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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mexico is in Need of a Revolution.

Links A. Wikipedia definition of Mexico
          B. Corruption in Mexico

We have a few political issues in the United States that always appear to be on the front-burner.  Immigration reform is one of those issues.  For some reason, the laws that are in place are not sufficient or appropriate anymore, therefore reform is in order.  Actually, its not the laws which have lost their efficacy, its our willingness to enforce those laws.  If you are a citizen of a foreign country and you wish to become a U.S. citizen, then you have the option of entering into the United States Immigration Lottery (Yes, that is the name).  Every few years, a certain number of persons from every country that participates in the program are selected (after Interpol, FBI and related checks, I assume) to become Resident Aliens.  The U.S. government has other avenues for potential immigrants as well, including applying for asylum or for refugee status.  I don't believe that we should increase the numbers of immigrant visas being issued, but if someone believes differently, we have a system by which the figures may be adjusted.  The problem of illegal immigration that we face in the United States has nothing to do with the number of foreign nationals that are allowed to immigrate each year.  If we increased the number, it wouldn't impact the number of persons attempting illegal entry one iota.  As is almost always the case, the best place to fix a problem is at the source.  For all serious and practical purposes, the source of illegal immigration to the United States is Mexico.  Its true that in the past three decades, the numbers from Central America have increased dramatically, but these individuals travel through Mexico and cross into the United States in the same manner and at the same location, as Mexican illegal immigrants.

The Department of Homeland Security estimates that roughly 700,000 illegal immigrants cross into the United States from Mexico every year, and that the great majority of these persons are nationals of Mexico.  My goodness, Mexico must be a barren land of no resources and no opportunity.  While else would so many Mexican nationals risk everything to come to the United States?  The truth is, Mexico is a fat and healthy country, resource-wise.  At one time, Mexico was sitting on the fourth largest oil deposits (Gulf of Mexico) in the world.  Because the Mexican government and its state-owned company Pemex focused exclusively on the deposits that were easily extractable, Mexico isn't the player on the oil market that it once was.  But Pemex has belatedly started looking for new sites and investing in ways to continue exploiting the deposits that aren't so easy to get at anymore.  Mexico can still rely on oil revenue to bring in a substantial amount of revenue to the government.  Also, Mexico is agriculturally blessed, and is a leader in the international livestock industry.  Tourists continue to flock to the beaches of coastal Mexico and to the historic Catholic cathedrals of the interior.  Tremendous potential exists for Mexico to access hydroelectric energy, and the country is well-placed to compete with Asia in certain markets, including car manufacturing.  I am determined to keep this post from becoming a "two-parter", so I can't get down in the weeds, but Mexico creates plenty of jobs every year.  The economy appears to be healthy, but so many people live in abject poverty, regardless of which political party runs the show.  Mexico's problem is one as old as the hills.  Mexico suffers from endemic corruption, a corruption that runs so deep it has become the normal way to conduct business to most people.

A very small percentage of extremely wealthy individuals and families enjoy the largesse from Mexico's many resources.  They control Pemex, Telmex, the Unions, both houses of Congress, and both political parties.  This percentage has agreed to a "laissez-faire" arrangement with the narco-traffickers.  They know that the drugs companies aren't going away, so they just agree to stay out of each other's way.  The narco-traffickers are mostly interested in moving their product through Mexico and into the United States; they don't have much other interest in Mexico, as most Mexicans can't afford drugs like the Yanquis can.  The majority of the elite Mexican families of which I speak, can trace their roots all the way back to Spain.  They drive up from the interior and cross into the United States to visit Sea World or go shopping.  They drive SUVs (sometimes Mercedes or Lexus) with Monterrey or D.F. plates, and give off a distinctly European attitude.  The kids either go to private school in the U.S. or in Europe, and many time have blonde hair.  When they drive through Nuevo Laredo to enter the United States, they make good use of their tinted-windows and Chanel sunglasses, so their view is not disturbed by the children begging on the side of the streets, or the cripples, or the construction workers breaking their backs during 16-hr shifts, making one-tenth what they would make in the United States.  This group has a unique ability to ignore the people from whom they steal.

You see, this small group shares in the majority of Mexico's wealth, and lets enough trickle-down to keep a modest middle-class functioning.  Analysts can point to Mexico's middle class as a sign of progress.  Bullshit.  Its just a distraction.  There is no excuse for a country as wealthy as Mexico to replicate the same theft year after year, benefiting the same people, and keeping the majority of Mexicans poor. I realize that the type of corruption that infects Mexico runs deep and wide, but it can be eradicated the first time someone stands up and says, NO MORE EXCUSES.  Mexico exports much of its labor to the United States.  It has become a problem for us because of the impact on our social welfare apparatus and, frankly, the unwillingness of many Mexican immigrants to embrace the traditions and history of the United States over the language and culture of Mexico.  Its absolutely true that the United States has always been a country of immigrants.  But those immigrants from Ireland, and Russia, and Germany, and various parts of Africa, are now Americans.  The United States must also enforce some rule of law on its borders.  We are a separate country from Mexico.

Mexico needs a revolution.  The young men and women of Mexico need to decide that "enough is enough".  Frankly speaking, they need to stand up to the government.  They must stand up a political party whose entire manifesto focuses on ending corruption and returning as much ill-gotten gains as possible to the Mexican treasury.  They must spread an infectious message of fairness and opportunity, that will resonate with the young men and women in the police and military.  The resources from Pemex can be directed to finding new forms of energy.  It would be nice to imagine that the ones in power would relinquish their control without a struggle, but a struggle there will be.  Mexico will have to follow the footsteps of its northern sibling who in 1776, decided that freedom and fair representation were worth dying for.  Mexico needs an open, inclusive economy that stays targeted on the future.  The Mexican people are accustomed to hard work, and have had their share of brilliant scientists and researchers.  The Revolution will unlock all the potential that has been dormant for a century.  The economy will flourish, and Mexicans living in the United States will return HOME.

None of this will happen without sacrifice, and group sacrifice does not occur spontaneously.  Someone will have to be the hero, or possibly the martyr, who takes the first step.  Mexico can take care of her own.  But her shackles must be the first to be removed.

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