Thursday, May 25, 2006

Patrick's right- The Wall is Good for Mexico

Over at the Pagan Temple, we've been arguing about the wall. Anyway, the argument's probably getting pretty moot, since there's going to be a wall whether I like it or not. But, I would like to point out that Patrick is right about something that I've generally been skeptical about- the wall will likely be good for Mexico's economy. But, it looks like he's right and I'm wrong. Today's NYTimes has an article in which Mexico's immigration reformers say that this wall is actually good news for Mexicans.

"Outside his government, several immigration experts have even begun floating the idea that real walls, not the porous ones that stand today, could be more an opportunity than an attack.

A wall could dissuade illegal immigrants from their perilous journeys across the Sonora Desert and force societies on both sides to confront their dependence on an industry characterized by exploitation, they say.

(This is basically Patrick's argument as well)

The old blame game — in which Mexico attributed illegal migration to the voracious American demand for labor and accused lawmakers of xenophobia — has given way to a far more soul-searching discussion, at least in quarters where policies are made and influenced, about how little Mexico has done to try to keep its people home.

"For too long, Mexico has boasted about immigrants leaving, calling them national heroes, instead of describing them as actors in a national tragedy," said Jorge Santibáñez, president of the College of the Northern Border. "And it has boasted about the growth in remittances" — the money immigrants send home — "as an indicator of success, when it is really an indicator of failure."

I'm still pretty skeptical that the wall will actually keep people out, but Patrick is really on to something here, and I'm starting to see the potential benefits of the wall that he sees.

I'll also say that I think Hiromi is right about everyone misusing that "Good fences" line!


The Pagan Temple said...

Mexico has been telling it's people for years, basically, "if you don't like it here, get out. Go to America. You can work there. Be sure and send your parents some money, though, because we sure as hell aren't going to take care of them."

And in the meantime there have been plenty of people here that is more than happy to take advantage of the stuation. And plenty of others willing to go there and take adantage of them as tourists.

That old joke about the little Mexican kid going up to an American tourist and saying, "hey, senor, do you want to meet my mother, she's a virgin", has a little bit of basis in reality.

If both countries leaders would get their acts together, and look after their peoples interests, instead of their own, both countries could maintain a decent standard of living, and be true trading partners, and good neighbors. And when somebody did decide to immigrate, they would be welcome by the majority of people, not looked on with dread and suspicion.

Rufus said...

Well, it would be great if Mexico improved. But, even if it was as wealthy as Canada, do you think that would end the dread and suspicion? I mean, I avoid using this word if possible, but isn't a lot of this national outcry just racism?

The Pagan Temple said...

A lot of it is, yes, but not all of it. And even a lot of it that is, is a simple recognition of the reality that there is a clash of cultures that is possible and, if not dealt with realistically, inevitable.

And when I say this, I'm not talking about language differences, or interracial dating, or things like that. I'm talking mainly about the differences in religous and political cultures, and those are two things I definitely do not want to see imported here.

As the Mexican attitude towards these things seem to be far too accepting of the stauts quo, whatever that might be.

What you are considering is the possibility of the hegemony of Catholic conservative social values, for one thing, in addition to ever increasing acceptance of a fuedal style economy, to be blunt. Look around you, and you can see feudalism now well past the toddler stage. In fact, it's well into puberty. If it ever reaches full adulthood, and becomes pre-eminent, then you can prepare for a lifetime of very limited opportunity, if you aren't a qualified professional, and even this will be limited in cmparison to what it is now.

Then, once the massas (bosses) have you in their grips, you can count on a lifetime of hard labor and handing over as much as two thirds or more of what you produce to the state. About the most you can count on from the bosses of society then, is if you get sick or there is a death in the family,somebody may be kind enough to send you a basket of fruit.

Rufus said...

I'm not convinced- sure conservative social values and feudalism are annoying, but I'm just not afraid that our local landscapers are going to impose them on us.

The Pagan Temple said...

It's not the local landscapers I'm worried about, I'm more concerned about the folks at the top of the ladder.

Rufus said...

Right, but the Kenneth Lays of the world are already here, and have been for decades.

The Pagan Temple said...

Granted. That's why I don't feel too inclined to give them that any more unwitting, or even witting, tools to use in their bid for ever greaeter power and influence. They have way too much now, and average Americans have way too little, and what little they have is shrinking every day, thanks in part to this issue, the availiablility of ever growing sources of cheap labor.

They need to be reeled in, severely regulated, or at least in comparison with the free reign they pretty much have now. The more power they get, the wealthier they become, the greedier they get and the less everybody else gets. It works precisely the same as communism, only it's giving the same power to the capitalists as oppossed to the state.

It's still the same old story and the same overall results.