John Oliver just made the Puerto Rico crisis make sense

$7 billion in debt. A 45 percent poverty rate. It takes John Oliver to do what the media can't

Published April 25, 2016 12:57PM (EDT)

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver last night devoted his main segment to Puerto Rico.

The territory now has approximately $70 billion in debt and a 45% poverty rate. In an attempt to chip away at that deficit, the Puerto Rican government has increased sales taxes and closed schools, convincing thousands to leave for the contiguous U.S.

"Right now, Puerto Rico is like the last Tower Records," Oliver said. "Everything's overpriced, everyone's being laid off, and there's still a weirdly large number of Ricky Martin CDs."

The seemingly obvious solution for the Puerto Rican government would be to declare Chapter 9, but a 1984 provision slipped without debate into a larger bill specifically exempts the territory from declaring bankruptcy.

"So the next time your obnoxious friend tell you everything happens for a reason," Oliver added, "you can simply say, 'No, Dan, not the 1984 provision exempting Puerto Rico from bankruptcy protection. So shut the fuck up."

To make things worse, the territory -- which is hemorrhaging doctors and whose hospitals are shutting down -- is in the throes of a Zika outbreak.

"On top of debt, industrial collapse, school closures and a sudden influx of tax-dodging assholes, now Puerto Rico has to worry about deadly mosquitos," Oliver said. "It's like the island is being hit with all the plagues that God felt were too 'think-y' for the Bible."

Watch the full segment below:

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Puerto Rico