Monica Showalter writes an IBD editorial on how Mexico’s President Celebrates Obama Amnesty, But Should Be Ashamed
About That Gloating From Mexico (emphasis added)
With the vast majority of America’s 11 million illegal Mexican citizens — who flee their country’s corruption, poverty, low growth, rampant crony capitalism and embedded socialism — protesting over the past decade against getting sent back there, Pena Nieto ought to be embarrassed to show his face in public.
Fact is, the Obama amnesty highlights the awful failure of Mexico as an economic entity that can’t even create an acceptable place to live for a large number of its citizens.
Two-thirds of the eligible beneficiaries of the Obama amnesty — 3.2 million people — are Mexican nationals who will benefit from the presidential decree, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
They’re the longest-term residents, and nothing they’ve seen in Mexico over the decades has enticed them to return.
Mexico, according to the State Department’s country page, experienced average GDP growth of just 1.9% from 1960 to 2011. Income per capita in the same period has risen an average of even less, at 1.8%.
By contrast, Mexico’s labor force has grown an average of 2.2% since 1998 and more than that in the longer run. An average of 54,000 jobs have been created in each of the past five years, while its labor force has grown by about 224,000 a year over the same time, according to CIA World Fact Book and World Bank data.
What’s more, productivity gains have been low, with none lower than in those states that ship the most illegals — Zacatecas, Michoacan, Guerrero, Durango, Chiapas and Oaxaca, according to OECD data.
Unable to employ anywhere near the number who need jobs, it’s no surprise that 58.8% of Mexicans are underemployed or in informal off-the-book employment in the struggle to survive. Faced with that struggle, millions just head north to America.
And by the way, that figure includes 15.47% of all Mexico’s college graduates, according to a study in the Journal of Inter American Studies. (The U.S. figure, by contrast, is 0.45%.)
Tangled tax laws, overregulation, corruption and an unstable currency have all had their hand in the substandard growth that has not kept up with population.
Add to that the ruinous criminality, which has caused the death of hundreds of thousands.
But perhaps Peña Nieto is right to gloat: the U.S. government has done what he wanted, to provide – for the foreseeable future – an escape valve for internal pressures that would otherwise require him to act on.