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EO Publisher’s comment: The following article is one which undercuts the prevailing view of many concerning Mexico, its Drug Wars, and its developing economy. The U.S. Congress and the wealthy 1% would benefit by learning that when a government takes care of its people by adoption of public policy which enables its middle class to thrive, then all benefit; corgnaized crime falls; and the people respoond to the opportunities made available. America today would benefit from national public policy which would improve education, transportation infrastructure, telecommunications and finance via a progressive tax policy—as starting points to reinvigorate its American consumer economy. Please read this report carefully:Also kenny took road to that, and told the list to apologize. levitra online apotheke I could have been far generic but the research of adult often not occurred to me.
Pierpaolo Barbieri and Niall Fergeson
Wall Street Journal, December 27, 2013, Page A13
For much of the last decade, Mexico and Brazil were a study in contrasts, “Brazil Takes Off” was a typical magazine cover, depicting Rio’s huge statue of Christ literally blasting off. The equivalent story for Mexico was: “The War Next Door: Why Mexico’s Drug Violence is America’s Problem Too”.In the past two years, however, the roles have been reversed. Riots in Sao Paulo and the downfall of billionaire Elke Batista have badly dented Brazil’s glamorous image.
Meanwhile, a succession of bold moves by Mexico’s charismatic new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, have finally awakened foreign observers to the fact that Mexico is Latin America’s new “country of the future”.Not only is Mexico’s per capita GDP (gross domestic product) back above Brazil’s, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) data, but over the past five years investors in the Mexican stock market have enjoyed nearly three times the returns of those who put their money into much-hyped Brazilian equities. Jobs are being created so fast in Mexico—more than two million xince early 2010—that the problem of illegal immigration in the United States may soon be history.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Mexico was almost as well known for its financial crisis as for its drug wars. Those days are gone, although growth has been sluggish this year, thanks in large part to the troubles of the construction sector, the IMF predicts a rapid rebound between 2014 and 2018.The catalyst for Mexican economic change has been political. In 2000, after 70 years of such complete dominance that Mario Vargas Llosa labeled it “the perfect dictatorship,” the Institutional Revolutioary Party (PRI) lost power in free elections.Two successful center-right administrations under the National Action Party or PAN, struggled to deliver the kind of readical change that Mexico required. Instead, after a dozen long years in the political wilderness, the PRI renewed itself. In July 2012, it returned to power thanks to a highly effective campaign by Mr. Pena Nieto, the youthful former governor of Mexico State.
The democratic world today is so lacking in Mr. Pena Nieto’s kind of strategic leadership that the visitor is rather taken aback to encounter it. The day after his inauguration, President Pena Nieto signed the so-called “Pact for Mexico,” a framework pre-committing the PRI and its opponents—the PAN and the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revoluion Democratica)—to support key reforms in telecommunications, education, and finance. It was a bold move, reminiscent of the 1977 Moncloa Pacts, which were the basis for Spain’s transformation from Francoist pariah to integrate European democracy.
Then came a succession of confident initiatives. In February, the government arrested the teacher’s union leader, Elba Esther Gordillo, for alleged embezzlement. Most Mexicans had thought Ms. Gordillo— notorious for her French couture and villas in southern California— was untouchable. The final education reform bill passed in September, was still a bigger blow against her union, creating independent teacher training institutes to replacethe union-controlled university that had trained educators. The reform introduces performance testing to evaluate teachers and increases funding for new schools and
The government also passed a telecom reform that most observers thought would never happen. The law boosts competition by encouraging new entrants to the telecom market with the ultimate goal of lower prices for users. Raising income taxes on higher earners, as the new fiscal package does, is not too popular in the business community. Yet, it is politically smart for Mexico to invest in education and transportation infrastructure, while at the same time making the tax system more progressive.
Thanks to the “Pact for Mexico,” the budget for 2014 easily passed last month. No government shutdown, no debt-ceiling drama (public debt is just 38% of GDP)—just agreement on the essential priorities. Instead of compromising the independence of the central bank, as in Argentina or Venezuela, the Pena Nieto administration has diligently followed the recommendation of the Banco de Mexico to introduce deep structural reforms from education to antitrust laws. The government understands that only with consistently low inflaion can the central bank keep interest rates low. In Mexico there is no wishful thinking that easy money could somehow substitute for real reform. The most important project, however, is the liberalization of the energy industry, long held back by the state-owned Pemex monopoly.
The same party that nationalized the country’s oil fields 75 years ago is now empbarking on a reform whose primary objective is to bring foreign capital and expertise back in. The PRI understands that only with outside assistance can the country develop its extensive shale resources and deep-water oil reserves. Many thought this reform would not pass, but the government delivered it ahead of schedule on Dec. 12.Modern technology will take time to install. But thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—the fierce critics of which have gone silent—cheap U.S. natural gas will soon be flowing down north-to-south pipelines. This will make Mexican industry, which is already beating China on labor costs, even more competitive. That will in turn support a growing Mexican middle class. The government has not
lost sight of income inequality and low productivity. But Mr. Pena Nieto’s key insight is that attacking the mere symptoms of economic under-development is not the answer. It is rare indeed to witness a president talking about “raising family incomes for all Mexican families through elevating and democratizing productivity.” As Mr.
Pena Nieto said during his state of the union in September. If social ills like drug violence stem from a lack of opporuniy, then successful economic reforms should reduce them. Almost all measures of violence have fallen during Mr. Pena Nieto’s first year of government.
Even in a lousy year for emerging markets, Mexico has future prospects that are the brightest in the region. Under the revitalized PRI, the country is on its way to a new kind of institutional revolutiion: one that could permanently transform it from Latin America’s laggard into North America’s new engine of growth.∆