Mexico has held an election, and they decided to elect someone with the policies of Hugo Chavez (Venezuela). His name is Andrés Manuel López Obrador. What does it mean for America? It means we need to build a wall on our Southern border, and quickly, too. There were a couple of great articles about the election in The Federalist.
Let’s start with the first one, which emphasizes what the new government could do.
True to his left wing beliefs, his economic plan is all about taxing and spending. He calls for universal access to public colleges, raising the minimum wage and increasing spending for welfare.
Yes, he wants to raise taxes and possibly clamp down on corruption to pay for these government handouts. Rather than encouraging competition, he wants to reverse the energy reforms that ended state owned Pemex’s monopoly in the oil industry. He calls for an end to crude oil exports and instead, he wants to build more oil refineries to help Mexico achieve energy independence while guaranteeing employment of Pemex union workers. Rather than moving Mexico’s economy forward by encouraging free trade, he wants to take Mexico backward by incentivizing agriculture, so Mexico will be self-sufficient in food production. His nationalistic economic policy suggests he’s unwilling to compromise on the NAFTA negotiation with the U.S.
So, let’s see what’s in the list:
- raise taxes, which harms economic growth and job creation
- make higher education a state-owned monopoly
- make oil production a state-owned monopoly
- strengthen labor unions
- reduce free trade
- raise the minimum wage, which raises unemployment
We don’t have to guess at how this will work out, because it’s already been tried by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The latest news from Venezuela this week is that the military took over distribution of clean water. They’re eating dogs, cats and zoo animals, and selling their bodies for something to eat. Mexico’s not going to reach that point right away, but they’re not special. Bad policies produce bad effects.
The article continues:
Even if López Obrador is somehow able to keep Mexico’s economy stumbling along, he has already made it clear that Mexicans and all other migrants are entitled to come to the U.S.
“Very soon, with the triumph of our movement, we will defend migrants from Mexico, Central America and the whole continent and all migrants from around the world who need to leave their towns to go and make their life in the U.S.,” he said at a recent campaign rally. “It’s a human right we are going to defend.”
[…]He didn’t give any details on how he will “defend” all migrants’ supposed human right to be in the U.S., but one reasonable guess is that he probably won’t stop any migrants, whether they are Mexicans or not, from reaching the U.S. So we may see a surge of illegal crossings at our southern borders if he wins the presidency.
More illegal immigrants in the U.S. may also mean higher welfare expenditures at both the state and the federal level. As Victor D. Hanson wrote, “many of the millions of Mexican expatriates in the United States who send remittances home to Mexico are themselves beneficiaries of some sort of U.S. federal, state, or local support that allows them to free up cash to send back to Mexico.”
A more recent Federalist article has more, says that the real threat is not the socialist government, but the drug cartels:
Last week, the Associated Press reported on the rise of “mass crimes” throughout Mexico, in which “whole neighborhoods [defy] police and military personnel,” stealing freight trains full of merchandise or illegally tapping fuel pipelines. Much of the crime is reportedly driven by widespread despair and disgust for the government among common people, which powerful criminal syndicates are exploiting…
[…]Cartels across the country no longer limit their activities to drug smuggling or human trafficking, but have branched out into fuel theft, illegal fishing, mining, and logging. Ordinary Mexicans, especially those in rural areas, are often left with few options except to work for cartels, sometimes growing opium poppies or working as lookouts and drug mules. In some parts of the country, the “social controls” that might prevent mass crimes are simply gone, drawing comparisons to places like Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Somalia.
Meanwhile, violence is rampant across the country and on track for a record number of homicides this year. In the state of Guanajuato, an agricultural and manufacturing hub northwest of Mexico City that had one of the lowest murder rates in 2010, there were more than 2,000 execution-style killings last year and more than 1,000 in the first four months of this year. In 2007, there were only 51.
Whether socialism or drug cartels, the take-away lesson for America is the same:
If we continue to ignore the collapse of our southern neighbors and maintain our longstanding—and misbegotten—policy of benign neglect, we should expect the flow of illegal immigrants and families seeking amnesty to number not in the tens of thousands but in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps the millions. At that point, U.S. policymakers and American voters must regard the crisis for what it is: a foreign policy and national security matter, not a proxy for domestic political disputes and our never-ending culture war.
So, we’re definitely going to need that wall sooner than later.
Letting the cancer reach the healthy tissue does nothing constructive. We need to let Mexico and South America get clear on what works and what doesn’t work. If they don’t want to do the right thing in their elections, it can only mean that they haven’t hit rock bottom yet. When people want to follow their hearts, the sensible thing to do is to let them go until they destroy themselves. Unless they are willing to listen to reason, it’s a mistake to make their path to destruction more comfortable for them. Also, we need to fear the panicked grasping of the drowning person who doesn’t want the life-jacket, but instead just wants to drag us down with him. When Mexico is ready to get their lives in order, they can ask us politely to rescue them ON OUR TERMS.
Image source: geopoliticalfutures.com/mexicos-drug-war-no-closer-end/