Access to credit has increased Mexicans’ capacity to acquire motor vehicles: 20 million in 2008 – #MexFactsMarch 14, 2013
The Wilson Center’s Latin American Program and Mexico Institute in coordination with the Migration Policy Institute are pleased to announce the release of a new report as part of the work of the Regional Migration Study Group:
In the Lurch between Government and Chaos: Unconsolidated Democracy in Mexico, authored by Luis Rubio.
Democratic transitions in Mexico and parts of Central America over the past two decades have tested the limits of the countries’ governing institutions. During Mexico’s continuing transition away from one-party rule — which began even before the 2000 elections — the country has failed to overhaul the governing structures of the old regime, leaving behind weak institutions ill-equipped to handle modern challenges. Weak institutions offer a natural breeding ground for organized crime and corruption, which have become more entrenched. Organized crime has taken over key activities, noninstitutional actors such as drug cartels have become major players in society, migrants have moved in unprecedented numbers, and corruption at various levels of government and law enforcement has flourished.
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Op-ed, Luis Rubio, Christian Science Monitor, 12/3/2012
Mexico confounds. If one watches the news, either here or in the United States, most of what comes out about this country is violence among the drug cartels. But if one looks at its economy, Mexico has become the largest trading partner of almost 30 US states.
President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office on Saturday, wants to change that mismatch by putting the economy first, which will require addressing the onslaught of the narco mafia in a very different way from his predecessor. This new approach has great potential, including improved public safety, and is one that Mexico’s northern neighbor should also embrace.
Arizona Daily Star, 9/23/12
Forbes Magazine reports that Mexico is “the little darling of emerging market investors” and poised to become Latin American’s largest economy, surpassing Brazil…
In their report, “Mexico: A Middle Class Society, Poor No More, Developed Not Yet,” economists Luis De La Calle and Luis Rubio of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, discuss the impact of this growth.
“The implications of this change are immeasurable, and among its consequences is the appearance of a society that values stability and demands more accountability from its authorities,” they wrote. “The rise of the Mexican middle class is the most relevant development of the last decade in the country.
“Therefore, the consolidation of this sector is perhaps the most important issue on the agenda for the future.”
Center for American Progress, Michael Werz, 6/28/12
The United States is overlooking a real economic and political success story in Mexico. Our southern neighbor is going through a transformation of historic dimensions, yet a large gap remains when it comes to U.S. public perceptions of Mexico, which are too often breathtakingly simplistic views of drugs and migration combined with an un-American belief in building walls and exclusion…
But the crucial dimension of Mexico’s hidden success story is the rise of a middle class that is younger, more educated, wealthier, healthier, and more able to integrate women into the labor force than any previous generation.
“Although widespread poverty still exists,” write Luis de la Calle and Luis Rubio in their seminal study, Mexico: A Middle Class Society, “Mexico is no longer a poor country.” Within a few decades Mexican society achieved what took over a century when European industrialization created the first modern middle classes in history.
When President Felipe Calderon came to power five years ago, he pledged to cut rampant poverty in Mexico. Instead, millions more have joined the ranks of the poor.
A battle over how to tackle poverty, which is blamed for stunting Mexico’s economic development and fueling the rise of violent drug gangs, is already raging between candidates competing to succeed Calderon in a July presidential election…
Between 2006 and last year, the number of Mexicans living on 2,100 pesos ($150) a month or less jumped from 45.5 million to almost 58 million, according to Coneval, the government body in charge of measuring poverty. Read more…
AL DÍA Analysis by the Mexico Institute’s Christopher Wilson:
The global economic crisis caused a significant deterioration of Mexican incomes and led to a major increase in poverty (as measured by income). According to Mexico’s broadest definition, the percentage of Mexicans living in poverty increased from 42.7 percent to 51.3 percent between 2006 and 2010.
Interestingly, other social indicators show markedly different trends over the same period. Poverty, as measured by deficiencies in basic social needs such as housing, education and healthcare, actually declined between 2005 and 2010.
Considering both of these sets of indicators complicates an evaluation of President Calderon’s legacy on the issues of poverty alleviation and economic development. On January 13th, the Mexico Institute will host Luis de la Calle and Luis Rubio as they launch the English translation of their latest book, Mexico: A Middle Class Society, Poor No More, Developed Not Yet. Please consider joining us to further explore the challenges and successes of economic and social development in Mexico (an invitation will be posted on the Mexico Institute’s website shortly).