Mexican Gas

Instapundit linked to this interesting piece in the New York Times today about economic stagnation in Mexico, despite positive improvements in recent years. 

I’m no economist, but my initial reaction would be to add that Mexico may not be making much more progress yet because they had gone so far down into the doldrums of socialism.  I don’t think most of us Norteamericanos realize just how leftist Mexico has traditionally been. 

A few years ago, my wife and I got to go on a short cruise, which stopped for a day in Mexico.  We did the tourist bit, even going on a bus tour of local civic landmarks.  At one point on the tour, the guide pointed out the sign by a gas station and crowed about how cheap gasoline was in Mexico, compared to the United States.  She explained that this was because the Mexican government had nationalized that industry and controlled the prices to keep them low. 

It was deeply worrisome just how many of the people in our tour group oohed and ahhed over that little tidbit.  Maybe they were the beneficiaries of rent control or some other such similar scheme in the U.S.  The problem, of course, is that such artificial control is profoundly unnatural, and ultimately does far more damage to the larger economic engine than good. 

Gas might be dirt cheap in Mexico, but look what their socialist philosophy has done to the country as a whole.  If anything, that big picture should be a stark cautionary tale for Americans who favor the steps we’ve been taking in that very direction…

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Why Don’t Illegal Alien Sympathizers Love Mexico?

A few weeks ago I was hiking at Mt. Charleston and saw a group of about a dozen Hispanic men clearing fallen trees from the side of the road and feeding them into wood chippers.  I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them, if any, were in the country illegally.  After all, we’re in a deep recession and Las Vegas is the hardest hit city in the country: I know tons of American citizens who would love to have a BLM job these days.  Why should an illegal alien get to have a job here while an American remains unemployed?

Thinking about this reminded me of the arguments one tends to hear in favor of allowing illegal aliens to continue pouring into our country: they work, they pay a lot of taxes, they don’t commit more crimes, they have good family values, etc.  But as I remembered these arguments, I was struck by a new thought: if all of these things are true, shouldn’t they be back in Mexico helping to make it a better place?  Shouldn’t all of the liberals who claim to love everybody and every culture equally, with all of that empathy in their ideology, be more concerned with helping improve Mexico than with the supposed benefits of illegal labor for America?

After all, Mexico is in a bad way economically.  This is hardly news, but is supporting the permanent exodus of millions of young, vital, innovative people, in the long run, going to help or hurt Mexico?  And doesn’t Mexico need help even more than the U.S.?  Where’s the compassion for Mexico?

One might counter that illegals in the U.S. send billions of dollars back to Mexico every year, which is true, but that is a short-sighted, paternalistic, even (dare I say it?) colonial outlook.  A very large portion of Mexico’s economy is now dependent on the largesse of illegal labor in the United States.  (Why do you think Mexico’s president is so aggressive about illegals being able to stay in America?  Civil rights?  Please.)  In fact, the current American recession has also hurt Mexico financially.  Our continued patronizing (in both senses of the word) of illegal aliens has increasingly turned Mexico into a dependent little ward of our parent-like economy.  Supporting illegal alien labor in the U.S. is closely akin to supporting an onoing indentured servitude that will, ultimately, come at the expense of any possible future success for Mexico. 

If liberals really believe that these millions of illegals are such excellent people, then why are we keeping them for ourselves instead of sending them back to a home country that so desperately needs their help?  Don’t liberals want Mexico to be independent, to be better off in the future than they are now? 

Or do they want Mexico to turn into an even more feeble ghost town while we continue to have our lawns mowed at discount rates? 

Though this post has already gotten a little cheeky, I think the point is valid, and I have to admit that my more sardonic side is now inclined to counter the next statements I hear supporting illegal immigration with, “Why don’t you want them to help build up Mexico instead?  Don’t you care about Mexico?  Why not?  It’s because they’re different from you, isn’t it?  Why is there so much hate in your heart?”  As they say, turnabout is fair play.