But what is wrong with this picture?
Mexico is a country that is in the midst of a drug civil war fueled by poverty and tremendous inequality. While Carlos Slim enjoys the reputation of the world's wealthiest man, his fellow citizens have enjoy little to nothing of the wealth of Mexico. For example...
...The Mexican standard of living is way below the US or Europe. The minimum wage is 46 pesos per day, about 2.20, or $4 US Dollars. There is little or no welfare state and no unemployment benefit. Mexico is one of the four worst countries in Latin America for income distribution. In 2007, Forbes magazine published an article indicating that Carlos Slim had a personal fortune of 53.1 billion dollars and was fast catching up on Bill Gates as the world's richest man. Many billionaires were created after the privatization of Mexican banks and telecoms in the 1990s.Things are only looking up if you are one of Mexico's billionaires. But if you are like most Mexicans -- between 1994 and 1996, the poverty rate in Mexico climbed from 52 to 69 percent due to a deep but short-lived global economic recession that broke out in this country. Now this country is experiencing another depression, which originated in its northern neighbour, and that will last at least until 2010....The bottom 40% of the population share only 11% of the wealth and are considered to live below the Mexican poverty line. Many families live in total poverty and children are compelled to work on the streets in order to supplement the family income.- Advertisement -
Alarmingly, though, America has embraced the exact same economy of Mexico, yet expects different results. But that ain't gonna happen. I'll let you in on a little secret. The people at the top -- America's wealthy elite -- know that ain't gonna happen too.
By creating government policies to encourage the privatization of nearly all the wealth into the hands of the very few and by taking away much of the wealth and resources for the public good, then you get what they have in Mexico and what we are beginning to see in the United States. In short, you get a free market conservative's dream, or nightmare, depending if you are one of the hundreds of millions of people or one of the hundreds of the economic elite at the top.
The infrastructure of the country will decay, the cities will disintegrate, the citizens (or consumers as we like to call ourselves now) will descend into poverty, and the country will face civil unrest and turmoil.
So Carlos Slim is truly a success story of capitalism. But for the people of Mexico and now the United States, capitalism has turned into a nightmare.