Far from being an “act of love”, as Jeb Bush tried to convince us, massive migration from Mexico and Central America is an act of desperation, if not a major human tragedy. Clearly, the root cause of this migration is the fact that these nations are essentially failed states. They are failed states because of failed government policies, theirs and ours. So, building the world’s tallest wall on the southern border is no solution to this need to migrate, legally and illegally. Worse than wasted money and effort. Making Mexico pay for the wall is not tough love, but a frivolous penalty for Mexico’s use of the US economy as a crutch. Most Mexicans know what the problem is, and express it in the common lament: Poor Mexicans, so far from God, yet so close to the gringo. Pope Francis has already started God’s tough love approach by admonishing the Mexican elite to think about all of its people, not just its own personal enrichment. Corruption is both a moral and an economic matter. The Pope can save their souls, but Millennial Angels armed with smart US foreign policy can save their economic, judicial and social well being.
Most Mexicans clearly know what they have to do. They have done it twice before. In 1810 they fought against the corrupt and oppressive Spanish rulers. In 1910 they fought against the corrupt and oppressive Mexican rulers. In 2010 they find it easier to simply avoid the issue all together and, like Romulus and Remus in early Rome, become sucklings at the teats of the conveniently accessible gringo cow, condemned to permanent dependence on the America’s foreign poverty program. The fundamental problems of corruption, violence and counter-productive central (non)-planning must be attacked. But when, if not now? Over one hundred thousand Mexicans have lost their lives over the past 20 years of ineffective policing of the narco traffic. There is no end in sight, unless the Mexican nation becomes motivated to act. US law enforcement can help. But, why would they act if the gringo keeps subsidizing their wild-west economy in so many ways? Our assistance always seems to come down to US manufacturers investing in Mexico, not to help improve Mexican lives, but to exploit their cheap labor. Or is it? It is not really so much about cheap labor, but about lax rules, regulations and “flexible” officials, that make fully-automated factories cheaper to operate there than here (same in Brazil). The cheap labor flees to the US because NAFTA decimated parts of Mexican agriculture, and their government has no plans for those uneducated and poor farmers except “go al norte companero, the rich naive gringo will take care of you”.
What if the US taxpayers stopped subsidizing this madness by stopping any and all discretionary “foreign aid” (Merida/Alliance for Prosperity Plan of $750M), renegotiating the unbalanced NAFTA agreement (25 years of $50B annual US trade deficit), taxing remittances of $22B per year, investigating and prosecuting suspiciously corrupt officials with ties to the US. How did Mexico get 16 billionaires? Carlos Slim is number one among 114 in all of Latin America, and top 3 in the world thanks to a sweetheart cell-phone monopoly in Mexico. Oh where is our non-profit-motivated millennial generation that is prepared to forsake some profits for righteous causes? This generation could lead the effort to re-allocate our assistance but under strict guidelines, enforceability and accountability. The millennials could in effect lead a rescue-mission similar to the 1970s mission to Chile by famed economist Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics. Their intervention made it possible for Chile to be Latin America’s best managed free-market economy with average annual growth of 5%, despite the current socialist administration. (Mexico grew barely 1% per year since NAFTA). Chile has 12 billionaires and the same per capita GDP as Mexico despite an economy that is only 1/5th of Mexico’s. The millennial angels will figure a way to get US corporations to cooperate “for the greater good” of Mexico and America. Millennial Angels for “Peace, Prosperity and People” working within government and corporations would virtually guarantee fair implementation of a government-business alliance to improve the lives of Mexicans and Central Americans at the economic, justice and social levels, alongside the spiritual one driven by Pope Francis.Bringing Hope, Change and Freedom to Mexico and Central America could be the Peace Corps of our age. Improving, if not booming economies south of the border would provide hope and inspiration to other impoverished and mismanaged economies. Most of the 25% of Mexican nationals living within US borders would happily return to a secure and prospering homeland, and with a will to raise Mexico out of its cesspool of corruption and violence, body and soul. Andale, “patria o muerte”.