A couple of years ago I was doing some remodeling on my house and yard, or I should say I was observing others do some remodeling on my house and yard. And, like any practical lawbreaker, I often drove to the grocery store corner, where the latino laborers hang out, to pick up one or two guys. They would get $100 each and lunch for eight hours work, and at the end of the day I’d drive them back to the corner.
On about my third time I picked up a guy named “Arnie” from Oaxaca. A good-sized man, 26 years old, Arnie had a working-gear I hadn’t seen before. He would accomplish in a morning what took a full day for anyone else. He was a very pleasant guy, always smiling, asked questions, and didn’t yack on his cell phone 10 times a day like some of the others I had employed. He told me he was here, in the States, just long enough to make enough money to send to his family, but goes back to Oaxaca frequently, where he feels at home and peaceful. And although Arnie was the best, every man I hired during the project gave an honest day’s work and I was never disappointed.
So it came as no surprise to me that Forbes magazine has recently announced yet another list (they have lists for everything) that declared Mexico to be the 7th Hardest Working Country in the world. South Korea was ranked #1 and followed by Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The least hard working are the Dutch, perhaps because they make the world’s best beer, Heineken. The U.S. shows up at a respectable #9, which I find surprising since we hardly make anything anymore other than weapons and autos.
So it’s official. Forbes has confirmed what many of us have known for a long time…Mexicans are hard working people. And that is why the country has a bright future.