Monday, November 30, 2009

Livin' in a Worker's Paradise

Forbes.com has an article today titled Viva Mexico! Why Americans are heading south for work, a title we like so much that we’re willing to overlook the fact that it doesn’t even bother to make the case anecdotally or statistically that Americans are heading south for work, but instead simply posits that, well, they’d be crazy not to.

As unemployment in the U.S. climbs past 10%, what does Mexico offer to Americans looking for work? For starters, Mexico offers a comprehensive health care plan for a flat fee of $250 per annum. This can be very attractive to an American family struggling with limited income and mounting medical bills, or to an individual simply unable to afford the high premiums. Although significant differences exist in the level of medical care provided in Mexico compared with the U.S., many Americans, given the current economic climate, see it as a worthy trade-off.

Likewise, many families are willing to settle for lower-paying jobs in Mexico because of the significantly lower cost of child care, housing and food, while entrepreneurs are willing to take business risks there amid the recession. But working in Mexico isn't easy: There is paperwork involved, not to mention language barriers and discrimination--many of the things that plague Mexicans, legal or not, in the U.S. today.

You're gonna argue with Forbes? Anyway, in case you’re keeping track, recent posts here have concerned Americans crossing into Mexico in search of work, Mexico tightening up its border with the US, Lou Dobbs gushing about how he loves Latinos, and Mexicans sending money to their unemployed relatives in the United States. We should probably stress again that we’re not making any of this up.

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