Puerto Rico: Solving the Unsolvable

In the early 1940s, a U.S. Senate committee declared Puerto Rico's problems "unsolvable." The Caribbean island had a rapidly expanding population, few natural resources, hardly any industry, and chronic unemployment that sometimes ran to one-third of the labor force. In 1942, a rising young politician named Luis Munoz Marin organized a self-help program called Operation Bootstrap; a few years later, as Governor, he invited U.S. companies south, offering them political stability plus wide tax advantages and a vast reservoir of eager-to-learn labor. Ever since, Puerto Rico's economy has been one long,...

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