About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Monday, September 12, 2011

(Un)employed In Mexico

It looks like the unemployment rate in Mexico has fallen to just under 5%. Back in July when the numbers started to show the number of Mexicans returning to Mexico was hitting agriculture and construction, the U.S. news media began to take notice. Now the numbers look like they've dipped below 5% - something that could have consequences for both the U.S. and Mexico. Not only might the U.S. begin to see an even sharper rise in food prices due to weather patterns, but that problem might be made worse by labor costs as the cheap labor of undocumented pickers is hard to replace.

For Mexico, it might mean a slow-down in productivity if there aren't enough workers to contribute. It might also mean a hike in prices: Businesses like to see unemployment at around 5% to help keep labor costs down. Mexico has already wrestled with higher food prices over the last few years, can it handle another hike? On the up side (well, maybe), this from the Mexican consul in sacramento:

"It's now easier to buy homes on credit, find a job and access higher education in Mexico," Sacramento's Mexican consul general, Carlos González Gutiérrez, said Wednesday. "We have become a middle-class country." (see more here)

On a down note, sales of port-a-border will fall:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Same Sex With A Different Demographic

It looks like living in the PacNW will provide a lot of fodder for the blog as we gear up once more. This from Oregon and KUOW:

Gay marriage supporters in Oregon are trying to win over support from the
Latino community. They're targeting Spanish speakers in a new radio ad campaign.
The ads mark the first concentrated effort to build support for gay marriage
among the Hispanic community in Oregon.

Jeana Frazzini is executive director of Basic Rights Oregon. She says the
effort comes as the organization considers whether to take a same-sex marriage
initiative to the ballot next year.
"We keep an eye towards the eventual
policy victory that we need to achieve, but through that work seek to change the
hearts and minds of folks broadly in Oregon communities," Frazzini says.

Frazzini says her group has done some polling on the issue among
Hispanics, but she wouldn't release the numbers. Latinos nationally have
historically opposed gay marriage.

It looks like folks in Oregon understand what Californians did not: Latino votes count. Remember, while heaping up a plate-o-hate at the Mormons for their lobbying and $$$ re: Prop 8 in California, it was a large Latino and African American vote that helped put it over the top.