Another circuit of the sun is complete, its 2015 and it does seem that we are all going in circles. Life on the border is much the same…much the same as a river or a fountain, or a coal train, or flock of ducks. The lumps of coal are new, the ducks as well, the water is always new, but the patterns do not change. Only with time or trauma do they take on new directions
The trauma may not be that far off, It assuredly will be here in time. Like a Marfan syndrome growing giant, places such as the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas are expanding and money is being made, yet like the Marfan Syndrome sufferer, there is a definite point that is scheduled for head on termination at that genetically predetermined end point on the track.
There are two pillars that affect the Tex-Mex border. One is the Texas and American economy, the other is the Mexican economy. Both governments are more unsteady and shaky than they have been in many years. As an economic satellite of the United States, Mexico maintains its orbit wherever the home planet i.e. The United States wanders. There seems to be no escape.
Whatever a nation does long enough, no matter what it is, it somehow becomes integrated into it’s economy, psyche, culture, tradition, politics, no matter what it is. Human beings likewise can become addicted, accustomed to, and acculturated to the most god-awful things. And nations can have their favorite poisons just as much as human beings can. And just like the humans, before they can seriously think about making a change, they must hit rock-bottom, or at least come very close.
The more things change, the more they remain the same. The Mexican system of justice based upon Napoleonic Law never did work all that well, but now it has completely collapsed. The contraband drug industry after years of consolidation has become so large and so profitable, that everyone wants a piece; including many government agencies and bureaucracies. Alliances and rivalries are in a constant state of flux and chain. It’s happened before; the warring factions arrive at a point of exhaustion and have to recoup and reorganize; but assuredly the cycle will turn the other direction.
Tourism and travel to Mexico by foreigners is suffering not just along the border, but throughout the country; still the maquiladores and industry do not seem to be affected substantially enough that investment shies away. The international financial and labor markets are more determinative here.
Two things for Mexico that are game changers. One is the collapse of oil prices, and the other is the ongoing and worsening collapse of the marijuana market. While there are no exact figures, Marijuana accounts for some 60% to 80% of the profit in the international drug trade between Mexico and the USA. Legalization and de-criminalization seem to be the wave of the future in the United States. Oil and prohibited drug exports, along with tourism have earned Modern Mexico it’s foreign currency over the last few decades. All three of them are in trouble.
It all makes for a problematic future…
Immigration remains an intractable issue. If there is an overreaching policy it has not been revealed to the American people or the boots on the ground.
In a profound way it is all business as usual. Progress and events lurch and jerk along like a dance of uncomprehending mismatched partners, and, on the other hand, when the camel has been loaded with that last straw, events transpire with blazing speed.
Still life goes on, and here on the border life is good.