The general objective of this study was to assess the knowledge of the main principles of economic liberty and the free market, and the affinity with them in Puerto Rico.
The preliminary costs of the bankruptcy, amounting to $1 billion so far, should be a powerful incentive for us to force structural reforms that will save Puerto Rico from a second bankruptcy and an economic cliff. It would be an act of collective folly to ignore the reasons that led us into the fiscal hole and to have become the first state government in the United States to file for bankruptcy.
This annual report measures the extent to which the policies of individual jurisdictions are supportive of economic freedom. Puerto Rico was included in 2022, for the first time, shedding light on the components and areas that affect the ability of individuals to participate in the economic sphere without undue restrictions.
Migration is used as a factor to assess the economic freedom of regions, states, and localities. When we investigated the inbound and outbound domestic migration trends of the US, from 2011 to 2019, we found that states and territories where economic freedoms were promoted had higher inbound migrations.
Opening Florida’s market would provide a much‐needed dose of competition. Federal and state regulations create so many barriers to competition that in 2019, just two insurers controlled 92% of Florida’s individual health insurance market. Allowing insurers in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to compete in a market as vast as Florida’s could create an economic boom in those territories.
Faced with the failure of the State and with it the ability to finance populist measures, there is no other route than to build a society and an economy based on entrepreneurship and business initiative. Individual freedom and the promotion of self-effort as guiding principles of a new socioeconomic model supposes a complete reengineering of the prevailing thought during the second half of the 20th century and so far in the 21st century.
It is time to revitalize the system that made America the world’s economic colossus, won the Cold War, and moved billions out of poverty world-wide, including hundreds of millions in China. No nation will ever be as productive as the U.S. while the American economy is powered by limited government, economic freedom, and free markets.
The plan of adjustment and Puerto Rico’s exit from bankruptcy is a welcomed development. However, without structural reforms and changes to the political culture towards confidence in free individuals, the Commonwealth will probably become insolvent within a decade. In light of this experience, policymakers in Capitol Hill should begin preparation for another PROMESA.