The case of Puerto Rico is an extreme case of what is happening all around the world - economies, elections, public policies, courts, and just about every facet of life are being rigged to benefit the wealthy few. Is it any wonder that the American middle-class is shrinking, the number of homeless children has reached a record high, and there will be no Social Security cost-of-living increase... as super-wealthy Americans keep getting richer and richer? Millionaires & billionaires want millions & billions more, everyone else be damned. They seem to be collectively say: "To Hell with workers, to Hell with children, and to Hell with senior citizens... we want more mansions and private islands!"
Instead of grinding Puerto Ricans into the ground, as many wealthy investors want to do today (while they simultaneously use Puerto Rico as a tax haven, by the way), New Deal policymakers tried the exact opposite, as I recently highlighted on the Living New Deal:
"the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) provided funding for new schools, new hospitals, new infrastructure, and public works jobs for the unemployed. Later, the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration (PRRA) did the same, and for a longer period of time. Meanwhile, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) hired thousands of Puerto Rican men to plant trees, reduce erosion, and build fish hatcheries. The National Youth Administration (NYA) helped hundreds of young men and women complete their high school and college education. The Public Works Administration (PWA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) put many thousands to work building roads, improving airports, and bolstering national defense. In 1936, the Federal Surplus Commodities Corporation provided Puerto Ricans with 970 tons of flour, 440 tons of rolled oats, 25 tons of dried beans, 105 tons of onions, 90 tons of dried peas, and 150 tons of dried prunes. During fiscal year 1940 it provided about 428 tons of food to school lunch programs, feeding tens of thousands of children."
But we won't create a New Deal for Puerto Ricans today, will we? Heck, we won't even grant them the same bankruptcy protections enjoyed by the states - we'd rather let them be eaten alive by the vulture funds. What about a bailout? You know, like the fraudulent banks got? Nope, we're not going to do that for them either. Our treatment (or rather, neglect) of Puerto Rico is just par for the course in this, the "Golden Era of White Collar Crime." But remember, don't complain... that would be class warfare!