Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"For the good of all, first the poor"

That is the signature line of the populist candidate for president of Mexico. The July 2 election in that country will be pivotal in terms of stemming the tide of illegal immigration. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised a New Deal style public works program and protection for the Mexican agrarian economy in the form of tariffs on US corn and beans. This type of structural improvement will succeed where the sweat shops on the border scheme championed by Vincente Fox and US corporations has only hurt.

It is estimated that 47 percent of Mexican people live on less than ten dollars a day. No wonder 400,000 per year are voting with their feet and entering the US illegally. As we pointed out, economic development is the economic answer to the immigration problem. The fear tactics and military response of Bush and the Republicans is another made for TV event that has no chance of success.

RegenerationMan at DailyKos picked up on my original post and blogged an excellent piece on the Regenenerative Zone Method. Lopez Obrador is counting on public works and protecting the Mexican farm economy from cheap American imports. Both together would work far better than each separately.

The second and essential element to a Mexican recovery is control of organized crime. Mexico is the kidnapping capital of the world, and Mexican drug gangs are engaged in an open shooting war with each other and the police.

Lopez Obrador's principal opposition is Felipe Calderon of Fox's PAN party, who is waging a US style campaign of big media and promises of tax cuts. The Mexican people may be best served by an election system far better than her neighbor's to the north.

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