Aug 17, 2011, 7:09 PM
Post #17 of 24
Re: [raferguson] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article
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When social scientists and policymakers here try to make sense of the beheadings, massacres and general mayhem afflicting large parts of this country, the blame often falls on the Mexican government’s under-investment in social programs and education.
... The numbers point to a sizable charity gap.
Mexico has the lowest taxes and second-highest income inequality among the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which gathers data on the world’s leading economies, and yet it also has had some of the weakest levels of charitable giving.
According to Mexico’s Center for Philanthropy, the percentage of the country’s gross domestic product dedicated to charity was 0.04 in a 2003 study, nearly 40 times lower than the United States. Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and other developing nations also ranked much higher. "
The bolded quotes also deserve some examination.
Are there any simple dominant underlying reasons to why the accusations about Mexico's lowest taxes and 2'nd highest "income equality" are not the damning evidence or smoking guns that the OP and authors desire?
The OP and the supposed experts evaluating the issues have curiously ignored the roles of oil and remittances in the Mexican economy, Mexican GDP, and the real effects of giving and poverty in Mexico. What does it say that they ignore remittances's role in poverty in Mexico? And do patrimonial oil revenues play no role in the lives of the poor, and the relative needs for giving?
The whole analysis presented by the OP ignores that Mexico's government receives 35% of it's government revenues from government owned oil, which puts Mexico's tax collection needs in a totally different category from the cited USA, Colombia, Brasil, and Argentina. http://bakerinstitute.org/...conomic-04292011.pdf Mexico's oil income translates to lower taxes on the public - as if low taxes are a bad or disgraceful thing. What does it say when the authors and OP ignore something that is 45% of a country's GDP?
The Washington Post portrays lower taxes due to sharing the revenues from natural resources as somehow a bad or disgraceful thing. Is it better to have a system like the US, where big foreign companies pump out US resources, receive subsidies and credits, and pay few taxes?
The Mexican Government then uses some of the oil revenue money to fund subsidies as Abarrotes Basicos, to keep basic food commodities affordable for the poor. Some foreign sources quote 35%-41% poverty in Mexico (as salary or income poverty), while Mexico's "food poverty" is reported at just 13.8% by the US Govt. https://www.cia.gov/...ook/fields/2046.html
Do the people on this board prefer a system of oil-subsidized lower food prices for the poor vs. the multitude of US soup kitchens and food banks, while foreign companies take their US oil profits to off-shore tax havens?
That leaves the issues of "income equality" and rating charitable giving as a portion of GDP, which are both just straw men - deserving to be set ablaze? It speaks volumes that the people making this claim ironically have to go back to 2003 to dredge up figures to support their claims. How have "income equality" gaps widened in the USA since 2003?
As the US middle class and lower classes have watched their pensions drained and depleted through various Govt. and business schemes, watched the health benefits slashed, as they have watched their home values tank, as they have watched their cost of living rise, and bigger and bigger deficits to bail out big business failures, as the taxpayer dollars are effectively used to pay bonuses to the rank and file Wall Street bankers, can anyone really say with a straight face that 2003 "income equality" figures are representative or useful in evaluating 2011 data?
Continuing with the straw men posed by this OP, since 45% of Mexico's GDP comes from oil, they have presented a skewed case - since this much of this oil wealth is heavily shared with the populace. Are the charitable needs in Mexico substantially smaller or larger due to oil revenues subsidizing food and gasoline and chemical prices?
Their analyses also totally ignore the role of remittances in Mexico's GDP and need for charitable giving. Can we respect any analysis of the Mexican GDP and Economy and revenues for the poor while ignoring remittances? Do remittances play no significant role at all in supporting the poor of Mexico?
The simple facts that the OP, the Washington Post, and the Mexican Center for Philanthropy ignore the roles of oil revenues and remittances in forming their hypotheses, seem to show either great hubris, great ignorance, or a strong desire to deceive.
Clearly, Mexico can improve in education and food poverty, but the comparisons presented above ring very hollow when tapped even gently.
My humble thanks to mcm for bringing the discussion back to the OP, and its peculiar analyses and even more specious conclusions.
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