Message To Trump: Mexican Influx Due To U.S. Corporate Destruction Of Their Economy

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Donald Trump

Trump complains about migrants, but rather than blaming the victim, Donald Trump should instead be blaming himself and his corporate buddies on both sides of the aisle for being the architects of all this influx of migrants.

But for Trump and his cohorts to learn anything and then actually change policies is unlikely to happen as they are determined it seems to destroy the world's communities for their own financial benefit.

Yet, Donald Trump should learn something about the impact of bad economic policies and rather than pointing fingers at Mexican migrants who are mostly victims of U.S, trade policies, he should instead be railing against the U.S. corporate community along with the U.S. neoliberal oriented government. This deadly mixture has essentially destroyed the independent Mexican farm economy and forced people off the land. This is thanks to NAFTA and the huge U.S. government subsidies that are always inappropriately handed out to corporate agribusiness.

All of this has resulted in a destabilizing impact on the Mexican farming community and rapidly increased poverty in that country. It is a modern day neoliberal "slave-like" policy that has destroyed invaluable traditional agriculture and forced dependency on what were largely self-sustaining communities. As per usual, it was about greed on the part of American business that was, of course, supported by Congress.

In the 1990's before NAFTA was approved by Congress, I had on my radio program in Atlanta ("Just Peace" on WRFG-FM) representatives of the Sierra Club and others to discuss the likely impact of NAFTA in rural communities and of farmers in Mexico. After the show, I immediately received a call from a CNN producer. He said, "Why didn't you have a pro-NAFTA person on your show?" I told him, "You want pro-NAFTA? Just listen to CNN!". As per usual, the corporate owned CNN touted the pro-privatization and neoliberal approach to government trade policies - as in "privatize everything" which is translated into taking the rights away from the workers and small independent farmers.

There were, of course, 2 major issues and concerns discussed on my show about NAFTA that day and both predictions regarding these concerns, unfortunately, have come true:

Impact of dumping U.S. subsidized corn on the Mexican market

The likely devastating impact of Americans dumping their subsidized and unhealthy food - such as corn and processed foods - on the Mexican market has taken its toll. Corn evolved in Mexico some 10,000 years ago. It took thousands of years for it to work its way into North America. This was unfortunate. it's too bad the corn production could not have stayed in Mexico - unrealistic and wishful thinking on my part. Under the circumstances the impact of NAFTA, was, as reported in 2013:

"An estimated 2.3 million people have left agriculture in a country desperate for livelihoods," said (Tim) Wise. The study estimated that the cost to Mexican producers was around $12.8 billion in the nine-year period, more than 10 percent of the U.S.-Mexico agricultural trade value annually (Baumann).Impact of changing the Mexican Constitution to allow foreign ownership of land and destroy the Mexican "ejido" system of collective land ownership, Essentially this was the privatizing of what was traditional land ownership.

"Entry into a free trade agreement with the United States and Canada required intense preparation for Mexico. To quell U.S. investors' fears of political upheaval (and thus, possible confiscation of foreign property), the authors of NAFTA included an extensive section on expropriation and confiscation. Mexico was also pressured by the World Bank and the United States to re-write Article 27 of its Constitution - a pillar of the new government that grew out of the 1910 Mexican Revolution - effectively [whittling down] the ejido system of collective land ownership.

This opened up traditional Mexican territory for sale to foreign investors eager to buy up land. The ejido system had been a cornerstone of indigenous and peasant rights in the Mexican agricultural system. Eliminating ejido protections and privatizing traditional landholdings left the most marginalized populations even more vulnerable" (Witness for Peace).

As a result of this, poverty has prevailed:

"In a 2005 study for the Mexican government, the World Bank found that the extreme rural poverty rate of 35 percent in 1992-94, before NAFTA, jumped to 55 percent in 1996-98, after NAFTA took effect [in 1994]....

By 2010, according to the Monterrey Institute of Technology, 53 million Mexicans were living in poverty-half the country's population. About 20 percent live in extreme poverty, almost all in rural areas.

The growth of poverty, in turn, fueled migration. In 1990, 4.5 million Mexican-born people lived in the United States. A decade later, that population had more than doubled to 9.75 million, and in 2008 it peaked at 12.67 million. About 5.7 million were able to get some kind of visa; another 7 million couldn't but came nevertheless". (David Bacon: The Nation)

 

 

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