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Mexico: Another Course Is Possible

Mexico: Another Course Is Possible

Posted by Marcelo Ebrard on March 24, 2014

How to defy 200 years of History and make a new commitment towards the future? How to change the shaddow in Mexico's destiny? For more than three decades, two projects have disputed the model of development for the country. After having an average annual growth of 6.5% from the '40s to the late '60s, our stabilizing model came to an end and the state policies in the following decade caused severe imbalances in the public accounts. In the early '80s a new path had to be chosen.

The conservative ideological agenda prevailed in the world, and in Mexico, a new model that privileged an accelerated global integration, free to operate the market forces was imposed. The opposite option that proposed the achievement of a national economic integration, and the dependence of a interventionist State was set aside.

Structural reforms of the neoliberal kind were implemented without open or democratic deliberation. The aim, at first, was to balance public finances and to curb deficit. In that direction, the government submitted society and its production apparatus to a drastic external and fiscal adjustment. The objective was also to integrate the country's economy with the international trade networks. Liberalisation, opening, deregulation and privatization was the monolithic conception and hegemonic agenda adopted since 1982 for Mexico.

Twenty years later, with the FTA's entry into force, commerce plays a vital role in our economy. The bilateral trade with the United States has increased in more than 500% and with Canada, in almost 200%. Exports have grown fourfold and the country holds a dynamic manufacturing activity. Public finances have come to a balance and inflation growth has been reduced.

However, the right - wing route made to modernize Mexico has not achieved the expected results. Misconception finally stagnated the country. After thirty years of reforms, the population has seen its expectations annihilated. Three wasted decades in which per capita GDP has been almost null, tax collections are the lowest in the OECD and investments have diminished. Youth isn't able to access higher education and the middle classes are divided. Economic power is now more concentrated and the presence of external capital has increased.

In the last decade there were oil surpluses for more than one billion pesos but the investment in Pemex did not raise nor the expenditure per student. We live in an oligopolistic economy that reduces our incomes in a 40%, patents don't increase, half of the population doesn't have social security, public institutions are weakened, purchasing power has decreased in a 75%, inequality and poverty are even bigger than when the FTA was signed, and, because of all this, public security is in crisis.

This has clearly been the wrong answer. Going back to the model of the '70s will not solve the problem either. Now, the dispute is another one. The construction of a new country is at play and a different agenda is required. The current government asks for new reforms and more speed, but proposes a mistaken path. Where is the failure? Mexico hasn't been able to overcome its inequality crisis and the price it's paying for it is extremely high: the economic system is less stable and efficient and therefore, there is less growth.

Let's take a progressive approach, another direction for development that has equality, liberties, substantial decrease of inequality, sustained growth, investment in our society, employment, innovation, competitive markets and population's welfare as a national priority.

We did that in the FD. We triggered a new system for social well-being, public spaces, human rights, sustainable mobility, a green plan and a social model of public security. The results are evident: the FD has the best indicators in human development, finances, transparency, business, security, education and poverty. When the country fell down, the FD stood up.

Yes, another course is possible for Mexico.

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