Political Reform

Political Reform

Political Reform in Election Law

Set of measures applied to review laws governing the political environment and political action and, by extension, reform the political institutions which are based upon these laws.

Mexican Reforms and the Impact on the United States-Becker
The President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that traditionally has had a leftist agenda. Yet in the short period since his election, Pena Nieto has managed to gain the cooperation of the other 2 main political parties in pushing through a series of remarkable changes that may transform Mexico into a world-class nation with profound implications for the United States.

The reform that recently received great attention is the opening up of the energy sector to private capital and private companies. With great fanfare, the PRI in 1938 nationalized Mexico’s oil fields. Since then, the national oil company, Pemex, has had a monopoly of the oil sector, and not surprisingly, the company has been behind world standards in efficiency and innovation. As a result, Mexico’s oil production has been badly lagging in recent years, and Pemex has not developed new sources of oil, including shale. The introduction of foreign capital and enterprise should shake up a seriously underperforming sector that could greatly raises Mexico’s production of oil and natural gas.

A second major reform is the attack on the teachers union that has had a stranglehold on K-12 education in Mexico. The result of their control is a weak system of public education that has especially shortchanged the bottom half of the population who cannot afford private education. This caused sizable inequality in access to education, and has contributed to the large spread in the distribution of Mexico’s income. It takes years before reforms in a country’s education system bear fruit, but these first steps to rein in the teacher’s union monopoly is necessary to allow the next generation of young Mexicans to have much better education and earnings prospects.

Another reform is to allow much more competition into the largely monopolized telecommunications industry. This should greatly reduce the price of cell phones and charges for phone calls, and allow the poorer families of Mexico to have much easier communication with others and with the outside world.

Other reforms in Mexico are still necessary and are pending, including greater competition in the financial sector, and continuing the efforts to give employers greater ability to layoff workers. Still, what has been already accomplished, and the new attitude toward reform, gives hope that Mexico will move toward a faster rate of growth in aggregate income, and improvements in the earnings of Mexicans at the lower end of the income distribution.

Advances in the Mexican economy will not only be of the utmost importance to Mexicans, but also to the United States. They will reduce illegal and legal immigration from Mexico to the United States. Much evidence from other countries, such as South Korea, shows that immigration from a country declines greatly when its economy is growing faster, and when there is increased optimism about the economic future. Young persons tend not to leave, even to countries with much higher incomes, if there are good job opportunities, and if they expect to improve their economic situation as they get older.

Net immigration from Mexico to the US ceased during the past five years as a result of the Great Recession (see my post “The decline of Illegal Immigration From Mexico”). If Mexico begins to boom, this situation might persist even after the US fully recovers from the recession. The end of immigration from Mexico would not be good for the American economy, but it would certainly tame one of the most divisive issues among the American public: how to handle illegal immigrants, and the inflow of additional illegal immigrants. Attitudes toward illegal immigrants in this country will change if there is a general expectation of a modest number of future illegal immigrants.

The market for American capital and enterprise in Mexico’s energy sector, telecommunications, and in other industries will improve as Mexico becomes more welcoming to foreign capital and businesses. The US is by far the major trading partner of Mexico, and reforms in that nation will improve opportunities for both countries to import and export a greater collection of goods and services.

Both Canada and Mexico are adjacent to the US, but while Canada’s and America’s per capita incomes are similar, Mexico’s per capita income is only about 30% of the American level. I believe this major difference in productivity is mainly due to Mexico’s tradition of favoring public and private monopolies over private competition, Mexico’s failure to improve the education of most of its population, and the price and other restrictions imposed in labor, financial, and other markets.

For the first time in a hundred years there is real hope that Mexico is getting its act together. Mexico might even eventually join its North American neighbors in doing justice to its people and natural resources, and attaining top-level economic status. This will have a major impact on the US, especially through reduced immigration from Mexico, and from having a much stronger neighbor.

Author: Becker, defunct


See Also

  • Election Law
  • Electoral Laws
  • Electoral Legislation

Hierarchical Display of Political reform

Politics > Politics and public safety > Politics
Politics > Political framework > Political system > Change of political system

Political reform

Concept of Political reform

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Thesaurus of Political reform

Politics > Politics and public safety > Politics > Political reform
Politics > Political framework > Political system > Change of political system > Political reform

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3 responses to “Political Reform”

  1. international


    Are we to ignore Mexico’s GINI index that is worse even than that of the US and 2nd worst in the world? (for those doing the work and trying to move up)

    Like the US some bit of “trickle down” could spur domestic consumption and provide jobs for many more. (While Mex claims an unemployment rate under 6% methinks they count quite differently than the more developed nations.

    Improvement and competition in the financial sector? I’ve not been there in the past three years, but on last visit about any financial transaction involved the use of paper and, remember those sharp things for spiking receipts? yep, one or more of those.

    I’ve long had the same hopes for Mexico’s clambering into developed nation status with those hopes increased every time I visit and see a largely cheerful, hardworking people doing the best they can and not getting a decent shake.

  2. international


    If one were to seek a villain in the curious economics of United States patenting and producing so many prescription drugs, while those of many other nations, often under a system of universal H/C access, pay far less, in recent years the clearly marked path would lead to the Bush admin and their “hasty” midnight passage, after what some say was an illegal extension of the floor vote, while arms were being twisted, implementation of the prescription drug portion of Medicare, which expanded the size and cost of government, and “curiously” left out the enabling provisions of “allowing” Medicare to price shop, as the VA has long done, and which has resulted in the VA paying half or less what is extorted by Big Pharma from Medicare D.

    “Funny thing, eh?” were a Medicare eligible Vet to opt for a prescription drug being provided by Medicare, that he’d cost his fellow citizens twice what would be the case were he to get the same from the VA.

    Returning to Mexico, yes, those of this richest of nations can and often do benefit greatly by the impoverishment of others. Item: Just this week Cambodian garment workers have struck, and are being killed as they seek a pay raise to $160……… per ………. month, up from the current $80. The gov has upped its “offer” from $90 to $100 as the impasse continues.

    Such movements, worldwide, will surely help all working folk including those of Mexico and the US.

  3. international


    “Didn’t Mexico at least benefit from the agreement? Well if we look at the past 20 years, it’s not a pretty picture. The most basic measure of economic progress, especially for a developing country like Mexico, is the growth of income (or GDP) per person. Out of 20 Latin American countries (South and Central America plus Mexico), Mexico ranks 18, with growth of less than 1% annually since 1994. It is, of course, possible to argue that Mexico would have done even worse without NAFTA, but then the question would be, why?”

    If the growth rate of a poor nation were to grow at the same rate as a much wealthier nation, the gap in living standards would widen. With Mexico’s GDP per capita being a fairly stagnant 1% per year as compared to 2%, perhaps 3% in the US and Canada they’ll continue to fall behind and likely continue to have problems with underground economies and drug trafficking.

    Mexico seems to be caught on the wrong side of a squeeze play. The Japans, Koreas, Indias have gotten ahead of them in high productivity mfg, while they’ve lost businesses to the even cheaper labor rates of China, Cambodia and a lot of others. One asset they have is a young energetic population with half having been born since the late 70’s, but they need productive jobs to harness that energy.

    As for not seeing anything in Mexico’s reforms regarding the costly and murderous drug trade, perhaps the place to look is in the US and what WE are (not) doing to decrease our seemingly insatiable demand.

    Good, probably that few of our states are legalizing MJ, but a long slog before that movement results in ruining the current, lucrative, underground biz. And, I fear that the cartels will move increasingly to smaller more portable drugs of greater value. In addition to coke I’m hearing that much of the meth labs are migrating southward.

    Without meddling too much WE should spend some of our efforts “closer to home?” in Mexico for several reasons. Having a 120 million population country right next door “go bad” is a lot worse than the same half way around the world. And! at times the US has selfishly put its needs ahead of those of Mexico.

    One current example is the combo of heavily subsidizing US sugar and the even more foolish one of turning so much of our corn into ethanol instead of buying it from Mexico, Brazil and other cane growing areas. Cane being about 8 times more efficient for making alcohol than corn.

    Hmm……. not seeing a connection between improved tel-com and economic output? Wouldn’t it be much like here where we’re making a strong push to (belatedly) provide universal broadband? What a boon it is to those who build or fix things to have a cel-phone or better yet a smartphone that enables finding a needed part or supplier w/o chasing down a phone book and, do we even remember? a pay phone? Having more universal access to (their) Ebay, Amazon and others surely benefits both the consumer and the seller.

    Fifteen years ago I was impressed to see E-bulletin boards at truck stops that empowered a truck driver “deadheading” to his company HQ a couple states away to find a load nearby that he could haul. In addition to the added revenue, trucks w/o a load ride like a buckboard; the load smooths the ride and wear on the driver’s spine substantially. Then there is the direct biz of providing programs and “apps” to uniquely Mexican needs.

    Tele-medicine and tele-education comes quickly to mind as well. The “education” is not limited to academics either; it’s several times a week that I look up a “How to do it” on Youtube; sometimes to learn how to do it, and at others just to decide not to take on the task but to know about how much labor is involved for someone else to tackle it.

    Now! if they can reap these benefits w/o turning into I-phone zombies and not spending the recently reported TWO hours of at work time on “social media”.