If you’re up to speed on the latest trends in Where Rich U.S. Citizens Are Talking About Moving To Beat What They Believe Is An Oppressive Tax Code, you know that Puerto Rico is high on the list. Working in its favor is the fact that it’s a relatively quick trip (versus, say, Singapore), the weather’s pretty good, and there are some decent private schools for Junior and Buffy to attend. Sure, the crime is something to think about, but probably the biggest impediment? The thing that’s gotta be figured out stat if the territory is going to make John Paulson some serious money on his bet that millionaires are going to start moving their en masse? The god damn line at Quiznos.
One hedge-fund manager, who requested I not use his name, gave a less-than-rosy view as he drove around the narrow streets of Santurce in San Juan. He’d moved from New York a few months ago, and although he likes living in San Juan, he calls it a bombed-out version of Miami. In many respects, he says, Puerto Rico is the worst of the mainland and the Caribbean. There are more Walmarts and Walgreens per square mile than in any other place in the U.S., according to the Puerto Rico Center for Investigative Journalism, and it has the inefficiencies of most Caribbean islands, including power outages and quirky laws. Married couples must buy property together unless they have a prenuptial agreement. He complains that it takes 20 minutes to get a Quiznos sandwich. Service is often on “island time.”