Who Is Taking The Money South?

By David Simmonds

A common complaint that you hear from the cowardly, whiny talk radio pundits is about all that American money that the Mexicans send home to their families, who, by the way, spend most of that on life’s basic necessities. The figure I see most often is around $1.1 billion, which, even for a country that is $9 trillion in debt (the U.S.), is a lot of jack.  “That’s money leaving the country that should be spent rat here in the good ole US of A“, is the cry coming from the masses as they cruise along in their Japanese imports, fueled by foreign oil, into the WalMart parking lot to load up on Chinese-made electronics and underwear.

Well, I just read a new statistic: Mexicans legally crossing the border into the U.S. at San Ysidro (near San Diego) spend $3 billion a year shopping at Nordstrom, Von’s, Costco, etc.  I’m no math wizard, but that sounds like a $1.9 billion net gain to me. If you have ever endured the line of cars holding back a full bladder, sometimes backed up for two hours entering the U.S., it is easy to believe the numbers.

And this doesn’t even take into account the estimated 1 million American expats now living in Mexico. Most of them subsist on money in bank accounts, pensions, rental checks and dividends that are in the U.S..  Let’s say that each person averages $1,000 a month for living expenses in Mexico.  Again, big numbers baffle me, but a million people times a thousand adds up to one $billion….every month. You say that I have overestimated the expat and monthly figures? Okay, cut it in half. We’re down to $500 million every month that gringos are leaving in Mexico, or a cool $6 billion a year.

There are plenty of legitimate arguments we can discuss with the illegal immigration problem (which is really an illegal employer problem), but the fairness of the money going south  to the families of hard-working people is not one of them.

Now getting back to that 9 $trillion and growing daily national debt…

One thought on “Who Is Taking The Money South?”

  1. Americans complaining about “money going south” in a way agree with arguments like Hugo Chavez’ about “money going north” through multinational company profits.

    If we choose to live in open economies, then we have to accept that money will flow across borders in the direction where it is either earned, needed or well treated. The alternative is of course to live in a closed economy.

    The United States feels every day a little bit more like the old Soviet Union. Walls around the borders, less freedom in the name of national security, a lower standard of living to support fat milatary spending, and now people looking for a closed economy. Will Stalin’s successors accept the nomination for one or both of the political parties?

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