Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

For Mexicans, It Was The Economy, Stupid

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page.

IF ever there were an election preordained as a result of economic performance, it would be Mexico's election on Sunday. The ruling National Action Party, or PAN, was destined to lose because it had presided over profound economic failure for 11 years. Almost any government in world would have lost under such circumstances.

Commentators, focused on the six-year-old drug war, have largely neglected to note the depth of Mexico's economic problems. Let's start with the basics: Since 2000, when the PAN was first elected, income per person in Mexico has grown by just 0.9 percent annually. This is terrible for a developing country, and less than half the rate of growth of the Latin American region during this period - which was itself not stellar. If we just look at per capita growth since the last election, in 2006, Mexico finishes dead last of all the countries in Latin America.

Between 1980 and 2000, when the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, lost control of Mexico for the first time in more than 70 years, the country saw a precipitous drop in economic growth. Before the 1980s, Mexico was growing at a rate that would have lifted the country to European living standards, had it continued.

It is not fashionable among observers, in the United States or Mexico, to mention that Mexico's economy has performed abysmally for more than 30 years. Starting with the recession and Latin American debt crisis in the early 1980s, the PRI shifted toward what economists call "neoliberalism": abandoning state-led industrial and development policies, tightening monetary and fiscal policies and liberalizing foreign investment and trade. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994, was only the most visible example of this transformation.


Order Ronnie's New Book: The Truth About COVID-19

Get Local

Find News and Action for your state:
$5 Off Your Next Order at Mercola.com and 20% Goes to Organic Consumers Association.