This site strives to help and encourage Puerto Ricans to “do it better” as the slogan “Puerto Rico does it better” advertises. “Puerto Rico does it better” should be more than just a slogan. We will try to do what is necessary to improve the quality of life for all Puerto Ricans and visitors alike. Please add your comments to the discussion. We welcome your feedback. If you would like us to research something or discuss a subject which interests you, please let us know. With your help, we ARE making a difference. Sometimes one must bring awareness to something to inspire positive change and growth. As for the slogan, there are 2 key components unanswered.
1 What is “it” that Puerto Rico does better?
2 Better than what other city or entity?
What steps can be taken to improve Puerto Rico?
1 Encourage all businesses, homes, apartments, and condominiums to use and publish their street addresses, to utilize a 1st world addressing system instead of the backwards, inefficient, time-wasting, 3rd world addressing system. Encourage homes and businesses to prominently post their numerical addresses on their buildings. “At the old Baxter building” and “Infanteria 65, Km 1.8” are poor excuses for an address. Landmarks are of little use when you do not know how to get to the landmark. Traffic on the roads would be reduced 5% or more, since people wouldn’t be getting lost as often due to insufficiently marked addresses. This would also conserve gas and save money as well as reducing traffic congestion, traffic accidents, and traffic pollution. Encourage businesses to post the GPS coordinates next to their address. This would help consumers find them easier, save time, gas, frustration, as well as improve commerce.
2 Utilize best practices that have already been proven to be better. See again #1. Why use an addressing system that is backwards, inefficient, wasteful, and time-wasting? Many people that have lived in both Puerto Rico and the United States have observed how it is much more difficult to deal with businesses in Puerto Rico in that the Puerto Rican businesses are much slower to respond if they respond at all. That factor is extremely damaging to Puerto Rico because it causes less businesses to want to locate in PR, which results in fewer job opportunities that those companies would have provided.
3 Require people on welfare to perform community service, whether it be picking up trash, landscaping along the roads, or some other type of contribution. A cycle of dependency is unsustainable, because eventually the people pulling the wagon decide it’s better to ride in the wagon for free, instead of the hard work of pulling the wagon. In the long run, the wagon becomes too heavy to pull, as too many people want a free ride. Too many native Puerto Ricans have been conditioned by government policies which are counter-productive in the long run by killing ambition and rewarding people for not working. See
“Money for Nothing
It’s said that nothing in life is free, but in Puerto Rico’s case the residents pay no federal income tax on earnings in Puerto Rico. The “help” that came from the federal government made it easier for many to live off of government assistance than to work.
While a student in seventh grade in a small school in Naguabo, located on the island’s eastern tip, I spoke with classmates about my plans for the future: college, career, and service to the country.
One of my classmates angrily responded, “Why would you go through all of that? The government pays for everything.” Some of my other classmates looked at me with disdain while shaking their collective heads.
“So you plan to just live on welfare when you grow up?” I asked incredulously.
“Of course! It’s so much easier than all of those things you talked about.”
The conversation, which occurred around 1980, never left my memory. Checking back as a young man in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I found that in fact many of the people I had gone to school with had followed their aspiration and were living on government assistance programs.”
4 Encourage and promote food security. With a year-round growing season, Puerto Rico should be growing more of its own food instead of importing it.
5 Reduce the size of the government. Puerto Rico has one of the highest percentage rates of people working in the government sector. This is also inefficient, wasteful, and not sustainable. Unnecessary, excessive government employees are wasting tax dollars. The same tax money could be better spent elsewhere. The excess employees could instead be more productive working in the private sector. Reducing the size of government will also reduce government corruption.
6 Eliminate the minimum wage. This should not just be eliminated in Puerto Rico, but all around the world. The real minimum wage is zero, as rational employers use more automation or hire less employees than to hire someone for more than the employee is worth. A minimum wage disproportionately harms the young, unskilled, and less educated. With a $0 minimum wage, which is no required minimum wage, employers will be far more willing to take a risk on untested, unskilled, and uneducated employees. Those employers will train the employees who will become more valuable over time. As the employees gain more experience and skills, they will be more productive, worth more, and employers can afford to pay them more.
7 Reduce and eliminate anti-business regulations so that more businesses will prosper.
8 Educate the citizens on the importance of proper communications in the schools and through advertising campaigns. Trying to accomplish tasks are far more difficult in Puerto Rico compared to the states. There is no good reason why it should be so difficult and unnecessarily time consuming to conduct business and daily affairs in Puerto Rico. This is a SERIOUS problem that has not been sufficiently publicized. Whether for buying a home, buying a car, or dealing with other businesses, Puerto Ricans respond to emails less than 10% of the time, even when they are using the same language. Such failures to respond are highly inefficient, time-wasting and damaging to Puerto Rico. Lower productivity wastes time for both buyer and seller. Lower productivity leads to lower wages. Higher productivity leads to higher wages. The more efficient and productive the citizens are, the more they are worth, and thus the more they can be paid. Not responding to emails is rude, unprofessional, and bad for business. One shouldn’t have to drive to a business to get a response to simple questions. This in turn unnecessarily wastes gas, wastes time, and clogs the roads. When Puerto Ricans do not use email properly by failing to be responsive to inquiries sent by email, it harms both the organization and the consumer. If you are an employee, ask if your employer has an email response policy. Is there a policy in effect to respond to all emails within 1 business day? If not, you should show some leadership to request and institute professional customer service standards policy with controls to ensure that responses are emailed in a timely manner.
9 Encourage commonly used government forms to be offered in English, the international language of business.
10 Educate the citizens, starting in the schools, on destructive short-term vs long-term thinking and planning. Some results of short-term thinking are:
The higher percentage of unwed mothers compared to the states;
The higher divorce rates in Puerto Rico relative to the states;
Lower credit scores compared to the states, as people are overspending, because they want to buy something now, putting it on a credit card, instead of first saving money before buying the item;
Spending more than revenues – whether at the government or individual level. Living beyond your means is an unwise financial strategy. Puerto Ricans have far worse credit scores which reflect overspending. The government is approximately $72 billion in debt and unable to pay its obligations.
11 Educate the citizens, starting in the schools on recycling and properly disposing of trash. If you care about Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans, you do not throw trash on the ground, whether on the streets, or at the beach. Uneducated, lower-class people throw trash on the ground. If you throw trash on the ground, you are defining yourself negatively as a trashy person. I have seen many Puerto Ricans improperly dispose of trash. Asking them why, they responded that it was because there was no trash can nearby. When I have trash, I wait until I find a trash can. Moreover, more trash that can be recycled keeps more of it out of landfills. I have seen many lazy people, who are provided recycling containers, not use them, instead putting all their recyclables in with their regular trash. Encourage other people to recycle what can be recycled and to place trash in a proper trash receptable.
12 Require the government to stop bribing its citizens for votes by promising and giving away free stuff excessively. If this continues, Puerto Rico will become like Venezuela, another failed Socialistic state. Stop voting for politicians who are financially irresponsible, who increase the debt. Vote instead for politicians who build surpluses.
13 Institute policies that reward and encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior, whether by consumers, businesses, or government. Shop and give your money to honest businesses. Do not do business with the dishonest car dealers mentioned on this site. Give your money to businesses who are responsive and give good customer service. Share your experiences, both good and bad, with others, to spread the word both about good and bad businesses. Help drive the bad businesses and bad business practices out of business.
14 Encourage and develop betterment campaigns for everyone to make improvements in Puerto Rico. One key observation about Puerto Rico is that too many citizens have been conditioned to be complacent about the situation in Puerto Rico, making no effort to improve the island. Even worse, some misguided Puerto Ricans attack those who make an effort to improve PR. The correct course of action is admitting what doesn’t work right, instead of ignoring it. By discussing what doesn’t work correctly, that can draw attention to the problems, allowing for a better chance for improvement. Before problems are fixed, they must be identified.
From economist Thomas Sowell’s “The Vision of the Anointed” (1995):
Among the many other questions raised by the nebulous concept of “greed” is why it is a term applied almost exclusively to those who want to earn more money or to keep what they have already earned—never to those wanting to take other people’s money in taxes or to those wishing to live on the largess dispensed from such taxation. No amount of taxation is ever described by the anointed as “greed” on the part of government or the clientele of government. . . .
Families who wish to be independent financially and to make their own decisions about their lives are of little interest or use to those who are seeking to impose their superior wisdom and virtue on other people. Earning their own money makes these families unlikely candidates for third-party direction and wishing to retain what they have earned threatens to deprive the anointed of the money needed to distribute as largess to others who would thus become subject to their direction. In these circumstances, it is understandable why the desire to increase and retain one’s own earnings should be characterized negatively as “greed,” while wishing to live at the expense of others is not.
If you have any useful ideas or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.