Death of a Dream


in Mexico

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780520262355
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947528 | DOI:
Death of a Dream

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By 1982, Mexico's empresarios and politicos, with the enthusiastic help of outsiders, had made a mess of the economy. They discarded a domestically oriented blueprint in order to resurrect Adam Smith's old ideas. Ronald Reagan of the United States and Margaret Thatcher of Britain had orchestrated its revival. These preachers bamboozled the public into believing in the sham of laissez-faire and free trade, which, somehow struggling against one another and elbowing and shoving, would create efficiency and progress. So did the remnants of the dream. Under the revived gospel, technocrats replaced politicians at the rudder, basking in the glow of the national spotlight with the election of the colorless Miguel de la Madrid (1982–1988). Tragically for the peripheral world, Mexico's free market ideology collided with the facts of history. Free trade did not reduce poverty or diminish the gap between the poor and the rich. Mexico, whatever the pundits of neoliberalism might allege, had an acutely lopsided income distribution.

Keywords: Mexico; United States; Britain; free trade; technocrats; de la Madrid; poverty; neoliberalism; income distribution

Chapter.  7493 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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