Mexico – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – The US Brands Mexico A Failed State: Fair or Unfair? Why?

Oct 24, 2012 6 Comments by

Mexico – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – The US Brands Mexico A Failed State: Fair or Unfair? Why?

by The Guru

(Images are all of Puerto Vallarta with my Olympus OMD)

No day passes without new press headlines about the dangers of life in Mexico.  One day a drug cartel boss is caught, the next day he escapes:  another month and another drug boss is killed but then his body is stolen.  This is the ongoing fodder that the US press laps up with no sign of a slow down.

Of course, the reality is that there is an ongoing drugs war in Mexico that has killed and injured too many people already and whilst showing signs of slowing down, it is far from over.  The question is whether the US is fair in the way it uses this information and what its motives are…

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Malecon - Insider Travel Guides

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Malecon – Insider Travel Guides

The US election is only 2 weeks away and Obama and Romney are battling it out to convince a disillusioned US electorate that one of them can make a difference.  How that can possibly be the case is beyond me since, much as I like(d) Barack Obama when he took office, he has done very little to improve the US economy and apart from hunting down Osama Bin Laden, little else as far as I can see except increase the US deficit from $11 trillion to $16 trillion.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney appears to have so few credentials for running a country, I always feel we are on the brink of a “dubbya”, referring to his predecessor George W Bush’s propensity for gaffes.  Anyone who has not seen his antics in the kindergarten when he was told that the first tower was hit on 9/11 should see it.  Romney might be a more accomplished businessman carving up enterprises across the US, but can he change the downward slide in the US?  I doubt it…

You see, the US is reaping what it has sown.  It has introduced a cynical form of capitalist greed to the world never before seen but as it has spread, so the results come home to roost.  The US is no longer competitive in manufacturing, its currency is no longer regarded as the de facto exchange currency by many and of course its propensity to dictate to the rest of the world and invade for selfish gain has left it rather poor as well.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Beautiful Beach - Insider Travel Guides

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Beautiful Beach – Insider Travel Guides

Unemployment is approaching 10% in the US, the prison population percentage is the highest in the world, homelessness is rampant, health insurance in unaffordable for many and even those on food stamps are nearly doubled over the last 5 years.  For America to tell any other country on the globe how to behave is so absurd it would be funny if it was not so scary.  At least both Romney and Obama agree that the US has to fix its home front before taking on any more crusades!

This brings us to the issue of Mexico.  Mexico has always been a popular vacation spot for Americans.  Not many other nationalities make it here except a few lone Brits like me but Americans are here in their droves and with 5m Americans retiring every year now, the numbers are only set to increase.  Even those Americans with little imagination (who still think the rest of the world uses dollars and we should use the Fahrenheit temperature scale) can make the short trip to sunny Mexico.

But what about all the bloodshed? Well, in sunny (too sunny this last summer) Puerto Vallarta there is little evidence of that.  There are isolated incidents but the most violence is probably over an unpaid bar bill at Daiquiri Dicks on the beach.  This is in stark contrast to other parts of Mexico where kidnapping, extortion and other crimes are a daily occurrence.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico River Cuale Rural Life - Insider Travel Guides

Puerto Vallarta Mexico River Cuale Rural Life – Insider Travel Guides

There are two starkly divided camps on the violence issue.  The US press would have us believe it is unsafe to venture out anywhere in the country without fear of violence.  Long term residents of safer areas of Mexico like Puerto Vallarta know that that is not the case and point to the fact that violence is almost always drug related and mostly in the border states.

My view is this.  The US press is unfair on Mexico for a purely economic reason.  With NAFTA in place it cannot to seen to implement protectionism whilst it would dearly love to in order to save the US from its impending doom.  Instead it uses fear mongering to try to prevent a migration from the US, which it knows is inevitable, but it wants to slow down.

With rising taxes in California making living very hard for most families but still not enough to stop three large cities filing for bankruptcy so far, the lower cost of living across the border in Mexico looks very attractive for many.  Added to that, Mexicans are really nice people.  They have a frustrating slowness at times and bureaucracy, noise levels and lateness are all things that will drive you crazy at times but they are nice people.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Beautiful Estuary - Insider Travel Guides

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Beautiful Estuary – Insider Travel Guides

So as the US becomes increasingly unliveable in so many ways, Mexico appears increasingly attractive.  Economically too, Mexico is the antithesis of the US.  Mexico is a traditional society not built on credit so did not suffer from the subprime crisis the US spread across the developed world and also has a far wiser take on growth and investments.

Whilst the US continues to see share prices drop year on year, the Mexican Bolsa grows steadily year on year at around 20% per annum on average.  Mexico is also sitting on huge natural deposits yet to be drilled and has a manufacturing base as competitive as China’s without the shipping, time difference and currency issues.  Most importantly, Mexico has a surplus unlike the US’s $16 trillion deficit…

So we have already seen why the US chooses to paint Mexico as a failed state but is it actually a failed state?  Clearly, the economic numbers say differently and as the US slides down, Mexico climbs up to the point where in years to come they will cross one another.  How long that will take depends upon one thing – motivation…

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Rio Cuale Traditional Shack - Insider Travel Guides

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Rio Cuale Traditional Shack – Insider Travel Guides

For me the failure of Mexico is the motivation of the people.  They are nice people – warm and gentle but flawed in certain important respects.  Firstly they are not motivated easily to improve their lot.  I spent many years in Asia and the difference is startling.  Asia has energy – most countries there are full of such driven people, they almost overwhelm you.  Thailand is an exception for many reasons but Vietnam for example, is scary in its energy and enthusiasm.  The norm is to work 6 days a week if not 7 and still go 3 nights a week to night school.

By comparison, Mexicans are laid back and appear lazy, although we all know they actually are not.  They work hard but lack ambition, drive and enthusiasm and only work when they need to, preferring to “relax” and “party” as much as possible.  They also have far too much of a love affair with beer and drink it to excess.  They also do not respect rules or authority too well.  Forming a queue in Oxxo is tough for the average Mexican as is stopping at a red light – it is all too conformist for their macho culture.  Machismo is alive and well in Mexico, that is for sure.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Rocky Beach - Insider Travel Guides

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Rocky Beach – Insider Travel Guides

So, in summary, I would say that the US has a shock coming around the corner as it cannot contain the reality that is Mexico for too much longer especially as most people know that the drug problem is created by US demand.  The US is soon to be a failed state rather than Mexico, even though the US paints that picture to keep people spending dollars inside its borders and all that holds Mexico back from being a true success story is the need for its people to get some drive!

All your comments and experiences are very welcome…

The Guru.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Roo Bar - Insider Travel Guides

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Roo Bar – Insider Travel Guides

GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system
Americas, Mexico, Puerto Vallarta

About the author

I have traveled and lived all over the world - 95 countries and counting! I have information you can't find elsewhere and I share it here to promote healthy discussion about the world's people and cultures.

6 Responses to “Mexico – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – The US Brands Mexico A Failed State: Fair or Unfair? Why?”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I think it is fair to say that Mexicans might be hard working but ONLY when someone is looking!

    Otherwise, I mostly agree with what you say. The US is on borrowed time and knows it.

    Well written. We need more support down here.

    Jennie

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
    • The Guru says:

      Jennifer

      Do you think so? I have heard that before but my personal experience is they are more motivated by money than appreciating eyes.

      The Guru

      GD Star Rating
      a WordPress rating system
  2. BigBrownBear says:

    Guru

    You forgot that Mexico is also statistically safer then the US!

    Many people are shocked to see the numbers…

    BBB

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
    • The Guru says:

      BBB

      Good point.

      I will add that point in.

      Does anyone have accurate and meaningful crime comparison numbers?

      The Guru

      GD Star Rating
      a WordPress rating system
  3. M says:

    Your beer comment is incredibly poor journalism. Perhaps you should preface it with, “In my opinion,” because it is merely that. You riddle your article with factoids, then throw in your opinion.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
    • The Guru says:

      Hi M

      Yes, of course it is my opinion but that does make it bad “journalism”, does it?

      The whole article is my opinion substantiated by “factoids” as you put it.

      My style is to convey my feelings for a place based on the perspective of having been to and loved in many others. To me, the overwhelming presence of beer (and tequila) is very apparent in settings not usual for other countries.

      I checked the global consumption of beer by country per capita and Mexico is very low compared to many other countries so that does not support my claim. Either I am wrong or the issue is that drinking is much more open.

      Many, many people I know here agree with me that Mexicans like to drink too much so maybe it is the fact that they do their drinking more openly and then try to drive afterwards! Actually, drunk driving is a big issue here for sure…

      Anyway, thanks for your comments.

      Maybe someone else will offer their view on this…

      The Guru.

      GD Star Rating
      a WordPress rating system

Leave a Reply