Is Mexico a Failed State?
By: Craig Chamberlain
You would think that a country that has a GDP of 1.5 trillion dollars, and a GDP per capita of $14,400 would not have so many problems. Mexico is a fairly wealthy country, but should be much wealthier. Corruption, antiquated laws from it’s socialist days, crime, and net migration out of the country all contribute to the Mexico’s problems.
Why should we care about Mexico’s problems? To put it simply we can’t afford to share a 2,000 mile long border with a failed narco state. Mexico isn’t quite to that stage yet, but it is working on it. And the problems can easily spill over into the United States. Phoenix, AZ, is the kidnapping capital of the United States, and it ranks at number two in the world for kidnapping. Most of these crimes are committed by Mexican criminals with some connection to the cartels operating in that country.
The city of Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, had 2,000 homicides in the last year. El Paso only had 20. The State Department is telling college students to stay out of Mexico while on spring break, and there is a very real concern that the violence in cities like Juarez could spill over. What would we do in such a case? How would we react if, say, San Diego had 2,000 homicides a year? At the rate things are going along our southern border we probably won’t have to wait all that long to find out.
If Mexico isn’t already a failed state it’s working on it at light speed. President Calderon has been largely ineffective in dealing with the problems of the country. While he is a better leader than his predecessor, former President Fox, his attempts to root out corruption, reduce poverty, and deal with crime have all been unsuccessful.
Unemployment is not a serious problem in Mexico. According to 2008 estimates the unemployment rate was 4.1%, much lower than the 8.1% in the United States. But while unemployment is not a serious problem underemployment is. Too many Mexicans are working at low paying jobs that are far below their skill level. A Mexican might have a university degree in engineering, but because of lack of connections can’t get a job in the state oil company, so he ends up working in a low paying job in the tourism industry.
Until Mexico makes some serious reforms it won’t be able to handle it’s problems. The cartels will still be powerful, the people will still be leaving Mexico for the the Untied States, and Mexico could fall into total chaos. This would be a serious threat to the national security of the United States and we would be required to act. If we want to prevent that scenario we should act now.
First thing that needs to be done is the completion of the border fence. Many of the people illegally crossing have criminal backgrounds, it’s not in the best interests of this country to give criminals free access to this country. Secondly congress needs to renew E-Verify to help keep track of illegal immigrants. Mexico will not confront it’s problems as long as it can avoid them by exporting them to us. Thirdly, we should support Mexico in it’s fight against the cartels. President Calderon has finally called out the army, when the police force proved to be corrupt and ineffective.
It’s easy to identify the problems, it’s not so easy to confront them and defeat them. President Bush was an unwilling enforcer of our immigration laws, he had to be dragged into it kicking and screaming. The chamber of commerce, and the hispanic lobby don’t want immigration enforcement under any circumstance. They’d let Osama Bin Laden walk right across the border if he just stopped calling himself a terrorist and started calling himself a migrant worker. But at least President Bush did enforce the law, no matter how reluctantly. President Obama is an even bigger fan of open borders, and amnesty.
Let’s hope we don’t find out what it will be like if the violence spreads in the United States, though with Obama and the open border brigade even more entrenched the open borders will soon turn into bloody borders unless we take action to prevent it.