Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More on Calderón's Visit

Here's Jorge Chabat:
The problem appears when we have to take action in our own country. If it's about generating jobs so that so many Mexicans don't migrate northward, then things get more complicated. For that you have to pass reforms that make the Mexican economy competitive on a global level so as to attract investment. And that's where feathers start getting ruffled. How can we apply taxes to the rich, if they're the ones who support the politicians? How can we start taxing the informal economy, if that's where the votes and the hidden support comes from? How can we make the government more efficient and reduce the privileges of the federal bureaucracy, the legislative branch, the justices of the Court, the IFE officials, the governors and their cohort of sycophants. Whoa, what's that all about...? We're just hanging out. The Americans should give more work to Mexicans, that's what there here for. After all, they have to pay for the sin of having robbed half of Mexican territory in the 19th century. And if they want to start giving a monthly payment to every Mexican, we'll accept. With pride, of course, but we'll accept.


It isn't strange that the entire political class of the country has enthusiastically supported the demanding speech of the Mexican president in Washington. After all, asking doesn't cost anything, and the US is still the best scapegoat for all that goes wrong in this country. The only problem with Calderón's speech is that it won't change reality. Immigration reform will remain un-passed until the internal conditions in the US change, and when that happens, it won't be the whole enchilada and hundreds of thousands of Mexicans will continue emigrating northward until the Mexican economy offers sufficient jobs. Similarly, guns will continue being sold in the US and they will cross the Mexican border until they arrive at Tepito, with the Mexican government powerless to do anything about it and drug-traffickers will continue controlling the country until we have security institutions that work. Meanwhile, of course, we will continue blaming the US for what we haven't wanted or been able to do in our country.

Reading this makes me wonder if there would be a way to peg amnesty for immigrants in the US to the Mexican economy producing 1 million jobs per year (or some other measure or combination of measures indicating a substantial lessening of the migratory pressures). There's a lot of reasons why this would be unfeasible politically (and it would also have to take more than one nation into consideration to be anything like a comprehensive solution), but it would have the benefit of reassuring the Americans who don't want to pass an amnesty only to face the same situation 10 or 15 years down the line, and it would be a powerful motivator for Mexican politicians, because their constituents would say, All we need is for you guys to get your act together, and my cousin/uncle/niece/girlfriend will be able to live legally in the US. So get your act together!


Noel Maurer said...

Can I repost this with accreditation, a link, and the title "Yet another modest proposal?"

pc said...

By all means, I appreciate the plug.