Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Mexican Miracle

Not really. The WaPo just forgot to adjust for inflation. Dean Baker:
Readers of the Washington Post might have been surprised to read that since the passage of NAFTA, “Mexico’s gross domestic product has ballooned, multiplying nearly seven-fold, from $108 billion in 1993 … to $748 billion in 2005” (“Mexican Deportee’s U.S. Sojourn Illuminates Roots of Current Crisis,” 4-17-06:A1). This amounts to a world record 17.5 percent average annual rate of growth in the 12 years since NAFTA was implemented.

Readers should be surprised to read this in a front page story in the Washington Post because it is not true. Mexico’s economy has not “ballooned” since NAFTA. According to the IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook, Mexico’s GDP grew by just 40.2 percent over this period, an average annual rate of 2.9 percent. This translates into per capita GDP growth of 1.3 percent a year. This is weak growth for any country, but it is especially weak for a developing country. (Mexico sustained per capita GDP growth of almost 4.0 percent annually from 1960-80.)...


MT said...


helmut said...

Ay caramba.

Anonymous said...

There's so much wrong with that article, it's hard to know where to begin.

The man profiled was said to have come here at a time that a booming Mexican population was producing a labor shortage. The man was born in 1979, during a time of declining Mexican birthrates.

The article gives a frightening figure for the increase in illegal immigration during the early 1990's: 66%. And the article asserts that Mexican immigration has only gone up since then.

What the article fails to mention is that most of that 66% is accounted for by the fact that the U.S. cut legal immigration from Mexico during the 1994 currency crisis, which doubled the Mexican poverty rate. And since then, the rate of increase has declined.

So now we have poorly written articles like this one, the hiring of Domenech, and an eager acceptance of the White House position on the handling of classified material. I think the Post needs a complete overhaul of its editorial staff.

helmut said...

Thanks for this, Gordo. Educational. WaPo is weird. They get some things quite right, but when they screw up it's like a bad college newspaper.