Nowadays the place is—like the rest of the Caribbean behind a thin façade of rich-folk villas, tourist trinket markets, and tax-break corporate frontages—a slum. Thirty-five percent of the population is on food stamps; 35 is also the percentage of working-age Puerto Ricans actually in the workforce. Public finances are in a dire state: Debt is at $70 billion and bond issues are rated as junk.
Plainly the USA should get rid of this millstone. That’s easier said than done, though. In theory I guess Congress could simply end the “commonwealth” relationship and cut the place loose. In practice this would mean revoking the citizenship of the 3.7 million inhabitants. And what about the five million or so Puerto Ricans who reside in the USA?