Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mexico's Dead Capital

Mexico is rich in natural resources and has bright, enterprising people. Why is its second largest source of income remittences from Mexicans living in the United States? Paul Driessen at Tech Central Station - TCSDaily.com writes:
Spanish colonists arrived first in the Americas, installing their seigneurial (feudal) system in lands claimed for king and church. The state gained title to all mineral rights, upper classes acquired vast land holdings, and often corrupt bureaucrats regulated markets and businesses. The vast majority of families worked the land or did menial labor, with few opportunities to own property, become educated or improve their social status. By the time the English began establishing colonies, their system of laws, democratic government, property rights, free enterprise and individual rights had evolved far beyond feudal concepts. Even poor entrepreneurs could and did acquire property, patent inventions, mine gold and silver, and build businesses, factories and industries. When wars and treaties added Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California to the expanding nation, those new states exchanged Spanish feudalism for the dynamic American system. But even today in Mexico, key industries remain nationalized, and wealth is concentrated in the hands of elites. Prevalent ideologies view wealth as "a zero-sum game," in which what one person acquires can come only by taking money or property from someone else. These doctrines help foment class conflict, demand "more equitable" distribution of wealth, and condemn globalization and foreign investment, rather than seeing them as agents of improved opportunity, health and environmental quality.
The "reconquistas" claim that California, Arizona, NM and Texas were stolen from Mexico, which made Mexico impoverished. The opposite is true. If California had remained in Spanish hands San Diego and Silicon Valley would be dusty outposts, due to Mexico's feudal economic system.

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