In 1899 a group of workers defected and set up the Federacion Libre de Trabajadores (FLT), to "combat the machinations of Barbosa and the Republican caciques". The Socialist Party and the FLT attempted to abate the most nefarious social and human consequences of rampant and uncontrolled capitalist growth, and they fought to overthrow the electoral power of the paternalistic political parties. The electoral achievements of the Socialist Party injected a new dynamic into the political process. For the UP the Bureau of Labor was no doubt another policy instrument of the colonial state that would further restrict the domestic landowners' control over the country's human and material resources. During the late 1920s, Puerto Rico's economy degenerated into a morass of poverty and social immiseration that demonstrated the failure of the United States, despite its great wealth, to provide its colonial ward with economic security and social justice.