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Mexico… Where is AMLO taking you?

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“The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Margaret Thatcher

López Obrador is convinced the crisis in Mexico will be temporary. The country will soon return to normal, and we will go out to “embrace each other, happy, happy, happy,” as if everything were the product of a nightmare.

For AMLO, there is no reason to change the path. His populist discourse is based on exalting poverty and punishing wealth—everything for the one who does not have and nothing for the one who produces and generates. 

López Obrador was crystal clear yesterday with his message: There is no support for the Mexican middle class (much less for the upper and upper-middle classes). There is no fiscal support. There is no stimulus or help for small and medium businesses that generate more than 80% of national employment because “his government will not apply the neoliberal recipes of the past.”

Instead, he decided to bet everything, in the second year of his term, on his base, his most loyal political clientele, to whom he promises, there will be support, credits, and 2 million jobs that his government will create, for them.

Those people to whom AMLO “generously” offers sustenance, are not entrepreneurs, and those who are, and generate sources of employment are mostly micro-businesses in the style of “tianguistas.” This is the nail in the coffin of thousands of formal micro-businesses that will not reach government support.

When AMLO said that the terrible health and economic crisis “came as a ring to our finger,” he was not lying. He has decided, amid the coming “Armageddon,” to be a kind of Old Testament God who decides who will die and who will live, according to his criteria and in the oldest biblical way to “reconfigure” life.

As God decided to save Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, he will be the one who decides how the economic and business scenario of the country will be saved, of course, always following the idea of his “Fourth Transformation.”

Whoever does not see it that way, will be cataloged as “conservative,” “Fifi”, “corrupt” and “rapacious businessman” and those people will be the enemy to be destroyed. In the end, only those businesspeople will remain who do support his vision. They will be – as in Venezuela or China – a “new business base”, part of the change in the non “neo-liberal” financial structures.

AMLO, in his speech, praises Franklin Delano Roosevelt whom he considers “the best president in the history of the United States,” the same one who applied the Keynesian model to create the “Welfare State” and remodel the then devastated American economy due to the “Great Depression.”

But what AMLO has forgotten or doesn’t want to see, is that austerity measures generate economic setbacks and pain at the polls. He will learn the same lesson that FDR also learned the hard way: Balancing a budget during an economic crisis might sound like a nice idea in theory, but the real-life consequences could be devastating.

Keynesian economics is a theory that says the government should increase the demand to drive growth. Keynesians believe that consumer demand is the main driving force behind an economy. In theory, it’s excellent… when there’s a way to meet that demand. A country without businesses, without jobs, without money can demand a lot, the question is: how to buy what none can afford?

2. AMLO admires Simón Bolívar, a Creole of Spanish descent and owner of large plantations, as Spanish as the next Spanish man. A good representative of “caudillismo” and meddling, whose dream was to create a United States in the south of America.

The fact that AMLO did not say anything in his speech for the tourism sector, for the food and beverage sector, two of the most affected with the pandemic crisis, or the devastating figures of murders in Mexico, says more than any words.

López’s final word is simple. His priority is not Mexico nor the Mexicans. It is his political project.

José E. Urioste Palomeque
For The Yucatan Times / Times Media Mexico
April 06th 2020
Merida Yucatan, Mexico

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