Fault Lines – Puerto Rico – The Fiscal Experiment
Dozens of university students are arrested for demonstratingagainst a tuition hike. But Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortunoremains steadfast in charging students more to help close a$3.2 billion budget gap. The students’ fight is representativeof a larger debate in Puerto Rico, and in the US, about howto solve a severe budget crisis – and at what cost. Gov.Fortuno, a hawkish fiscal conservative, laid off 20,000government workers in 2009, and suspended all labornegotiations, just like governors on the US mainland aredoing today. But two years later Puerto Rico’s labor unions are still scrambling to reorganize a largely unemployed population – nearly 17 percent. Puerto Rico is in its fifth year of recession, and expected to be the world’s slowest growing economy if its situation doesn’t improve. At question is the degree of economic and social responsibility the US has to its commonwealth state. Fault Lines travels to Puerto Rico to investigate America’s legacy as the Island’s ruler, and the harsh economic policies that are being imposed on the people who live there.