"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Novel Approach to the Border Problem: Keeping Mexicans at Home Would Be Good for Mexico.

Is the tide finally turning in Mexico?

Some Mexicans publicly are admitting that emigration, for Mexico, has been a disaster. Mexican elites have not lived up to the responsibilities for their country and countrymen that come with power and position. Rather they have taken the easy way out by sending their problems across the border. A fence would stop all that.

Some interesting facts about Fox and Mexico

1) President Fox makes $236,693 a year, more than the leaders of France, the United Kingdom, and Canada; Mexican congressional deputies, who serve only a few months year, take home at least $148,000 a year, plus $28,000 "leaving office bonus" at the end of term.

2) Taxes collected are equivalent to 9.7% of GDP, a figure on par with Haiti; there is painfully little to spend on education and health care, which means there is no social mobility and little job opportunity.

Mexico is a country rich in resources and hard-working people. Obviously the leadership-class is holdingt hem back:

In short, Mexico is so corrupt, so oligopolistic, so rotting inside with the privilege of the rich that it has to send its poor and its potential political activists to another country. And on top of that, it tries to blame the United States for its own failures...

When I was in Mexico last fall, after dozens of visits over the years, people on every political and social level confirmed these accusations, complaining to me of Fox's failures. Forty families still own 60 percent of Mexico. There are no voluntary organizations, no civic involvement, no family foundations – and thus, no accountability, allowing corruption to flourish. Mexico gains $28 billion from oil revenue and $20 billion from immigrant remittances. There is virtually no industrialization, no small business, no real chance at individual entrepreneurship. Under Fox, it has created only one-tenth of the 1 million jobs needed.

Using Orwellian newspeak, Mexican politicians publicly pronounced the migration to the North a boon for Mexico. The emigrants were "national heroes", the jobs and remittance money, "Mexico's due for territorial loss at the Treaty of Hidalgo," American displays of sovereignty and border control are nothing more than "adding insult to injury, preventing re-unification of families", and so on.

Now, other "prominent Mexicans are quoted as saying that the wall would be the

“best thing that could happen for Mexico”; the “porous border” allowed “elected officials to avoid creating jobs.” And former Foreign Minister Jorge G. Castañeda, who always took a tough line toward the United States, writes in the Mexican newspaper Reforma that Mexico needed “a series of incentives” to keep Mexicans from migrating, including welfare benefits to mothers whose husbands remained in Mexico, scholarships, and the loss of land rights for people who were absent too long from their property.

Finally, a revolution in thinking! Too long has everything been blamed on the gringo, and too long have gringos been expected to pay up for Mexico's failures.

Two important points here. The fact that the free enterprise candidate for July's presidential election, Felipe Calderon of the National Action Party (PAN), is suddenly and unexpectedly surging ahead on his slogan of “My job will be to make sure you have a job” may show that the Mexican people are fed up. In addition, the fact that only 50,000 of the 400,000 Mexicans in the United States who were available to vote in the July Mexican elections have bothered to register can only indicate a generalized disgust with Mexican corruption and hopelessness, and perhaps even a turn toward American ways.

Don't count your chickens just yet: Mexican politics are notoriously deceptive, and elements in the elite will fight to hold on to their advantages and low-rate of taxation.

Mainstream-America has now awakened to the "insult of its 'neighbor' cynically exporting its problems, while doing nada at home." (After all they didn't have to while they could count on the American tax payer and the American government to take care of their problems and do the work for them.)

The immigration debate, the posting of the guard, the raising of standards, threats to seal the border and deportation of the undocumented, and all the rest has jarred Mexicans into the realization of how foolish, corrupt, and incompetent they appear to the rest of the world, as their exports are oil, human beings, crime, and drugs:

"Ironically, the debate and the anger in the U.S. about this mammoth illegal immigration ha already helped Mexico to begin to shed its dependency on America -- and to turn its energies toward its own real predators, all home-grown."

Not so fast. True, Mexico has a mammoth task ahead, for reform, cleaning up and cleaning out the corruption and criminal elements, a daunting task for anyone, but the role of corrupt politicians and employers can't be overlooked. Mexico only took advantage of the United States because they were allowed to do so. The United States must do its own soul search, its own cleaning and cleaning, and a suitable job of immigration reform is in order. The predators and villains are "home-grown" on both sides of the border,


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