While U.S. advocates and local politicians struggle to get their first public banks chartered, Mexico’s new president has begun construction on 2,700 branches of a government-owned bank to be completed in 2021, when it will be the largest bank in the country. At a press conference on Jan. 6, he said the neoliberal model had failed; private banks were not serving the poor and people outside the cities, so the government had to step in.
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It is easy to understand scholarly and progressive interest in this year’s centennial of the Russian revolution, but harder to explain why there is little apparent enthusiasm for an anniversary that is arguably more important – that of Mexico’s 1917 constitution, signed on February 5, 1917. In fact, Mexico’s constitution provided the model for the first Soviet constitution. Its failure to inspire global interest may reside in an uncomfortable question facing the country: whether it should be celebrating or mourning.
President Trump is unlikely to fulfill his dream of forcing Mexico to pay for his proposed wall along the United States’ Southern border.
If it is built, though, U.S. taxpayers will almost certainly foot the bill, which some have estimated could be as high as $50 billion.
With that said, it’s worth taking a step back to look at the economics of U.S.-Mexican relations to see how immigration from Mexico even became a political issue someone like Trump could use to his advantage.
Earlier this year, a collection of papers was published under the title of Building Global Labor Solidarity in a Time of Accelerating Globalization (Scipes, ed., 2016). It was a strong effort by seven labor activists and scholars from different parts of the world to think out how workers today can support each other globally; initially so as to defend against attacks on workers’ and their unions’ power, but ultimately, to develop ideas on how we could more consciously develop our thinking and our organizations to move toward a more economically- and socially-just world.