Friday, April 16, 2010

Throwing Numbers Around

People love statistics and they love to throw them around. The media loves to twist them and satisfy their sorted needs and exploit their viewers for better ratings. Then there are individuals who do the same thing because of "oneupsmanship" and why one is better than another or one place is safer than another.

So today here are my statistics that I would like to throw around as the media and people have been emailing me and constantly reminding me of the number of people murdered in Mexico because of the drug war.

U.S. murder statistics for "the last four years": 64,000

Mexico's murder statistics for "the last four years": 27,000

Read them as you wish and make all the justifications you would like. Numbers are numbers and please don't remind me of the larger population in the U.S. which would statistically drop the percent per capita in the U.S. Why?

A dead person is a dead person.

The same holds true for the poverty rate in each country:

Mexico 37,000,000

United States 37,000,000

Any kid that has to go to bed hungry is a criminal statistic and per capita doesn't mean squat.


  1. Bravo! You are my kind of man. I get so tired of people, who have never been to Mexico, or even close to it, who insist on telling me how dangerous it is for me to go there. I feel more jittery in certain American cities than I do in Mexico. I have been attacked in the subway in Atlanta, but never even so much as pinched on the ass in Mexico.

    And yes, there are lots of children in the good ol USA who go to bed both hungry and sick, in this so called "best country in the world". Why is it that we can spend so much money on war and NASA but when you try to provide adequate food and health care to the masses, that is when people decide the line has to be drawn.

  2. You are right, Numbers can be manipulated. As the saying goes, there are liars, damn liars, and statisticians. But consider that 37 million represents more than a third of the population. Even the very rich in Mexico have to confront poverty at some point. And most of the remaining population would have to be considered working poor. The middle class % wise just isn't as large as the U.S.. Let's give credit where credit is due. Mexico has made great strides in the last 30 years. But give the U.S. it's due too. Alot of Mexico's success is due to trade with the U.S., U.S. investment in factories and retail, U.S. tourism, Oil exports to the U.S., remittances by undocumented Mexican citizens working in the U.S., and in the case of States like Sinaloa, the drug trade. Fact is that in the States people go at each other all the time on what's wrong and how it can be improved. Why is it that Mexicophiles find it hard to admit there are serious problems in Mexico also. Someone on the other day compared Mexico drugwar deaths to the higher number of car accident deaths in the U.S.. Apples and oranges. Should have compared our highway death count to Mexico's. And then see if the rate per 100,000 is higher or lower. Rates matter. The higher the rate the more likely you are to be affected by it. doesn't mean you will, Just means you'll have a greater chance in areas with high rates. Which gets us back to all those nasty RVer's saying bad things. Try as you might, you can't get around one thing as an American or Canadian who wants to RV in Mexico. You have to cross the border. And that's where most of the problems are. Statistically you have a heightened risk of experiencing harm near the border. doesn't matter what people do in Detroit or Atlanta or elsewhere. Not much RVing going on in rough areas of major cities. People have a right to know if crossing the border or spending time near the border puts them at risk. To sneer, make snide remarks, ridicule what are essentially a bunch of old folk who generally are scared of anything new doesn't do anything to promote Mexico. Honest, open discussion of what to expect and be alert for is what cautious people need. With so many people out there who won't even consider travel to Mexico why attack those who do show interest but want concerns addressed? Sorry for the rant.

  3. Mexico is the largest consumer of U.S. made goods next to the Americans themselves.

    The U.S. needs Mexico as much as Mexico needs the U.S.

    We should attempt to be good neighbors, try to help one another and set an example for countries that share borders.

    Having spent just two days in San Antonio, I am surprised at the conditions most San Antonians live in. Very deplorable to almost disgusting. It looks a lot like New Orleans all over again. Funny thing is, a hurricane never struck San Antonio. I cringe to think what the rest of the country is like. It is shameful what has happened to the U.S. over the last 10 years. Thank you George!

  4. Actually Canada is our largest trading partner, followed by China, then Mexico. You must have been visiting the south side of San Antonio. And don't forget, it was the Democrat governor of Louisiana who had the responsibility to call out the National Guard following Hurricane Katrina. And because of states' rights the Federal Gov't wasn't allowed to render assistance until requested to by the governor. She dropped the ball but the liberal media distorted the truth to get a political slam on Bush. That's not FOX News spin, that's the reality of protocol in natural disasters.

  5. Wade youre right when you use the term trading partner. That doesnt necessarily mean "consumer goods". Mexico is the the Texas borders largest customer. The RVG wouldnt exist if not for the 250,000 snowbirds who flock there in the winter and the billions spent by Mexicans every weekend and holiday. We need you and you need us. When you share a border and a culture you have to find ways to mend the fences.

  6. Well actually Canada has a large middle class that has been consuming American goods for a very long time. 90% of Canada's population lives within 100 miles of the American border. Walmart for example was in Canada long before they built their first store in Mexico. And Canadians were building American cars long before GM and others went to Saltillo. But it's really not a contest. I want young adults to have the chance for a bright future no matter what country they are in. If they don't have a future then all kinds of problems will crop up. Read today that the Sinaloa cartel is forcing people to leave an area 50 miles long to the east of Juarez to better operate their smuggling. Homes are being burned down, signs are being put up telling people to leave or else. If I knew gangs were doing this in the U.S. I would want my gov't to step in and stop it.