What to Expect From Mexico in 2011

 

I think we will see more of the same in 2011 in Mexico. The drug cartel killing spree raises a number of less discussed considerations. We are told the huge American demand for drugs, both grown and manufactured, creates the problem; perhaps in part, but note that we have a longer, more porous border with Canada and we are not seeing a shoot ’em up culture arising in Calgary or Toronto over meth or heroin exporting to the U.S. Something else is going on as well. We were also told that the continuation of massive illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S. at least had a ‘safety valve’ effect that lessened tensions in Mexico while earning it nation-saving foreign exchange; but after 11-16 million Mexican nationals have fled to the United States the last 20 years, exactly how has that mass flight and ensuing  remittances of an estimated $30 billion per annum made things any better in Mexico?

In short, everything from the drug industry to illegal immigration is symptomatic of a larger pathology in the sense that Mexico has not embraced open markets, truly consensual government, respect for private property, transparency, and an independent judiciary—in the style of the reformist agendas in Chile and Brazil—and thus cannot provide security and prosperity for its own people. We could legalize drugs, let in another 20 million illegal aliens, allow $100 million to be sent back to Mexico from nationals here—and there would still be violence and instability in Mexico.

The answer is not to intervene in Mexico, but in polite and friendly fashion to distance ourselves a bit from Mexico, by securing the border and ending illegal immigration. America’s drug appetite, and an open border between two vastly different societies, coupled with the disruptive effect of draining Oaxaca and other provinces of working-age males, are only force multipliers of Mexico’s more fundamental unwillingness or inability to fully westernize. In a larger sense, America has never been honest about American-Mexican relations of the last half-century, and the result is that millions here and in Mexico do not dare ponder exactly why millions risk their lives to come northward to a country that is constructed as some sort of exploiter in the Mexican mental landscape, and as not much better here at home in elite multicultural circles. There will be no real progress until those on both sides of the border begin the painful discussion of why America works and why apparently millions of Mexicans want to be part of it rather than of their own native Mexico. Blaming America or creating an Orwellian situation in which millions of illegally residing Mexican nationals are hyper-critical of or indifferent to the U.S., while wanting amnesty from it, is sadly illustrative of the our shared inability to address the problem.

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  1. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DianeEllis

    I’ve always had a hard time listening to arguments against immigration (esp. of the Mark Krikorian variety). But your third paragraph here is the most persuasive argument I’ve seen for ending immigration. You’ve convinced me that sealing off the border is a tough-love, yet compassionate approach to dealing with our Mexican neighbors — at least in the long run.

    That we’ll ever have a president with the courage to follow this course of action — well that’s another story entirely.

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    @TheMugwump

    The Goths have crossed the Rhine and there is naught the empire can do about it. I mean that in the historical sense, not as a pejorative. The lesson Californians are about to learn is the same one suffered by a decadent Rome. New immigrants won’t settle for second class status for long. I suppose California’s elites think it’s nice to have a servant class that will work for sub-par wages. What happens when class warfare starts knocking on doors in Malibu and Venice Beach? History will repeat and it won’t be pretty. Such is the price of decadence and California’s condign punishment will be to get the first dose of some bitter medicine.

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    @LadyKurobara
    Victor Davis Hanson: The answer is not to intervene in Mexico, but in polite and friendly fashion to distance ourselves a bit from Mexico, by securing the border and ending illegal immigration.

    There has been a lot of gauzy talk about “securing the border.” If we are going to secure the border (and I believe that we should), then it must be done properly. We need fences and razor wire, laced with anti-personnel mines. We need listening posts with sophisticated devices for detecting tunnelers. We need watchtowers with machine guns, manned by guards with orders to shoot to kill if anyone tries to cross the border illegally. No wishy-washy half-measures!

    As for intervention, I still think the US military should conduct “pacifying raids” inside the northern states of Mexico. An effective strategy might be a variation of the methods Britain used during the Malayan Emergency:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malayan_Emergency

    However, Mr. Hanson is our resident military expert, so I defer to his judgement in the matter of strategy. But eventually we will be forced to intervene.

    As for Mexico itself, the fundamental problem is that the country is utterly corrupt — rotten from top to bottom.

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    @Sisyphus

    In the face of the lawless violence erupting on the far side, I believe we should temporarily militarize the border as a stabilizing step. Certainly the assassination of American law officers in American cities, combined with the kind of overt, systematic extortion seen in recent days in the northern states more than justifies such a move. The usual border forces are simply not sufficient to counter tens of thousands of armed gangsters operating in large numbers, this would send a signal to the gangsters and the corrupted elements of the Mexican military that cooperate with them.

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    @rayconandlindacon

    The pathological culture on both sides of the border will continue this Kabuki until one of them (the Northern one, I believe) addresses it’s own failures (see above comments), and gets serious about the crisis (an over used word) at the border. California will surely fall before reality hits. The question now is ‘how many other states will follow?’… and will the Nation itself fall as Rome did?

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Personally, the border seems like an excellent place where U.S. soldiers can fulfill their oaths to their country (or individual states). I think the Army should re-deploy many of its units stationed abroad, particular the National Guard units deployed overseas from Mexican-border states, to the Mexican border. I’m open to the suggestion that a fence be built to enhance the Army’s ability to secure the border. But I would not conclude by having the soldiers close the border, which I think is seriously ill-advised.

    Dr. Hanson criticizes the Mexican government for failing to embrace, among other things, “open markets” and “respect for private property.” Is closing the border under present conditions not a blatant obstruction to open markets and an offense to private property rights? A market is a network of agents who voluntarily exchange control over goods among each other. With a closed border, Mexican people will be forcibly prohibited from participating in American markets, hence American markets will be artificially reduced. Mexican labourers who would have been allowed to enter the private property of businesses looking for labour are stopped by the State. This hardly constitutes as respect for private property rights.

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  7. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @Pilgrim
    Michael Labeit: … With a closed border, Mexican people will be forcibly prohibited from participating in American markets, hence American markets will be artificially reduced. Mexican labourers who would have been allowed to enter the private property of businesses looking for labour are stopped by the State. This hardly constitutes as respect for private property rights. · Dec 18 at 12:01pm

    Edited on Dec 18 at 12:05 pm

    A secure border doesn’t mean a closed border and NAFTA assures as much trade across the border as the Mexican security situation permits. Are you arguing that there are private property rights of gringos that extend to hiring and harboring illegal immigrants?

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  8. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Pilgrim

    Michael Labeit: … With a closed border, Mexican people will be forcibly prohibited from participating in American markets, hence American markets will be artificially reduced. Mexican labourers who would have been allowed to enter the private property of businesses looking for labour are stopped by the State. This hardly constitutes as respect for private property rights. · Dec 18 at 12:01pm

    A secure border doesn’t mean a closed border and NAFTA assures as much trade across the border as the Mexican security situation permits. Are you arguing that there are private property rights of gringos that extend to hiring and harboring illegal immigrants?

    Sorry. Got the impression that Dr. Hanson was endorsing a closed border. But I still think what I wrote applies.

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    @DuaneOyen

    I agree with Diane- too much Krikorian and too little Chavez emphatruically does not mean that you don’t have triple layer fences. It means that you change the rules for how you welcome the immigrants that re important to this countr- and whose wlecome isstill an essential part of our national character.

    In fact, after the border is controlled, which includes the most intimidating fence we can build, pass a variant of DREAM, but as designed by Jon Kyl.

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  10. Profile Photo Member
    @flownover
    Duane Oyen: you change the rules for how you welcome the immigrants

    Is this the politically correct third rail ? Another setup in the form of human compassion hurdles. With the media setting the bar.

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  11. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Pilgrim

    Michael Labeit:

    A secure border doesn’t mean a closed border and NAFTA assures as much trade across the border as the Mexican security situation permits. Are you arguing that there are private property rights of gringos that extend to hiring and harboring illegal immigrants?

    I guess than that my criticism is aimed at Diane.

    Diane Ellis, Ed.: But your third paragraph here is the most persuasive argument I’ve seen for ending immigration. You’ve convinced me that sealing off the border is a tough-love, yet compassionate approach to dealing with our Mexican neighbors — at least in the long run.

    I don’t believe Dr. Hanson has argued quite in favor of “sealing off” the border. As Pilgrim writes, securing it is different from sealing it.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JohnMarzan

    the sooner you build that wall, the better.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JohnMarzan

    but until that wall is finished–do nothing else

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @JimmyCarter

    Labeit, sealing a leak at Yer faucet doesn’t mean You stop the flow of water. It means You regain complete control of the amount of water that flows through the faucet. Securing the water supply is left at the water purification plant before it reaches Yer faucet.

    Diane, sealing the border has nothing to do with “tough-love” for Mexicans. It has everything to do with love and compassion for Americans and American culture.

    Anything short of an absolute secure and leak-proof border is a danger to Our border patrol and American Citizens and should be seen as a dereliction of duty from Our State and federal governments and should be prosecuted as such.

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    @
    Lady Kurobara
    Victor Davis Hanson: The answer is not to intervene in Mexico, but in polite and friendly fashion to distance ourselves a bit from Mexico, by securing the border and ending illegal immigration.
    There has been a lot of gauzy talk about “securing the border.” If we are going to secure the border (and I believe that we should), then it must be done properly. We need fences and razor wire, laced with anti-personnel mines.

    Careful, Lady. You know I always get amorous when you go talking about anti-personnel mines.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Member
    @flownover

    VDH

    Do you think that the cartel’s are trying to wrest power from the oligarchy in Mexico ? Drugs are very profitable, but at a cost. Mexico has a tradition of class warfare, Is this part of that tradition ? Villa and Zapata were pretty cruel men, but then Santa Ana probably took the prize.

    Are we seeing the leitmotiv carry on with newer technology and ways of making money ?

    And why has “open borders” become a codeword for humanitarian ? The MEcha,La Raza, Aztlan group has certainly commandeered alot of funding from our government and various state governments, do you sense that there are more nefarious forces at play in their strengthening ?

    Mexifornia becomes Caliweimar ? Are there enough conservatives in California to sound the alarm ?

    (my avatar is one of Zapata’s soldados)

    • #16
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    @AaronMiller

    Less drugs, more terrorism. That’s what I expect from our border problem in the next year. If Hezbollah has success there, others will want in on the action.

    Why should OIC nations limit themselves to funding terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan when they can fund terrorists on our doorstep?

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JanMichaelRives
    Pilgrim

    A secure border doesn’t mean a closed border and NAFTA assures as much trade across the border as the Mexican security situation permits. Are you arguing that there are private property rights of gringos that extend to hiring and harboring illegal immigrants? · Dec 18 at 12:20pm

    Absolutely. As Milton Friedman once pointed out (brilliantly, as usual), our welfare state has so thoroughly perversed incentives that now illegal immigration is good for everyone as long as it remains illegal. It’s good for Mexicans because they can come to work here without arbitrary quotas. It’s good for us because we get cheap labor with few of the lazy criminals seeking a handout (which they’re not eligible for since they’re illegal.)

    The situation has changed somewhat since states started giving handouts while turning a blind eye to immigration status, but the fact remains: Mexicans are not the problem. The welfare state is.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Member
    @M1919A4

    One concern that I have about using the Army and National Guard in the role suggested is that the military personnel ordered to the border as, in effect, a police force will be subjected to the same pressures for corruption as the Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies now trying to hold the line there. The law enforcement agencies have long experience with dealing with such pressures, the military does not.

    My reading suggests that such pressures have found some chinks in the armor of the Israeli Defense Forces. With money sloshing about like water in the scuppers, one cannot be too careful.

    I understand Lady Kubora’s feelings and share them, but it is a fell thing to contemplate a border of this country looking like that of East Germany in 1965. And, if our troops suffer from traumatic stress from killing men shooting at them, think what it will be like when one of our chaps drops a teenage girl in a crossing party.

    • #19

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