What if you knew every payment was a down payment? And that every down payment represented a new debt. And instead of amortizing over time, payments only made your liability grow. So that who you paid today, claimed you owed not less but more tomorrow. Thus the more you paid, the greater your obligation, the more egregious your perceived failure to meet it, and the more contemptuous your creditor. Given that process, I think you’d probably become quite judicious in offering charity.
Unfortunately, such discretion does not align with late-stage liberalism, and so Western societies have fallen into a sort of perfunctory parasitism with their colonizing client groups. Take Puerto Rico, for example—or better yet, for good. As of the latest year I could find without doing much looking, that territory paid $3.7 billion into mainland coffers, while suctioning out $21.1 billion. That’s enough of a one-sided fiscal relationship to make Puerto Rico Our Second Greatest Ally. That $21.1 billion is also more than Washington transferred to thirteen actual states—all of whose citizens are obligated to submit federal income tax returns, unlike some people.
Like most Caribbean idleocracies, Puerto Ricans are loath to earn their own living when someone else is offering. Only about half of working age men actually work, and those who do aren’t prone to much vigor. As a result, Puerto Rico produces a GDP/per capita figure that would make it by far the most destitute state, even with its lavish federal subsidies.
Of course, having over half your working age men horizontal on hooch, and the other half selling ads for Telemundo is certainly an insufficient excuse to not enjoy first world living standards. After all, these are Americans we’re talking about. Think of them as family—that despises you. So to pay for what they can not natively produce, the island has accumulated a ludicrous $70 billion dollar debt for which its apologists have found many culprits—few of whom, strangely, are Puerto Ricans. Once a portion of this financial burden is inevitably forgiven, and added to ongoing Hurricane relief aid, we’ll have more zeros on our philanthropy for these people. And more hostility and demands as a result of the effort. It’s all quite gratifying.
You can get a taste just how gratifying in this recent article from Gentleman’s Quarterly, of all places. I thought GQ was a classy mag about ascots, Windsor knots, and prostitutes draped over Bugattis. Though apparently “minority” whining has gone haute couture.
America Never Deserved Puerto Rico
My first thought was: you got that goddamned right. Though additional points of agreement were much more difficult to pinpoint.
The strangest thing about going to Puerto Rico was always the plane, right after boarding or just before disembarking at the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan. Not the smell—which is pungent and alive, the red clay in the soil giving the island a fragrance unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been—but the people. White people, specifically. Tourists sporting skin that’s too tan and teeth that are too white, in flip-flops and T-shirts, talking about where the good food is and how often they’ve come here to summer.
I laughed out loud reading that tossed-off lead. I’m sure you know people who talk like this: Hey, good to see you, how’s your family? By the way, I just have to say Trump and the rethuglicans are ruining America! Their psyches are burdened by a singular overriding animosity, and only a thin line of etiquette separates it from you. In this instance, it’s quite comical how thin it is. Ahh, the vibrant smells of Puerto Rico, how I love them so much, and by the way, I HATE WHITE PEOPLE. You just can’t waste precious page space on empty pleasantries.
So we tell you that Puerto Ricans are citizens, and therefore require your attention and action, because to white Americans the suffering of a brown person in some other country may as well not exist.
I always wonder whether the suffering of non-brown persons in other countries may as well not exist to people like Puerto Ricans. Actually I don’t wonder at all. Though given the assertion that my attention and action are required on their behalf, I’d like to establish what principles of reciprocity we’re working with.
This is a nation where people are enraged at the very sound of a language that isn’t English, where even the temerity to even look like you might utter a word of Spanish in a white person’s presence makes you a target. It does not matter if you are a citizen or not.
Another item I always wonder is why these dire racist conditions are never passed along to potential migrants. If the author cares for Puerto Ricans as much as he implies, I expect he would want to see them kept from harm. Yet a 100,000 are thought to be in route to Florida, without even a murmur of warning from GQ. Given what I have just learned in this article, it’s likely most of them will be executed. Yet still they come. It’s almost as if their feet are more honest than their tongues. Maybe we should consider that possibility.
The United States’ history with Puerto Rico is one of hypocrisy and shame, where a nation that sells itself as a beacon of freedom and democracy has repeatedly denied agency to millions of its own citizens, goading them into violence and poverty.
I really wish we of the white-teeth would stop goading brown people into violence and poverty. I notice we do a lot of goading, mostly into a myriad of social pathologies. We are truly masters of the goad. Which makes it galling that—despite intense conscious efforts—we have been unable to goad the same people into industriousness, responsibility, honesty, accountability, empathy, courtesy, thrift, prudence, or frankly anything that would make their homes worth not swarming into ours. Maybe we aren’t the most effective goaders after all.
The piece continues on in that vein interminably. This should lead many more people to conceptually ask the question of what is the proper response to “I hate you”? Is it…
So I’ll let you in?
So I’ll give you more?
So I’ll gorge on your toe cheese?
All of the above?
I don’t know if SATs still incorporate a logic component, but the correct answer is none of those. The truth is white charity has only ever had one child, and his name is brown resentment. He isn’t going to be goaded away.