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01/05/2014

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Jack

Hmmmm, something of a stretch to make a case for high growth since NAFTA.

"Didn't Mexico at least benefit from the agreement? Well if we look at the past 20 years, it's not a pretty picture. The most basic measure of economic progress, especially for a developing country like Mexico, is the growth of income (or GDP) per person. Out of 20 Latin American countries (South and Central America plus Mexico), Mexico ranks 18, with growth of less than 1% annually since 1994. It is, of course, possible to argue that Mexico would have done even worse without NAFTA, but then the question would be, why?"

If the growth rate of a poor nation were to grow at the same rate as a much wealthier nation, the gap in living standards would widen. With Mexico's GDP per capita being a fairly stagnant 1% per year as compared to 2%, perhaps 3% in the US and Canada they'll continue to fall behind and likely continue to have problems with underground economies and drug trafficking.

Mexico seems to be caught on the wrong side of a squeeze play. The Japans, Koreas, Indias have gotten ahead of them in high productivity mfg, while they've lost businesses to the even cheaper labor rates of China, Cambodia and a lot of others. One asset they have is a young energetic population with half having been born since the late 70's, but they need productive jobs to harness that energy.

As for not seeing anything in Mexico's reforms regarding the costly and murderous drug trade, perhaps the place to look is in the US and what WE are (not) doing to decrease our seemingly insatiable demand.

Good, probably that few of our states are legalizing MJ, but a long slog before that movement results in ruining the current, lucrative, underground biz. And, I fear that the cartels will move increasingly to smaller more portable drugs of greater value. In addition to coke I'm hearing that much of the meth labs are migrating southward.

Without meddling too much WE should spend some of our efforts "closer to home?" in Mexico for several reasons. Having a 120 million population country right next door "go bad" is a lot worse than the same half way around the world. And! at times the US has selfishly put its needs ahead of those of Mexico.

One current example is the combo of heavily subsidizing US sugar and the even more foolish one of turning so much of our corn into ethanol instead of buying it from Mexico, Brazil and other cane growing areas. Cane being about 8 times more efficient for making alcohol than corn.

Hmm....... not seeing a connection between improved tel-com and economic output? Wouldn't it be much like here where we're making a strong push to (belatedly) provide universal broadband? What a boon it is to those who build or fix things to have a cel-phone or better yet a smartphone that enables finding a needed part or supplier w/o chasing down a phone book and, do we even remember? a pay phone? Having more universal access to (their) Ebay, Amazon and others surely benefits both the consumer and the seller.

Fifteen years ago I was impressed to see E-bulletin boards at truck stops that empowered a truck driver "deadheading" to his company HQ a couple states away to find a load nearby that he could haul. In addition to the added revenue, trucks w/o a load ride like a buckboard; the load smooths the ride and wear on the driver's spine substantially. Then there is the direct biz of providing programs and "apps" to uniquely Mexican needs.

Tele-medicine and tele-education comes quickly to mind as well. The "education" is not limited to academics either; it's several times a week that I look up a "How to do it" on Youtube; sometimes to learn how to do it, and at others just to decide not to take on the task but to know about how much labor is involved for someone else to tackle it.

Now! if they can reap these benefits w/o turning into I-phone zombies and not spending the recently reported TWO hours of at work time on "social media".

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