2011 August 29 Monday
Upper Class Exodus From Mexico Begins

A Washington Post piece looks at a trend of affluent Mexicans moving to the United States to escape violence. Will Mexico's upper class shrink so far that it will get into a vicious cycle and spiral downward?

SAN ANTONIO — For years, national security experts have warned that Mexico’s drug violence could send a wave of refugees fleeing to the United States. Now, the refugees are arriving — and they are driving BMWs and snapping up half-million-dollar homes.

Tens of thousands of well-off Mexicans have moved north of the border in a quiet exodus over the past few years, according to local officials, border experts and demographers.

Some of the middle and upper classes who are staying are opting for embedded tracking devices to make it easier to find them if they get kidnapped. But range limitations make this a questionable approach unless someone can signal and get a very quick response right as they are being kidnapped.

We should discourage Mexicans from fleeing. They need to stay and fight. We have a vested interest north of the border in making Mexico become more, not less, stable. The US should escalate its own fight against the criminal groups in Mexico while at the same time making the border far harder to cross.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 August 29 09:20 PM  Mexico


Comments
Mercer said at August 29, 2011 9:44 PM:

"The US should escalate its own fight against the criminal groups in Mexico'

The best way for the US to undermine Mexican criminal gangs would be to legalize drugs. I think Mexicans are nuts to endure all the violence in a futile attempt to stop the flow of drugs to American consumers.

ZZ said at August 29, 2011 9:54 PM:

This is not a new trend at all. Rich Mexicans move to Texas and San Diego. Rich South Americans to Texas, Miami, and New York. Usually it is a gradual process, first a U.S. house, then the kids move, finally everyone does. It is very easy for a rich Mexican to move to the USA legally, just find a relative who is a citizen and pay an immigration lawyer $15,000 + provide proof of financial resources.

Relating to your last post, Mexico is already past the point of being rich enough to care about the environment. There is a large Green Party in Mexico, and it is the largest party outside of the big three. Mexico City banned the new construction of any factories about 20 years ago, and the country banned leaded fuel almost as quickly as quickly as first world countries.

W.E. Coyote said at August 30, 2011 7:09 AM:

"We should discourage Mexicans from fleeing. They need to stay and fight."

No disagreement here, but that's going to be a tough sell. If anything, Mexico's elites are even less patriotic than our own.

Mthson said at August 30, 2011 7:49 AM:

Keeping drugs illegal is basically philanthropy toward violent Mexican criminal gangs. I'm all for philanthropy, but couldn't we find a better target?

Also, legalization works: Portugal decriminalises drugs. Crime/Usage falls.

gig said at August 30, 2011 1:22 PM:

@ mthson

The correct argument would be: "Portugal ages into senility; every action imaginable would reduce crime, including legalization of drugs"


Also, Americans should keep in mind that the US's fforts towards democratization are directly behind violence in Latin America. When a couple % of Latin Americans were entitled to vote the streets were safe. Unfortunately, that meant that the oligarhcical regimes in Latam were entirely white at the top, and that angered Americans beyond belief

Because we all know, as paleocons, that if Whites are at the top North of Rio Grande, that's what HBD predicted. But if whites are at the top South of Rio Grande, it can only be due to racism.

Mthson said at August 30, 2011 3:44 PM:

Gig, look at how far the reality is from where it's supposed to be. We're arguing about not whether our tens of billions of dollars have any positive effect, but about whether or not it actually has a negative effect. So the best argument we can make is that we're throwing money down the toilet to achieve zero results.

That's not counting the massive upside we'd experience from ceasing our philanthropy toward violent Mexican gangs.

Thyme said at August 30, 2011 5:44 PM:

For over two generations, Mexico has taken for granted the stability provided by the men from the dregs of society.
When these men (migrants) were no longer defending home and hearth, providing moral leadership, etc. to their families
and communities, the dregs became fodder for the wolves, and on up the societal scale went the creep that has now turned into a gallop. Women started coming increasingly since 1965, but its still mostly men.

The criminals are responding to exactly the same incentive
as the economic migrants: ultra-rich next door neighbors. If it wasn't drugs, it would be prostitution,
and if not that it would be sex slavery, and on and on. Criminals will be criminals. They could be doing
the very same thing as the migrants, but they won't because they are criminals. Personally, few in my
circle and class have to worry about drugs and the criminals. I'm more concerned about the high IQ people
who would want to sell it! I don't want to empower highly intelligent sociopaths. And they would certainly
make it more profitable as they are, well, much smarter at marketing and turning a profit!

Even further, I think Mexico's problems can be further distilled to its very essence and it is that we are right
next door and so open to this country that is so much poorer.

gig said at August 30, 2011 6:28 PM:

@ mthson

The aging societies of Southern Europe will have less crime year after year just because they are aging, the only way to prop up their crime rates is through black/muslim immigration. But the collapsing economies of the PIIGS cannot afford that anymore.

Drug legalization in a society in which you have either a large young population or a large black population or worse, if you have both, is a complete absurd and places you outside of rational debate. You could legalize drugs and gun possession in Japan and I doubt that even if you forced every drug user to walk with a concealed gun that crime would go up

But try giving every Brazilian or American older than 18 the right to bear guns or use drugs and the Hobbesian nightmare would ensue

map said at August 30, 2011 7:35 PM:

I don't understand how legalizing drugs would reduce drug crimes. Am I missing something? If we legalized rape, then I am sure that would reduce rape crime, right?

Mthson said at August 30, 2011 7:39 PM:

Gig,

A good first step is to legalize marijuana and get actual data instead of just strongly held opinions. Expect the crime rate to increase by around 0%, because marijuana mostly just makes people lazy, hungry, and compliant. As well, Portugal already has some NAMs (non-Asian minorities), and plenty of lower-class neanderthals within their White population, so there appears to be zero evidence that neanderthals, regardless of ethnicity, go crazy once non-alcohol drugs, which they're already using regularly, are as legal as is alchohol.

Keeping marijuana illegal but alchohol legal, which is actually destructive, seems to be a position outside of rational debate.

Mthson said at August 30, 2011 7:42 PM:

Map,

I'm guessing giving neanderthals their drugs at affordable prices and their incentive to become criminals, and eliminates their need to hang out with the criminal element in order to get access to drugs.

solaris said at August 30, 2011 8:30 PM:

>"The best way for the US to undermine Mexican criminal gangs would be to legalize drugs."

Or we could just, you know, secure the frickin' border. Mexico secures its border - why don't we hire some Mexicans to tell us how it's done if we're really so clueless?

Mercer said at August 30, 2011 9:19 PM:

"American older than 18 the right to bear guns or use drugs and the Hobbesian nightmare would ensue"

Guns and opium were both legal in the nineteenth century. Do you consider the Victorian era a "Hobbesian nightmare"?

gig said at August 31, 2011 4:42 AM:

@ Mercer

America in the nineteenth century had a slightly different racial composition than Barack Obama's America. And the few NAMs weren't exactly entitled to the same rights of the white majority.

You could realize your utopia in Japan, but don't try to convince me the effects on Japan would be the same as on today's Brazil/US

"because marijuana mostly just makes people lazy, hungry, and compliant"

This is standard utopian thinking. Because everyone you know who used marijuana is upperclass, you infer that the effects are universal.

map said at August 31, 2011 4:59 AM:

Mthson -

"I'm guessing giving neanderthals their drugs at affordable prices and their incentive to become criminals, and eliminates their need to hang out with the criminal element in order to get access to drugs."

But how and why would it become affordable? I don't understand this belief in the price dropping effects of legalizing drugs.

Mthson said at August 31, 2011 9:52 AM:

Map, drug prices are artificially inflated because of the secrecy required (e.g. growing weed in a basement instead of on a normal large scale farm) and because of the risk posed from both law enforcement and from the criminal element drug-users have to deal with.

Gig, the brains of the lowerclass respond to chemicals in the same as the brains of the upperclass. Anyway, the best argument we can make against marijuana is that it has a far better effect on criminals than alcohol does. If we're not arguing for making alcohol illegal, then the argument against marijuana legalization appears to be just 'status quo thinking', and not a rational argument. So make marijuana legal and thus cheap, and thereby bias drug use toward marijuana and away from alcohol and meth etc.

gig said at August 31, 2011 11:16 AM:

@mthson

just like they react to alcohol. The upperclass do not go killing their spouses or shooting each other when drunk, but the underclass does. Just because Ted Kennedy killed somebody it does not mean that drunk upperclass people are a danger to traffic. Like airplanes crashing, it is so widely reported because of how rare it is.

Mthson said at August 31, 2011 11:38 AM:

@gig

Unless you're arguing that marijuana is somehow worse than alcohol, which everybody knows isn't true, this isn't an argument based on reason. Anyway, we already know legalizing marijuana doesn't increase crime, so the argument is probably best considered to just be a 'yuck factor' thing.

solaris said at August 31, 2011 12:54 PM:

>"Guns and opium were both legal in the nineteenth century. Do you consider the Victorian era a "Hobbesian nightmare"?"

Yeah, pretty much. It wasn't called "the Wild West" for nothing.

solaris said at August 31, 2011 12:57 PM:

I propose a new internet "law" - Any discussion of the breakdown of Mexico will bring out the Johnny-One-Note libertarians singing their one note about legalizing drugs.

Mthson said at August 31, 2011 5:28 PM:

Solaris, thanks for contributing your massive intellectual powers to convince us that your support for marijuana criminalization isn't just the "yuck factor" of a simpleton.

With such carefully reasoned complexities and respect for evidence in your argument, we have no doubt you'd change your position on the issue if the balance of evidence changed.

Zamman said at August 31, 2011 6:56 PM:

Well my friends, this quiet exodus is very, very soon going to turn into a tsunami from hell, just watch.

gig said at September 2, 2011 6:27 AM:

marijuana is somehow worse than alcohol, which everybody knows isn't true,

Just like global warming, we all know it is true. There is absolute consensus over it


we already know legalizing marijuana doesn't increase crime

Yeah, because doing it in societies with almost no blacks and no youth proves that it works everywhere. Portugal and Holland are well below 5% of africans as a share of population

If you want to know how a de facto legalization of drugs plus firearms work with lots of young people, and young blacks, google "Rio de Janeiro", "Elite Squad" and " City of God"


solaris said at September 2, 2011 10:00 AM:

>"Solaris, thanks for contributing your massive intellectual powers to convince us that your support for marijuana criminalization isn't just the "yuck factor" of a simpleton."

Happy to be of assistance, Mthson. I realize that you libertarians have all the intellectual and emotional development of an adolescent (what valuable insights into culture, politics, and economics have you gleaned from a sci-fi novel recently?) but I'm always willing to assist those less fortunate than myself.

Mthson said at September 2, 2011 3:06 PM:

Solaris,

Excellent... one more anti-libertarian mediocritist who makes meaningless contributions to the world but thinks his lazy, unadaptive ideology is light years better than that of the Silicon Valley libertarians creating the tools that define his future.

Randall Parker said at September 2, 2011 5:13 PM:

gig,

Lots of people are very lucky because they believe they can just rely on the consensus. Being able to trust the consensus of an elite really lightens the mental workload. Gives more time for entertainment and moral posturing.

Mthson,

Answer gig. I'm curious to know what you think of the salience of his comments.

My own questions:

If lots of people get stoned daily will they work less, pay less in taxes, and demand for from the state?

Also, if drugs are legalized will more become cocaine abusers who are paranoid, hostile, and bad to be around?

I've had friends with various sorts of abuse problems. I can sympathize with those who fear their family members will become major abusers of the drugs are legalized.

Mthson said at September 2, 2011 10:44 PM:

It's a reasonable scenario that trends in the US would track trends in Portugal... treatment for drug use is more effective than putting people in jail for it. If there was a measurable bump in crime trends in Portugal, it'd be a reasonable assumption that the bump would be increased in the US due to its greater NAM population. The assumed absence of such a bump makes such a scenario less likely.

Potential negatives have to be considered alongside the positives. Taxing legal marijuana sales at a high rate might significantly increase taxes obtained from the lower classes even after a reduction in their earned income, since they currently don't contribute much in taxes anyway. Also, it's drug criminalization is a huge financial drain for law enforcement and the prison system.

Even if we assume that somehow marijuana is as crime-causing as is alcohol, reducing crime from criminal gangs, drug dealers, and the criminalization of drug offenders from going to prison seems likely to reduce crime rates overall.

This is probably an issue best decided based on data.

Con1 said at September 5, 2011 3:11 PM:

Borders should be secured so that no greasy beaner crosses over. Same goes for the rest of Spek countries south of the border.

Great solutions for great problems.

In said at September 6, 2011 9:08 AM:

Someone would need to crunch the numbers and do the analysis, but I'm extremely skeptical that legalizing Marijuana would be a net negative. Other drugs (heroin for example) are far more potent and addicting, so I'm not so sure about them.

I agree with Mthson that there is a "Yuck factor" associated with weed in certain wings of society that makes it intolerable to them. Going through the public school system I remember being bombarded with propaganda about how bad MJ is, how it is a gateway drug and I remember in health class the ridiculous detail about the health effects of MJ. It was only years after graduation that I revisited the topic and saw what a bunch of silly bullshit all that propaganda was, probably pushed by over conservative old ladies who have no idea what MJ is. I really felt like I was brainwashed.

Also - do we really need the government to protect us from everything, especially something that is arguably milder and far less toxic than alcohol?


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