“A tale of two Mexicos” in the June 17 Tribune is a cautionary tale for the U.S. The latest economic theory on why nations fail to achieve, from Daron Acemoglu of MIT, strongly suggests that the “wealth of a country is closely correlated with the degree to which the average person shares the overall growth of its economy” (New York Times, March 13).
In Mexico, the wealth of the nation is held and controlled by a very small number of people and institutions. The average citizen rightly perceives that opportunity is limited and that to succeed he or she needs to have an “in.” The mechanisms of success are co-opted by the already successful, with laws and regulations designed to enhance wealth and the government’s sole role to protect their interests. It make more sense to travel to a country with at least the perception of opportunity. Does this sound familiar?
Here in the U.S., corporations, whose sole purpose is to enhance shareholder wealth and that of the extremely wealthy, are now able to buy laws and regulations benefitting themselves through unlimited, anonymous campaign donations. Dreamers and optimists need not apply. The average citizen’s chance at success becomes distant. Cut education, health care, benefits, spending, all in the name of lower taxes. When we win the lottery, at least we won’t be heavily taxed on our winnings!
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