Monday, June 23, 2008

Immigration Reform, Part 4

There is a new article in Time Magazine called "The Great Wall of America". This is worth reading, as it talks about the wall that has been built on our southern border and how effective it is in keeping people out.

While I agree we need something to protect us from drug smugglers and terrorists, we could make it a lot easier for them to be caught if they were the only people crossing our border illegally.

Helping the people of Mexico fix Mexico is going to be a tall order, because in many ways they are facing the same problems we are facing:

- Problems securing the southern border (see the National Geographic article I mentioned earlier)
- Inadequate health care system
- Jobs with low wages, or no jobs at all
- Inadequate educational system
- Invasion and confrontations with drug smugglers and dealers

The major difference is cultural in nature which influences their politics. They, along with a number of other Latin American countries have a populist view of politics. The populist view is basically the good of the people over the good of business, finance or government. The problem is, as we see with our Social Security and Medicare "populist" programs, the populist view only works as long as the government can afford it.

This is discussed in Alan Greenspan's book "The Age of Turbulence".

This does not mean that all populist-type programs are bad, however they need to be carefully managed so that the costs do not exceed the benefits.

With a few modifications, however, Mexico could have some of the benefits of populist-type programs, but only if they fix their border problems, labor problems and education problems. They could have them and make them work for the Mexican people, however it may require some changes in the government, dependent upon how much resistance to change the people of Mexico receive from government leaders. If what I have read is correct, there is a lot of corruption in the government of Mexico that will need to be removed before positive change can actually begin.

This does not mean, however, that the Mexican people could not, nor should not, be educated on how to make this type of change to occur. I'm not talking specifically about a college education, but I can tell you that change begins with an educated people.

Consider this: how many of our Founding Fathers of the U.S. had college degrees? Some did, however there were some who did not. Those who were not, educated themselves to improve their employment chances, as well as to improve our nation. James Madison was not an expert on foreign governments and constitutions when he drafted our Constitution, however he did educate himself on how the governments of other nations worldwide worked, and tried to use the best out of many examples to frame how our country should work, and still works - to some degree - today.

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