Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fred Reed on Mexico

I get a lot of email asking me, “What’s it
really like in Mexico, Fred?” A book would be
needed to give a good answer. Since people seem
interested, I’ll take a few random shots at the
topic. Don’t expect literature or organization.

The quick answer is that it isn’t nearly as bad
as many Americans think. Not even close. Sure,
it’s a screwed up country. (Name one that isn’t.
Switzerland, maybe?) It has all manner of
problems and defects: jobs going to China,
corruption, poverty in places, crumbling
sidewalks, loud music, poor services, pollution,
etc. No paradise here.


Mexico is a democracy, as much as the United
States. The government is not repressive. Mexico
is not a police state. It is not particularly
criminal: Guadalajara is certainly less dangerous
than Washington. It is not disease-ridden. I eat
in all sorts of restaurants here with no problem.
It is not over-regulated and controlled. It is
not primitive. It is not a backwater. Mexican big-
box stores are indistinguishable from Wal-Mart.
The telephones work, cell phones work, broadband
is widely available (in my town of 18,000, for
example). Guadalajara abounds in book stores and
music stores. (Books in Spanish, yes, but
everything you’ve ever heard of, and what do you
expect in Mexico? Linear B?)

I think I'll take a long vacation in Mexico to see
if he's right.

I expect he is.

Full report.