Monday, June 18, 2018

‘Futbol’ gives Mexicans a bit of relief from reality


Image result for mexico election cartoonsMexico’s upset win over Germany couldn’t have come at a better time for our friends south of the border. In two weeks, Mexico will elect a new president and no one seems happy about anything.  
On Sunday afternoon, about 45 minutes after the game, I got an email about a text gone viral down there.  It translates to something like this:  Hey, the experts said that Germany had a 90% chance of beating Mexico. It is a clear reference to all of the polls showing leftist Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador with a big lead.
Mexico’s problem is that none of the candidates are telling voters to own up and fix their problems. They are blaming this or that but no one is saying that Mexicans have to take ownership of their country and make it better.
Perphaps, the immigration debate is a good example of this. Not one of the politicians is asking a simple question:  Why do so many want to leave our country? What are we doing wrong? Can we succeed as a country when we depend on roofers and landscapers in the U.S. sending dollars south?
Let me be straight: I want Mexico to succeed. I am pro-Mexico. After all, a prosperous Mexico is the best thing that could happen to the U.S.
Sadly, we see tangible evidence that Mexico is the biggest loser in this illegal immigration debate, from murders on the border to dependency on remittances.
On the surface, remittances keep rising, but Mexico is not doing better as Allan Wall has argued for many years:
“The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) did a study of the phenomenon, and according to spokesman Alfonso Sandoval the study determined that remittances in Mexico are not developing the country economically.
Most of the remittance money is spent on groceries or daily expenses, buying fancy vehicles, or remodeling houses. But little of it is being invested in permanent job-generating enterprises. Therefore the regions aren’t advancing economically.
Remittances also encourage some Mexicans not to work, since they can earn more from remittances than working on a Mexican job.” 
Moral of the story: Shut down the border and force Mexico to modernize itself.
Will it be easy? No.
Will it upset the political class and their monopolies like PEMEX? Yes.
In the long run, forcing Mexico to deal with its structural problems is the only way to keep Mexicans home and eventually prosperous. Unfortunately, no one is saying that down in Mexico.
Mexicans have a couple of days to celebrate a big “futbol” victory, but reality will show up as quickly as the 6 A.M. alarm clock every Monday morning.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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