A Lie Called "Poverty-Stricken Mexico"

In the comments section, James Schipper points out that as Mexico gets increasingly unstable with the Drug Civil War, more Mexicans will come here due to safety fears. He also suggests that Mexico’s economy will decline in the future with the decline in oil prices. I respond, noting two things. First, that I am hardly aware of any Mexicans fleeing Mexico for safety reasons, and two, that Mexico’s economy is much wealthier than most people assume. Personally, I am not sure how many Mexicans are coming here out of fears to their safety. The ones I talk to act like Mexico is not that dangerous, and they have lived there a long time. The drug violence is generally limited to certain areas. Keep in mind that there has been a background level of political violence in Mexico for some time now. It’s clear in speaking with illegals, and I have spoken to many of them, that they are coming here strictly for economic reasons and for none other reason. The wage differentials are so great that at an average wage of $10/hr, an illegal can quickly send home enough $ to buy a house in Mexico. The wage differential here in California for many of the jobs illegals do is about 8-1 or 10-1. Now, average wage in the US is about $14/hour last time I checked. Supposing there was a country to the north of us where the  the average wage, was $112/hour, even if living costs were quite a bit higher than in the US. The minimum wage might be a bit lower, maybe around $73/hour. That means you could sweep floors or work at McDonald’s for $73/hour. Whoa! Hot damn! I think I might just have to move there myself, in a New York minute! This is the reality of what we are dealing with with Mexican immigration. In villages all across Mexico, there has been a housing boom ongoing for many years now, financed by wages from illegals working in the North. They are not starving back home at all. They are building fancy add-ons to their homes. Many illegals are heading home and bringing their nice American bought cars and stuff with them. The truth is that up here in the US they were cleaning up bigtime. A car is hardly affordable to an average $1/hour worker in Mexico, yet many illegals around here are driving nice, often brand new cars. Instead of starving or barely surviving, illegals here live extremely well by Mexican standards, accumulating mass quantities of what would be luxuries in Mexico. Mexicans are not starving down in Mexico. I asked one illegal Mexican Indian from Oaxaca what it was like down there. He said, “Comida si, dinero no.” Plenty of food, but no money. Ok, they are economic immigrants, and they are not even starving. The PCI in Mexico is now around $12-15,000/yr. That is higher than in some European countries, and I never hear screams about them starving. The problem with Mexico is a light-skinned elite that steals nearly every other nickel produced by society, leaving others with comparatively little. The revolutionary PCI party is socialist on paper only. A real socialist party, even socialist by European standards, would divide money up in Mexico such that living in Mexico was no worse than living in Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria, Chile or Argentina. Yes, Mexico has a PCI higher than Chile and Argentina. The only problem is distribution. No matter what you think of Mexico, it is no longer a poor country, economic-wise.

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2 thoughts on “A Lie Called "Poverty-Stricken Mexico"”

  1. Cool post though none of this was news to me.
    Sometimes I wish I was a Mexican working here illegally.
    I have been dating this girl from Guyana for a while and I know a bit about how far a couple hundred US goes in a foreign country.
    What burns me is that these illegals can bring their whole family here and support them on food stamps and other public assistance. Seems unfair.
    Totally disjointed comment, sorry.

  2. Yes Mexico.. the land of poor Carlos Slim – who just gave the New York Times $250 million. Surely Mr. Slim did that out of the kindness of his heart – or perhaps as an astute investment in a dying industry? And not because he wanted to buy influence in the most prestigious and influential newspaper in the US? National sovereignty be damned! Mr. Slim needs the dollars from remittances so that Mexicans can pay for his overpriced phone service. (Basically he has a monopoly on phone service in Mexico. It’s more expensive than the US..)
    So fun things from Wikipedia on Slim:
    On March 5, 2008, Forbes ranked Slim as the world’s second-richest person, behind Warren Buffett and ahead of Bill Gates.[1] During some parts of 2007, several major financial publications had ranked Slim as the richest person on Earth.
    Slim gained notoriety when he led a group of investors that included France Télécom and Southwestern Bell Corporation in buying Telmex and Telnor from the Mexican government in 1990 in a public tender during the presidency of Carlos Salinas. Today, 90 percent of the telephone lines in Mexico are operated by Telmex.[8] The mobile company, Telcel, which Slim also controls, operates almost eighty percent of all the country’s cellphones.
    On September 10, 2008 Slim announced that he had purchased a 6.4 percent common-stock stake in The New York Times Company, making him the largest shareholder not related to the company’s owners, the Sulzberger family.[9]
    Then, on January 19, 2009, the financially-troubled Times Company announced that it had accepted a $250 million loan from Slim.[10] While the loan will help ease the company’s cash flow problems, it does not come close to eliminating the Times Company’s $1.1 billion debt.[10] The company’s continuing financial problems and Slim’s ongoing interest in its work, as evidenced by his two interventions in the course of five months, has led to speculation that he might be contemplating an outright takeover of the Times Company.[11] A spokesman for Slim told reporters in January 2009 that the Times loan was an investment opportunity “that makes financial sense.” [12]

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