Fixing Puerto Rico: Part IV

By: Frank Worley-Lopez - Jan 28, 2014, 11:55 am

Read: Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Middle management is a precarious position to be in. You are tasked with a lot of responsibility, but not given the authority to make significant changes. It is nearly impossible to complete goals and accomplish tasks that aren’t aimed at the immediate future. You try to be proactive in making the decisions you are allowed to make, but often fail to accomplish anything in the big picture.

This metaphor can easily extend to Latin America. In government, there is a part of liberty, freedom, and democracy that is often omitted from these types of discussions. That of liberty’s other definition: personal responsibility. Unlike middle management, the kind of personal responsibility that accompanies liberty also includes the individual authority to make decisions.

Without this, democracies fail. The politics of Puerto Rico and, quite frankly, the world, assign blame to everyone other than politicians, or the movements they support. In today’s political world, it is essential that someone else be held accountable for plans that go awry.

In order to truly fix Puerto Rico, the very first thing that must occur is a requisite for all free societies: that its people assume the responsibility for existing problems. For this to be effective, though, the authority to make required changes in one’s life — without having to seek government approval — must follow. It means breaking the paradigm of the party system, and establishing a clear path for Puerto Rico based on what is actually needed in the long run, and then voting accordingly.

Fixing Puerto Rico also means accepting, without irony, that the commonwealth is broken. Identifying the most prominent problems that plague the island — crime, poverty, corruption, and incompetence — and addressing each one individually. It means understanding that so many “solutions” have already been tried, and failed, and that it is time to try something new.

Puerto Rico must actively seek to weed out corruption in government, and deregulate as much as possible, making business profitability easier. Furthermore, Puerto Rico must give more attention to job creation projects, attack crime, and demand that the poor begin to find ways to care for themselves. We must separate ourselves from long held emotionally based beliefs, which prevent us from taking the actions needed to save ourselves, and our future, from the burdens of mismanagement.

While I would ask readers to review some of my previous articles on crime and solving poverty, I also urge each reader to make their own list of what Puerto Rico’s main problems are. I expect each list to be similar, with likely differences on topics like income equality and labor.

Why not join together in a non-partisan group and work on these issues together? The solutions to the island’s problems begin and end with you, the reader.