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Mon Feb 20, 2012, 09:31 AM

‘There Is Not Enough Work’: Nearly Half of Mexicans Now Officially Poor

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12763/there_is_not_enough_work_nearly_half_of_mexicans_now_officially_poor/



A woman and her son stand in front of an abandoned home in Juarez, Mexico. According to recently released figures, more than 46 percent of Mexicans live in poverty. (PhotoSpencer Platt/Getty Images)

OAXACAO, MEXICO—The night is long and lonely and taxi driver Fernando has no choice but to endlessly troll the streets. It is the only way he can earn a living, driving from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. seven nights a week, and even then it’s barely enough to get by. “It is difficult. The salaries are low. There is not enough work. And everything is more expensive,” says the middle-aged driver as he cruises the streets of this historic southern Mexican city.

The latest figures about poverty and Mexican workers’ fate show that he understands the nation’s financial reality as well as any economist. The ranks of Mexico’s poor grew from 48.8 to 52 million between 2008 and 2010, according to figures recently released by the National Council for Social Development Policy, a federally funded agency. That meant about 46 percent of more than 112 million Mexicans were living in poverty in 2010. The government says someone is poor if they earn less than $181 a month in an urban area, and $113 in a rural area.

But the growth in poverty was uneven, according to news reports. Much of the increase was spread across large cities and in the northern states. And Oaxaca, one of Mexico’s poorest states, was one of the five states with the greatest increases in poverty.

What caused the upward spiral in despair?
Unemployment, low wages and rising food costs are the answers offered by most experts.

15 replies, 1548 views

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 09:51 AM

1. If the oligarchs have their way, we're right behind them

on the spiral downward.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 09:55 AM

2. It is no wonder they come here looking for a better life.

 

I am surprised more people don't enter Canada though. Seems like a better option these days.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:03 AM

3. takes money to get there?

they're poor already -- it's probably expensive just to get down the road apiece.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:04 AM

4. I doubt it would take much.

 

Getting into Canada from the US isn't nearly as dangerous or expensive as the US from Mexico.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:09 AM

5. Because there are lots of Hispanic communities on the Canadian border with the US...

where Mexican migrants will have family or friends who'll take them in, people who speak their language, and a support network to help them get work, forged documents, and so on, right? Um...no.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:12 AM

7. Um, hello from Michigan (a state on the border with Canada with a significant migrant pop.)

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Response to Romulox (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:13 AM

8. Sure, but that's the US side of the border, no?

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:26 AM

13. LOL. Well played!

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:16 AM

11. Seems like it would be worth the effort to create that on the Nothern border of the US.

 

We may see it more soon I suppose.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:11 AM

6. As long as the US continues importing Mexico's poverty, nothing has to change. nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:31 AM

14. Think of the southern border as a picket line.

Would you cross a picket line to take a union job from a striking worker?

In effect that is what is happening when folks illegally cross the U.S.-Mexican border to get a job in this country.

There is no doubt about it ... as long as the oligarchs in Mexico can export the more ambitious unemployed population to us, then they are safe from a real change in government.

It happened in the last Mexican election for president when Andrés Manuel López Obrador was cheated out of office.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:14 AM

9. And NAFTA was going to improve the lot of the average Mexican, or

so we were told...

We hear about "free" trade causing "a growing middle class" in places like India and Mexico. The trouble is that even though this middle class is "growing," it's still small as a percentage of the total population, but merchants are raising prices to cash in on the wealthier buyers, so the poor are worse off than ever.

Nobody need wonder why the drug cartels are so active in Mexico. They're the only industry that's hiring. (The same has long been true in America's most depressed inner cities--cocaine and opium derivatives--and small towns --meth.)

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:15 AM

10. Those are sad statistics. I do think that there is a question

to be asked of the Mexican government. When will they step up and do right by their people?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:26 AM

12. NAFTA Is Starving Mexico

NAFTA is devastating Mexican agriculture, millions of otherwise unskilled farmers have been forced to leave their land ... imo, this is a large part of it.

NAFTA Is Starving Mexico

By Laura Carlsen, October 20, 2011

http://www.fpif.org/articles/nafta_is_starving_mexico

..."Seventeen years after NAFTA, some two million farmers have been forced off their land by low prices and the dismantling of government supports. They did not find jobs in industry. Instead most of them became part of a mass exodus as the number of Mexican migrants to the United States rose to half a million a year. In the first few years of NAFTA, corn imports tripled and the producer price fell by half."

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 10:39 AM

15. Around the globe wealth is being transferred to the wealthy. We are looking at a world wide oligarch

oligarchy.

Thanks WTO

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