Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Different Region A Different Culture

Living in the north of Mexico life is very different. We are used to hard work, paying our taxes and supporting other states. Nuevo Leon being one of the richest states, pays the most taxes which are sent to the federal government and redistributed to the states depending on need.

People here in Oaxaca are just not very "servicial". Being a state that relies mostly on tourism, their ability to provide customer service is very poor.

I just had breakfast buffet here at the Hotel Fortin Plaza. I asked the waiter if he could find me a newspaper. He came back and said they hadn't arrived yet. Please. 10 a.m. in the morning and there is no newspaper? I thanked him and then walked out to the front of the hotel and bought one for five pesos. Had he done that, I would have given him a pretty good tip. He wouldn't have had to do it on his own, just told me they sell them in front and I would have given the money to buy it.

I need laundry done today. The hotel doesn't have laundry service on sunday. I asked if they could recommend a laundry that is open on sunday and the answer was no. I looked in the telephone book and found one myself. Thanks anyway.

The list goes on. Everyone here says the government is abusive. Last night in the zocalo I was asked to take a survey about the high taxes in Mexico. I took the survey but pissed off the guy with the microphone when I told him that 50% of Mexicans pay no taxes and that the property tax in Mexico is too low. In Mexico we pay less than .25% and in the great state of Texas we pay 2.78%. Big difference.

Everyone I talk to here; taxi drivers, shoe shiners, teachers, people in the park, etc., they all say the government is a problem. They fail to see that the government is a reflection of its population. Case in point: I ask them if they pay mordida to transito. "oh si, claro". I then give them an example of wine. Wine in tetra that sells for 25 pesos and a bottle French Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape selling for 500 dollars. What are they both called; wine! A 20 peso bribe and a politician who abuses 100 million pesos; corruption! Same label, different price but they are both corruption.

I had a young guy in the gym tell me I needed to read Marx. He said how was it possible that Carlos Slim, telecommunications magnate, could have so much money. I told him in a free society he had a right to earn as much as he wanted. He told me I was crazy and that we should take some of Carlos Slim's money away from him and give it to the poor. I then asked him how he would feel if he started a business and made good money and we decided to take it away from him. Frustrated, he had no answer and stormed out of the gym. I hope he thinks about it.

My bottom line here is, you get what you pay for. We need to rethink what the Mexican Revolution "didn't" do for us. It left us in a gaping social and economic hole that we cannot seem to crawl out of. Mexico big business is unions and union leaders. Here are the big four: the teachers' union, Pemex, CFE, and IMSS. They have the majority of public servants and the majority of the money but have provided nothing but over-exagerated pensions that only accomodate their own.

How can you pay someone 130% of their salary as a pension? You do the numbers. It doesn't work. If people want to know what has wrecked the IMSS social medicine system, and why there are no medicines on the shelves I suggest they ask their employees.

I'm finished for today.


  1. What a great post!!! You hit it right on the head so to speak. I just hope this would be read by more Mexicans to have something to think about.

  2. If you really want Mexicans to read it, write it in Spanish and post it where Mexicans go to read stuff....

  3. i never said i wanted mexicans to read it.

  4. I don't believe in the redistribution of wealth, should earn our way. Don't believe in the concentration of wealth either. Unfortunately corporations in the U.S. are pushing their employees to accept less and less so that they can maintain a high stock price for those who own alot of stock. I worked many years for a company and at last got to the point where the pension was starting to amount to something and would greatly increase in the next few. Then my company announced they were terminating the plan in 2008, replacing it with a much less generous cash balance plan. At the same time our CEO was telling Wall Street that he would increase profit margins from 6.8% to 10%. They threw away our pension and most of our other benefits to get that higher stock price. And my dream of living abroad took a major hit. I'm 48, will have to work much longer now.

  5. I've read alot of good things about San Cristobal de las Casas. If I do retire at 55 that's where I'm heading. Thankfully there are still places where views of work are a bit bohemian, LOL! I've worked hard all my life but places where everyone works hard and have more tend to also be more expensive.