Yesterday, residents of Puerto Rico, an American territory, couldn’t vote for President but they could and did vote for something else even more historic: statehood! For the first time, a majority of Puerto Ricans voted in favor of statehood.
Puerto Ricans were asked about their desires in two parts. First, by a 54% to 46% margin, voters rejected their current status as a U.S. commonwealth. In a separate question, 61% chose statehood as the alternative, compared with 33% for the semi-autonomous “sovereign free association” and 6% for outright independence.
An economic downturn and shrinking population were the factors that contributed to the support for statehood, where referendums in 1967, 1993 and 1998 failed, Puerto Rico Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock said.
What kinds of business opportunities will become available if Puerto Rico becomes the 51st state? Here are two:
According to the National Flag Foundation in Pittsburgh, 50 million American flags are normally sold each year. Imagine how many more would be sold if the current design was scrapped in favor a 51-starred version?
In 2011, nearly 3.8 million people visited Puerto Rico. This number can be expected to increase as the public’s perception about the safety and stability of Puerto Rico improves. In addition, Puerto Rico’s tropical climate could steal East Coast tourists from Hawaii.
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