The Future Of Puerto Rico

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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The Future of Puerto Rico In 1898, the United States assumed control of Puerto Rico and since then has become a Commonwealth. While this particular status allows Puerto Ricans to be drafted into the U.S. army, it does not allow them to vote in the Presidential Elections and does not give Puerto Rico a seat in Congress. Some consider this status to be the only modern day colony left in the world, others consider Commonwealth to be "The best of two worlds"�. Between independence, statehood and the continuance of Commonwealth there has been much debate to which is more beneficial than the other. The people of Puerto Rico have a right in determining their own future, but at the same time this choice should not be made in haste. Such a decision should be thought out and the consequences of such should be laid out in full. While the issue is convoluted in nature, it is merely a matter of deciding which is more important, national pride or economic stability.

Having done some outside research I have come to the conclusion that Statehood under certain terms would be the best solution. If Puerto Rico became a state, it would be the twenty-fifth largest in terms of population. This would mean that Puerto Rico would have two Senators and at least six Representatives in Congress just like Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, etc. With statehood they would also have at least eight Electoral College votes in Presidential elections while presently Puerto Rico has none. And, according to the U.S. government, Puerto Ricans would receive an additional three to four billion dollars a year in welfare benefits, and Puerto Rico would have to pay less than two percent of that in taxes because of the current poverty level.

Although there are disadvantages to Statehood,