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From our Expert Voices conversation on Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico needs an effort equivalent, on the island's scale, to the Marshall Plan. Here's what it should look like:

Forget about austerity: The federally appointed fiscal oversight board approved a broad package of spending cuts and tax increases that will have to be abandoned. These policies would have further contracted the island's economy and would be outright dangerous now.

Spend what's needed: Given the magnitude of the damage, Puerto Rico will need short-term help to avoid a humanitarian disaster, rebuild its infrastructure, and operate basic government services. It will also need federal funding for healthcare, housing and telecommunications, in addition to significant debt relief.

Be patient: Once Puerto Rico recovers, it will still need a long-term economic strategy. However, achieving sustainable growth will require a novel approach and the rebuilding of decrepit governance institutions. There are no quick fixes.

Why it matters: Congress must honor its legal and moral obligations to Puerto Rico. Failure to act not only hurts American citizens, it weakens the United States' moral standing in the international arena, when it argues, for example, for better treatment for Hong Kong by China, for the Palestinians by Israel, or for Greece by members of the Eurozone.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
25 mins ago - World

Global press freedom deteriorates amid pandemic

Data: Reporters Without Borders; Chart: Axios Visuals

Journalism is seriously restricted in 132 of 180 countries included in Reporters without Borders' annual Press Freedom Index — a particularly dangerous state of affairs during the pandemic.

Breaking it down: Nordic countries are ranked high on the list for having "good" press freedoms, while China, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are at the bottom. The U.S. is ranked 44th.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

How anti-greed backlash killed the European Super League

Photo: David Cliff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The 48-hour rise and fall of the European Super League is the perfect encapsulation of how anti-greed sentiment has changed the rules of capitalism.

Why it matters: The highly-complex structures of capitalism are built from the mostly base motivations of individuals chasing money. That's been condemned and celebrated in equal measure — but has also largely been accepted.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans unveil $568 billion infrastructure counterproposal

Sens. John Barasso and Shelley Moore Capito. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans formally rolled out the framework for their $568 billion counterproposal to President Biden's $2.5 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday.

Why it matters: The package is far narrower than anything congressional Democrats or the White House would agree to, but it serves as a marker for what Republicans want out of a potential bipartisan deal.