Neo Liberalism in Mexico and the U.S.
By Javier Rodriguez Los Ángeles 27 May 2016
The NAFTA Law, was also a product of the new economic world order designed and implemented beginning in 1970 by the world banks. Their patently conservative package of “neo liberalism” was first introduced in Latin America, and Chile was the laboratory testing ground, under the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.
In the 80s President Ronald Reagan and the British Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher played a major role for the new free market economic plan, which advantageously proposed the privatization of the social order and services worldwide, including publicly owned businesses with tens of millions of unionized employees. Naturally, they first screwed their own countries.
Mexican Political Sciences PhD. Alejandra Salas Porras, has identified 127 highly experienced políticos and functionaries that are part of the “new neoliberal elites” and 22 of them in the highest levels of Mexican government -that transcended since the Salinas administration to the present- who since 1988 intensely participated in the development of the neoliberal project in Mexico. Stunningly, they are the home grown experts who designed it first to isolate the state from all economic matters, and two, the privatization of all state run corporations and with it the massive transfer of resources of the public sector to the private. It’s not all, the most gifted of them were immediately recruited by several transnationals who have gotten huge multibillionaire contracts from PEMEX and other institutions.
Bill Clinton, for his part, “destroyed welfare, deregulated Wall Street, worsened the growing mass incarceration crisis, and signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement, a sweeping deal that harmed millions of workers, in the United States, Mexico, and elsewhere.” Noam Chomsky
I will add the crucial Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act enacted September 30, 1996. This law states that immigrants unlawfully present in the United States for 180 days but less than 365 days must remain outside the United States for three years unless they obtain a pardon. If they are in the United States for 365 days or more, they must stay outside the United States for ten years unless they obtain a waiver. If they return to the United States without the pardon, they may not apply for a waiver for a period of ten years. It also called for up to 5 and 10 year imprisonment of immigrants for violation of the above law. So Billy Boy not only intensified incarceration of blacks and Latinos, he is also responsible for the mass incarceration of immigrants and perhaps the construction of private detention centers which hold tens of thousands, and perhaps held as much as 200,000 undocumented prisoners women and children included, in its heyday.
NAFTA in Mexico
Of course south of the border was 100 times worse than here. Neo liberalism and NAFTA issued major unfair trade competition, the destruction of collective farming –ejidos– small businesses, industries and displaced millions of Mexicans to the large urban centers, the northern border and into the coveted American Dream nation. Astonishingly, the multiplication of poverty today pushed informal vending to up to 30% of Mexico’s work force. Ironically, in all three countries the NAFTA snake oil was sold by their hired guns and through the corporate media, as a panacea for jobs and wealth for the working masses. It would also end, they said, the pestering problem of Mexican immigration and the brightest of the promised stars, “Mexico would become the first emerging country to enter the first world in contemporary history.” These were the major NAFTA talking points.
Before NAFTA, all of the 22 publicly owned major corporations, the nation’s proud patrimony, was composed of the largest Mexican industries, which good or bad, were operated by successive Mexican administrations. To name a few, these were railroad, steel, energy, the collective Ejido Farm Program, airlines, education, health, telephone etc., which by the way, were made possible by the Mexican revolution and its near socialist constitution of 1917. They all flourished under President Lazaro Cardenas’ truly revolutionary nationalist regime of 1934-1940. Under his visionary and valiant leadership, 19.842 million acres of land were distributed and organized through the Ejido Program, finally giving the land to the peasants. Tata Cardenas’ bull dozer populism on behalf of Mexico’s 99% percent didn’t stop there. In 1938, the oil industry was also nationalized. All these government owned industries and the country side were unionized under the first ever Mexican industrywide trade unions and national peasant organizations and millions of union jobs were created.
Most important, these historical achievements were fulfilled in a multifactor environment: The worldwide depression of the ‘30s; Pres. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal which benefitted millions of Americans of all colors until the rise of the one percent; massive social movements on both sides of the border; the 2nd world war against fascism and militarism; the consolidation of the Soviet revolution; the anticommunist crusade; the deportation of 1 million plus Mexicans and U.S. citizen children; the successful nationalization was led by a soldier and general and the most progressive Mexican government since Benito Juarez in 1862. The battle was witnessed by a tense world who saw Mexico heroically taking on the gringo and English empires and duly kicked their ass.
This is the historical patrimony which the last five Mexican neoliberalist presidents “blatantly and cheaply auctioned off to the government’s favorite friends and corporations, creating the basis for Mexico’s rising multibillionaire class, the one percenters. As well, the Latino establishment, which included a block of progressives, either didn’t understand it or see it, or just cynically said, fuck Mexico and their poor.”
This historical analysis is dedicated to my loving family in Torreon, Piedras Negras, Acapulco, Durango and Tijuana. To my prima Council woman Angeles Rivera Hernandez, Angela, Frida, Socrates Sr. and Jr., Edmundo, Sara, Gabriela, Hortensia and Esperanza who all live in constant danger in the home country, but must live on their dreams and goals and fight to reclaim the country. ZAZ
Javier Rodriguez is a media and political strategist, co-founded and directed the March 25 Coalition in 2006-2011.