L&T Publisher Earl Watt
Did you know Mexico abolished slavery in 1829, a full 35 years before the same would happen in the United States?
Did you know Mexico gained its independence from Spain and France by 1821, 40 years after the United States gained its independence from Britain?
These two nations have been neighbors at least since 1821, basically for 200 years, but their histories are vastly different.
While the United States formed a limited federal government with much of its power residing in the states and the people, Mexico struggled for 65 years between the conservative centralized forces trying to form a strong central government and the liberal republicans trying to limit federal authority and keep the power in the hands of the federated states.
Much like the Americans to the North of the Mexican Empire, raids and wars took place between the Mexicans and Native Americans, including the Apache and other tribes. Treaties were made and broken by both sides in the United States, and Mexico, and the Native Americans.
Mexico continued to struggle to form a political system for almost a century when they put together a constitution in 1917.
However, the Mexican constitution would be the groundwork for socialism around the world, including the soviet constitution of Russia in 1918.
Meanwhile in the United States, the political system continued to maintain stability after the Constitution became the law of the land in 1789.
Americans continued to expand the territory across the North American continent with the Louisiana Purchase, a war with Mexico, the annexation of Texas, treaties with Canada, and the purchase of Alaska from Russia.
The American system of government provided economic opportunity except to the enslaved African Americans, and the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 began the long, hard road of opening up opportunities for them as well, and achieving equality continues to this day.
Still, when compared to the quality of life that exists in Mexico, it is clear the America’s history has led to better economic opportunities.
For example, the median income in Mexico in U.S. dollars is $5,946. In the United States, it is $35,600. As an additional comparison on the continent, Canada’s median income is $33,497.
This didn’t happen overnight in either country, but it is a reflection of the historic decisions made by each nation.
Both countries have coastlines, beautiful natural scenery, arid desert regions, and both have an abundance of natural resources like farmland, cattle and oil.
Mexico may have a warmer climate, but Canada has vast areas of frozen wasteland, and yet the historic decisions have led to very different outcomes.
Like the American colonies were to Britain, the Spanish colonies in Mexico were equally prosperous.
The difference has been the commitment to limited government in the United States compared to the strong centralized government in Mexico that was used as a template for the Soviet Union.
While Americans sought to limit governmental control, the Mexican constitution sought to achieve social justice. For example, the Mexican constitution stipulates that all Mexican citizens are guaranteed the right to a good job and decent housing.
While both constitutions guarantee the right to bear arms, Mexico has severely limited this right, and the drug cartels have used it to their advantage.
The Mexican constitution also bans clergy from running for elected office.
Article 25 of the Mexican constitution also designates the federal government as the “rector” of the economy, which means the federal government controls the economy, much like most socialist nations.
Article 27 of the Mexican constitution limits the size of a farm and that all natural resources belong to the government.
Also, Mexico has a very strict immigration policy. According to Article 32 of their constitution, foreigners are admitted into Mexico “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress,” and according to Article 34, immigration officials must “ensure” that “immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance” and for their dependents.
Needless to say, the American economy is controlled by the people and private enterprise. No one is guaranteed a job or a house in America, and yet the American economy has vastly outperformed that of Mexico.
It is clear why.
When the government attempts to enact social justice, it does so at the cost of all the people. When limits are placed on economic opportunity, and when the government is the steward of all resources and the national economy, it is doomed to failure.
It comes as no surprise why people seek to flee Mexico.
The problem is trying to establish the same failed policies in America rather than embracing the opportunities that exist here because of the historic commitment to freedom and limited government.
We are seeing a movement in America toward social justice, and our community is made up of a majority of people who have fled a nation where social justice is written into the constitution. They have rejected that system that prevented them from having a chance at a better life.
Many may not know why, and they may believe social justice, which is a veiled attempt to hide the term socialism, would be positive.
But social justice expands government control and limits the rights of free people. It leads to higher rates of poverty.
True social justice is individual liberty, limited government and a republican form of government like we have in the United States.
We should take a lesson from Mexico and why people are fleeing it. It’s not because they believe the Mexican government system is superior. Mexico has failed its people by stripping them of their individual rights.
We should never forget why America is exceptional and why people come here. Limited government. That’s why.