Puerto Rico: The Demi-Developed Society

For nearly a quarter of a century, Puerto Rico's "Operation Bootstrap" has served as a model of what a backward economy can accomplish under honest, imaginative leadership. Since 1942, when the island's development program got under way, per capita income has risen from $120 to $905, il literacy has been largely eliminated, life expectancy has jumped from 46 years to 70.

Yet success has brought problems that Puerto Ricans never thought would worry them. Emigration to the main land, their traditional answer to chronic overpopulation, has slowed as jobs have become more...