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Brooks Wilson's Economics Blog: Pew Global Attitudes Project: Mexico

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pew Global Attitudes Project: Mexico

Economics students learn that trade of goods and services benefits trading partners. They generally do not consider models that examine the impact of resource flows such as labor through migration. Our economy draws Mexican immigrants like a giant magnet. With their proximity to our country, and handed down knowledge of family and friends who have immigrated, Mexicans understand that American society is freer of violence, and the need to have political connections to succeed. A Pew Global Attitudes Project titled, "Most Mexicans See Better Life in U.S.," reports interesting but not surprising results.

Facing a variety of national problems -- crime, drugs, corruption, a troubled economy -- Mexicans overwhelmingly are dissatisfied with the direction of their country. With drug-related violence affecting much of Mexico, large majorities describe crime (81%) and illegal drugs (73%) as very big problems, and Mexicans overwhelmingly endorse President Felipe Calderón's tough stance against drug traffickers.

Most believe life is better in the United States. Close to six-in-ten (57%) say that people who move from Mexico enjoy a better life in the U.S., up from 51% in 2007. And the vast majority of those who are in regular contact with friends and relatives living in the U.S. say those friends and relatives have largely achieved their goals.

A substantial minority of Mexicans say that if they had the means and opportunity to go live in the U.S. they would do so, and more than half of those who would migrate if they had the chance say they would do so without authorization.

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  1. It is simply human nature to resist change even in the face of overwhelming evidence that change equals a better life. National pride, uncertainty of a new culture, and family considerations make it easy to understand why only a minority of Mexican nationals take the chance of moving to the U.S. Quality of life is in the eye of the beholder.

  2. I have a very similar view as K Kennedy does. It is very easy to see the oppurtunity for somebody moving from Mexico to the United States. And yes it would be hard to move away from your homeland, but put yourself in their shoes. You could either move away from the violence and drugs and things like that, for the most part anyways (because we all know the U.S. has a few wild hairs in it), and pursue much greater oppurtunity, or you could stay in your homeland and live the same life you have been living with many hardships. Its very easy to see why we have so many immigrants flooding into the U.S. from Mexico legally and illegally alike.

  3. Trent Stiles1/10/09 6:10 PM

    Most mexicans, as it says in the blog would love to move to The United States. To seek a better life than in mexico, with all the violence and drug traffiking going on in mexico. And who's not going to enjoy America, as long as you put yourself to good work your going to succeed. I know immigrant do not get the chance as we do especialy illegal imigrants. As to going to college and getting a well paid job, but I would think it would be much better then living in mexico.

  4. Jason Weaver3/10/09 10:38 PM

    With so many Mexicans saying that people who move from Mexico enjoy a better life in the U.S it may be suprising to many that so little Mexicans would move to the U.S. if they had the means. I used to be one of those people. Last spring break I built a house in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. When I was there I saw a first hand account of the culture. The first day on the site I was shocked to see so many people volunteering to help us from all around the city. I got a chance to talk to some of them. For the most part they were helping us because they felt a sense of national pride and in turn felt that it was their duty to do their part to make their country better. One man also said that even though he hadn't been able to find a job in 3 months and there was a legitimate health risk, he could never leave his family behind. A good number of them did confess to having known people to leave Mexico for the U.S. though. Good thing we had a tranlator!

  5. Ester Anderson said......
    Mexico is horrible! My parents used to go their all the time and now don't go at all because it's not safe. It’s so messed up right now and if I lived there I would want to leave as well. People who have money are able to buy police and politicians to obtain what they want, this is part of what importing and exporting with the United States leads too. Although it is helping both countries it is being abused and the power that it brings to Mexico is not bringing the Mexican people a life of happiness but a life of hardship and survival. People are willing to do whatever it takes and that means being shot, drowning, and stealing a citizen of America’s social security and making a life for themself. I feel for these people but trading doesn't always benefit everyone. I feel that international trade has defiantly made this country worse! Crime and drug percentages rate very high and this is part of trade, because clearly it is traded whether we are trading with the Mexicans for money or they trading us for money .Either way it is the trading of imports and exports to each other. This is a huge problem, I know someone who owns land in Mexico and lives in their family’s home. This person was kidnapped by gang members and ransomed for $8,000 so the family who live in the U.S sent the money and later it happened again. They wanted their son to come home but only had enough money for him so he stayed with his wife and son. After the second threat on his life the family paid yet again, the only difference is they made arrangements to get them all out illegally. So they were here living with family, but are scared to go back. I honestly don't blame them
    , there is no protection because even the police are corrupt and in with the rebels/gangs/cowards whatever you want to call them. As far as I know they have gone somewhere else and I wish nothing but the best for them. I feel as though Mexicans get a bad name as well Jason Weaver. Although a lot come here many stay because of family and it’s their home. We just have to remember it wasn't always bad. Yes it had its wild streaks as well but not really any different than the U.S.

    The thing about international trade is that it isn't just hurting Mexico it is hurting us as well. I say this because there are so many immigrants that it makes it hard for the U.S to get a job because the Immigrants will practically work for free and not only that we are usually better educated and know that we are supposed to be paid more.