As in many cities in the continental United States that have been ‘deindustrialized,’ Puerto Rico was in an unstoppable economic slump. Government entities borrowed, were encouraged to borrow actually, always feeding the illusion that they had no need to worry about a collapse, that is, until 2008 when a collapse did occur, a collapse known as the “Great Recession”.
If Puerto Rico were a city, it would be allowed to declare bankruptcy, but there are no such provisions. Instead, the Puerto Rico government is expected to institute new cuts in order to please creditors, during which creditors and their apologists will blame Puerto Rico itself for this crisis.
The crisis must be set in the broader context of Puerto Rico’s “status”. As a community/colony its economic decisions are not its own. One of the most infamous economic challenges, for example, is the result of the Jones Act of 1917, which requires that goods brought to the island be transported by a U.S.-made vessel with a U.S. crew. Products from outside the U.S., must be transferred to U.S. ships which increases costs. The impact on the cost of living in Puerto Rico has been profound.
La gloriosa ley jones
A lo largo de los dos primeros mandatos de J.D. Perón (1946-1955), con el telón de fondo del llamado proceso de “democratización del bienestar”, el ocio y el tiempo libre fueron cobrando impulso. Los hábitos vacacionales de las clases medias y trabajadoras se enriquecieron gracias tanto a las políticas públicas como a las iniciativas civiles. Durante este período, el Estado Nacional no sólo redobló los programas anteriores, sino que abrió nuevos canales que favorecieron la entrada de los sectores mencionados en el mercado de las actividades recreativas. El objetivo de esta presentación es analizar algunas de estas políticas, destacando su recepción e impacto en las clases medias y trabajadoras. Para ello, se realizará un ejercicio metodológico a partir de una fuente privilegiada: los archivos de la “Secretaría Técnica. Primera y Segunda Presidencia del General Juan Domingo Perón (1946 – 1955)”, una colección de documentos que resume la respuesta -a través de cartas- del pueblo a la convocatoria del Estado durante la elaboración del segundo plan quinquenal.
Because Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.
In contrast, the amount exported is very low. Germán estimates that exports do not reach 10% of total production, because since the last century, the country has destined most of it for domestic consumption.
Additionally, the prices of Puerto Rican coffee in the international market can be three times higher than those of other countries with similar qualities, due to the high production costs.
Puerto Rico is considered a country with a high cost of living index. This has a direct impact on the coffee sector and is reflected in the costs that coffee growers must assume to produce coffee.
“We are still a territory, we are not a State, but we are not independent either. So the labor policies regarding minimum salaries and benefits for the workers are the same [here and] in the United States”, he adds.
He agrees with Germán. He tells me that costs can sometimes be 3 or 4 times higher than in Central American producing countries. In 1991, the production cost of a quintal of coffee was USD 190.75 and by 2005, it reached USD 250.
The Puerto Ricans have an American passport.
After finishing the tour in 2012, Kase.O decided to leave a record of this by capturing the energy and the concept of the live performances with the band in a new album that recycled old lyrics of the artist incorporating organic instrumentals. The album includes fifteen versions of classic songs and collaborations that bring his production closer to jazz, with contributions from R de Rumba, Kamikaze (CPV) and Jonás Santana. The recording and mixing of the work was done at Estudios Kikos, while the mastering was done by Gonzalo Lasheras at Estudios Roncesva. Both the album and the band during their tours received positive reviews from different media outlets. The single that opened the album was the first single of the album.
The single that opened the album Esto no para was released on September 15, 2016 on their official YouTube account, receiving over 1 million views after the first week. The video illustrating the track, uses kinetic text mix of kinetic text over historical-war, political and Turkish dance images, made by Joan Molins. In Kase.O’s words, the video represents a pseudo-mystical fable describing contemporary humanity. The base belongs to the late Cash Flow from Zaragoza.