Here's a viewpoint which does Root Cause Analysis:
First of all, the Mexican socio-poli-economic system has failed.
Not "ill", not "ailing", FAILED.
The only reason that Mexico is still a country, is that the Mexican government has been using the United States as a safety valve.
You've all seen the reports about how illegal immigrants in this nation are in the tens of millions, if not hundred million.
It is a preferable state of affairs for the Mexican Government for those tens or hundreds of millions of Mexicans to be employed in the United States, rather than UN-employed in Mexico.
Tens of millions (or hundreds of millions) of your citizens sitting in your country starving tends to wind up with the Great Unwashed Masses grabbing torches, pitchforks, ropes and the occasional guillotine before storming the castles.
So what's GWB kissing Fox's butt for?
There are a couple of options.
The first is to put off the oncoming collapse of the Mexican government as long as possible. We keep safety-valving their workers, and we keep propping up their monetary system until it is Someone Elses Problem.
Perusing the border solutions proposed by Congress, this seems to be the route favored by the current U.S. government.
It is the cowards way out. It makes the false assertion that We Are Doing Something without actually doing anything -- except guaranteeing our children or grandchildren will have to deal with a WORSE mess.
In other words, like Clinton, Bush I, Carter, and Nixon, we'll just sorta quietly provide for the subsidization of the Mexican Ruling Class--because the alternative is likely another Mexican Revolution.
From John Frum/NRO:
In 2005, Mexicans in the United States remitted some $20 billion home. That's 3% of Mexico's entire national income.
Remittances have surpassed tourism, oil, and the maquiladora assembly industry to emerge as the country's top single source of foreign exchange. For the 6% of Mexican households that receive remittances, these funds can mean the difference between extreme poverty and an income roughly in line with the Mexican average.
And as Mexico's economy has malperformed since 2000, remittances have become more essential than ever - not only economically, but politically.
...Mexico desperately needs foreign investment in its energy industry, a rationalization of its tax system, and free-market reform of its labor laws. Vicente Fox has done none of these things, and has in fact barely tried. He has instead pinned all his country's hopes on the export of its population to the United States.
Today, almost one-fifth of all living Mexican-born people now make their homes in the United States. You have to go back to the Irish potato famine to find a parallel. But Mexico is not suffering famine: It is suffering from a comprehensive failure of political and economic leadership.
...the US should of course help Mexico find substitutes for any reductions in remittance income. One good place to start would be the energy industry, which could contribute much more to Mexican wealth if Mexico abandoned its 75-year-old protectionist policies. Of course, Mexicans will say that such changes are politically impossible for them.
Then they turn around and ask George Bush to lay waste to Republican political prospects to save them from a fate from which they will not save themselves.
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