Friday, June 29, 2018

Mexico — What Went Wrong?

Mexico gets a massive cash influx in remittances, American corporations get cheap labor, Democrats get voters . . .

Mexico in just a few days could elect one of its more anti-American figures in recent memory, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Obrador has often advanced the idea that a strangely aggrieved Mexico has the right to monitor the status of its citizens living illegally in the United States. Lately, he trumped that notion of entitlement by assuring fellow Mexicans that they have a “human right” to enter the United States as they please. For Obrador, this is an innate privilege that he promised “we will defend” — without offering any clarification on the meaning of “defend” other than to render meaningless the historic notion of borders and sovereignty.

Obrador went on to urge his fellow Mexicans to “leave their towns and find a life in the United States.” He has naturally developed such a mindset because he assumes as normal what has become, by any fair standard, a historically abnormal relationship.

Obrador is determined to perpetuate, if not enhance, the asymmetry. In the age of Trump, Obrador also reasons that the furor and hysteria of the American media toward the president represents a majority and a domestic grassroots pushback against the Trump administration — apparently because of Trump’s “restrictionist” view of enforcing existing immigration law. Polls, however, suggest otherwise, despite their notorious embedded anti-Trump bias.

Mexico, the Aggressor

Facts are stubborn and reveal Mexico, not the United States, as a de facto aggressor and belligerent on many fronts. Mexico runs a NAFTA-protected $70 billion trade surplus with the U.S., larger than that of any other single American trade partner (including Japan and Germany) except China. The architects of NAFTA long ago assured Americans that such a trade war would not break out, or that we should not worry over trade imbalances, given the desirability of outsourcing to take advantage of Mexico’s cheaper labor costs.

A supposedly affluent Mexico was supposed to achieve near parity with the U.S., as immigration and trade soon neutralized. Despite Mexico’s economic growth, no such symmetry has followed NAFTA. What did, however, 34 years later, was the establishment of a dysfunctional Mexican state, whose drug cartels all but run the country on the basis of their enormous profits from unfettered dope-running and human-trafficking into the United States. NAFTA certainly did not make Mexico a safer, kinder, and gentler nation.

In addition, Mexican citizens who enter and reside as illegal immigrants in the U.S. are mostly responsible for sending an approximate $30 billion in remittances home to Mexico. That sum has now surpassed oil and tourism as the largest source of Mexican foreign exchange. That huge cash influx is the concrete reality behind Obrador’s otherwise unhinged rhetoric about exercising veto power over U.S. immigration law.

What is also unsaid is that many of the millions of Mexican expatriates in the United States who send remittances home to Mexico are themselves beneficiaries of some sort of U.S. federal, state, or local support that allows them to free up cash to send back to Mexico.

When Obrador urges his fellow citizens to abandon their country and head illegally into the United States, his primary concern is not their general welfare and futures. He seems quite unconcerned that those who send home remittances live in poverty in the United States and seek offsetting subsidies from the U.S. government to find enough disposable income to save the Mexican government from its mostly corrupt self.

Why the U.S. government does not tax remittances and why it does not prohibit foreign nationals on public assistance from sending cash out of the country are some of the stranger phenomena of the entire strange illegal-immigration matrix.

Read the rest here.

On a related note; I talked about this back in 2011. You can read that blog post here.


lannes said...

Very sound analysis which, unfortunately, won't change a thing.

rick allen said...

What this article ignores is the enormous appetite of citizens of the United States for narcotics, and our willingness to buy them at prices beyond the dreams of avarice. That doesn't justify the drug trade, but it certainly makes it hypocritical to blame Mexico and South America for a problem that would hardly exist if not for their wealthy neighbor's craving for chemical bliss.

So if we, the wealthier, more powerful country, decide that our policy is going to be going it alone, how can we be surprised if our southern neighbor follows our lead? If something doesn't change soon, I imagine Mexico will decide they've lost enough fighting the drug cartels. And if they then move to a more thoroughgoing "Mexico First" policy, we will not only be the losers, but we'll have no one to blame.

unreconstructed rebel said...

We were all promised that NAFTA would be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for countries like Mexico, that would provide Mexico with the path to a thriving, modern economy. Instead, we got a non-functioning state that lead to Amlo winning handily.

Who knows? Maybe he & Trump can work something out. Let's all pray for anything that is an improvement.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

And if they then move to a more thoroughgoing "Mexico First" policy, we will not only be the losers, but we'll have no one to blame.

Both countries could go their completely separate ways with little net effect on each other. I am all in favor of Mexico unhitching its fate from that of the US.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I think it is likely to be a moot point as Obrador has decided to make himself a candidate for the 2018 Darwin Awards.

"Mexico president-elect rejects bodyguards: 'The citizens will protect me'"

unreconstructed rebel said...

Could he be counting on the drug cartels?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

The thought crossed my mind. But he is pledged to their destruction. If he were a Manchurian Candidate I think it would have been picked up by various intelligence services and exposed. High level pols are the subject of a lot of scrutiny, both above board and secret. Even his political opponents, as far as I can tell, have not made the accusation that he is connected to the cartels. While conceding it is possible, I also think it highly improbable.