Monday, September 5, 2011

Always Some Light At The End Of The Tunnel

My new found friend Susan from SMA asked me the other day if I really thought things are getting better.   Many ways to look at the issue and I have to say that I had joined a group from SMA when I had decided to find a place to park the rv during December.   It has been an eye-opener to read what ex-pats think about Mexico.  I have to clarify that statement first because most of the people  who post on any group are usually on the left or the right.  The majority are lurkers who enjoy reading and gleaning information from the group.  Makes me wonder why some people choose to live in Mexico.

With all that is happening it is amazing to see how the Mexican economy continues to thrive.   In the past, our biggest enemy was the U.S. economy, it was a driver for us here.  What happened there affected us here.  That, I believe, is no longer true.   Here are some basic facts:

Taxes collected for the first six months of this year topped 60 billion dollars, the highest recorded amount ever.  An additional capital gains tax brought in an additional 30 billion dollars.

The number of new taxpayers for the same period increased 47% since Calderon took office.

The Mexican stock market has maintained highs for over the last year regardless of Wall Streets activity.

The dollar is at it lowest point in over two years.

Mexico has cash reserves of 99 billion dollars and a debt of 212 billion, makes you wonder how the U.S. got to 13.4 trillion and we wonder who is corrupt.

From a security standpoint the numbers are hard to arrive at.  Many people here just don't report crimes for a variety of reasons.   Like us, if someone broke out a car window I wouldn't report it.  I simply call my insurance company and they give me a report number that I take to the repair shop.  Shame on me as it reduces the actual number of crimes that do exist.

Stolen cars seem to be on everyone's list this year in Mexico but keep in mind some countries report over 1 million stolen vehicles a year.   So we kind of pale in comparison.  On the other hand, our individual safety seems to be the number one issue.  As you have probably noticed I don't mention any group names or locations as the bad guys are now utilizing the internet as well.  But, they aren't after foreigners.  The total number of American kidnapped in the last 6 years totals 120 and of that reported number 70 were involved in the trade.  The rest are cases considered resolved but suspect.

For some people who are in a mixed nationality relationship it does get scary.  Being a foreigner some people assume that they  have money and that could put their loved ones at risk, although I personally have not heard of any cases like that, it is my concern on a daily basis.  But as the years go by we find that we continue to live our lives as we have over the last 26 years here.   We have never heard or seen any activity and we go about our daily business as usual.  

As for peaceful demonstrations, there are always some going on.  The latest yesterday to impeach the president drew a paltry 1000 people.   Keep in mind, elections are coming next year and so everyone is on the bandwagon.   I take them all with a grain of salt and see no personal threat or to the country as a whole.  The elections will bring a major change in the fight against crime.   I feel that the new president, pressured by congress and their constituents, will cave into popular belief that we not use military and return to the days of turning the other way.   Good or bad, I believe it is a moral issue that will have to be dealt with.

What I find interesting though, is that the bad guys never win when confronted by the military.  They lose hands down.  This is what has attributed to the 42,000 deaths since the president took office.  For me, a good thing, for our friends who believe in human rights at the cost of killing the victim, that is another story.  Where is the fight going?  The breakdown of major groups into smaller ones has actually created more problems.  These smaller groups have become rag-tag forces attempting to take control of major routes.  They will never win but are wreaking havoc among the general population.   Give a bad guy a gun and he owns the world.  On the other hand, we receive no help from our neighbors to the north, reiterating what I have said before, we continue to receive illegal arms across the border that are sold in mass by the 6,500 new gun stores that have opened along the border not to mention the millions of illegal substance users who continue to purchase illegal drugs.

Milton Friedman spoke to the issue of illegal drugs and prohibition 30 years ago and the same holds true today:

Why Drugs Should Be Legalized


  1. Excellent analysis! I wonder though if the new regime will be able to stop fighting the bad guys. It's not like before where there was a jefe to negotiate with, now there are dozens and they have less control over their forces. It would be a shame to let them regroup and recover but that may be what happens.

  2. PUHleez don't think the expats in SMA subscribe to the beliefs postulated on the Civil List. It gives a distorted picture just as the press does of Mexico.
    In truth, I would say 90%, if not more, of those people are newcomers within the last year or so and their perceptions are based on US values and systems. Most of those don't last and are gone with a year or two.
    It's easy to pick them out by what they are looking for and their outrage at Mexican traditions.
    Drives me crazy sometimes - actually most of the time. I stop reading it for months at a time.