back

index

next

15

The Mexican government's tax revenues have already begun to drop: in 2001 they fell by 3% on the value-added tax, by 6% from state-owned companies, and by a whopping 28% from imported goods. Mexico's Finance Minister, the University of Chicago-trained Francisco Gil D'az, just like his Harvard colleague Domingo Cavallo of Argentina, has directly translated these revenue drops into $1.4 billion in cuts in government expenditures.

What is coming in Mexico is a tidal wave that will make Argentina pale in comparison, a tidal wave which is currently being generated by the earthquake shaking the U.S. economy.

Over the past two decades, Mexico developed an unhealthy dependence on the U.S. economy, and on its consumer credit bubble in particular. Mexico today ships 90% of its total exports to the United States, and about half of these come from the “maquiladora” sweat shops along the border with the U.S. Over the course of 2001, the U.S. "importer of last resort" has begun to shut down, with devastating consequences for Mexico. Employment in the maquiladoras, for example, which had risen every year for the last two decades--even when manufacturing employment was shrinking in the rest of the Mexican economy--in 2001 fell by about 13%, down from 1.5 million to 1.3 million workers. These 200,000 newly unemployed joined the approximately 850,000 other newly unemployed in Mexico this year.

But that is only the beginning. Mexico's major export to the U.S. is not a product: it is its own labor force. Today, some 8 or 9 million Mexicans live and work in the U.S.--which amounts to more than 12% of its labor force. As the U.S. "importer of last resort" shuts down, large numbers of these (documented and undocumented) Mexican workers are being driven out of the U.S. and back to Mexico, swelling the ranks of the unemployed even more. This will also lead to a plunge in the $8 billion in remittances these workers send back to Mexico each year.

In short, we are about to witness a dramatic shift of the Mexican labor force out of the formal economy, and into the informal and unemployed economy, as millions desperately try to scratch out their survival. This will lead to an accelerating drop in Mexico's tax base, and in the government's tax revenues.

If the Fox administration remains wedded to the IMF's "zero deficit" mantra under these conditions, then Mexico will undergo a free fall of its economy that will be deeper, and more sudden, than what the world is today witnessing in Argentina.

But Mexico is only one example, among many. Look at your own nation, or your neighbor's. The fact is, we are all Argentina--because of the global financial crisis.

“Jobs” or Leisure? - Extract from
SOCIAL CREDIT CLEARLY EXPLAINED 101 QUESTIONS ANSWERED

By John Hargrave (published in 1945) Reproduced by kind permission of his widow, Diana Hargrave

[When Citizens’ Incomes (“National Dividends”) are in place...]

76. WILL PEOPLE KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR LEISURE?

WELL WlLL YOU know what to do with yours?

After all, there are plenty of things to do in the world, and it will not take most people long to find out what they are once they have time to do so. (Some people may like to go fishing. It doesn't interest me but every man to his own choice ...)

"What," you may ask, "will people do with their leisure?"

To begin with, of course, there will not be much leisure, because there is such an enormous amount of recon-struction to be done. For ten years at least, after this war, there will be work for all. We have to re-shape our world. But, all the same, we must re-shape it in such a way as to establish a Leisure State in a Power Age. If we don't, we shall be heading straight for World War III. Quite gradually people will come to value their leisure be-cause it will allow them time to "work" at work of their own choosing.

It will give them freedom to work at work worth doing. No more "square pegs in round holes." Released from a great deal of industrial drudgery, people will begin to take up a thousand and one activities, and in a Leisure State we shall find the majority of people working harder than ever! but at work they have chosen, want to do, and enjoy. Have no fear: a Social Credit Government will usher in the Leisure State gradually and smoothly, giving people time to readjust and re-educate themselves. And the rising generation - those born into a Leisure State - will shed the last vestiges of the "fear of leisure" and live a life of intense