[Marxism] How climate change and Wall Street almost killed Puerto Rico

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 15 10:05:00 MDT 2018

It has been a year since Hurricane Maria wiped out Puerto Rico. If you drop
onto the island for a visit, the recovery looks almost complete. The San
Juan airport is crowded, the cruise ships are docking on schedule, and the
piña coladas are flowing in Old San Juan. The lights work and your
cellphone gets pretty good reception. If you ignore a few dead traffic
signals and bent road signs, you might even be able to fool yourself into
thinking nothing ever happened.

But Puerto Rico has not recovered. In fact, it’s arguably as close to
collapse as it has ever been. The power is on and the roads are open, but
if you look closely, the entire island is held together with duct tape and
baling wire. Tens of thousands of people are still living under the blue
tarps that were installed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on
houses that had their roofs blown off during the storm. Engineers are still
discovering bridges that are in danger of collapsing, and every time it
rains, new leaks are found in concrete foundations. Unlike, say, New York
after Hurricane Sandy, there is no sense that the rebuilding is guaranteed,
or that there is a better future ahead. Many Puerto Ricans I meet feel that
with one more modest storm, it will all come tumbling down again.


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