Saturday, September 10, 2011

Peña Nieto's Empty Applause Line

There was lots of attention to Enrique Peña Nieto's final informe speech this week, especially the line, "Let there be no confusion. Mexico has a clear project, which is contained in its political Constitution. What is missing is an efficient state that can make it a reality, that will put it into practice in the daily lives of all Mexicans."

Of course, Peña Nieto, over the course thousands of words, offered very little indication of how he intended to create that efficient state, or even what that means. The above may or not be a good political line, but that kind of meaningless hokum and mindless reverence for the past posing as something profound makes me want to kick something. (Of course, that goes for a lot of politics.) A constitution is a legal framework, not a governing agenda. Does the constitution tell us how to boost Pemex's production or to remove the government's reliance on it? Does it tell us the ideal tax regime for Mexico over the next five, ten, and 20 years? Does it explain how to structure the police given the present constraints and challenges from organized crime? Does it give us a clue as to how to make Mexico a developed nation over the next fifty years? No, no, no, and no. For virtually all of the pressing questions in 2011, the answer is no. Politicians seeking important offices should fill that void with their own ideas, provided they have some. Does Peña Nieto?

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