Friday, April 1, 2011

Feeling the Blues

With Gov. Fortuño's term more than halfway over, and the 2012 elections coming up, El Nuevo Día recently conducted a survey asking people if their quality of life is better today than it was two years ago. The results were grim. More than half (56% to be exact) of those surveyed said they are worse off today than they were before Fortuño took office. Paradoxically, although the island's economy has been in a recession for the past five years, an estimated 42% said crime was the most vexing issue. Meanwhile, 34% of those surveyed said that unemployment and the economy (respectively) was what worried them the most.

As for Gov. Fortuño's performance, an astounding 39% gave him a failing grade, 19% gave him a "D," while only 6% gave him an "A." If the gubernatorial elections were to be held today, the Governor's most likely red party (pro-colony) opponent, Alejandro García Padilla would receive an overwhelming majority of the vote. This survey obviously does not bode well for the Governor, and the bad news does not end here. When asked if they expect their economic situation would improve in the next year or so, 60% said they expect things to get worse. If it's any consolation for Fortuño, the legislative chamber got only a 15% job approval rating. There is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel though. According to William Dudley, the President of the the Federal Bank of Reserve of New York, he "sees ground for cautious optimisim" in terms of the island's economy. However, he contends, the high level of unemployment (it was at 16.1% in February) remains "unacceptable." In comparison, the state with the most unemployed people was Nevada, at 13.6%.

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