Mexico The Latinamerican Giant Essay

1878 words - 8 pages

In the world there are clearly economic gaps amongst nations– with most of the wealth concentrated in few countries. Mexico, considered a Latin American giant, is currently labeled as a developing nation due to its less developed economic and social state when compared to other more affluent nations. The reasons as to why Mexico has not yet reached a developed state is due to a number of factors, but the most prevalent are its colonial legacy and the inefficiency of its institutions to overcome issues of corruption and public insecurity that contribute to the growing class discrepancy and feed the current drug war. While colonial legacy and weak institutions prevents the nation from advancing there is potential to overcome these issues to become a developed nation and serve as a model for other Latin American countries.
Mexico has had periods of rapid economic growth that have brought a lot of prosperity to the country despite its current stagnation. From 1877 to 1911, Mexico enjoyed a period of affluence known as the Porfiriato, on account of President Porfirio Diaz who exercised a dictatorship during most of that time (Kehoe & Meza, 2011). For over three decades, there were major investments in the country’s electricity, telephone, and railroads, which expanded across the nation. Railroad expansion boosted the country’s economy on many levels (Kehoe & Meza, 2011). Domestic labor migration was more accessible and workers could move across the country in search of jobs (Kehoe & Meza, 2011). In addition, the ease by which raw material could be transported led to a reduction in prices (Kehoe & Meza, 2011). The country enjoyed prosperity up until the civil war broke out in 1911. Population numbers went down due to bloodshed, migration to the United States, and a flu epidemic (Kehoe & Meza, 2011). The years following the war saw minimal growth, until the 1950s arrived and the economy took off once again. From 1950 to 1981 Mexico grew at a faster rate than some developed countries like the United States (Kehoe & Meza, 2011). Policies were put in place by the government that encouraged urbanization, industrialization, education, and increased foreign investment. Business was “Mexicanized” so that there was less dependency on foreign markets by applying import substitutions; products that were initially imported from other countries were now being produced at home (Kehoe & Meza, 2011). Subsequently, domestic companies were protected from foreign competition. Mexico clearly has great potential for rapid growth, when the right reforms and policies are applied, but since that period of affluence, the country has not experienced similar advancements. Since then progress has been modest, making it a developing country.
Mexico is labeled as an upper-middle income country with a GDP per capita of 15,600 which makes it one of the leading developing nations (The World Factbook. Mexico 2014). The rate of unemployment is 5.2% making it the 44th in the world (The...

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