Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A $15 Minimum Wage? Try $4.25 a Day in Mexico!

I think a lot of people in this country take for granted how fortunate we are to live in this country.

While entry level workers in this country are marching in the streets for a near doubling of the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour,  workers in Mexico just got a 4.2% raise in their minimum wage to 73.04 pesos a day as of January 1st.  On that day, that was the equivalent of just $4.25 a day in U.S. dollars.

Mexico is a poor country with the World Bank estimating that 53.2% of the country living in poverty.  Worse yet, the World Bank estimated that, in 2012, 10.3% of that country's population lived on $3.10 a day or less.  Think about that when you're spending $5 at Starbucks for your daily venti frappucino.

The point here being is twofold.

First, these numbers explain why most of those coming across our southern border are Mexicans.   They aren't so much wanting to come here but, instead, more interested in escaping severe poverty in their own country.

Secondly, I hate it when a company like Ford or Nabisco or Carrier is forced to move manufacturing to Mexico in order to be more competitive on costs with products made in other countries.  But, when they do, it is really a kind of humanitarian aid.  Today, nearly 1 million Mexicans are building U.S. and European cars in that country with the average hourly wage of 90 pesos.  About $5.64 an hour in U.S. dollars. And for those workers, the need to come to this country is abated.

So, the bottom line is that we could do ourselves a favor by, somehow, instituting something akin to the post-World War II Marshall Plan to build that country's economy, reduce poverty, and help Mexicans earn a fair wage.  In doing so, we could slow illegal immigration into this country.


Mexico Approves an Increase to the Daily Minimum Wage for 2016:

Mexico Data:

Poverty Headcount by Country:

US, Mexican and Canadian autoworkers face common fight:

No comments: