Puerto Rico's Economic Future: A Study in Planned Development

Puerto Rico's Economic Future: A Study in Planned Development

Puerto Rico's Economic Future: A Study in Planned Development

Puerto Rico's Economic Future: A Study in Planned Development

Excerpt

Two million United States citizens, with a Spanish cultural background and an uncertain American present, struggle on a small Caribbean island to achieve real democracy and decent standards of living for themselves and their children.

The population density of Puerto Rico is over six hundred persons per square mile, fifteen times greater than that of the United States. Population pressure in the United States would begin to compare with that of Puerto Rico if all the people of the world-- over two billion men, women, and children--landed there overnight and if, by the same nocturnal magic, all available mineral resources were eliminated, heavy industry disappeared, and agriculture became the main source of employment. I do not say that mainland ingenuity would be incapable of solving such a riddle. The solution might be so adequate and audacious as to keep under control unemployment, illiteracy, and disease and at the same time foster production, efficiency, and democracy.

In their own microcosm the Puerto Rican people and their leaders are trying to carry out a comparable task. And it is a task which is both worth while and exhausting.

According to Governor Luis Muñoz Marín, the past few years have witnessed a change wherein we in Puerto Rico have progressed from Operation Lament to Operation Bootstraps. The people of Puerto Rico aim to lift themselves--two million strong--to the standard achievements and opportunities typical of modern technical industrial society.

By providing a searching and balanced analysis of the underlying socioeconomic problems and by furnishing valuable guideposts, Dr. Harvey Perloff has rendered a truly significant service both to Puerto Rico and to the field of social science scholarship. Puerto Rico's Economic Future, which is based largely on a study made under the auspices of the University of Puerto Rico's Social Science Research Center, appraises the nature, accomplishments, limitations, failings, and possibilities of the island's "bootstrap" measures and programs in terms of modern social science. Dr.

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