What is wrong with Mexico?

Mexico says its troops killed US man

Mexico is incredibly violent and corrupt. It’s no wonder so many Mexicans want to come here. But….eventually blame must be placed fairly.

This is only one story, but in conjunction with hundreds of similar ones, the only conclusion with explanatory power is that what is wrong with Mexico is that it’s full of Mexicans. What fraction of an area’s population has to be Mexican before it reproduces Mexico’s pathology is, unfortunately, being answered empirically here.

The obvious objection is that individual Mexicans are fine and it’s the system that is corrupt, and the system should be reformed so that everything will be OK. I am sympathetic to that objection. However, as a professional statistician, I have a finely developed sense of when there is enough data to draw a conclusion. Mexico has been this way for too many centuries, through too many reforms and elections and revolutions. It may be true that there are several distinct kinds of bad Mexicans (corrupt oligarchs, ultraviolent druglords, pitiless hate-obsessed revolutionaries) but the point is that ordinary typical Mexicans tolerate and enable the bad ones and always have.

The presence of the USA as a “safety valve” may have hindered reform because reform is difficult and, in a corrupt society, dangerous: most reformers (and, eventually, revolutionaries) are reluctant participants who have nowhere else to go. All the more reason to send the Mexicans back home; although most Americans realize this, this is one of the two issues on which the opinions of ordinary Americans carry almost no political weight.

This is because there are very strong influences in both major parties to continue to allow uncontrolled Mexican immigration (and the problem IS Mexican, not broader, they are 2/3 of the illegal immigrants and an even larger fraction of the unemployed or criminal illegal immigrants). The Democrats are importing a new population to outvote the white citizens who inconveniently prefer Republicans; the Republicans are either influenced by business interests that want cheap labor, or blinded by myths about America being a nation of immigrants that ignore the importance of where the immigrants are from.

By the way, the other issue on which the opinions of ordinary Americans carry almost no political weight was the subject of my previous post; it is even more mysterious to me than the illegal immigration issue, because for immigration I have just explained why the parties don’t listen to the voters, while I can’t explain why voters rejecting gay marriage in direct ballot questions in 31 out of 31 states seem unable to stop its political progress.


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9 Responses to What is wrong with Mexico?

  1. Gorbachev says:

    Mexico has an interesting past. Its culture is particularly unmovable. It’s impervious to outside influence.

    It’ also unique in Latin America: truly an amalgam of native and Hispanic influences.

    But if you’re looking for genetic reasons, you’re dealing with what was a highly intelligent and civilized part of the world until the Spanish got there. As well, the Spaniards that came were about as monstrous and corrupt as they came; land pirates and sycophants and adventurers, all.

    The culture was forged out of the (literally) smoking ruins of a mass-slaughter, some at the hands of conquistadors, some through disease.

    The southern portion of the country was the more civilized; the Mayans were the great achievers of North America. Alas, they suffered even more.

    Mexico is culturally fractured.

    Also, the Spanish were rentiers. They were corrupt and lazy from the beginning: Their goal wasn;t to build nations, but to dominate them and sit on their asses doing nothing.

    Whereas the English built, and the French traded, the Spanish simply extracted. Nothing was designed to improve life but for the top 10%, all of them Hispanic.

    What you ended up with was a gigantic mess.

    And Mexico hasn’t been so thoroughly screwed by foreigners as well as it’s been screwed by its elite.

    In all honesty, the elites there have it coming to them.

  2. Anonymous Crab says:

    What did voters think about integrated schools in 1954?

    What did voters think about interracial marriage in 1967?

    When did we decide it would be a neat idea to let voters decide which civil rights should and should not be extended to minority groups? If we’re going to put marriages up for voting, how about we start by officially withdrawing all recognition of marriages entered into in the state of Nevada? Or go back to banning marriages where the two people are of different races? When do we get to vote on YOUR marriage, or the next guy’s? How about we ban all marriages that aren’t preceded by a pre-Cana like program, whether secular or faith-based?


  3. Polymath says:

    Crab, I did not make a substantive point about whether gay marriage was a good idea. I made a LEGAL point about whether it was a NEW idea, and a political point about who should decide.

    You reject my political point on the basis of a substantive point, but overlook the critical role of the mediating legal point.

    Interracial marriages had always existed and had been considered valid even if socially frowned upon in most societies; the definition of the word “marriage” had always been considered to apply in this case; and even when there were legal penalties against people of different races marrying, the very existence of the penalties showed that the states which banned it thought they were banning real actual marriages which they thought were a bad idea, but which they did NOT think were not “marriages”.

    Same-sex unions, however, have almost never been considered as “marriages” and the use of the word “marriage” to apply to them is a new thing. It may be a good thing, but it is still new, and it is still undeniable that until the middle of the last century no one contemplated the possibility that existing laws ALREADY recognized same-sex unions as marriages.

    The view that gay marriage is a civil right is a defensible one, but it is still the case that judges cannot simply declare that the whole society was wrong and change the rules. You have got to distinguish between whether a law is bad and whether it is invalid.

    The only way your position that voters should not get to decide “works” is if you think that the laws already existing about civil rights and equal protection have the PREVIOUSLY UNAPPRECIATED implication that gay marriages must be validated. Even here, your position is defensible and you may be right (some commenters here who oppose gay marriage nonetheless agree with this legal position and think that judges ought to carry the law to its logical conclusion even when the people who wrote the laws failed to foresee that conclusion), but VOTERS STILL GET TO AMEND THE LAWS IF THEY WANT TO. Almost all the 31 referenda I referred to were state constitutional amendments, and there is no reason to think the same voters would not approve a similar Federal constitutional amendment.

    Just so I won’t be misunderstood, I’ll say it one more time: even if you disagree with the majority of voters and hold a position that is held by a minority of voters, you have to recognize that even the “civil rights” which you think invalidate attempts by the voters to ban gay marriage are THEMSELVES derived from constitutions which were decided upon and can be amended by, yes, the V O T E R S.

    If you think the voters don’t get to amend the Constitution for something like this, where exactly are the “civil rights” which include the right to gay marriage coming from? And if you think the voters DO get to amend the Constitution for something like this, then I don’t care whether you think they shouldn’t, because I was asking a different question, which is “why don’t the politicians listen to the voters”?

  4. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Gorb, Mexicans aren’t intelligent.

    Crab, I’d like to know who is supposed to decide what’s to be allowed and what’s to be banned. Who comes up with the ideas and how should they be enforced?

  5. Gorbachev says:


    You’re right. They’re not any more.

    There was a time when they were considered much brighter than the Spaniards.

  6. Alvis Velthomer says:

    The comment by Crab illustrates the nature of liberalism. It must continuously search for new “injustices” in order to keep marching “forward”. Event things that were never considered injustices throughout all of human history and cultures (homosexuals not being allowed to marry) are now considering among the most vile injustices in modern society. The word “homophobe” is now a regularly used insult among the pseudointellectuals of my generation, alongside other vanguard incantations such as “racist” and “sexist”.

    Crab also utilizes another technique that I have commented on in my previous comments on this forum, which is “battle re-enactment”. That is the left likes to compare their present struggles to past struggles (that they won). No wonder he brings up “racism” when he brings up homosexual “rights”, it is not only a technique utilized to bring confidence to the warriors on the left, but also a technique to extract feelings or thoughts of guilt or doubt on the opponents to his positions.

    Conservatism by its very nature is destined to lose. Conservatives don’t want to ever take back ground (other than move it back a few inches for a few years), but rather put all of their effort toward trying to maintain the “status quo”. When conservatives lose ground, they don’t attempt to gain back that ground but rather try to defend the new borders that were created as a result of the left’s successful gains. In war, its usually the one fighting a defensive position that often ends up losing it, the one making territorial gains is ultimately the one who wins.

    Also, RV is right under the idea that who decides what should be banned and what should not be banned. In 1970 or even as recent as 1985, no one would have thought that homosexual rights would be considered as the preeminent injustice in America society in 2010. If the left’s march is not reversed how long until “human rights” are extended to animals, and I am made guilty for eating meat by mainstream society much like I am made guilty for thinking diversity is chaos, feminism helped wreck the family, and homosexual “rights’ are bunk. Call me a fascist, I don’t give a damn, much like how the left does not give a damn if you call them communists. Racist, sexist, and homophobe mean as insults to me as the words “heretic” and “blasphemy”.

  7. Doug1 says:


    There was a time when they [Mexicans] were considered much brighter than the Spaniards.

    Oh rubbish, not after they were in contact.

    The Spanish were sometimes brutal yes, but hardly in comparison to the previous rulers and rent extracters of much of Mexico, the Aztecs.

    I’m a whole lot less impressed by the Mayans than you are; as well to say they had been the most civilized and intelligent in that part of the world (the Americas) isn’t saying much. They never reached the overall level of civilization the Sumerians or the Chinese had milennia earlier. There’s a lot of multiculty leftist academic bs’ing about this stuff. Further the Mayans seemed just as brutal a civilization as the Aztecs, and had disappeared as a high civilization hundreds of years before the Spanish arrived.

    Mexican and Latin American legal and illegal immigrants into the US, which for some time have been from heavily indio parts of those country’s populations, have graduation rates from high school in the third and fourth generations here, much lower than whites or NE Asians, and in fact a little lower than African Americans.

    This is very different from the immigrant patterns of European ethnicities into this country — or of NE Asians and Indians (the ones we let in).

  8. Alvis, I hardly see why if I’m to accept the logic of the left, rights shouldn’t be extended to all carbon based life forms. We share 70% of our DNA with yeast, 98% with chimps and 99% with Africans. If genetic differences don’t matter… And what’s hilarious is that scientists are having debates related to the existence of species and what exactly is a different species, sort of like they had about races. So yes, anybody who doesn’t support equal rights for all carbon based life forms is guilty of specieism and is doing what the Nazis did to the Jews.

  9. Polymath says:

    This article argues that although Mexico has very serious problems, it is not a “failed state” because it is serious about tackling those problems. There are other good posts on Mexico further down that page. That doesn’t change my view that sending Mexicans home would be better not only for the USA but also for Mexico, because it would give them more of an incentive to fix their problems.

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