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Why Mexico Has an Emigration Problem

by Christopher Chantrill
June 30, 2006 at 11:32 am

THE UNITED States has an immigration problem. Actually, of course, the US has always had an immigration problem, right from the start, as Native Americans will tell you. Sometimes the immigrants take over; sometimes they merely assimilate.

But the flip side of the US immigration problem is other countries’ emigration problem. After all, why should people want to leave the country of their birth for the inevitable struggles of finding home and work in a new and strange country?

Because the economy stinks, that’s why. And unfortunately, that applies to our neighbor to the south. That takes some doing, according to Deroy Murdock, when you consider that Mexico

is contiguous to the world’s largest market and abounds in oil, natural gas, gold, silver, beaches, seafood, water, historic treasures, museums, industrial centers, and wonderful people.

How did the Mexicans manage it? Says Alberto Saracho:

There are institutions, some established in the colonial years, that still curb people’s freedom to work, produce, and prosper.
...
In constant 2000 dollars, the World Bank reports, Mexican per-capita GDP was $7,758 in 1980. It inched upward to $8,661 in 2003. Over that period, Chile went from trailing to topping Mexico, with its figures rising from $4,620 to $9,706. Former laggard South Korea leapfrogged from $4,556 to $16,977.
...
[B]etween 1987 and 2004, manufacturing productivity grew 183.3 percent in Chile, 196.6 percent in South Korea, and 307.6 percent in China. Meanwhile, like a tequila-soaked worm, Mexico advanced 2.7 percent.

And on top of that Mexicans are apparently getting ready to elect lefty Andrés Manuel López Obrador asa president. That is their right. The trouble is that the twentieth century demonstrated in pretty clear terms that lefties don’t have a clue when it comes to making a nation prosperous. You would think that the message would be getting through by now.

So it looks like the US is going to continue to have an immigration problem. And Mexico will continue to have an emigration problem.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill