Welcome to the Mexican Paradox
Mexico is nothing if not a land of bewildering contrasts. Economically speaking, the country is a regional powerhouse. On the one hand, it boasts one of the richest “official” billionaires on the planet; on the other, some of the worst income inequality rates in the Western hemisphere. It places 20th on the list of countries with the most millionaires but it’s also home to the 15th largest population of poor people on the planet.
A new study released this week reveals that the wealthiest Mexicans, equivalent to 1% of the population, own roughly the same amount of wealth as 95% of the people further down the wealth scale.
The study, titled “The Distribution and Inequality of Financial and Non-Financial Assets in Mexico” and published by Miguel Ángel del Castillo Negrete of the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, documents how after two-and-a-half decades of rampant financial and trade liberalization in Mexico, the lion’s share of the economic benefits have flowed to a tiny minority
“Few countries have embraced economic liberalization, deregulation, and privatization as enthusiastically as Mexico,” Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, director of Oxfam Mexico, told BBC World Service. “But some groups benefited disproportionately and they are now the richest”…