Mexico on a Cliff-Edge

The western media have had relatively little to say about Mexico electing an openly socialist president on Monday, other than to gloat at this aspect of his campaign:

Mr López Obrador was scathing in his criticism of US President Donald Trump during his campaign, something that analysts say won him extra votes from Mexicans angry at the insults Mr Trump had aimed at Mexicans.

The media have yet to acknowledge the catastrophe hard-left policies have brought about in Venezuela, in part because they were busy cheering on Hugo Chavez in his early days; it’s going to be interesting what mental gymnastics they perform covering this new guy in Mexico. Note that this has received very little coverage:

More than 100 politicians in Mexico have been killed since September in the lead-up to the country’s election this Sunday, and more than 13,000 Mexicans have been killed since January.

100 politicians murdered in the run-up to elections? I think this warrants a sturdier description than “a campaign marred by violence”, as the BBC puts it. Contrast this with the sneering which takes place when Russians go to the polls and put Putin back in office.

The fact is, Mexico is a failed state in a low-level civil war, and has been for some time. The ruling classes have reached an understanding with the drug cartels that if the former get left alone to run the capital, the latter can have a free reign everywhere else. Trump gets this, which is why he railed so hard against Mexico during his campaign, much to the annoyance of the country’s president and former president who like many others were not expecting a White House incumbent to speak the truth so bluntly.

Trump also realises how this is linked to both NAFTA and immigration. Mexico does very well out of being able to build stuff using cheap labour and flog it to the United States, as well as shift on goods imported to Mexico for the sole purpose of ending up over the border. While it may bring the costs of goods down in the US, it’s had the effect of destroying industries and employment – especially in industries which regulation has  made prohibitively expensive in the US. By relocating to Mexico, a company can halve its costs and avoid US regulations. Everyone wins, except those who’ve lost their jobs thanks to people in Washington DC and New York who would despise them if they knew they existed. And it was they who voted for Trump by the million.

The immigration issue is more serious, though:

Mexican presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said Tuesday that migrants from all over the world who decide it’s “a necessity” have a “human right” to migrate to the United States.

“Soon, very soon, after the victory of our movement, we will defend migrants all over the American continent and the migrants of the world who, by necessity, must abandon their towns to find life in the United States,” Lopez Obrador said during a rally in the Mexican city of Culiacán, eluniversal.com reports.

For decades successive Mexican governments have relied on the leaky border with the US to avoid undertaking desperately-needed reforms in their own country. So long as the US can provide economic opportunities for Mexicans who support their families with remittances, there is no incentive for the Mexican government to run the place competently. In effect, a porous border and lack of immigration enforcement in the US acts as a pressure relief valve for Mexican idiocy, but it’s placing an ever-increasing cost on the US which cheap gardeners and docile maids are no longer able to offset.

Trump understood this way back in his campaign, hence the refrain about building a wall. For all those wailing at him, few acknowledge the appalling mismanagement that has gone on in Mexico from one generation to the next, but the election of Obrador is going to force this into sharp focus. If this new chap starts enacting hard-left policies as he’s promising, the numbers pouring over the border will increase exponentially regardless of whether the Mexican government is encouraging it or not. I think we’re going to see attitudes to illegal immigration in the US harden yet further, and in a few years Trump’s current stance might look almost liberal. The call for a proper border, perhaps with deployment of the military, will get louder until it’s impossible to ignore. I’d  not be surprised if this becomes the biggest political issue in the US by the 2024 presidential election. It’s ironic that the election of one of Trump’s biggest critics on immigration might well be the one most responsible for finally getting his wall built.

Liked it? Take a second to support Tim Newman on Patreon!
Share

21 thoughts on “Mexico on a Cliff-Edge

  1. This valid point is valid universally, e.g. “in effect, a porous border and lack of immigration enforcement in the EU acts as a pressure relief valve for British idiocy”.

    Clearly, an angry Tim (or two) remaining in the UK would force the Establishment to come to Jesus. Or maybe not.

  2. And what’s the Democrats answer to all this?!? Protesting to abolish ICE and have open borders.

    The midterms will be interesting….

  3. I wouldn’t have a lot of faith in a leader who was strenuously proclaiming my absolute right to migrate elsewhere is search of prosperity. That’s like an airline claiming that they ensure all passengers get top-quality parachutes.

  4. The mixed messages we’re going over Mexico have been something to behold. On the one hand, it’s a violent hellhole and anybody coming from there should be assumed to be a refugee fleeing for their life; on the other hand, the Mexicans are all fine, upstanding people, and only racists think we ought to monitor who crosses the border.

    “Soon, very soon, after the victory of our movement, we will defend migrants all over the American continent and the migrants of the world who, by necessity, must abandon their towns to find life in the United States,” Lopez Obrador said during a rally in the Mexican city of Culiacán, eluniversal.com reports.

    I wonder how many of the people who’ve been complaining about Russian interference are going to push back against this blatant threat to undermine another country’s immigration laws.

    Trump also realises how this is linked to both NAFTA and immigration. Mexico does very well out of being able to build stuff using cheap labour and flog it to the United States, as well as shift on goods imported to Mexico for the sole purpose of ending up over the border. While it may bring the costs of goods down in the US, it’s had the effect of destroying industries and employment – especially in industries which regulation has made prohibitively expensive in the US. By relocating to Mexico, a company can halve its costs and avoid US regulations. Everyone wins, except those who’ve lost their jobs thanks to people in Washington DC and New York who would despise them if they knew they existed. And it was they who voted for Trump by the million.

    It’s weird how many anti-Trumpists have embraced free trade and the importation of cheap workers over the past couple of years. Because apparently making sure that big business has access to a ready supply of cheap, easily-exploitable labour is a left-wing cause now.

  5. Here is my solution to all of Mexico’s woes.

    Given that the Yankee demand for recreational drugs is forecast to increase, take a different approach to supply and get the bad guys out of it. Firstly, decriminalise its use. Then shut down the CIA and all of the drug trade facilitating counter-narcotic agencies, the money laundering banks and Wall St types will then lose market share and the profits will instead be retained by the local producers, stimulating their local economies rather than a few local Mafia Dons and the US elite, plus thousands of lives will be saved every year on both sides of the border. Commercial, competitive production and logistic systems will provide for stable supply, higher quality and lower cost product. The end user will have a higher and less harmful experience and the reduced cost will enable the user to spend money on other things further stimulating the US economy.

    On society and morals, light a fire under the Bishops and start to hold them accountable for the shepherding of their folk.

    On border control. Forget the wall. Change military policy to defensive, redeploy all US forces from overseas assignments to defend the border, that would be a soldier every 10m.

    Hugely stimulatory for both economies, less costly, far safer and more civilized societies on both sides of the border.

  6. we will defend migrants all over the American continent

    I think “you and whose army?” applies here.

  7. I’m pretty optimistic about how AMLO and Trump will get along.

    They’re very similar personalities. They’re both populists who won by promising to fight the Deep State. They’re both very much non-globalists. They both shoot from the hip, and say things that the “proper” people deplore.

    Many of AMLO’s most decried quotes in the past few weeks have been misinterpreted. He hasn’t been saying anything like “we want more Mexicans in the USA.”

    Instead, he’s been saying that he wants to change Mexico so that it’s a decent place to live, so that people don’t need to leave in order to make a living. He’s been very much up-front that he believes the current Mexico-USA problems have been Mexico’s fault.

    His socialist roots suck, but his populist core could possibly be a great combination with Trump’s philosophy.

  8. I do have sympathy for the Mexicans. Much of the shit their country is in is due to the drug trade, which in turn is due to the failure of the yanks to deal with their various drug habits.

    I have always been in favour of legalisation, taxation and control, in order to take the drug trade out of the hands of criminals. However, watching documentaries about drugs in the US makes me think that things are so fucked up in poorer communities there that legal drugs would lead to tens of millions of fucked-up addicts.

  9. @MC

    A big part of America’s problem has been with legal painkillers. I am not saying there is no argument for legalisation/decriminalisation, but those people who see it as some kind of instant cure-all are way off.

  10. Trump would have voted for amlo himself if possible, why the left think his existence is not a boon to trump is beyond me as they themselves will shortly find out.

  11. If this new chap starts enacting hard-left policies as he’s promising, the numbers pouring over the border will increase exponentially regardless of whether the Mexican government is encouraging it or not.

    Popcorn time.

  12. About legalising drugs and closing down “The War on Drugs”.

    I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the way that the authorities are tackling the problem is back to front (IMHO) and on the other, there is the undoubted damage and harm that drugs actually do.

    Taking the first point first. If you go after drug dealers without addressing the problem of addicts, this will only breed a more intelligent, faster, more cunning dealer as the more stupid ones get caught and dealt with (no matter how inadequately). Take the situation where a dealer has 100 addicts and is caught. You still have 100 addicts looking for their fix and no doubt another dealer will step into the “business opportunity” that is opened. Rinse and repeat for as many times as the dealers are caught before developing the skills and intelligence (i.e. in the military sense of knowledge of the enemy) not to be caught. Note that I believe that drug dealers should be executed – anyone that will destroy communities and lives for their own criminal, selfish profit by selling drugs to children, having criminals break into peoples houses and rob them and/or murder them etc. deserves no consideration.

    Reduce the demand AND the supply by executing the dealers and imprisoning users for a long time under chain gang conditions. It will never eliminate the problem 100% (just as murder, robbing banks etc. will never be eliminated) but will reduce it to extremely low levels. But the politicians, Hollywood etc. are all drug users to a greater or lesser extent and don’t want their children prosecuted for “recreational” drug use. So that is the reason for the campaign to legalise drugs and therefore isn’t going to happen.

    As for the harm that drugs do, let me cite a specific example – the Parklands, Florida shooter, Nicholas Cruz. From reports in reputable newspapers, we know that he was adopted from a mother that was a drug addict and both he and his brother were the result of one night stands.
    We know about foetal alcohol syndrome which is caused by excessive alcohol consumption by the woman during pregnancy. Now, I certainly do not know what drugs the mother was taking but if alcohol can affect the baby before birth and the known effects include Central nervous system damage, Clinically significant structural neurological, or functional impairment (from the wikipedia entry on this condition) then I have to wonder what effects on the developing brain will hard psychotropic drugs have? It may seem harsh but both Nicholas and his brother were likely brain damaged at conception and as the woman concerned is likely to have consumed alcohol in damaging amounts, then could I float the theory that he was doomed from the very start of his life?

    From the wikipedia entry on Foetal alcohol syndrome, treatments to mitigate its effects on the child include:

    “Psychoactive drugs are frequently tried on those with FASD as many FASD symptoms are mistaken for or overlap with other disorders, most notably ADHD”.

    Now, I cannot find many articles on the effects of foetal drug syndrome that detail explicitly what the precise effects are but this one outlines the effects of various drugs on the foetus:

    https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/metabolic,-electrolyte,-and-toxic-disorders-in-neonates/prenatal-drug-exposure

    I know from personal experience of the effects on an adult. One of my friends has a friend that, when I first met her, she was 20, at university studying accountancy and was a bright, normal and pleasant girl. Her grandmother died and left her the house and some cash which was about two years take home pay for me. She started smoking cannabis (it’s harmless, right?) and quickly dropped out of University, blew the cash and developed many odd behaviours and neurosis. I had to tell my friend not to bring her back to my house.

    Now we have potentially a brain damaged Nicholas Cruz who goes to school and displays behavioural problems – again I have read articles and newspaper reports quoting his classmates describing his antisocial, violent and randomly cruel behaviour – and it is likely that he was prescribed ADHD controlling drugs. Again, we have reports and statistics that state that some of the prescribed drugs cause problems in adults and if prescribed to teenagers, the risk more than quadruples – one report I have archived states that if adult anti psychotic drugs are prescribed to children (i.e. those in their teens) about 4% will go on to develop violent tendencies and behaviours. Now, since we are discussing Nicholas Cruz, how many children are in schools in America and how many, boys in particular, are prescribed “the chemical cosh” for misdiagnosed ADHD when it is normal boisterous behaviour? There is a very large pool of children which are potentially at risk and that pool will produce quite a crop of violent psychopaths, whether the problem is caused by antenatal drug exposure or the drugs to mitigate the effects of this.

    Long story short, it is highly likely Nichols Cruz was mentally damaged from at least birth and was prescribed ADHD drugs with their known harmful side effects on normal children. Could this have lead to his actions? Shrug. I can’t say for definite and an experiment to poison a statistically significant number of children and compare them with a control group to prove the point would be impractical for various reasons.

    I know that in the UK (I am English, although I emigrated to New Zealand almost 10 years ago) that many people that have adopted children have had their lives devastated by those children. This is because, due to welfare and the support of unmarried mothers, virtually the ONLY children put up for adoption are those children of mothers that have had their children removed for drug taking and being unable to look after them. The authorities have managed to keep a lid on this but with some research, the evidence it there.

    Looking at other mass shootings in the USA, I do not know if the mothers of the perpetrators were taking drugs during pregnancy but nearly all of the ones that I have been able to research have been treated for “ADHD” and/or been through psychiatric treatment programs where this was explicitly stated. Was the diagnosis of ADHD incorrectly applied when the real problem was foetal drug syndrome? Another shrug.

    So, unless you are prepared to put up with a lot of people that are damaged by drugs wandering the streets I don’t think that legalising drugs will help matters and indeed if drugs carry no more stigma than having a few beers or a whisky or two then I can see many more people consuming drugs. This is not exactly solving the problem.

    I suppose that until these antenatal drug induced problems are correctly identified, they will be used to press for more restrictions on the law abiding and demand an increasingly large “Social Care” cost, paid for by the law abiding. It is fairly useless to argue in the media witch hunt after the next murder that it is the result of a lifestyle indulged in by the mother 10, 15 or more years ago.

    But a simple solution of “Legalise Drugs!” is a lot easier than actually tackling the problem and severely punishing the criminals and society “disapproving” of their lifestyles. That is being “Judgemental”, eh? And that would never do …

  13. A simple case of keeping up with the Joneses. The US president is a statist whose supporters believe he can protect them from economic reality. Now Mexico’s getting the same thing.

  14. Phil B – my support for drug legalisation is not so much because it is an easy solution, but because I do not believe the state has a right to criminalise what I put in my body.

    Prohibition of drugs has consistently failed, see Prohibition for example. The only state with ‘zero tolerance’ is Singapore, which hangs a few poor brown people every year but I assure you that rich Chinese and Westerners still manage to take drugs.

    My doubts about my previous libertarian view is that the evidence suggests too many people in the US have such shitty lives that a life-destroying meth/crack/smack habit seems like a good idea. You have to offer those people a better life rather than legalising the way they escape their lives.

    The simple consumption of drugs is not a moral issue. Take away the existing laws and the involvement of criminals and there is no moral difference between a line of coke and a G&T.

    Obviously if you piss your life away and ruin your family, that has a moral element, but it is no different for the druggie or the alcoholic.

  15. “. . . like many others were not expecting a White House incumbent to speak the truth so bluntly.”

    One thing Trump – like all his predecessors and pretty much everyone in government (and *everyone* in law enforcement) carefully fail to mention is that the majority of the reasons why Mexico is a failed state are directly related to *American* policies and interference in Mexico in pursuit of the War on Drugs.

    Absent the War on Drugs, Mexico would just be a poor country. In fact, until the Mexican government cracked down on the cartels at the behest of the US at the turn of the century (when PRI lost power to PAN with USG backing because and influencing its hardline stance).

    Prior to that there was a detente in place and everyone was focused more on making money so the violence was . . . a lot less than it is today (dangerous but there weren’t ‘no-go’ areas near the border). Pan broke the existing power structure and in the resulting vacuum we got this. Hey, sort of how like the last two Presidents broke a couple different ME country’s power structures and turned them from shitholes to hellholes overnight. Might be that those ‘Top Men’ in DC don’t know anywhere near as much as they think they do.

    As is almost always the case, whatever problems you have are usually due to your own actions. That goes for the personal as well as business and government.

    Them chickens is always going to come home to roost.

  16. @ Agammamon – “Absent the War on Drugs, Mexico would just be a poor country.”

    Nixon’s chief policy advisor freely admitted that his War on Drugs was just a means of attacking leftist and negroes. It is no secret at all that the CIA has been involved in almost all major drug enterprises everywhere starting with the Korean War, exploding during the Vietnam War, Air America, Oliver North, Noriega, Colombia et al.

    A recent US federal report shows that since 2002 when the US first invaded Afghanistan opium poppy production soared from a very small base to a huge level in close correlation with the $9b that they have spent on their Afghan anti-narcotic efforts over the same period with most of the production being centred around the Helmand province. It’s the same in Colombia.

    This is the worst part of the criminalisation, not only does it increase the harm to users, it’s the state mafia and usual suspects and bankers that benefits most from its illegality.

  17. Thud,

    Yes absolutely, it first came to light when the CIA allowed opium and heroin to flow from Laos to generals and politicians on its payroll followed by their infiltration of federal drug agencies. Their involvement in the Latin America drug production particularly coke is legendary. And it’s no coincidence that Afghanistan has had such a huge increase of opium since they invaded it (the Taliban nearly eradicated its growth) and that afghans are now allegedly manufacturing heroin in country (used to be processed in destination countries) whilst under the control of the US Military and their anti-narcotic agencies. HSBC are not the only bank that launders drug money either.

    Some info here to backup my above post if you are undecided.

    Legalize It All
    How to win the war on drugs

    Nixon’s invention of the war on drugs as a political tool was cynical, but every president since — Democrat and Republican alike — has found it equally useful for one reason or another. Meanwhile, the growing cost of the drug war is now impossible to ignore: billions of dollars wasted, bloodshed in Latin America and on the streets of our own cities, and millions of lives destroyed by draconian punishment that doesn’t end at the prison gate; one of every eight black men has been disenfranchised because of a felony conviction.

    As long ago as 1949, H. L. Mencken identified in Americans “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy,” an astute articulation of our weirdly Puritan need to criminalize people’s inclination to adjust how they feel. The desire for altered states of consciousness creates a market, and in suppressing that market we have created a class of genuine bad guys — pushers, gangbangers, smugglers, killers. Addiction is a hideous condition, but it’s rare. Most of what we hate and fear about drugs — the violence, the overdoses, the criminality — derives from prohibition, not drugs. And there will be no victory in this war either; even the Drug Enforcement Administration concedes that the drugs it fights are becoming cheaper and more easily available.

    https://harpers.org/archive/2016/04/legalize-it-all/

    COUNTERNARCOTICS:
    LESSONS FROM THE U.S. EXPERIENCE IN AFGHANISTAN

    From fiscal year (FY) 2002 through FY 2017, the U.S. government spent roughly $8.62 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan. Despite this investment, Afghanistan remains the world’s largest opium producer, and opium poppy is the country’s largest cash crop.

    In 2017, poppy cultivation reached a new record high of 328,000 hectares. In November that year, U.S. and Afghan forces initiated airstrikes against drug labs in Helmand Province, using new authorities included in the South Asia strategy.

    https://www.sigar.mil/interactive-reports/counternarcotics/index.html

    A conservative ‘D.C. Colombian’ wins his country’s presidency. Peace may be the loser.

    The United States has spent $10 billion in two decades fighting coca growth here — only to find it higher now than at the launch of the campaign.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/dc-colombian-squares-off-against-former-guerrilla-as-colombians-vote/2018/06/17/ab8c213e-6d89-11e8-b4d8-eaf78d4c544c_story.html?utm_term=.889418fd844e

    And if you are interested in the social aspects of the War on Drugs this fellow Englishman provides a good summary.

    The Myth Peddlars – the war on drugs has failed

    Back in the 1960’s the odd night on the puff would result in little worse than waking up to an LP stuck in a groove. One bright spark went as far as to remark: “The biggest danger from smoking drugs is getting arrested.” Even then, though smoking cannabis had been illegal in Britain since 1928, the chances of the occasional toker getting caught were very slim. And then the war on drugs came along.

    https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/the-myth-peddlars-the-war-on-drugs-has-failed-4/

Comments are closed.