Top Conservative Voice: Resolving Political Status Key to Fixing Puerto Rico’s Economy

The National Review, the magazine that helped develop the national conservative movement and still influences it, has concluded that the best way to resolve Puerto Rico’s debilitating economic problems is to resolve the question of the territory’s ultimate political status. This means determining whether Puerto Rico will be a State — the option for which the overwhelming majority of its people voted in the most recent plebiscite on status options — or become a nation.

“Bankruptcy Boricua” focuses on the failed economy of the “Commonwealth” but advises in its final paragraph: “Like everything else in Puerto Rico, the question of the economy is tied up in the issue of the island’s status — whether it will become a state, become an independent republic, or linger in its current purgatory between the two. How that is resolved will have profound consequences for Puerto Rico and the rest of the United States, but how it is resolved may be, as an immediate economic matter, less important than the fact of it being resolved … ”

The conclusion is virtually identical to that of liberal President Obama’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status.  After noting that Puerto Rico would remain a territory under any “Commonwealth” arrangement, it decided in a 2011 report, “… regardless of the ultimate outcome of the status question, identifying the most effective means of assisting the Puerto Rican economy depends on resolving the ultimate question of status.”  

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