Service for citizenship in the Republic of Puerto Rico

It is hard to escape the parallel between the service requirement in the proposed Republic of Puerto Rico with the mantra from the movie ‘Starship Troopers.’  (I love that movie).  “Service Guarantees Citizenship.”

The idea however, goes far beyond military service and includes many other professions.  More on that later.

While I’ve received some criticism for the idea from both the left and right (and even Libertarian folks) it has a purpose.

First of all, for those of us who believe in limited government and ending destructive social welfare programs there is a problem: half of our population are on some kind of public assistance.  Many of those have lost the ability to care for themselves.  I’m not talking about those who are physically or mentally disabled, I refer to those who have just gotten so used to being on the receiving end of someone else’s money they have no idea how to go out and earn their own.

Cutting off people from assistance ‘cold turkey’ means thousands of people in the streets and that my friends is how revolutions start and countries fall.     If anything, the entire concept of ‘distributive capitalism’ is a design for a transitional economic system.  One that gets us from here (a government dependent society) to there; a society where people have their own wealth and do not need government assistance of any kind.

On the other hand, you have thousands (in Puerto Rico’s case 300 thousand) government employees whose productivity is…well, questionable.  Imagine for a moment as I write that in some government office there is a person sitting at a desk.  Their sole job is to answer peoples questions.  For that effort, they charge 15 dollars per hour, which costs the taxpayer between 20 and 25 dollars per hour in benefits.

If you replace that employee with part time ‘in service’ labor and pay the replacements 1 dollar or less per hour with no benefits you just saved the taxpayer 20 dollars per hour.  In the case of Puerto Rico, where I would automatically make drastic cuts in the size of government, further savings could be acquired by using people who are ‘in service’ to replace many of the remaining full time employees.

So this two days a month, two weeks per year service calendar would allow government to continue providing services to the people, like fire, police, road maintenance, military, etc. while at the same time reducing both the size and cost of government.   Completing service grants the citizen the right to vote in National Trust (NT) elections and gives them credits or shares for payments from the NT.

The other aspect of the ‘service for citizenship’ idea is that it is a filter.  It filters out those who want money for nothing.  It filters those who are not willing to assume responsibility for their own financial and personal independence.  No one, who has not completed service would be eligible to run for any office or hold any appointed office.

Credit would be given for those who had given some kind of service prior to the establishment of the new country.

Every aspect of the proposed constitution for the republic of Puerto Rico has a purpose.  It either addresses current inequities (like men’s rights, the war on drugs, smoking laws and homeschooling) or prepares for a future outcome like financial independence.

The service idea is a way of shifting the culture and providing stability for the new republic.  And luckily, we don’t have to fight off any bugs…

To get a better understanding of the idea you can read articles on the economic system here, here and here.

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About worleyf

Semi-retired Media Relations guy, former radio and TV reporter and legislative aide. Middle of the road Libertarian (as if that actually existed) who reviews current news items and stories, and offers an alternative point of view.
This entry was posted in Economy, Puerto Rico, Status and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Service for citizenship in the Republic of Puerto Rico

  1. This is really a very appealing idea, except the part of reducing benefits, The idea of having a governing state is to provide for a minimum adequate standard of living for the people, provided that each pulls his/her own weight, and sort of the Spartan state. A a given age, they should belong to the state and the state must provide for people’s basic needs according to Maslow’s theories of human needs. The idea is not to take things from one extreme to the other, dependent people to no right people, then we do not need a government. “Service Guarantees Citizenship.” has one flaw, though, there are various levels of physical and mental fitness, individuals should be employed and rewarded according to their level of competence but some would not be fit for service and should not be left uncared for.


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