11 July 2011

Mexico rising

Most of us are aware that the flow of illegal aliens from Mexico into the US has slowed dramatically, with the total number of them in the US actually decreasing. American discussion about why this has happened tends to focus on factors within our own country -- is it the tougher enforcement under Obama, or is it the recession? Both have doubtless played a role.

But this report argues persuasively that the main reason for the drop is something else -- the huge improvement in opportunities and standard of living within Mexico itself.

To begin with, secularism has reduced the influence of the Catholic Church, leading to rising use of contraception and a falling birth rate (in 1970 it was 6.8 children per woman -- it is now 2 children per woman). This improves the standard of living since there are fewer dependents per worker.

Mexico's government has invested in education, improving the country's schools. Enrollment in secondary and higher education has increased much faster than population growth. This is critical for sustaining growth over the long term, since a more educated work force is more productive.

Mexico's GDP per capita and family income have risen more than 45% since 2000.

It's deep changes in society like these, rather than the ephemeral initiatives or statements of this or that politician or party, that drive genuine progress.

None of this should be surprising. We're used to hearing that other large Third World countries such as India, China, and Brazil have launched the kinds of economic and social transformations that will ultimately enable them to catch up with the developed world, and are already narrowing the gap. Why shouldn't Mexico be doing the same?

American perceptions of Mexico tend to be dominated by the drug-cartel violence afflicting the country, and indeed we have no business neglecting that issue, since it's largely our own insane drug-prohibition laws that fuel and fund the violence. But that's not the only, nor the most important, thing happening in Mexico.

7 Comments:

Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx for the posting Guy, I had no idea that illegal immigration was down actually. A friend drove up here a lil over a month ago from Monterrey to spend a week with us, he's my age (mid 50's)and has a damn good job down there as well, so he dont have no reason to want to relocate to here. But also he brought me a bunch of stuff (beside's some kick ass very hot and spicy beef jerky :) on the health care these dayz down there (gvmnt subsidized stuff) I was shocked Infodell ... you carry a card that look's like your driver's liscense, you can walk into a hospital, no form's to fill out, surgery or whatever, no out of pocket, including script med's very cheap, etc (his is payroll deducted along with ... get this ... utilities subsidies as well, electricity for his home), but the dental and every damn thing was better than what I have in this country on United Health Care, I shit you not, as far as price and everything. Theryb also still regulate the price of tortilla's and gas, there is only one gasoline/ petro brand/ station in Mexico, the gvmnt regulate's price. he has told me that alot of the gvmnt has been getting cleaned up on the corruption, because he said the drug thing wasnt their biggest issue, but how scammer's been milking the gvmnt from within actually and contracting (similar to how sub- contractor's milk here), but they still have cleaning up, because of gvmnt corruption, but still, according to him, there has been progress. As far as the Wetback's(illegal's) I cant say much, I know too many of them personally, for too many year's, and helped too many too, so to complain would only make me a hypocrite. He told me the food produce in the market's though down there was much higher than here when we went to the market in Dallas.

Thanx for the posting

11 July, 2011 08:06  
Blogger LadyAtheist said...

Perhaps one day America's uneducated men will be crossing the border to take construction jobs in Mexico. At the rate we're denigrating education, it could happen!

11 July, 2011 08:21  
Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

I'm pleased to hear this - not because of the illegal population but I love Mexico and its people. The fact that their lives are improving is welcome news.

11 July, 2011 09:55  
Blogger Nance said...

Are you seriously telling me that it isn't the deranged rantings and ravings of the McCains and the DeMints driving off immigrants? They'll be so very disappointed to hear it.

11 July, 2011 12:59  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RC: It sounds as if they're engaged in some serious re-distribution of wealth. Latin America's curse has always been extreme inequality, with a very few people very rich and most people poor. A month or two ago the President of Brazil gave a speech aimed at the revolutionaries in the Arab countries, telling them that besides democracy, they've got to tackle inequality in order to succeed, as Brazil has been doing.

For that matter, as I've argued before, inequality is becoming a critical problem in our own country.

Certainly it sounds like Mexico has already achieved one of the hallmarks of a First World country -- universal health-care coverage.

LA: If Mexico keeps investing in real education and the nuts here keep pushing the teaching of ancient mythology instead of evolution, there's no telling what could happen.

LP: I was pleased to read about it too. The more of the human race is lifted out of poverty and backwardness, the better.

Nance: Don't worry, I'm sure they'll manage to claim credit.

11 July, 2011 19:04  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Mexico is still high on my list as a place to hunker down in and watch the United States implode.

11 July, 2011 21:15  
Anonymous nonnie9999 said...

americans are going to start illegally immigrating to mexico soon.

12 July, 2011 01:07  

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