Two industrialized and civilized countries with low levels of official corruption can cooperate effectively to crack down on criminals operating across their shared border. But the United States can not hope to do the same with Mexico.
Along the border in Texas, local police departments have claimed to see Mexican army troops protecting drug smugglers, a claim the Mexicans deny. Corruption has been common among some Mexican police. The United States has constructed walls and fences and stationed National Guard troops along the border to keep out illegal immigrants.
Along the Canadian border, there are no plans for fences, and efforts focus on smuggling and terrorism. U.S. and Canadian authorities are patrolling together on the Great Lakes and have plans to operate a joint radio network. In a real-life repeat of the 1990s TV show "Due South" that featured a well-mannered Mountie and a hard-bitten Chicago cop, American agents and their Canadian counterparts have begun to investigate cases on each other's soil.
The article reports on a great scaling up of cross-border cooperation by Canadian and American law enforcement personnel. By contrast, American law enforcement see the Mexican police and military as hopelessly corrupt and criminal:
Border Patrol senior agent Bob Riffle, who worked on the Mexican border for a decade before transferring to Washington state, said the two borders have different cultures and had high praise for his Canadian counterparts. "I trust those guys implicitly," he said. "In Mexico, how can you have serious cooperation on a day-to-day level with guys who might have just robbed a group of illegals? It's a different world down there."
America can not totally isolate itself from Mexico. But we can not fix the place either. A barrier layer of fences and walls built along whole length of the Mexican border would reduce the damage done to the United States by the corruption and backwardness of Mexico.
The problem is any kind of cooperation and sharing of intelligence and communication systems with Mexico could run to the rampant corruption on the other side of the border.
Mexican government, police and military units struggle with corruption and direct links to drug cartels and immigrant smugglers. That creates problems when U.S. or border state officials looking to coordinate efforts. Information and intelligence sharing can often end up in the hands of organized criminal syndicates and cartels.
We are supposed to believe that Mexico is going to rise up and eventually the US problems with Mexican immigration, Mexican corruption, and the like will be solved by economic development. That is the argument you can hear from elements of the Open Borders crowd. But Mexico is not narrowing the economic gap with the United States.
Adjusted for inflation, Mexico's growth in gross domestic product has been flat for more than two decades. The cost to Mexico's people for this dismal performance is staggering. If Mexico's economy had grown at the same pace from 1980 to the present as it did in the period from 1960 to 1980, today it would have the same standard of living as Spain, said economist Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research in Washington. Instead, nearly half of Mexico's 106 million people live in poverty.
In fact, the US-Mexico economic gap is widening. (and economists who ignore the elephant in the room can not explain this)
The Harvard-educated Saracho has analyzed Mexico's post-1980 economic performance. His results are grim.
In constant 2000 dollars, the World Bank reports, Mexican per-capita GDP was $7,758 in 1980. It inched upward to $8,661 in 2003. Over that period, Chile went from trailing to topping Mexico, with its figures rising from $4,620 to $9,706. Former laggard South Korea leapfrogged from $4,556 to $16,977.
In 1980, Mexico's per-capita GDP was 34 percent of America's. By 2003, it had slid to 24 percent. Concurrently, South Korea began behind Mexico, at 20 percent, and then outpaced it to achieve a per-capita GDP 48 percent of America's.
Registering a Mexican business takes 58 days, versus 48 in China, 27 in Chile, 22 in South Korea, and five here. During nearly two months of procedures, Mexican officials have numerous opportunities to encourage "tips" to speed things along. Mexico's Private Sector Center for Economic Studies calculates that, in 2004, 34 percent of businesses paid "extra-official" sums to functionaries and parliamentarians totaling $11.2 billion. As the late Carlos Hank Gonzalez — Mexico City's once-humble, eventually loaded, former mayor — put it: "Show me a politician who is poor, and I will show you a poor politician."
Well-off Mexicans pay almost no taxes and the government only takes in 14 percent of GDP. Welfare and unemployment benefits are unknown and job creation and salaries have stagnated. Mexico's per-capita real GDP has grown at only 0.7 percent annually since the early 1980s.
All else equal, rapid economic growth is easier for a country with lower per capita GDP because it can adopt existing technologies to raise living standards. Whereas the most developed economies must create new technologies in order to raise productivity and living standards. But all else is not equal. The elephant in the room is IQ differences. You won't hear much about that elephant since the left has managed to enforce a vigorous taboo regime against the truth. But the elephant is hard to miss if you use your own lying eyes to see it.
Calderón is promising to maintain the economic status quo of the last 25 years, but Weisbrot and Sandoval note that while Mexico's per capita GDP grew by 99 percent between 1960 and 1980, it grew by only 15 percent from 1980 to 2000. In the first five years of this decade, Mexicans have seen their economy grow by an anemic 2 percent.
By contrast, Richard W. Fisher is president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, provides details of US economic growth from 1980 to 2005 when the US per capita GDP increased by 63.7% in stark contrast to Mexico's own increase of only 15% over the same time period.
From 1980 to 2005, American workers filed 118 million claims for unemployment insurance. Many others lost their jobs, of course, but either didn’t qualify for benefits, were not unemployed long enough to file a claim, or quickly transitioned to new jobs. It is hard to find a figure that would include all the job losses, but it would be more than 150 million, surely. That is the destructive and painful side of the churn.
Yet, despite all these job losses:
Total employment over the period rose by 44 million—net. At annual rates, unemployment fell from 7.2 percent to today’s 4.7 percent. Productivity increased by 72 percent. Per capita real GDP shot up from $26,113 to $42,760. The average workweek fell by nearly two hours to 33.7 hours, and average household real net worth more than doubled to $431,000. That is the creative and restorative side of the churn.
You hear the claim that illegal immigration from Mexico will slow due to faster economic growth in Mexico. But that claim is false! Contrary to claims made by economists and free trade advocates in the early 1990s NAFTA did not set Mexicon on a path toward closing the living standards gap. The gap has continued to widen. I see these results as a consequence of the increasing economic premium on higher IQ. Therefore I predict that the living standards gap between higher and lower IQ countries is going to widen and with it the incentive for immigration from low to high IQ countries.
Given that the IQ premium will continue to grow the living standards gap between low and high IQ countries will continue to grow as well. Therefore the need to erect higher barriers to legal and illegal immigration of low IQ workers will increase. If the United States continues to let in lower IQ immigrants then the gap between the US and Mexico will eventually shrink as as less able American workforce cuts into competency of American businesses, research labs, and government agencies. Since IQ is inversely correlated with corruption a rise in corruption will further cut into the efficiency of the US economy.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 July 02 03:01 PM Immigration Border Control|