I Struggle Where You Vacation
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Politics and Activism

I Struggle Where You Vacation

The economic reality of Puerto Rico.

I Struggle Where You Vacation

Welcome to Puerto Rico and take a look into its capital San Juan!

You may enjoy its weather, cuisine, natural resources and all the commodities plus services that are available to you, our incoming tourist. Now I present to you the other side of the island, where American citizens (yes, they are American citizens) are being paid $7.25 per hour with a sales tax of 11.5%. The workers in this United States territory are the ones with the cheapest paid labor and the highest sales tax in America. Puerto Rico has a $70 billion debt and although there has been numerous media coverage and many talks about the solutions for it, the United States and Puerto Rico's government have failed to develop a viable solution.

The screams of the Puerto Rican people are being ignored, thousands are fleeing and the politicians continue to do nothing. The economic crisis in Puerto Rico is just the surface of the problem, the popular hashtag #Ilivewhereyouvacation has been replaced for #Istrugglewhereyouvacation as an attempt to create conscience about how the island is only seen as a vacation destination. This is not a fad currently trending in Social Media, this is a humanitarian crisis that should be addressed.

The United States media will not cover the implications of the economic crisis, they remain focused on the surface but fail to go in depth. The Unites States media continues to cover the economic issues of Puerto Rico without focusing on the implications that it holds for society. While the government deteriorates its education system and continues to provide inefficient health care, its citizens are deprived of these essential resources. The school’s infrastructures are collapsing and more than 150 schools have been shut down. Only half of the federal health care funds are provided, which differs from the benefits that other Americans receive. While Puerto Ricans pay the same amount for Medicare as the rest of Americans, they only receive half of the federal health care entitlements. This does not only represent discrimination against Puerto Ricans in terms of health care, but it also segregates social classes in the country. The rich continues to prosper while the distinction between the middle and poor class is on the verge.

Protests continue, the people remain struggling, and thousands of families are fleeing to the United States in pursuit of better opportunities and economic stability. Their voices are heard momentarily but are suddenly forgotten as the media goes on to the next story. When will their voices be heard by Congress? Recently, the Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders visited the University of Puerto Rico where he addressed the situation. When will both governments, the United States and Puerto Rico, agree to choose a viable solution for the economic relief? Are the lives of 3.6 million Americans less than those who live in the 50 states? The economic crisis, the degradation of society and Puerto Rico's status are matters that should be addressed so the government can finally provide economic and social relief.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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