January 27th, 2017

Trump’s Mexican “diplomacy”

During the campaign, one of the main fears about Donald Trump (a fear I shared) was that he would be a loose cannon in terms of foreign policy as president. Until now I’ve been reassured by most of his moves, but not his Mexican gambit:

President Trump’s Twitter broadsides against Mexico have unleashed a political backlash that has now become a diplomatic crisis with a friendly neighbour.

Mr Trump fancies himself a negotiating wizard, but in this case he is out-negotiating himself. The White House announced last weekend that Mr Trump had asked Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to Washington to talk about trade, immigration and the border. Despite Mr Trump’s many slights against Mexico during the campaign, Mr Peña Nieto accepted.

Mr Trump proceeded to roll out the red carpet by announcing his plan to build “the wall” on the US southern border that Mexicans of all political stripes consider an insult. On Wednesday he also rolled out press secretary Sean Spicer to aver that “one way or another, as the President has said before, Mexico will pay for it.”

That cornered the Mexican President…

On Thursday morning Mr Trump tweeted “if Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.” Mr Peña Nieto cancelled.

I was hopeful about the talks with Mexico. I didn’t think that Trump would be capitulating during them. But the proper venue for laying down his opening bid, and beginning negotiations, was when Nieto was here. To begin with a broadside that practically called out for a macho face-saving move by Nieto doesn’t make sense to me.

Nor is it because I don’t understand this “alpha male” business, or the concept of a strong opening bid, or of willingness to walk away from negotiations if they don’t go well. The latter move is based on the idea that negotiations begin, after all. Trump overplayed his hand needlessly, and opened himself up to widespread condemnation, which has come not just from those who oppose him reflexively at every turn.

The article I linked to is in The Australian, but it’s taken from the Wall Street Journal, which is not a reflexively anti-Trump paper:

With a population of 128 million, Mexico is America’s second-largest export market for goods. Some six million US jobs depend on trade with Mexico. But the much larger risk is that Mexicans will sour on progress toward joining their North American neighbours as prosperous free-market democracies. This is the moment that Mexico’s left — dormant but not dead — has been waiting for as anti-American Andrés Manuel López Obrador prepares to run for President again in 2018.

Mr Trump is a foreign-affairs neophyte, but he is already learning that nations can’t be bullied like GOP candidates or CEOs.

I hope he learns, and I hope he learns quickly.

51 Responses to “Trump’s Mexican “diplomacy””

  1. Gringo Says:

    What one wants from Mexico is more honest government, which will result in a stronger economy. If we are to send Mexicans back to Mexico, it would help if they had jobs to go to.

    Maybe the NAFTA agreement needs tweaking. But the main problem with NAFTA is that we anticipated that there would be a lot of new jobs created in Mexico, which instead ended up going to China.

    A view from Texas.

  2. M J R Says:

    It seems to me that even an alpha male knows enough, or ought to know enough, about negotiating a deal to not publicly taunt the other guy/entity, except possibly in very special circumstances at very key points in the negotiation. A good negotiator, it seems to me, offers proposals and concessions in a manner that helps the other guy/entity save face and even feel good about the deal him/herself.

    Conducting one’s self in the manner I’m suggesting helps ensure that “I” get what “I”‘m seeking. Taunting doesn’t. This posture towards Mexico strikes me as exactly the wrong way to go about doing what Trump is trying to do — or to go about progressing towards any deal worth dealing.

    Even if Trump’s opening negotiating position is just that, an opening position from which to proceed and concede, I nonetheless cannot see what is to be gained, including the applause of Trump’s base, from what amounts to publicly taunting the other guy/entity. The base can learn to be patient while Trump quietly works his magic.

    Then again, I’m not a big-time deal maker, real estate or otherwise, and I got 304 fewer electoral votes than did the big orange guy, so what the h#ll do I know?

  3. expat Says:

    Trump needs to learn that he can negotiate toughly behind doors, but that when he talks to a foreign public, he needs to sound nicer. e could ave said something about bot our countries have problems with illegals crossing our borders and with drug cartels and that he wants to work closely with them to solve these problems.

  4. DNW Says:

    I think we should declare war on Mexico.

    And I do business with them.

    There is not a nation on earth for which I have less sympathy.

  5. DNW Says:

    Well, North Korea, maybe.

    Nonetheless it’s (Mexico is) an enemy culture.

  6. DNW Says:

    No sooner than I damn Mexico, and its cultural sensibilities than something positive, not of the usually dismal variety, crops up in the Hispanic world.

    Credit where it is due

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/meet-evangelist-surfer-fighting-graft-brazil-180808247.html

  7. DNW Says:

    Still feeling somewhat guilty that I wanted to destroy Mexico to eliminate a nuisance, albeit a serious and potentially fatal one, I dredged this up.

    Professionalism among the police gets the credit.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/mexico/12155890/How-Mexicos-most-dangerous-city-transformed-itself-to-become-safe-enough-for-the-Pope.html

    Or serious prayer …

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.religionenlibertad.com/ciudad-juarez-abrieron-capillas-adoracion-perpetua-los-54448.htm

  8. Frog Says:

    Mexico needs the US much more than the US needs Mexico. I read the WSJ every AM, and I did read the irritating WSJ piece which Neo quoted. Never forget the WSJ favors mucho Latino immigration, without what seems to me a sound rationale benefiting Jane and Joe Doe.

    NAFTA has been enormously beneficial to Mexico, much more than to the USA; which is to say its very thin upper crust, which owns almost everything Mexican. Since NAFTA, the many state-owned companies were sold to the oligarchs, very much as in Russia. Mexico has gotten rid of millions of its impoverished underclass by exporting them to us. The Mexican gov’t was active in encouraging and supporting that relocation.
    The second-largest revenue source in Mexico after the state-owned oil company (a monopoly) is monies sent home by the illegals.

    Mexico is hugely corrupt. Its constitution and its laws are jokes. Reflect on how Mexico deals with Americans who accidentally cross into Juarez from El Paso: months in prison, huge legal fees, more money for bribes. My brother was robbed by Federales (Federal Police) of everything he had in his vehicle.

    There are too those nasty drug cartels, which I have no doubt buy ALL the upper-level politicians. Mexico just had to send El Chapo to the US for criminal prosecution ! ! I guess El Chapo’s cartel is not Nieto’s cartel. Slamming the door on the cartels, increasing their costs of doing business, is not a bad idea either.

    I have been to Mexico many, many times over the decades. The rural poverty is appalling. In the state of Vera Cruz a decade ago, the small villages were devoid of men, surely because they had crossed our southern border. The windows there had no glass, and a single bulb illuminated the single room home in these many villages. Plumbing? Hah. Hovels, truly.

    Mexico will cave. It has no choice, the braggadocio of Vincente Fox and other Big Dogs notwithstanding. Pena Nieto should have postured, played at playing along, strung it out trying to make a deal. Now Mexico will be humbled; did not have to happen.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    What Trump did could have been done far more effectively during negotiations. It was an unforced error to do it publicly at this early point.

  10. Fausta Says:

    Bah.

    This stage is called “theater for local consumption” by each side.

  11. Frog Says:

    Neo: I criticize Pena Nieto, you criticize Trump.
    My money’s on the big dog.
    Heck, Trump said it many times in the campaign. To be quiet now would accomplish what? Nada.
    Mexico is frightened. The Mexican stock market and peso are declining. Pena Nieto should have taken your advice to Trump. Nieto’s not exactly an effective negotiator in my book.

  12. Physicsguy Says:

    I saw he also spent an hour on the phone today with the Mexican president. Obviously there’s still negotiating occurring. There’s the public stances and the private conversation.

  13. OM Says:

    Frog:

    Victor Davis Hanson doesn’t seem to agree with you

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444336/donald-trump-mexico-pena-nieto-rebalancing-our-relationship

  14. AesopFan Says:

    Frog Says:
    January 27th, 2017 at 5:08 pm
    Mexico needs the US much more than the US needs Mexico.
    * * *
    In re the cartels, here is an interesting bit of information (from the Dreaded Breitbart but it looks pretty solid):
    http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/01/26/mexican-president-cancels-u-s-trip/

    “Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has cancelled his planned visit to the U.S. where he was expected to meet with President Donald J. Trump. The cancellation comes after Mexico’s government denounced Trump’s new border security measures aimed at interfering with the cash flow of the very Mexican cartels believed to have financed the current Mexican president’s campaign.”

    It’s a serious challenge, but the article has some serious documentation for it.

  15. blert Says:

    Mexico is NOT a true market for American goods… as the vast bulk of that trade stat consists of American semi-manufactured elements that are then assembled at the border — for shipment right back to the old USA.

    Mexico has a special provision in its laws for just such plants… Which have all suddenly fallen entirely off the radar.

    The plants are still there, of course.

    This export of American manufacturing jobs — to these plants — which is the kernel of what is transpiring — is at the heart of Trump’s economic logic.

    The number one industry using such manufactures: the electrical goods business.

    Square D is wholly owned by Groupe Schneider (France)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schneider_Electric

    A staggering fraction of its ‘stuff’ is now manufactured in Mexican plants. The aluminum for said gear is imported from Red China — which is glutted with production capacity. ( So they’re dumping it in Mexico. )

    What Square D does is imitated by all NEMA players.

    Mexico has largely adopted IEC standards — not NEMA — weird, don’t cha think?

    ( IEC = FRANCE, et. al.)
    (NEMA = USA, Canada)

    Because of this, it’s de facto impossible to export NEMA goods into Mexico… or Europe, for that matter.

    IEC rules ban NEMA ( American ) wire colors. The reverse is not true. Think about that.

    The electrical trade is a huge business sector, and Paris is determined to rule it all.

    Groupe Schneider is welded to the French government at its hip and brain. Don’t you doubt that for a second.

    And the Mexican-American electrical goods ‘trade’ dwarfs that of the auto industry. Think about that!

  16. AesopFan Says:

    From the VDH article per
    OM Says:
    January 27th, 2017 at 6:13 pm
    Frog:

    Victor Davis Hanson doesn’t seem to agree with you

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444336/donald-trump-mexico-pena-nieto-rebalancing-our-relationship
    * * *
    “We think that Trump’s bluster is “art of the deal” bargaining, but, in fact, the Mexican government is the shrewd dealer. Its perennial outrage, in wounded-fawn fashion, has proven an astute strategy for maintaining what in a normal world would long ago have been seen as provocative aggression.”
    * * *
    Hanson agrees with Frog on one hand and takes it back with the other, but ultimately this is the bottom line.

    Trump has developed an MO for dealing with wounded-fawns engaged in blatant aggression, which is calling them out with over-the-top challenges and then putting the screws to them to get the more reasonable outcome that he’s really going after.

    So, is he a clueless jerk as neo posits, or a shrewder manipulator than we think?

  17. Cornhead Says:

    This is all a big negotiation for Trump. I put my money on Trump.

    Recall the story about a closing on a golf course. He arrives at the closing table and cuts millions from the closing price. Just showing off and he did it because he could.

    The guy is brilliant. First the media and now Mexico.

  18. Oldflyer Says:

    The last chapter has not been written on Mexico. Their guy talks big, but he has a very small stick.

    Suppose Trump decided to close all border crossings? Who would squeal the loudest? I would have to do without winter strawberries and blueberries; and they would have nowhere to sell them.

    Mexico is not a good place. I worked there for a short time. I visited San Cristobal de las Casas, and saw the walls in the square that were later pocked with machine gun rounds, and stained with blood. In Tuxtla–where I was–there were armed soldiers on nearly every down town street corner while the banks were open. The only thing that prevents revolution is the fact that we are enabling them by siphoning off large swaths of the “underclass” (I know that is not a PC description, but accurate.)

  19. jon baker Says:

    For at least 10 years now I have not considered Mexico a “friendly neighbor.” It is clear what their long term goals are if you look at their actions. I consider Mexico a graver threat than Russia or ISIS to American sovereignty. just another view from Texas.

  20. Cornflour Says:

    I spent a lot of time in Mexico during the 1970’s and 1980’s, but my current knowledge is all secondhand. Even so, I tend to side with both Trump and Frog on this issue.

    The Mexican government and Mexican elites have sponsored an unprecedented invasion of another country, and they need to be publicly slapped down — repeatedly. If they agree to support the return of current illegals, and if they start working to prevent new illegal immigration, then Trump can start acting friendly. Until then, frequent public humiliation and harsh economic threats are warranted. It’s not possible to overestimate the arrogance of Mexican elites. If Trump’s attack on them isn’t public, it won’t be effective. As a short-term goal, Trump should aim for a Mexican commitment to share in the costs of the wall.

    Obviously, there are risks with this approach. If Trump backs off now, Mexicans will publicly proclaim victory and we’ll be flooded with illegals. No one knows how many are already here, but it’s probably between 25 and 50 million. Additionally, there are many recent Mexican immigrants who came here legally. Very few of them support what was once called the American constitutional republic, and almost none are small-government conservatives. The importance of stopping the Mexican invasion goes far beyond helping out some guys who lost their jobs as roofers or factory workers, and it won’t be an easy process.

  21. Cornhead Says:

    I’ve been to Mexico twice in the 80’s. Two points:

    1. I could not get over how poor it was.

    2. Could also not get over how the poverty had not been fixed given the resources at hand.

    The Mexican people are hard working. The country is rich with oil, gas and agriculture. The problem is primarily culture. There is no rule of law and the education is not good. Thank god for our constitution. Another obscure problem: a bad real estate and land title system.

  22. Frog Says:

    1) Carlos Slim, 50-fold billionaire and biggest owner of the NYT, says in today’s WSJ “We have learned the lesson of not being united,” he said, referring to the loss of half its territory in the 1846-48 Mexican-American War.
    Still pouting.
    The same article (not Slim) observes, “According to government statistics, public investment in Mexico is at its lowest level since the 1930s as a share of the economy, and wages have been stagnant in real terms since the early 1990s.”
    The latter oddly coincides with the illegal immigration wave. Now we have DREAMERS in their twenties.
    “We have to strengthen our nationalism,” said Mr. Slim.

    2)In another WSJ article today: “Mr. Peña Nieto appears to be at pains to balance Mexico’s pride with the risk of Mr. Trump unilaterally pulling the U.S. out of Nafta and doing huge damage to Mexico’s export-dependent economy.”

    I repeat: Mexico needs the US more than the US needs Mexico.

    The two agreed today to continue discussions, but they will be private.

    First round to Trump. The Art of the Deal.

  23. OM Says:

    Blert:

    IEC is based in Geneva (hint, it’s not part of France). I’m not going to fisk the rest of your comment about electrical standards, etc.

  24. F Says:

    My daughter lives in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish. She has a circle of Mexican friends with whom she interacts regularly. She passed on something her friends are saying — that Pena Nieto waited until Obama was out of office to send el Chapo to the US. In their estimation, this is not an accident: it reflects how Nieto feels about Obama’s lack of trustworthiness. They want el Chapo to face honest justice, and know he would not get that either in Mexico or from Obama. My daughter tells me her friends dislike Trump, but she feels like they respect him more than Obama.

    She and her husband like the country, but are getting really fed up with the lawbreaking culture and a little worried about their safety. They are actively trying to find a job back in the states to move back to.

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    F:

    I agree about El Chapo and the timing.

  26. OM Says:

    Neo:

    The comment from F regarding his/her daughter in Mexico and those from ExPat and LondonTrader are one of the great things about your blog; ground truth from places of interest. Not just opinions about “them over there from me over here.”

  27. OM Says:

    Neo:

    “opinions” are those in the comments, not your posts. 😉

  28. Chester Draws Says:

    No one knows how many are already here, but it’s probably between 25 and 50 million.

    You think over one in eight people in America is an illegal immigrant? Jesus wept!

    It’s 11 million (that’s all, not just Mexicans). And here’s the amazing thing — it’s declining.

    One reason it is declining is that NAFTA is helping make the Mexican economy better, which means more jobs at home for them. Cutting off your nose to spite your face by hurting Mexico’s economy is senseless.

    And if more illegals are sent home there will be the need for more legal immigrants. Someone’s got to do all the shit jobs in Trump manages to get better paying ones for the current US citizens. That fruit isn’t going to pick itself.

  29. Cornflour Says:

    Chester Draws:

    The 11 million estimate is almost certainly very low, but it’s the one cited by supporters of illegal immigration, because it’s the one endorsed by Obama’s Department of Homeland Security. Some of the highest estimates of illegal aliens included children born in the US. That may distort the definition of illegal alien, but it also paints a more realistic picture of the population size.

    Yes, the numbers are staggering, but nobody really knows how many illegals there are. Official US Census surveys certainly wildly underestimate their numbers, and non-government survey results vary widely. Do I think that there are 50 million? Seems high, even if their US-born children are counted. On the other hand, 25 million doesn’t sound unlikely. Almost nobody who’s seriously looked at the data believes that 11 million is accurate.

  30. Cornhead Says:

    Cornflour

    Ann Coulter, in her book, cited some Wall Street research that the number might be 30m.

  31. AesopFan Says:

    People keep claiming we need immigrants (illegal and otherwise) to do the jobs “Americans won’t do” — but this just obscures the root problem, like putting band-aids over cancer sores.

    Americans CAN’T do those jobs for the basic reason that US regulations have priced citizens (aka legal workers) out of the market: minimum wages, unemployment insurance and SSI and medicare surcharges all have to be paid for legal workers but not for illegal one; reforming the regs to a reasonable cost hits the third rail of entitlements — but the illegal workers don’t come with the baggage, that’s why they are cheaper.

    On top of that:
    (1) highly skilled labor: US citizens are being tossed out of their jobs and legal immigrants are brought in to do them at a lower price — but obviously there are Americans who would do those jobs because they are training their replacements;
    (2) unskilled and semi-skilled labor: Some (not all) WON’T do the these jobs because:
    (a) culture and education has declined to the point that many are not being taught either the value of hard work or the rudiments of trades;
    (b) having never learned to work, the government pays them to be idle — would you dig ditches to make less than welfare pays?

    Remove any able-bodied person from the rolls and give them the choice of work or go without. Evidence shows that this gets action pretty fast.

  32. Cornflour Says:

    Cornhead:

    I’d guess that might be the Bear Stearns report from January, 2005. Or maybe there’s something more recent?

    At that time, they estimated that there were 20 million illegals, while the Census Bureau estimated that there were 9 million.

    Over the last twenty years or so, I’ve read — not always carefully — hundreds of papers on immigration. I know I shouldn’t trust my memory on this, but I’m almost certain that the frequently cited number of 11.4 million illegals is very low. Sorry if it sounds as if I’m disagreeing with you. Am just trying to clarify my earlier remarks.

  33. Gringo Says:

    Chester Draws:
    And if more illegals are sent home there will be the need for more legal immigrants.
    Let me rewrite that for you:

    And if more illegals are sent home there will be the need for someone to replenish the food stamp rolls and make up for the reduced emergency room visits.

    The point is that the government is subsidizing illegal aliens.

    Someone’s got to do all the shit jobs in Trump manages to get better paying ones for the current US citizens.

    Somebody’s got to do all the jobs that where illegal aliens displace US citizens. Consider construction crews in Texas. The roofing crew that worked at my HOA several years ago was all born in Mexico. Illegal or legal? Saber [Who knows?]

    I know US working class citizens who complain about having been displaced by illegal aliens, so don’t tell me that they can’t find US citizens to do the work.

    It used to be that adolescents gained valuable work experience in low-paying jobs. I did. Currently many of those jobs that adolescents used to perform are now staffed by illegal aliens. Mowing lawns, washing dishes. One result is that many young people, not being humbled by experience in the work force, continue into adulthood, an entitled view more appropriate for childhood.

    At least that is how the view is from Texas.

  34. Cornhead Says:

    Cornflour

    You have a better memory than me and it might be 20M. The point is that the 11m estimate is too low.

    Nebraska only has 1.8m people so these big numbers are astounding; probably 10 “Nebraskas” of illegal aliens.

  35. Frog Says:

    Ignored, as is usual in any immigration discussion, is the fact that over 50 million Americans have been aborted since 1973. That created various deficiencies, filled by the illegal migrants.
    The “right” to murder one’s very young relative is a most peculiar right. It is said that abortion makes a woman the mother of a dead baby, but that is a very kind way of putting it. The aborted mother is a victim?
    The Democratic party has become the party of murder and brown.

  36. Oldflyer Says:

    Does it really matter how many are here? The fact is that we have a large underclass of people in our midst with no stake in our communities (other than a daily wage), and no loyalty. To make matters worse, we don’t even know who they are.

    Aside from other issues; there is a basic logic. We are fostering a culture which does not respect the laws. This is already an issue in segments of society; and it will only spread. On the flip side, there is a fundamental failure of logic on the part of those who endorse the situation. Here in California, I would like to ask my Governor this: “If a couple of families, or a group of men, simply moved into your home and established residence, used and abused your facilities as though they were their own, demanded that you also reimburse their health care and other necessities, and resisted eviction; would you call them “undocumented residents”? Or would you call them “illegal squatters” and demand law enforcement’s assistance in evicting them?” The answer is obvious; but, the parallel is denied.

    Back to Trump. We have no idea what transpired in private before Trump decided to take it public. I no longer think that Trump is either dumb, or ego driven.

  37. Big Maq Says:

    It is an effing unforced error, not some grand “art of the deal”.

    Like trump’s campaign, he can say anything and it will be considered “brilliant”.

    I don’t know any country that would “pay” for a wall in another country. Not like Mexico doesn’t have other priorities to focus spending on.

    And, as if, 20% import tariff directly costs Mexico anything. It will cost US consumers. Just wait until China is hit with 30% (punitive for unfair trade), Canada 10% (cheating on NAFTA), Europe 15% (to pay for NATO), etc., etc.

    trump just needs to get to securing the border rather than doubling down on something he cannot deliver on.

  38. Henry Daniels Says:

    I thought the response from the Mexican President matched my own: you don’t do diplomacy via Twitter.

  39. OM Says:

    Does President Trump play diplomatic Chess (x dimensional), Checkers, Go, or just Chutes and Ladders?

    We will see.

  40. Frog Says:

    Is Big Maq here to provide “balance”?
    “it is an effing unforced error” is very very insightful and profound, is it not?

  41. blert Says:

    OM Says:
    January 27th, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Blert:

    IEC is based in Geneva (hint, it’s not part of France). I’m not going to fisk the rest of your comment about electrical standards, etc.

    Paris, de facto, totally dominates the IEC.

    Everyone in the industry knows that to be true.

    Switzerland is used because it looks multi-lateral.

    It is Groupe Schneider that tuned Mexico into IEC-West.

    It’s good to know governments that money can buy. /s

  42. AesopFan Says:

    Gringo Says:
    January 28th, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I know US working class citizens who complain about having been displaced by illegal aliens, so don’t tell me that they can’t find US citizens to do the work.

    It used to be that adolescents gained valuable work experience in low-paying jobs. I did. Currently many of those jobs that adolescents used to perform are now staffed by illegal aliens. Mowing lawns, washing dishes. One result is that many young people, not being humbled by experience in the work force, continue into adulthood, an entitled view more appropriate for childhood.

    At least that is how the view is from Texas.
    * * *
    What I said supra — and I’m from Texas although not living there now.
    Part of the problem is the cultural denigration of blue-collar work and the shunting of kids who would do very well in vocational schools into colleges where they fail outright or drift into the “Studies” departments which have neither vocational nor intellectual value.

  43. AesopFan Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    January 28th, 2017 at 6:40 pm
    Does it really matter how many are here? The fact is that we have a large underclass of people in our midst with no stake in our communities (other than a daily wage), and no loyalty. To make matters worse, we don’t even know who they are…
    Back to Trump. We have no idea what transpired in private before Trump decided to take it public. I no longer think that Trump is either dumb, or ego driven.
    * * *
    Two points both well said.
    Not all illegal immigrants are antithetical to traditional US values, but the public is rightfully tired of seeing kids in American flag shirts sent home from school while kids in La Raza togs are celebrating Mexican holidays.

  44. OM Says:

    Frog certainly provides unbalanced views,

  45. Jim Miller Says:

    According to Pew Research in recent years there has been a net outflow of Mexicans from the United States.

    That’s right; more Mexicans have been leaving the United States than coming here.

    If we damage the Mexican economy, as Trump has already done, and is threatening to do, I would expect that net flow to reverse.

    (How good are the Pew numbers? You’d have to be a specialist to answer that question, but they’re the best I know of.)

  46. Jim Miller Says:

    Here, thanks in part to Donald Trump’s rhetoric and policies, is the likely winner of Mexico’s next presidential election: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

    (He’s a fan of the late Hugo Chavez.)

  47. charles Says:

    I take exception to that Wall Street article calling Mexico a “friendly” neighbor.

    True, we are not exactly at war with Mexico; but, it is equally true that they have been exporting their poverty and some other problems North for decades. decades!

    And it is time to stop it. Since they won’t keep their people from illegally crossing the border into our country then we MUST stop their people from crossing into our country illegally.

    Rhetorical question: How is it that the world’s 11th largest producer of oil (4th largest in the Americas) is such a poor country? Why don’t they have better healthcare, a better standard of living, a better education system (only 45% graduate high school), a better country in general since they clearly should have all the oil wealth? Why with all that oil wealth are they exporting their poverty to the USA?

  48. OM Says:

    Charles:

    Rhetorical question from up north:

    How is it that the world’s 4h largest producer of oil such a country? Why don’t they have better healthcare, a better standard of living, a better education system, a better country in general since they clearly should have all the oil wealth? Why with all that oil wealth are they exporting their progressives to the Canada?

    Your question was better. 😉

  49. DNW Says:

    “Frog Says:
    January 28th, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Ignored, as is usual in any immigration discussion, is the fact that over 50 million Americans have been aborted since 1973. That created various deficiencies …”

    You will probably see this in the news soon.

    “Abstract

    Epidemiological and genetic association studies show that genetics play an important role in the attainment of education. Here, we investigate the effect of this genetic component on the reproductive history of 109,120 Icelanders and the consequent impact on the gene pool over time. We show that an educational attainment polygenic score, POLYEDU, constructed from results of a recent study is associated with delayed reproduction (P < 10−100) and fewer children overall. The effect is stronger for women and remains highly significant after adjusting for educational attainment. Based on 129,808 Icelanders born between 1910 and 1990, we find that the average POLYEDU has been declining at a rate of ∼0.010 standard units per decade, which is substantial on an evolutionary timescale.

    It was recently mentioned in Dieneke’s antho blog.

  50. Cornflour Says:

    Jim Miller Says:
    January 29th, 2017 at 10:23 am
    “According to Pew Research in recent years there has been a net outflow of Mexicans from the United States.”

    There are quite a few factors leading to the recent decrease in Mexican illegal immigrants. One of the most important is obvious to everybody: the collapse of residential housing construction. If this ever rebounds to levels that accommodate the desires of people currently in their twenties and thirties, then there could be another wave of illegal immigration.

    Another important cause of recent decreasing illegal immigration is, in fact, a statistical illusion. The Obama administration changed the method of counting illegal immigrants returned to Mexico. If an illegal was caught at the border and returned to Mexico, the Obama administration counted that as a deportation. Previous administrations did not. This change significantly affected apparent net immigration flows. In their report, Pew Research notes the increase in the number deported, but not the underlying cause. In my experience, Pew Research reports are usually more reliable and more objective than academic journal papers on similar topics, which are typically written by left-wing university faculty. Of course, I don’t always agree with Pew Research’s methodology, but this lapse is particularly unfortunate. I’m not ready to say that it’s due to political bias. Although there have been no retractions, some people from the Pew Research Center have informally admitted that the report probably underestimates the number of illegal immigrants. Their defense is that the report represented the best methods and data available at the time.

    Whatever you decide about the problems with Pew Research Center’s methodology and conclusions, we shouldn’t forget what they wrote in the report’s introduction: “Mexican immigrants have been at the center of one of the largest mass migrations in modern history. Between 1965 and 2015 more than 16 million Mexican immigrants migrated to the United States – more than from any other country.” The American people never voted for this great migration and have often bitterly complained about it. It has changed the future of the country, and a very vocal minority wants that change. If we don’t want to lose the constitutional republic and the rule of law, then the majority needs to keep voting for changes in immigration policy and security.

    Critical analysis of this Pew Research report, or of the academic literature doesn’t require a specialized knowledge. If you have access to a university library, and have some time and patience, then I’m sure that most readers of this blog could easily become well-informed on the subject.

  51. Ymarsakar Says:

    Trum can probably buy Mexico and then integrate them as another State. Or just break it up entirely.

    If Trum is as good at deal making as people think, with US weapons and the war machine backing the diplomacy, it is feasible to do so.

    If Mexicans had a vote, they would vote for the US. They already are, with their feet.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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