The New Dictatorship in Washington

By Diana Hull, Ph.D.
Volume 22, Number 4 (Summer 2012)
Issue theme: "Free Trade - exporting jobs, importing workers and refugees"

Last Friday, President Obama’s version of the “DREAM Act” was declared by fiat, ordained from above without approval by those who represent Americans in Congress, in an unprecedented and frightening new way of governing. This is also an open invitation for even more law breaking. Illegal aliens from Mexico should not be here, no matter their age, and opening the U.S. door to the world, which actions like this further encourage, must come to an end or we won’t have a country.

Thirty-one million Hispanics in the U.S. self-identify as being of Mexican origin, and many immigrants from Mexico identify themselves as white or even Amer-Indian. An accurate count of how many Mexicans are in the U.S. is impossible to obtain, but more important, is why they are coming and why we let this go on. Why should Mexico’s problems become a huge U.S. responsibility?
With a population of over 120 million, 11 percent of all people born in Mexico live in the United States now. The best count for illegals alone is 20 million, but the actual number is unknowable, and depends on guessing the percentage who get caught versus the number who get through.

This influx is happening because of the dismal living conditions of the Mexican underclass, which has at least 400-year-old roots, and the country’s considerable wealth is as concentrated and as shameful as ever.

So, instead of rescue we can no longer afford, why not insist that a well-off country like Mexico take care of its own? How about a billion or so in donations and scholarship funds from Carlos Slim Helu, and some of his billionaire friends? With this aid, young Mexicans nationals can go home, attend college, or work and apply what they learned in their K-12 education, paid for by American middle class taxpayers.

Could the problem be that enormously rich Mexicans still care nothing for their country’s browner underclass and shirk their philanthropic responsibility, when they could easily afford to do the right thing? There is absolutely no excuse for this, because Carlos Slim Helu, with $53.5 billion, is the world’s richest man. Last year he edged out Bill Gates, who has been prodding him of late to try some philanthropy to see how it feels to spend on the poor. It’s also the decent thing, instead of buying the most luxurious brownstone in Manhattan and lending huge sums to The New York Times.

And what should be known in all its detail, but is rarely mentioned, is that Mexico itself is certainly not a financial basket case, although it is surely a moral disaster. Financially, it is fine, with one of the world’s largest economies and the thirteenth largest gross national product. In 2010, Mexico had 86 companies on the Forbes Global 2000 list and was the first and only Latin American country to be included in the World Government Bond Index, a list of the most important global economies that circulate government debt bonds.

So why is the United States obligated to subsidize the education and future of illegal aliens, mostly from one of Latin America’s richest countries? Also, there has been little or no acknowledgement that since the U.S. has financed the education of illegal alien young people so far, the reasonable conclusion is that it’s now surely Mexico’s turn to accept them back home, where they can use their U.S. paid for education and experience, while contributing to the quality of their home country’s labor pool. More good would accrue to Mexico than to us, if illegal alien bilingual students went on to higher education, were trained in a scientific discipline, or prepared to enter a profession in Mexico.

But when, if ever, will the Mexican government’s demands on America’s taxpayers be satisfied? The answer may be never. That would take, on their part, a rethinking of Mexico’s misguided notions about a misfit between lower social class status, higher education, and success.
The only reason for the U.S. to continue its tax-funded subsidies policy in dealing with Mexican nationals in the U.S. is that government, private business, and misguided philanthropy continue to look for votes, loyalty, cheap labor, and accolades in the sea of Mexican poverty.
Yet, all the U.S.’s big favors and forgiveness shout is “big me, little you.” That will not work because envy can never be tamped down by inappropriate generosity, and over-the-top “do-goodism” tends to make resentments much worse.

Actions like President Obama’s will be the greatest benefit to Mexico via the billions sent home by illegals to their own impoverished relations. In this way our country’s working class citizens take on the philanthropic obligations that the Mexican government and the whiter and more educated classes in Mexico shun. Any claim that Mexico makes to be a democracy that cares about the welfare of its poor is a travesty, as well as the silly idea that those illegally here “live in the shadows.” The reality is that illegal aliens in the U.S. are mostly left in peace to enjoy SSI, health care, free school lunches, car baby seats, low income tax credits, Wal-Mart, Blackberries, and name-brand footwear.

So instead of Carlos Slim taking a pass on his own obligations to the Mexican poor, our message to him needs to be “we have helped Mexico enough and you need to improve your leadership skills more than your income. That also means making sure that your country reins in the violence that permeates the upper reaches of your government that is steadily falling further into crime and depravity. And you and other Mexican billionaires need to explain to Americans why basic public infrastructure for poor communities and private philanthropy in Mexico is virtually non-existent or minuscule. Either poverty is so endemic that any solution seems impossible, or you, Carlos Slim and other Mexican billionaires, have no concern for your country’s future!”

Also consider that Mexico has a university system of its own, which the Mexican super-rich could also support with a few billion dollars, or enough to cover the extra expense of college educations for poor, U.S. college-ready Mexican nationals who have gotten a free U.S. K-12 education. Excuses won’t do because the National Autonomous University of Mexico, founded in 1910, is one of the largest universities anywhere. Hundreds of specialties are taught and twenty-eight “Faculties” award advanced degrees, including astronomy, with three advanced telescopes in Baja California. The university has 314,000 students and six satellite campuses in Mexico and is ranked 190th in the entire world and second best in Ibero-America in a tie between the University of Barcelona and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The University of Mexico’s main campus, “Ciudad Universaria,” is a World Heritage Site, designed by Mexico’s best-known architects and filled with art by Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. This is the world of affluent Mexico which is rarely shared with the lower classes.

Against this background of lavish higher education, in 1990 only 5 percent of Mexicans read books and periodicals, and 80 percent of Mexican farms have less than 25 acres, 40 percent less than 2.5 acres.

Does President Obama understand that Mexico is not wallowing in poverty and can take care of its own? And that refusal to deport also allows further penetration of the current murderous violence and drug smuggling that has reached new heights of criminality and brutality? That alone is more than sufficient reason to focus on keeping our doors closed. We must firmly resign as a safety valve for a government that is both a class-based culture and has a history of being a quasi-criminal enterprise. We can’t change Mexico, but they have changed us. How far we will go on our present path will be determined by our response to amnesties in any form, and how much we want to carry forward our western ideals.

About the author

Diana Hull is the West Coast Editor of The Social Contract.