get us taxpayers to bail them out.


#16

[QUOTE=tugsailor;171911]Puerto Rico is spending all of its political capital …[/QUOTE]

  1. A few more news articles on how Puerto Rican emigres in Florida are being heavily courted because they may determine who gets Florida’s electoral votes next year:



  1. And the rubber is going to meet the road in about six weeks – Puerto Rico can’t raise money because it has defaulted, it will run out of money soon, and it has another $300 million debt payment coming due in December.

  2. But it isn’t just the governor of Puerto Rico you guys have to worry about – it’s his creditors who are not happy at the idea of losing $74 billion. (The situation is analogous to the rescue of AIG in 2009 – the people who were really rescued were AIG’s creditor – Goldman Sachs. I leave it to the reader to figure out who was the biggest donor to the Obama 2008 campaign –almost $1 million.)

  3. So when Hillary and the Democrats call for changing the law to let the poor Florida voters …er the poor citizens of Puerto Rico – declare bankruptcy in federal courts, those bond holders turn pale.

But their Republican Congressmen have a problem – the Koch billionaires, the Tea Party and various other factions are getting testy at that $10 Trillion in federal debt run up in the past 6 years and so they have indicated that they will flog any Republican with a big stick if he votes for more bailout money.

  1. What to do? Well, the bond holders’ puppets in the financial press have floated several ideas for how to do a bailout without calling it a bailout. Exempting Puerto Rico from the Jones Act shipping requirements is on the list:

https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-US-initiatives-could-help-Puerto-Ricos-fiscal-recovery-and--PR_336760

http://blogs.barrons.com/incomeinvesting/2015/10/15/a-few-ways-the-u-s-can-help-puerto-rico-out-of-fiscal-crisis/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-puertorico-policy-da13354a-7284-11e5-ba14-318f8e87a2fc-20151014-story.html

Note that exempting Puerto Rico from the Jones Act is also being promoted by Republican thinks tanks Heritage Foundation and Manhattan Institute. And Republican Senator Charles Grassley – who is handling the Puerto Rico rescue likes the idea. As does Republican Big Oil.

  1. I don’t see anyone in either Party asking “but…but… what about those poor dears in the Merchant Marine?”.

#17

It doesn’t matter what Puerto Rico wants. It doesn’t matter how Puerto Ricans wherever vote. Puerto Ricans vote democratic anyway because it’s the Democrats that always promise more free stuff. There will be no change in the Jones Act.


#18

[QUOTE=tugsailor;171940]It doesn’t matter what Puerto Rico wants. It doesn’t matter how Puerto Ricans wherever vote. Puerto Ricans vote democratic anyway because it’s the Democrats that always promise more free stuff. There will be no change in the Jones Act.[/QUOTE]

  1. Then why did Hillary go campaigning in Puerto Rico – when Puerto Rico residents can’t vote in the US Presidential election? Look at the Politico article I linked to above:

"“If Hillary wins Florida, she’s the president of the United States,” argued John Morgan, an Orlando lawyer and major Democratic donor backing Clinton. “When you get to Florida, where it will all be determined is the I-4 corridor, between Tampa and Daytona. In the middle of it all, in central Florida, is this gigantic population of Puerto Ricans with strong ties back home…

…But when it comes to the island, this [immigration] argument holds less weight: Puerto Ricans are already American, and therefore tend to focus less on immigration than other Hispanic voters — meaning candidates looking to win them over have to focus on a separate set of issues entirely.For Clinton this weekend, that’s the economy.
“You can never start too early connecting with a community that large in the biggest swing state in the country,” said Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Arceneaux. “My first thought is, this is really going to help us next year." "

It doesn’t matter if a voting bloc likes you better than your opponent – they have to be motivated to actually get up, get registered to vote and then actually go and vote on election day. GOTV --Get out the Vote – is the primary task of every campaign. It’s why you …well, people who live on land … get all those annoying phone calls in an election year.

And these are not shopworn old voters who wouldn’t vote for you if you held a gun to their grandmother’s head. These are New Voters – naive virgins up for grabs and ready for seduction.


#19

[QUOTE=“Carruthers”] 1) Then why did Hillary go campaigning in Puerto Rico – when Puerto Rico residents can’t vote in the US Presidential election?

$$$$$$$$


#20

Also to energize the base. You still have to campaign with people that are already on your side to make sure they actually show up at the polls on Tuesday.