Puerto Rico’s Economy Continues to Decline

Morayma Reyes Alejandro Garcia Padilla, governor of Puerto Rico, has referred to the island as being in an economic “death spiral.” Monday marked a historical moment in the spiral, when Puerto Rico went into default for the first time ever. Paying back a mere $628,000 to creditors of its Public Finance Corporation of the $58 million debut bill on Monday, those who will be hurt the most by going into default will be the island’s residents. Most of the debt is owned by Puerto Ricans through credit unions.

The government is strategically choosing to not pay its debt due to creditors of the PFC because the entities that own the debt have little legal power to fight back in court. While other debt, some of which is controlled by Wall Street hedge funds, were paid on Monday, due to their legal clout. “This was a decision that reflects the serious concerns about the Commonwealth’s liquidity in combination with the balance of obligations to our creditors and the equally important obligations to the people of Puerto Rico,” said Melba Acosta Febo, president of Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank.

While Puerto Rico has the same amount of outstanding debt as New York state, it’s economy isn’t nearly what it is in the Empire State, with Puerto Rico’s value at $69 billion, and New York at $1.2 trillion. Former government employee Omar Rodriguez recently left the island first the first time to move to Austin, Texas where he works at a restaurant and as an assistant teacher. “I wouldn’t imagine having the same quality of life in Puerto Rico at the moment and that saddens me,” said Rodriguez.

Unemployment in Puerto Rico is almost double the rate in mainland United States, which is driving Puerto Ricans to flee in the island in search of firmer economic ground. With a shrinking population comes a reduced tax base, making it nearly impossible for the island to pay back its debts. To top it all off, Puerto Rico is also experiencing a severe drought with the government rationing water and some families going without running water for days.

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Must See-attle Spots

Morayma Reyes

Views from Seattle

1. Pike Place

Pike Place is one of the most famous market places in Seattle. People can walk around and visit the individual vendors which start selling right at 9 AM. Pike Place offers fresh food, amazing atmosphere, original Starbucks, flowers, and tourists. What more can you ask for?

2. The Seattle Waterfront

Visitors can kick off their trip by walking through the bay and the skyline views will follow you on the other side. Besides the amazing views, people can expect a plethora of entertainment such as bars, restaurants and movie theaters.

3. Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture is a fun public park where people can take a swift walk near the waterfront, as well as free tours through the city to learn more about its history. Some notable installations include the Eagle, Typewriter Eraser and many others. 

4. Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

This is a must visit for fans of Seattle, and despite the confusing layout of the museum visitors can enjoy the displays which vary from modern to contemporary. And for those who are conscious of their budgets, the museum offers free visits every Thursday!

5. The Foremont Troll 

This is a fun local art work from the Seattle community and it is an attraction for people who want to take a goofy photo and further explore the statue.  The Troll is made of concrete materials and thought out by local artists in the 1990’s. It’s unique to the area, fun and quirky, and the countless photo ops further prove its popularity among tourists. 

6. The Space Needle 

The Space Needle is an iconic monument in Seattle standing at 605-ft tall and 848 stairs. It is one of the best known symbols in the US, which also acts as an observatory to look over the beautiful city, in its glory. While enjoying the views, visitors can also have dinner.

7. Discovery Park

People who have visited this park say its the best place for hikes through the woods and walks on the beach without getting to far from the city. The park has a great mix of trees, forest, shoreline, and some history as well.  Favorite hikes include the North Beach Trail, which you can get to easiest by the North Parking Lot. 

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