New President of Mexico says Privatization is Theft – O Society
Leftist president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador takes office today in Mexico. Here, he explains how privatization has pillaged the public — and calls for a break with the neoliberal order.
In terms of our collective wellbeing, the politics of pillage has been an unmitigated disaster. In economic and social affairs, we’ve been regressing instead of moving forward. But this is hardly surprising: the model itself is designed to favor a small minority of corrupt politicians and white-collar criminals. The model does not seek to meet the needs of the people, or to avoid violence and conflict; it seeks neither to govern openly nor honestly. It seeks to monopolize the bureaucratic apparatus and transfer public goods to private hands, making claims that this will somehow bring about prosperity.
The result: monstrous economic and social inequality. Mexico is one of the countries with the greatest disparities between wealth and poverty in the world. According to a 2015 article written by Gerardo Esquivel, a professor at the College of Mexico and a Harvard graduate, 10 percent of Mexicans control 64.4 percent of the national income, and 1 percent own 21 percent of the country’s wealth. But most significantly, inequality in Mexico deepened precisely during the neoliberal period. Privatization allowed it to thrive.