What Mexico wants from the United States (besides open borders)

In 2001, an interviewer asked Vincente Fox’ Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda:

Q: What about the Spanish model? Joining the European Union gave Spain a boost.

The answer is pretty obvious, if you think about it:

A: That’s what Fox essentially wants, the type of resource transfers that occurred in Spain and, before Spain, in Ireland, and, after Spain, in Portugal and Greece. The Germans were willing to build highways in Spain. Somebody else has to build our highways. We don’t have the money.

So, hop to it, you yanqui imperialists. :)

12 thoughts on “What Mexico wants from the United States (besides open borders)”

  1. How about we short-cut the process and just add the Mexican states to the current North American Union (The United States of America). ;)

    Did Spain get the resource transfers before they joined the EU? Don’t think so… maybe they did, I dunno.

  2. Google the Mexican Constitution and read. Interesting pieces of xenophobia laced through out the document. The executive has the power to deport any foreigner at will, legal or illegal, without any judicial interference. Only Mexician citizens can own property. That makes a lot of sense when you’re looking for foreign investment. Their gringo brothers of El Norte keep their economy running with significant investments from England, the Netherlands, Japan, et al. Wonder why?

  3. The “Spanish model” is a very superficial similarity. While Spain made a smooth and relatively quick transition from Franco’s closed and archaic system to modernity, and was able to develop at full speed under Suárez, (even under the corrupt) González and particularly under Aznar, Mexico still lives in 1913, as the constitution example shows. A better analogy would be to compare it to the Spanish Republic of 1937 under Largo Caballero and Azaña. Spain and Ireland made good use of the EU’s help, but any amount of foreign aid to Mexico would go down a drain.

  4. Actually, foreigners may own land in Mexico, as long as it is not within 50 (or is it 100) miles of the coast. Recently, though that has been circumvented by allowing foreigners to be the beneficiaries of trusts that own land within that zone.

    Also, American money IS being used to rebuild/build Mexico; one dusty puebla at a time. The capital is provided by all those Mexicans, working in the U.S. sending the cash home. In some small towns they have gotten together to make improvements that Los Reyes in the D.F. never seem to send beyond the capitol borders. That being said, the constitution is not only xenophic, but evidences fear of its own people (thus the stringent gun laws).

    Theidea of accession has some merits…;)

    I do wonder. So many Mexicans work here and return (as opposed to those who stay). There have to be many who say to themselves, how come our government cannot be more like the North; especially on the border where the difference is so stark (though, sometimes, not the ethnic makeup).

    Mexico is essentially run like an empire from Mexico city (despite its federalism). They shouldn’t look to us to fund improvements to their empire; not through the state anyway, and not for free. I wonder how they would feel if for every mile of highway we built, we insisted on a sign: This Highway built for you by the United States (big flag logo).

  5. I would expect an economics blog to give an detailed anaylsis of how neo-liberal reform has brought Mexico wealth and fortune. Or at least explain why it has been a miserable failure, resulting in massive migration of a 1/5 of its citizenry to the United States.

    No? you’re going to stick with a 4 year old article from the LA times, well okay then.

  6. ” Interesting pieces of xenophobia laced through out the document”

    Hmm… did it have anything about Indian Savages?

  7. Shawn, I would like to study our constitution more closely; in what Article and what Section does the U.S. Constitution discuss “Indian Savages.” (That also doesn’t sound idiomatic.)

    Most of us are willing to grant that Americans in the late 1700’s did not view the “other” as we do today. Nor, do Mexicans probably view the “other” as they did in the second decade of the twentieth century.

    Would you argue that the neo-liberal reform you describe is accompanied in Mexico with clear property rights, transparent courts, and the rule of law?

  8. The Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, accuses King George of, inter alia, having “endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” This may be un-PC, but it was not inaccurate.

  9. Correct me if I’m misinformed, but wasn’t there a scandal over the Mexico City highway construction fiasco? If the bookmakers are right in viewing the mayor of Mexico City as the odds on favorite to win next years Presidential election, might this cast Fox’s comments in a different light.

    If Mexico elects that chilango mayor to replace Fox as President, a distinct possibility… well, Lopez Obrador is tailor made to horrify and enrage Americans.

  10. Shawn,

    Your argument isn’t clear. Are you making particular claims about neo-liberal economic reforms in Mexico? If so, be specific.

    Without claiming to know about the xenophobia claim. A reasonable defense if the charge is accurate might be pointing out the frustrations of Mexicans when new settlers from the north come to Mexican territory, only to decide later that it’s not Mexican territory and that the Mexicans living next door are now Texans! Californians! New Mexicans! After enough foreigners do the same thing enough times, usually having first bribed a chilango to make it legal, a Mexican who wants to keep his land AND remain Mexican is wise to err on the side of xenophobia AND chilango-phobia. no?

  11. Eric,

    Did Spain get the resource transfers before they joined the EU? Don’t think so… maybe they did, I dunno.

    They got some to prepare for membership, but most only when they entered. Btw, in some yeras Spain received the equivalent of up to 3 % of its GDP in aid.

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