Pros and Cons of Puerto Rico Statehood
Puerto Rico is a self governed island in the Caribbean. It became a United States territory in 1898 after the U.S. conquered them from Spanish rule. Puerto Rico is considered an unincorporated territory, this means that America holds all of the control, but only parts of the constitution apply to the citizens. This is problematic and worrisome for many people who believe that Puerto Rico should be granted full statehood. What kinds of effects would take place if this happened? Who would benefit the most and who would suffer?
Pros Of Puerto Rico Statehood
1. Tax Revenue
If Puerto Rico became a state they would have to pay federal taxes. This would make a significant increase in the revenue collected from taxes each year.
2. Improved Health Care
The health care system in Puerto Rico is sub par to say the least. They do not have the same types of regulations and laws for health care that we do in the U.S. Giving them statehood would greatly improve these systems for their citizens and give them access to government medicine.
3. Political Shift
If all of the citizens of Puerto Rico where allowed to vote there would be a significant change in the political systems. It would be an entirely new demographic of people to campaign to.
4. Open Market
Puerto Rico has limited trade capabilities. If they became a state then there trade market would open. This would allow them to sell and buy from many more countries in the world. Improving their economy.
5. Standard Of Living
As American citizens, Puerto Rico’s standard of living would increase greatly for the average person. Their average income would also increase.
6. Federal Benefits
The people of Puerto Rico would have access to welfare and other federal aid programs. This will benefit nearly 50 percent of the country that is living in poverty.
7. Bigger Is Better
Granting Puerto Rico statehood would increase the population of America. This gives off the aura of power to the rest of the world.
Cons Of Puerto Rico Statehood
1. Crime Rates
The crime rates in Puerto Rico would no be in the United States. This would negatively impact America’s crime statistics.
2. Tourist Economy
If Puerto Rico were to become a state then their tourist economy would suffer greatly. This is a major source of the country’s income. If it was simply just another state and no longer an entire country the travel appeal would diminish.
3. Identity Lost
If Puerto Rico becomes a state, that means they are no longer their own country and cannot be represented as such. They would not have their own Olympic team or competitors in Miss Universe.
4. Flag Changes
America would no longer only have 50 states if Puerto Rico is granted statehood. This would mean that the American flag would have to be altered to represent this new number.
5. U.S. Resentment
If Puerto Rico was integrated into the United States and for some reason had a negative impact on the economy or standard of living, then resentment may develop. This can be dangerous for the people of Puerto Rico.
6. Burdened Government
Adding an entirely new country into America also adds all of their citizens. This means that they would now be eligible for government aids such as welfare. This could create an enormous burden on the system.
The primary language spoken in Puerto Rico is Spanish, in America it is English. This could cause a barrier between people as well as a problem in the education systems.
8. Paying Taxes
The people of Puerto Rico would have to begin paying federal taxes to the government on everything that they earn. This could burden them because they are not used to our taxes.