Mexico has in recent years become a transformed nation with a burgeoning middle class, and little poverty according to world standards, says the Dallas Morning News.
It is no less than what could be called “a new Mexican miracle,” which developed slowly and almost imperceptibly in recent years, said Richard Parker, a columnist for the publication.
He underlines that chronic unemployment has fallen back to 3.2 percent, “in a nation that once produced more babies than jobs every year” and while underemployment remains a stubborn thorn, the revenues have increased.
The average Mexican household earns about $13,000 dollars per year, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Although it is less than half of the US $ 29,000, according to OECD figures, the cost of living is generally lower in Mexico, Parker points out in the article: “Forget the Texas economic miracle and look south to Mexican Miracle”.
He emphasizes that high school graduation rates have increased to about half of all children. “Today, many Mexicans complete 14 years of education, which typically includes some university, technical or vocational studies.”
As a result, he says, Mexico has both feet firmly planted within the world’s most advanced economies – the OECD nations – even if it is occupying the lower rungs of the ladder.
“Mexico has made tremendous progress over the last decade,” says the latest OECD report, “in terms of improving the quality of life of its citizens, especially in the areas of education, health and employment,” he reiterates.
The writer and author of “Lone Star Nation: How Texas Will Transform America,” details that the Mexican Caribbean is a perfect paradise: refreshing breezes, palm trees and drinks with little umbrellas.
“Everything is true, too, especially a few blocks from the idyllic beach. But venturing inside – blocks, kilometers and hundreds of miles – and something else emerges: a Mexico on the cusp of greatness,” says the author.
“I returned to Mexico this summer for an extended period and for the first time in 20 years I put on my journalist’s glasses, not just my tourist shadows. I witnessed a transformed nation, particularly when measured against the depths of which it rose during those two decades,” says Parker.
He emphasizes that Texans, in particular, must always take into account the importance of Mexico and the Mexicans.
“Considering that once Mexico was a smaller economy, it now has an economy of over one trillion annually, very similar to Australia and Spain,” he said.
It is decidedly a middle-income nation with little poverty according to world standards. Mexico has the most important element of a stable and democratic society: a flourishing middle class, he says.
The frequent columnist for The Dallas Morning News points out that by going back 20 years, it provides a scale of how far Mexico has come.
Parker recalls in that sense the nation was emerging from a massive economic disaster: the Lost Decade, in which the peso had devalued up to 500 percent, and the people’s savings had disappeared, added to that in 1985, an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 demolished a great part of the center of Mexico City.
At that time, an exodus of people began to flow north, first to the richer border states and then beyond. The next decade was not much easier, as on January 1, 1994 guerrilla conflict erupted in the southern state of Chiapas.
Today, Mexico, he said, is solving the problems affecting his wealthy northern neighbor. The expansion of the infrastructure reaches the whole country, emphasizes the writer.
For example, the deepwater port of Veracruz will soon include a new marine wall and a dock at a cost of two billion, an attempt to compete with the Port of Houston, while a high-speed electric train is connecting Toluca to Mexico City in just 39 minutes.
He emphasized that there are no noisy, long national arguments about abortion or gay rights. Abortion laws differ from state to state, but are constitutionally protected.
In June, Gay Rights Day, he said, was observed lighting the Zócalo, the main square of the colonial city of Mexico City, in the LGBT rainbow. In turn, Mexico has closed vast portions of Yucatan to logging and development.
Meanwhile, universal health care, known as Seguro Popular, and approved by Congress in 2003, and in 2007 secured more than 20 million people; today it assures more than 52 million, half of the population.
Finally, the writer states that today Mexico is generally not more violent than the United States; both countries seem to have a knack for it. Although it occupies the second place in the world in the rate of homicides, according to statistics of United Nations, the United States occupies the ninth place.
“The Trump era can help Mexico break free of what has been, indeed, a cost-effective codependency of the US. Its economy is now large enough, Mexico is being sought by other trading partners in Europe and China,” he said.
After 200 years, Mexico has learned that it can engage with the world’s most powerful foreign power and thrive, he emphasized.
“The challenge of Mexico is to go the last mile and end selective illegality within its own borders,” concluded the author.