Both. Confused? Read on.
Olive notes in the comments that I have said that it is both. Indeed I have! It doesn’t seem to make sense but it does.
Mexico is a rich country. It’s an upper middle income country at $14,500/yr PCI (by purchasing power parity, a fairer way to look at it), and it’s one of the richest countries in Latin America.
It’s richer than Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile and most other places. Yet so many of its people are horribly poor; there are horrible shantytowns everywhere, there is no sewage for 28% of the population so raw sewage flows into the ocean up and down the coast, there is trash everywhere you look, and the minimum wage is $4/day.
Mexico has a PCI 1/3 that of the US. Based on parity with the US (And why not?) the minimum wage should be $21/day, not $4/day. A huge percentage of the population is in poverty and the poverty line is set way too low at $90/month.
In Guerrero, the majority earn less than $90/month. That’s like $270/month in the US. The poverty line ought to be something like $300/month or 3 times that. But the Mexican state won’t adjust the levels, because then the majority of Mexicans would live in poverty. Already, by some estimates, the poverty rate in Mexico is 36%. That’s an incredible figure for such a wealthy country.
In Mexico City there is shit flying around in the air from all the toilet paper from when people shit on the ground and leave it there. There is so much shit and shitty toilet paper on the ground that it floats up into the air so you are breathing shit-air in addition to all of the other pollution all the time.
Mexico is an example of the failure of an extremely rightwing and reactionary system. A tiny elite at the top and their upper middle class buddies steal just about every other nickel in the place and leave the rest of the population poor with pennies to show for it all.
There’s no reason why a nation with a PCI of $14,500/yr should have such horrible health care, housing, employment, social security, disability, unemployment, road, school, or sanitation systems. The safety net seems to be pretty much nonexistent as it has always been. You don’t work, you don’t eat, but then there’s often no work.
The health care is so bad that even though it is free, you might have to wait in line 24 hours to get in. The schools are underfunded, and in many villages simply nonexistent or only available for a few grades. To this day, huge numbers of kids drop out in 2nd or 3rd Grade to go work in the fields.
There’s no regulation at all of business, and business and the multinationals are in bed with the state. Bribery and payoffs are everywhere; the system is corrupt to the core and there’s apparently no way to solve the problem. The cops and army are corrupt too, and the state often uses them to repress activists who go after it’s business buddies. Probably only 10-15% of the taxes due to the state are collected, and the rich often pay no taxes at all.
This is a case of lack of socialism; this is what happens when you have hardly any socialism in a system. You get a far-rightwing nightmare of a state, a hellhole. Why should we allow 20 million illegals to flood up here and wreck our nation just because the rich and upper middle class of Mexico won’t share?
The place is a wreck because the rich don’t pay any taxes and live like kings and refuse to fund the state. There’s no money left over in state coffers to pay for the stuff that needs to be built.
I remember when my family would go to Mexico in the 1970’s. On the outskirts of Tijuana, 5-10 miles from the border, was a vast shantytown stretching as far as you could see. The most horrible shantytown you ever saw. We have no such things in this nation – yet. We used to call it “the cardboard shacks.” It was terrifying and appalling to see such a thing. After that was the garbage, everywhere. Mexicans throw trash everywhere. They don’t believe in trash cans. It’s a national habit.
Then when you got further south, you saw so much horrible poverty along the roads down towards Ensenada. After a while, there was red spraypainted revolutionary graffiti everywhere with red stars and “Revolution!” It seemed like Communist revolution was right around the corner. It was exciting, but it was also scary as Hell in a way.
By importing these illegals by the tens of millions, we are basically going to recreate that wreck of a nation down there. Forget that!
I don’t mind Mexicans coming here, but I only want top-quality Mexicans. There’s no reason for us to import the urban poor and peasants of the 3rd World by the millions to the US. How do they benefit us?
A first rule of a nation is you don’t import problems, or problem humans. Most nations have their hands full with their own problems and problem people. Importing problem people into your country has be the ultimate in insanity. That’s why the legal immigration policy is so strict. We want most people coming here legally to be more of an asset than a detraction to this country.
Both. Confused? Read on.