Following information was posted 6/18/2011 by Danica Coto, AP:
"The island of 4 million people faces a 16 percent unemployment rate and last year recorded its second-worst year for homicides, with more than 955 killings reported.
The anger over Obama's visit comes as Puerto Rico seeks to define its status conclusively, with Obama calling for a vote on the issue by next year.
Puerto Ricans voted to maintain commonwealth status and rejected statehood in nonbinding referendums in 1967, 1993 and 1998. A small percentage favored independence.
The White House touted Obama's official visit, the first since that of President John F. Kennedy, as a follow-up to a recent federal report about the island's status that included recommendations about how to boost the economy."
Prognostication: Expect more than political maneuvering where Puerto Rico is concerned. There are signs of another major push for U.S. statehood coming soon in preparation for the pivotal 2012 elections.
The 16% unemployment mentioned above is understated as computational approaches change over time. Employment in Puerto Rico is overlay concentrated in government and the big pharma industry that located there years ago due to favorable tax policies regarding pharmaceutical production. Obamacare wants access and/or control of the pharmaceuticals as it does other sectors key to its big government plans.
The Puerto Rican economy is IMPLODING with negative real gross domestic product (GDP) for at least three years running. The means the economy is actually shrinking with skyrocketing economic pressures.
Real GDP Growth Rates (CIA Factbook):
-5.8% (2010 est.)
-3.7% (2009 est.)
-2.8% (2008 est.)
Puerto Rico needs a U.S. bailout and achieving statehood is the best way to get it. The U.S. already sends over $8 billion / year to Puerto Rico. Massive entitlement expansions, subsidies, and more will be on the hook.
Watch for "back avenue" approaches for Puerto Rico statehood in the near future. Their statehood would come at the detriment of the U.S. voting and taxpaying process. Statehood should not be granted prior to determination to strategic need and the rectification of all political, social, and economic messes in the candidate territory.