Is The Heritage Foundation Promoting Independence for Puerto Rico?

Jan 23, 2014
3:44 PM

Just days after The Heritage Foundation slammed a $2.5 million addition to Congress’ omnibus spending bill which would allow for a federally-sponsored education program about Puerto Rico’s political status, a blog today from the conservative organization called Puerto Rico “America’s Greece” and basically called for the island to experience more “economic freedom:”


What the Puerto Rican economy needs is structural reforms and economic freedom, not more federal or territorial government spending. The most obvious move is to tackle government largesse by cutting spending, not increasing taxes. Next, policymakers should improve business freedom. The economy ranks 36 places below the U.S. in the World Bank’s Doing Business report. This scares off investors, makes local entrepreneurship difficult, and pads the pockets of bureaucrats. The federal government also has a role to play. It could start by repealing the Jones Act, which would make goods that Puerto Ricans buy cheaper.

Easy money is never easy, and Puerto Rico has learned that the hard way. But there is hope—in economic freedom.

What does “economic freedom” mean to Heritage? Statehood for Puerto Rico, or are they sounding like Pedro Albizu Campos, the father of the Puerto Rican nationalist movement, who once said:

Under a responsible government of the Republic of Puerto Rico, with the inherent freedom to negotiate commercial treaties on a basis of reciprocity, our economic production would necessarily increase. Aside from statehood the Constitution of the United States only considers the irresponsible forms of government, for example, martial law in any state or territory in case of rebellion or foreign invasion and the territorial form of the government.

These Heritage guys sound like a bunch of independentistas. Guess they don’t know that Puerto Ricans are American citizens, just like them.

Editor’s Note: Heritage is not down with the 1920 Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act. Which is exactly what most independentistas favor as well. We initially said the 1917 Jones Act, but that is another act so we fixed it.