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 08, 2006

One km of road, not 10 km of wall

An important corrolary in the economic answer to immigration as posted here earlier this week (and picked up by Daily Kos, see abject gratitude below) is the connection it would make to the political aspirations of Mexico.

I am not talking about amorphous, unfocused, general aspirations of a downtrodden people, I am talking about intelligent economic schemes for development as articulated by the political leaders of the country -- specifically the three candidates now vying to replace Vincente Fox as president in the Mexico's July 2 general election.

"Our country is emptying out, our towns are emptying out -- they have only women, children and old people," as PRD's Manual Lopez Obrador (former can-do mayor of Mexico City) was quoted in a recent Maria Elena Salinas column. Housing and public works construction, says Lopez Obrador, can be the engine for stimulating the rest of the economy.

Lopez Obrador is one of three in the race to succeed Vincente Fox, and the furthest left. Felipe Calderon of Fox's PAN party said he would prefer to build one kilometer of road, rather than 10 kilometers of wall -- an apparent attempt to divert another deluded Bush adventure in the desert (and its funding) into something more productive.

Roberto Madrazo of the mainline PRI promises both job creation and tax cuts as a means of stemming the exodus of migrants (and likely as a means to pander to voters). No income tax for those earning less than 10,000 pesos (about $1,000) per month.

Classic Keynesians like public works as a stimulant. Public infrastructure will produce value far beyond its cost for years to come and will generate real jobs now. But whichever of these candidates wins the July 2 election, supporting their agenda rather than continuing to pimp for US corporate johns is the way to build both political and economic stability -- and end the "immigration problem."
Note of gratitude: It was very cool that the piece on immigration made it onto Daily Kos as a diary, recommended even. I barely know what that is, but I know it is cool and that it generated a whole stream of intelligent observations and comments on that site.

Among those notes was the observation that Mexico still faces some weaknesses in their institutional framework, some data on how cheap American farm products have decimated farming, and lots of support for turning the debate on immigration onto this productive track and getting it off the fear-based track on which it now rides.

Also, see continuing work by the Daily Kos diarist RegenerationMan, particularly tommorrow's diary on "how to regenerate those poorest 90 micro-regions with a minimum of startup money. There will be charts. The Fence Don't Make No Sense!"

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