June 25, 2006

EVEN AL GORE UNDERSTOOD THIS ONE, IF ONLY BRIEFLY:

Amid its poverty, Mexico booms (Alfonso Chardy, 6/25/06, Knight Ridder Newspapers)

Lost in all the publicity about the rising tide of poor Mexican workers besieging the U.S. border in search of better-paying jobs is one fact: From Tijuana on the border with California to Merida in the Yucatan peninsula, oil-rich Mexico is booming. Inflation remains low, economic growth is steady and salaries are rising. The Mexican government has more than $76 billion in foreign-currency reserves, the most in its history.

Mexico's annual per-capita income has more than doubled in the last decade, to more than $7,000, the highest in Latin America. The inflation rate is less than 3.5 percent per year, lower than that of the United States.

Economic analysts credit the boom to high oil prices; the North American Free Trade Agreement among Mexico, the United States and Canada; and the pro-business policies of the current administration, led by President Vicente Fox of the National Action Party, or PAN in its Spanish initials, and of the previous three under the long-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).


A hundred years from now, all the Clinton administration will be noted for is extending free trade and beginning an era of entitlement reform.

MORE:
GO BACK TO WHAT WORKS (Be Like Bill) (Al From and Bruce Reed, June 11, 2006, Washington Post)

As the 2006 and 2008 elections loom ever nearer, Democrats are racking their brains for a political philosophy that can return the party to power. Everywhere, we hear the same lament: If only Democrats had a proven formula for winning elections and governing the country.

Fortunately, we do: It's called Clintonism.

By any logical standard, Democrats of every stripe ought to be embracing Clintonism and its central tenets -- providing people with more opportunity while demanding more responsibility, and being willing to try new methods to realize progressive ideals. As an instrument of progress, it's beyond compare. Just recall its achievements: record budget surpluses, rising incomes, more than 22 million new jobs, millions leaving welfare and poverty for work.

As a political formula, its record is just as impressive. Not only was Bill Clinton the first Democratic president in 60 years to be reelected, but consider this: In the three elections before 1992, Democrats averaged 58 electoral votes. In 1992 and 1996, Clinton averaged 375. He won a dozen red states twice.

So why haven't Democratic elites embraced Clintonism -- particularly after the ill-fated campaigns of 2000 and 2004, when party nominees who shied away from it didn't carry a single Southern state? Unfortunately, some in our party never accepted Clinton's willingness to challenge orthodoxy to achieve progressive ends on welfare reform, fiscal responsibility, crime and trade.


It's easy enough achieve--all Democrats would have to do is reverse their opposition to every free trade agreement of the past two decades, reverse their opposition to SS reform, and back the law-and-order judges whose nominations they're blocking.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 25, 2006 10:04 AM
Comments

Shall I be the one to ask the obvious question, why then are so many Mexicans risking their lives coming over our border?

Posted by: erp at June 25, 2006 1:17 PM

Mexico's annual per-capita income has more than doubled in the last decade, to more than $7,000

Know what they make here?

Posted by: oj at June 25, 2006 1:57 PM

It's easy enough achieve--all Democrats would have to do is reverse their opposition to every free trade agreement of the past two decades, reverse their opposition to SS reform, and back the law-and-order judges whose nominations they're blocking.

Fair warning, Orrin: Those judges believe in tossing people into jail solely for breaking the Law.

Posted by: Ptah at June 25, 2006 3:39 PM

No, only those arrested for it. They're Jews and Christians after all.

Posted by: oj at June 25, 2006 3:49 PM

Last time I looked, police and federal agents do arrests, not Judges. The latter can elect to toss out the arrests or book 'em, like they do here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/17/AR2006061700455_pf.html

Of course, being Jews and Christians, they'll nod as politely at your explanation of what they're supposed to do WRT illegal immigrants as they would at mine, then like the Bereans, they'll go to the scriptures, see who's got the better case, and make up their own minds.

At the moment, from the link above, it seems that the cops are inclined to do the arrests, and the judges are inclined to toss them into the clink.

Posted by: Ptah at June 25, 2006 4:30 PM

No, they don't.

Yes, that's why we don't arrest them.

Yes, we don't use it against illegal immigrants, just undesirables.

Posted by: oj at June 25, 2006 4:35 PM

Clintonism.

Well, it took the Democrats from 57 seats in the Senate to 45/46. It took them from 240-something House seats to around 200. It took them from 30 governor's chairs to 21.

But most telling of all, it marginalized (or exposed) the conservative Democrats to such a degree that the species does not exist in D.C. anymore, and is actively hunted in the rest of the country by its wild young cousins.

Clintonism.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 25, 2006 5:15 PM

Yes, but Clintonism, in the form of compassionate conservatism, just continues to roll.

Posted by: oj at June 25, 2006 5:20 PM

I would imagine $7,000 goes a lot further in Mexico.

Posted by: erp at June 25, 2006 5:33 PM

Yet none of us move there.

Posted by: oj at June 25, 2006 5:37 PM

Too many Mexicans.

Posted by: joe shropshire at June 25, 2006 6:15 PM

We're not welcome except as tourists.

Posted by: erp at June 25, 2006 6:23 PM
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