Like East Germany, Mexico Must Save Its Economy By Building A Huge Wall

Eric Owens | Editor

In 1961, West Berlin had already become an economic powerhouse thanks to a market economy and very generous economic aid provided by American taxpayers.

On the other hand, East Berlin and all of East Germany, which surrounded West Berlin, was an economic basket case thanks to the yoke of communism.

East Germany was also losing both human and financial capital — big-time. East Germans headed to West Berlin to spend the little money they had. In large numbers, they also simply fled East Germany for West Berlin, never looking back.

Were these people layabouts who then drained the economy of West Berlin? Sure, some probably were. Many more, though, were hard workers who wanted freedom, material wealth and self-determination for themselves and their families.

Nothing staunched this growing drain of human beings and their cash out of East Germany until August 13, 1961 when East German guards – under Soviet Union-approved orders – sealed off the border between East and West Berlin with a barbed-wire fence. East Germany eventually fortified its “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart” with a concrete barrier.

What happened? From the perspective of the East German government, the Berlin Wall was a smashing success. The Wall had a dramatically positive economic effect. It trapped people – and their labor, their skills and their money – in East Germany.

The only problem for the demented East German and Soviet communists was that the Berlin Wall became a symbol of tyranny and a decades-long public-relations disaster.

There is much talk these days, particularly among conservatives, about the need to limit illegal immigration from Mexico (and Central America) that has easily run into the tens of millions.

Many Republicans – and some Democrats, including The Daily Caller’s own Mickey Kaus – make the case that massive illegal immigration is a disaster for American wages and much else.

Other Republicans – and many Democrats – make the case that such illegal immigration is an immense net positive because it infuses the nation with hard workers and entrepreneurs.

However, no one – least of all Mexico – is addressing the issue from the other side: The massive outflow of people from Mexico has unquestionably been a decades-long economic and social disaster for Mexico.

Much like East Germany circa 1961, Mexico is a perpetual economic basket case despite its two coastlines, its millions of acres of farmable land and its ample supplies oil and other raw resources.

As East Germany did in 1961, the Mexican government could dramatically improve its economy by building a large, well-patrolled concrete barrier between Mexico and the United States. Just as East Germany did, Mexico could start with a barbed wire fence and then build a large concrete wall complete with a super-slippery pole along the top and legions of armed guards.

This wall – call it the Great Wall of Mexico, or perhaps the Ciudad Juarez Wall – would stem the tide of millions who are defecting with their feet to the United States because the Mexican economy is so perpetually pathetic.Underemployment runs as high as 25 percent in Mexico. The country’s nominal gross-domestic product is slightly larger than South Korea’s. However, Mexico is about three times the size of Texas and its population is about 118 million. South Korea is slightly larger than Indiana and has a population of approximately 49 million.

Many immigration critics would point to Mexico’s endemic corruption verging on kleptocracy, constant forays into socialism or problems with crime and drug lords as the reasons for the country’s never-ending economic and social problems. However, the critical reason for Mexico’s perpetually awful economy is simply that human capital is flowing in a steady torrent to the United States by way of illegal immigration.

Risk-takers are leaving — the kinds of people who start small businesses, for example. They aren’t bringing much in the way of money, obviously, but they are bringing their labor, their skills and their dreams.

Conversely, that labor, those skills and those dreams are leaving Mexico on an hourly basis. Mexico’s hard workers are coming here. Mexico’s entrepreneurs are coming here. Mexico’s believers in the American Dream are coming here. They have no plans to leave. And it’s been a half-century-long, slow-motion train wreck for Mexico.

Forget the illegal immigration problems of the United States. Mexico would be far better off in the economic long run if its people stayed south of the border instead of migrating illegally to the United States.

Would it be a public-relations disaster? Probably. But the Mexican economy would grow tremendously. Perhaps then people wouldn’t want to leave by the millions.

Why isn’t the Mexican government doing anything to stop this national disaster?

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