$24,000,000,000.00 (That's Billion) Sent "Home" To Mexico
By patriotroom Posted in Immigration — Comments (35) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
In 2007, "remittances," money sent back by Mexican workers to families in Mexico, beat out tourism as the second largest source of foreign money into the country. Only oil exports accounted for more.
That is $24 billion that was taken out of the American economy. It was not spent in American stores. Best Buy sold fewer televisions. Ford sold fewer cars and trucks. Winn Dixie and Safeway sold fewer groceries. U.S. Steel sold less steel. And yes, even Exxon/Mobil sold less gasoline than it could have. Those fewer sales curtailed the growth of jobs for Americans in those companies. It was taken completely out of our economy.
Most of this $24 billion was earned by illegals. That is not my statistic, it comes from the Mexican Government. According to the Washington Post.
Still, an estimated 400,000 to 650,000 Mexicans -- three-quarters of whom are undocumented -- cross the border each year to look for work in the United States, according to Mexican government estimates.
And it has really helped out down in ol' Mexico.
The money has transformed the landscape of many small towns, paying for new houses and new kitchens, cars and childcare, medical care and clothes.
So we know they paid the mortgages in Mexico. What about all the Mexicans in America that are having their homes foreclosed on in record numbers? How many mortgage payments were sent to Mexico instead of to American mortgage companies? How many American neighborhoods could have kept up their property values if not for so many of these foreclosures?
So not only did the money not stay in the United States, it was earned without paying federal or state income taxes, Social Security taxes, or Medicare taxes. And while the the money was being sucked out of our economy, Americans also paid for the illegals' health care, education, welfare, and all of the government benefits and infrastructure to support them.
And $24 billion was in 2007 alone. The chart from the Post article shows (by my estimate) about $137 billion was sent to Mexico over the last decade.
To give you an idea how much we are talking about, $24 billion is more than the entire Gross Domestic Product of the country of El Salvador and almost as much as Honduras and Bolivia, combined. Some figures, all GDP in millions of dollars from 2007. (For the mathematically challenged, the first two numbers are the billions. The gray vertical line is my ineptitude with the MS Paint program).
The irony is that the the Washington Post story is not about how this is affecting Americans. It is all about how the slowing U.S. economy is causing a drop in remittances and its effect on Mexico.
The drop-off in remittances to Mexico, which economists believe could accelerate this summer if the U.S. economy continues to falter, is swelling into a catastrophe here in the central Mexican state of Zacatecas, which has Mexico's highest migration rate. Hit with particular ferocity are small villages that have been virtually abandoned by all but the elderly parents of migrants. In the Zacatecan village of Lo de Luna, a collection of crudely built brick homes six miles from the nearest paved road, seniors such asErnesto Hernández have been left nearly destitute.
Hernández, 80, doesn't take his diabetes medicine anymore. It costs too much, and he'd rather buy food than pills.
Ever since his son, Alfonso, lost his home in the United States to foreclosure a few months ago and stopped sending money for medicine and farm supplies, life has been "a disaster, a total disaster," Hernández said.
But we haven't even gotten to the good part yet. Experts seem to think the net effect of all this is to cause more Mexicans to come here, not fewer.
Economists here believe the decline in remittances is already pushing thousands into extreme poverty and could lead to a significant increase in migration as desperate Mexicans, deprived of support from abroad, flee to an ever more difficult U.S. job market.
"It is a vicious, perverse circle," Juan Manuel Padilla, a demographer in the economics school at the University of Zacatecas, said in an interview. "Work opportunities here are nonexistent, so this is going to cause more migration to the United States, even though it is getting harder to find work over there."
Let's play the dictionary game. From Merriam-Webster.
Parasitism: (noun) An intimate association between organisms of two or more kinds; especially: one in which a parasite obtains benefits from a host which it usually injures.
Now we'll listen to the economists and see if our definition applies.
But some economists also say the giant sums sent to Mexico have created a sense of complacency, especially among government officials who have failed to right the country's wobbly economy.
"This is demonstrating that there is an increased dependence on remittances and a great vulnerability for the country," said Rodolfo García Zamora, an economics professor at the University of Zacatecas and one of Mexico's leading authorities on remittances. "Neither the government nor the families who are affected have a good alternative to remittances."
If not dealt with properly, some parasites can kill you.
Bill Dupray at The Patriot Room