Posted by: coastcontact | September 20, 2007

Why are most Mexicans in Mexico so poor?

The fonts on this posting were revised on November 23, 2008 to enable easier reading.  The words and text were not revised.


“Why is Mexico so poor?” is the common search question.

The Los Angeles Daily News reporting on President Felipe Calderon of Mexico on Sunday, September 3, 2007,  “Criticizing the United States for its treatment of illegal Mexican immigrants has become routine for most Mexican politicians, including Calderon. Because the immigrants send home about $20 billion a year and because the yearly emigration of more than 400,000 people from Mexico relieves that country of masses of the poor, the government in Mexico City has little incentive either to stem the emigration northward or to support stricter measures making it harder for Mexicans to cross the border.”

 So I wondered why are most Mexicans in Mexico so poor?  I looked at Wikipedia , and Google.  The answers I found were very limited.  Those that I found echoed my suspicions.  The web sites are

Additional web sites located June 13, 2012


The message from all of these web sites is clear.  The wealthy of Mexico have the power to keep most of the country’s population very poor and they like it that way.  It’s all about cheap labor.  Their attitude is if the poor don’t like it they can sneak into the U.S.A.  They have gotten away with this because too many American companies like the cheap labor force and the American government is complicit in this situation.  It’s not a Democrat or Republican thing.  It is a U.S. government thing.


The American public uproar is the best thing Mexicans have going for them to change the Mexican government.  So President Calderon’s statements are just part of that government’s public stance to convince Mexicans that their government really is concerned about the well being of its population.  As to the marches in the U.S. about illegal alien rights, those are the words and actions of do-gooders who have played into the hands of the wealthy Mexicans.


A very inadequate educational system and major government corruption are the two issues most commonly identified as destroying the Mexican economy.  Many Mexicans can not read or write.  Bribery is a way of life in almost every part of the government including the police.  These two problems discourage foreign investment.


Notice that Carlos Slim, the wealthiest man in Mexico, is now listed as the third wealthiest man in the world according to Forbes magazine.  He along with other wealthy Mexicans couldn’t be happier with this situation.  Carlos Slim alone is reported to control 20% of the Mexican economy.  Can you imagine what would happen to Mexico if the wealthiest in that nation were forced to surrender and share what they have with the average Mexican?  I am not a communist but I believe that the wealthy families of Mexico are one significant cause of that country’s problems.  The U.S. could force this situation to change.  The U.S. won’t do that because the situation benefits American corporations.



  1. This is written wrong, you have weird transitions and grammatical errors. You need to work on this if you want it to be correct.

    • Karen – If you’re going to correct someone’s syntax, I recommend that you avoiding using comma splices in the process. Besides, in your zeal to come off as superior you missed the overriding message of social inequities in Mexico. Coastcontact’s message couldn’t be any more apropos than in this current climate of Latin American immigrant bashing. He has an interesting take on the root causes of the flow of economic refugees from Mexico.

  2. Indeed the Mexican government and the minuet .o5% of the population that controls the entire Mexican economy are to blame for the illegal immigration problem here in the U.S. It breaks my heart to see that people are simply viewed as exports to the U.S. by the Mexican government and that once here in the U.S they are treated like animals. These are human lives being lost every day. The main body to blame, however, are the wealthy Mexicans. The wealthy Mexicans hate when they are associated with the poor indegeneous migrant Mexicans,

  3. however, they are directly to blame for such a wealth disparity and absurd poverty rate in Mexico. They are greedy, prejudice, and spoiled. They are corrupt and bash the American government for passing anti-immigrant legislations because they are happy and comfortable letting the U.S. government deal with their incompetence and greed.

  4. Karen:You are one to talk. You used an adjective in place of an adverb. You should have used wrongly not wrong. Besides;don’t be so petty:What is important is what the writer says,not his grammatical errors. I have probably made more than a few on this post.

  5. can you please answer my question its realy important also i will like to know what can we do to make it better i will like to see mexico do beter get at me

  6. luk ppl need 2 stop messen wit us beaners kuz one day wen we all get tired of it were gunna leave nd ur sorry retrd racist selves with feel swaty nd karen im sry but u AINT PERFECT SO DERZ NO REASON 4 U 2 CORRECT ANYBDY..ITS A WEBSITE NT AN ENGLISH GRAMMER WEBSITE …
    go to 26st, mexico nd den ull have a website dat ull b PROUD OF..!!KUZ ALL I SEE IS FACTS ND NUTHIN FROM REALITY BUT KEEP IT UP…

    • Seriously? If you cannot read or write, you should refrain from commentary. Further, from what I could decipher from this cryptic message, you have much more to learn than elementary reading and writing. It’s easy to be “down for yours” via the anonymity of the internet, however, if you want to be taken seriously and your arguments considered, they should be somewhat rational.

  7. Your right there are great opportunities but paying for one isn’t the best

  8. Very classy

  9. It is hard to believe how mexicans can keep their country like that. i mean, among hispanics, Chile, Uruguai and even Costa Rica have much better quality of life than Mexico. Brazil is not hispanic and is the superpower among not only latin america. They’re in different level even having poverty too. Argentina also is much better country than mexico. I don’t know if mexico will ever be a place to be proud of.

    • Euler – Do your research. In 2009, according to the IMF, Mexico (13,628) had the 3rd largest GDP/capita in Latin America, after Argentina (14,561) and Chile (14,341), and was ranked #60 out of a field of 178 other countries worldwide. Argentina and Chile were ranked 52 and 53 respectively. To be sure, there is a lot of poverty in Mexico. However, there is also a burgeoning middle class that is not covered in the media. One should temper their opinions with facts and even then one should consider that facts, and history, often favor the power structure. Btw, Brazil (aka your superpower… whatever…) is ranked #75. There is definite irony to be found in Slim’s riches in Mexico. Seems to me that Coastcontact is on to something.

  10. There is another way to look at it. If Mexicans go north to find better paying jobs, that hurts rich Mexicans, since it reduces their labor pool. It forces them to pay higher wages to compete with U.S. wages. They gotta hate that! LOL!

    So there is an incentive for them to close the borders, but unfortunately they can’t do it. You see, the Mexican Constitution prohibits it.

  11. i dont think mexico is so poor…
    i visited cancun and monterrey 4 months ago and it was so beautiful…

    • USA is also very poor. I visited part of New York and New Orleans and they were very poor and looks like water was all over the place.

  12. I’m Mexican, from Veracruz. The real country’s name is United Mexican States (Mexico is the name of the capital, Mexico DF and one of the states, The Mexico State). “Mexico like you named it is the only Latin American member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 1994, has the 11th largest economy in the world, considered as a newly industrialized country.

    “Mexico” has the third largest defense budget in Latin America, with annual military expenditures of USD$6 billion or about 0.5% GDP. The Mexican Military has two branches: the Mexican Army (which includes the Mexican Air Force), and the Mexican Navy.

    The economy contains rapidly developing modern industrial and service sectors, with increasing private ownership. Recent administrations have expanded competition in ports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas distribution and airports, with the aim of upgrading infrastructure.

    Oil is Mexico’s largest source of foreign income. According to Goldman Sachs, BRIMC review of emerging economies, by 2050 the largest economies in the world will be as follows: China, United States, India, Brazil, and Mexico. Now “Mexico” is the largest North American auto producing nation, recently surpassing Canada and U.S.

    Energy production in Mexico is managed by State owned companies: the Federal Commission of Electricity (Comisión Federal de Electricidad, CFE) and Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos). Pemex is in charge of the exploration, extraction, transportation and marketing of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the refining and distribution of petroleum products and petrochemicals. Pemex is the largest company in Latin America; in 2003 it was the third-largest in the world.

    The poverty in “Mexico has decressed to 17%, yes i know it’s high but we’re working very hard.


  13. Late to the party, I know.

    I think the underlying theme to all of this on both sides is the obvious disparity between the have and have-nots, and how the difference equates to power and control for those that hold the aces. The corporations in the US are just as guilty as the wealthy elite in Mexico, as they basically do the same thing.

    There aren’t any Mexican immigrants forcing American ceos to hire them at gunpoint, so I don’t see why they shouldn’t be placed in a guilt-free zone.

  14. Bob,

    It is never too late to comment on this posting. Notice that my entry was made September 20, 2007. It is still the most read commentary I have made.

    Thanks for taking the time.


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  16. Coastcontact – I enjoyed reading your post. Here’s an article on Mexico’s middle class I thought you might find interesting.

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  19. Mexico is not that poor, the problem, I think, is that the poor (20million)don’t have access to education thus perpetuating their ways, besides compared to America every country is poor. However, I think many cities across mexico are a nice place to live.

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  42. Hi well I just wanted to say I’m thankfull for being a Mexican American male, I get too see both sides to this cruel world. We deal with bullshyt and low pay for most of our labor, usually the work no one else want to do and Mexicans are very smart willing people. Yes we love to drink. So what? We need something to cut off the edge and what’s better than tequtila. Also wanna mention how Mexico is the richest country and always has been. From natural resources, we got oil, the best food ever, beautifull women, and a strong culture and pride for what we are and I’m so fu**in tired of people not showing us the respect we deserve. Mexico doesn’t really need shyt from anyone to survive and live good is all them fu**in greedy countries that only care about $$$$$$ and at the end they’re still unhappy. Money is the downfall to this world. We can all have an equal and beautifull life with out it. Since the era of the Aztecs all they cared about was human interaction with nature and had beutiful beutiful cities and clothes and many more natural things cuz they all were afraid of natural disasters, and nowadays no one cares about mother earth is all $$$$$$. Is all so fustrating black ppl had a dream and they were heard, so watabout us the MeXiCanos? We got dreams too but everyone else swears they are better than us. No way ViVa Mexico y ViVa no RAZA!

    • Then why we see lot of immigration here if you need from nobody to live. Why is there so many illegal mexican in my job and state, using other’s people name and sending money there…..

  43. I have one thing to say, “Mexico does not have Indian Reservations.”

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  47. I am mexican. I am so unhappy about the poor situation in general of all mexicans. Some mexicans try to defend it but it is useless: it changes nothing wheather mexico is the 11th world economy. In terms of scientific publications, Mexico again, is soo poor, ranking at about 30th, and very far from Brasil: Yes, Brasil produces 5 times more scientific publications than Mexico. You see? SOMETHING IS REALLY ROTTEN in the mexican system.

  48. Then how about figuring out how to fix their problems! The United States can’t absorb all of Mexico. This country needs to fix itself already, their people need to fight for better. I am not against our government helping them fix their issues if it stops the flood to the U.S. we can’t accommodate all these Mexicans who add to our our low income population. Even if awarded amnesty for sneaking in and paying taxes, the tax tax revenue will be very low compared to the burden on our already struggling entitlement programs when they become eligible for social security, Medicare, food stamps, etc. I know some of the rationale behind allowing the children of illegals to enroll in our public school system but I still disagree with the magnet this has created and am enraged about teaching them in their language, maybe mainly occurring in CA. Have we accommodated our European ancestors in this manner? Don’t think so. They were forced to learn English. I’m annoyed with “press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish”. And if parents sneak in and are illegal, giving birth to a child on U.S. soil should not give your child immediate citizenship. That blows my mind!!! If my husband and I were pregnant on vacation in France and go into labor and give birth there, I would not consider my baby a French citizen. Just location of the birth, nothing more. Mexican’s need to join forces and take their country back, there is so much to offer there, FIX IT! I owe nothing to the Mexican people and do not see how my tax dollars need to be spent on educating their children, paying their ER visits, food stamps, etc. You should not be my problem or a weight on my back! And don’t even get me started on the disrespect issues when I get that sound the men make when they see something they like, can’t even describe it in words, but people know what I’m talking about.

  49. it is interesting that the extremes of income in mexico are under a free market system (although corruption may be worse).
    there is an argument in usa that the usa should in effect be more like mexico politically.
    just as well there is an opposing view

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