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ibstubro's avatar

Why has American prosperity not spilled over into Mexico?

Asked by ibstubro (18730points) October 6th, 2014

How has the raising North American tide of Canada and the USA not brought Mexico up with it?

If you’ve gone to the trouble of reading my details, I’ll give you three schools of my thought:

1.) Mexico is so buffeted on the other border by contrary forces that no stabilization is possible.

2.) Mexico is so weak and ungovernable that the US cannot support a viable government there, long term.

3.) Mexico being weak it in the long-term interests of the US. In that, if we build Mexico up as a superpower and they turn against us, we are screwed.

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25 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

CARLOS SLIM is Hording all the profits. He is the richest non criminal in the world at about $80 or so billion dollars.

Pandora's avatar

I looked it up and found articles about how Mexico is actually progressing and coming up in the ranks. One of the articles says that their economy almost rivals that of Italy. Who knew? I guess the drug cartel is paying their employees better. Well it wouldn’t surprise me if they pay better than walmart.

cheebdragon's avatar

They seem to be more interested in just coming here instead.

rojo's avatar

@cheebdragon I think if the opportunity was there, they would choose to stay.

rojo's avatar

I think it has to do with the fairly strict social stratification that has been its history for so long. Chances for moving up are slimmer than in the US and those on the lower end of the economic scale take whatever scraps the rich and powerful offer.
When US companies (and others) move into Mexico they do so because of the low wages workers receive. They have no incentive to improve the lot of the workers it would only cut into their profits. What money they do invest into the country goes to pay off those who already have the money and power in order to do business in Mexico.

Just my thoughts.

LDRSHIP's avatar

I am not sure, but I would be curious of the history of it. I believe that may lend more clues to the current state than speculation of what might be in this exact moment.

Maybe that will have your answer?

cheebdragon's avatar

According to this
“Not only is Mexico doing better, macroeconomically speaking, than the false stereotypes would have us think, Mexico is actually doing better than the United States,”

pleiades's avatar

Well I live here in San Diego. My uncles all tell me the 1980s were the best time to cross over int o Tijuana as a tourist as business was booming and everything was civil. Now the risk of cartel and shootings run rampant, that started slowly in the 90s, heavier in the early 2000s then sky rocketed from 08 and forward. It’s so bad the military has banned active duty from crossing. This however created a boom in downtown San Diego night life and overall growth of the Gaslamp District

cheebdragon's avatar

@pleiades There was room for growth in San Diego? its been a couple years since I’ve been down the hill (I live in Temecula), but I remember it being quite full already.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Prosperity in the US really only is experienced by a very small percentage of Americans. Those few continue to get more prosperous. Most others continue to experience greater financial vulnerability and many are sliding into greater poverty.
Why would it be reasonable to expect Mexico and Mexicans to be experiencing better financial circumstances?

stanleybmanly's avatar

It should be noticed that the United States is well on its way to joining Mexico, as the middle class here is steadily whittled down and more and more wealth is scandalously concentrated at the top. For decades now the U.S has served as a safety valve allowing the escape of capable people from the country, who might otherwise have overturned the corrupt mess which passes for government. It’s rather peculiar that no one seems to notice that the decline of the United States as a “land of opportunity”, coincides in lockstep with the devolution of Mexico into a narco state, which it is today in everything but name. The immigrants flooding here are increasingly from Central American countries, as the American standard of living drops and the real “opportunities” for impoverished Mexicans lie with employment in the cartels. I expect it will soon be common for Mexicans in search of a better life to pass straight through the United States (with the assistance of U.S. coyotes eager to supplement their increasingly meaningless wages) into Canada.

ibstubro's avatar

This was the prompt for my question, if responders care to go there. Note that the college kids had hijacked buses for transport to an area where they could extort money to support the teacher’s college, and were shot by law enforcement officers.

I call “Bullshit!” on the demise of the middle class. The former “middle class” now believes that minimum wage should cover $120 monthly cell phone bills, a $1,000 a month mortgage, $90 TV bill, and $200 a month car payment x 2. Well, it doesn’t, shouldn’t and won’t.

I live in a modest brick ranch that was built by a top executive in the telephone industry in about 1969. When it was built, this house was everyone’s dream home. Today it is the home of an unemployed former factory worker. Free and clear. My cell phone is about $50 a month, there is no TV, and I saved to pay cash for the car.

“Need” has replaced “want” in the modern American lexicon.

Pandora's avatar

@ibstubro I can’t help but agree with you. Way too often people feel like they are entitled to more than they actually need. It’s not enough to have basic cable. They need all the other channels they never really watch. It’s not enough to have 1 basic cell phone. They need two or pay 500 dollars for the latest. It’s not enough to have one car. You need that super SUV or pick up truck that you hardly ever drive because the other car is more economical and you have nothing most of the time to lug around because you don’t have an army of kids nor do you do construction.
It’s not enough to have 3 bedrooms for a family of 4. You need a guest room, a play room, a huge yard that you have to hire other people to maintain, a giant kitchen no one ever cooks in and a living room that no one is ever in because they are gone most of the day working and shuffling the kids to different events. Middle class isn’t completely dead. People simply want to live like the rich. Have a mansion, a 6 car garage, expensive things and vacations and expensive friends.

Middle class use to be someone who owned their own home, maybe one car, one phone, one tv, and mom could afford to stay home. Todays middle class, bites off more than they can chew and then wonder why they are fat and covered in crap and have creditors screaming at them.

Although to be fair. Prices do increase and so do interest rates. The middle class is getting screwed but they should take responsibility for their greed as well.

cheebdragon's avatar

Maybe the middle class would be able to afford their purchases if they weren’t being forced to pay for everyone else.

ibstubro's avatar

Hear, hear, @Pandora. Did anyone ever doubt that the Cleavers were middle class? I want to think that Wally and Beaver shared a room? So it was, what, a 6 room house, tops?

Are you expressing displeasure with the current attitude of, “We have to provide the poor with free cell phones with internet access so they can access the newly free health care”? @cheebdragon Are you, perhaps, thinking that I personally do not have internet access on my phone because my property taxes on a modest brick ranch are over $3,000 a year?

cheebdragon's avatar

It has nothing to do with living beyond their means or biting off more than they can chew. Income for the middle class hasn’t changed since 1995, but the cost of everything else has gone up 5x-10x from what it was 10 years ago. The only thing that has gotten cheaper are vehicles.
The middle class is going into debt just trying to maintain the same lifestyle they’ve always had. They don’t even get the many benefits America has set up for the poor, they don’t get to go to college for free, they don’t get a debit card to purchase free grocerys, they don’t get cash aid or free healthcare, there is no section 8 housing for the middle class.
If you can’t afford the property tax on your ranch, maybe you should consider moving. Eh?

Pandora's avatar

What middle class do you know? I’ve known plenty that have bitten off more than they can chew. Actually, middle class today, I believe earns more than 60k to 200,000 k a year. If they earn 200,000 they want that 2 million dollar home. If they earn 60k a year they want that 500k home. No one wants to save before buying anything. Can’t blame it all on the poor. Especially if a lot of the poor exist because the rich want to keep paying them crap and have them live off the government. When we were earning 30,000 a year, we lived carefully. When we earned more we bought a little more but we settled on not needing a mansion, and not needing more cars than we can drive and afford and not needing the latest and the greatest of anything. We borrowed money but only for things that were necessary or an emergency we didn’t plan for
. We didn’t borrow for vacations. We saved for them.

ibstubro's avatar

I was agreeing with you, @cheebdragon, in that taxes on the Middle class are funding the benefits for which they are ineligible.

As I have no mortgage, no car payment, no TV service, and no health care, I don’t have trouble with paying my taxes. I do have trouble with the fact that I pay $3,000 a year in property tax on my house located on one of the busiest roads in the county, and the road is nearly impassable for need of repairs.

I think my wages topped out at about $17 an hour. When I bought my first house in the early 90’s, I was making $7.35 an hour, but my motto was, “If they’re payin, I’m stayin.” 60–80 hours in a week, fairly consistently until the house was paid in 5 years.
“Who wants to stand in the 90° heat and check the canned meat for maggots??” “I will! I will!”

give_seek's avatar

What other neighboring countries in the world have prosperity “spilling over”? Is this such a world-wide norm that it should be expected? In what way is Canada’s prosperity spilling over into the U.S.? I’m not asking to be rude. This is an opportunity for me to learn something. Thanks.

ibstubro's avatar

Western ECU countries, @give_seek?

give_seek's avatar

Thanks, @ibstubro. ECU is fascinating! It’s like an inter-country academic mashup. The spilling over reads as unique and perhaps intentional.

cheebdragon's avatar

@Pandora I don’t know anyone who lives like that and I highly doubt you do either.

ibstubro's avatar

Lives like what? @cheebdragon. If you’re asking about debt-adverse, I’m the poster child, now retired at 53.

Pandora's avatar

@cheebdragon So if you don’t know any gay people, does that make them fictional as well?
You have no idea what I know, and who I know. I’ve actually have moved a lot in the 22 years my husband was in the service and even after that and have encountered many different types of people has given me an excellent view of the different types of people in society. If you live in a world where everyone is sensible than I want to live there too.

cheebdragon's avatar

@pandora you’ve been asking everyone that you meet about their personal finances? They were all willing to tell you their income, and discuss every purchase made or debt owed?
Or does your knowledge come from more of an spectator point of view, perhaps a “friend of a friend said their cousin just spent all this money….”?
Considering that most people don’t openly discuss their financial status in detail, I don’t see how you could possibly come to the conclusion that the middle class is trying to live so extravagantly. Have you seen their bank statements? Loan terms? Credit report? Anything?
Moving frequently makes you an expert packer, it does make you a financial advisor or an expert on the spending habits of most middle class Americans.

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