Dear Mexican: How can you explain the disparity between Japan and Mexico? Japan is a nation a fraction the size of Mexico, with zero natural resources, suffered a devastating war of four years that included two atom bombs, yet has reached the highest in educational achievements, technological advancements and economic power. Then there is Mexico: a much larger nation that has suffered no wars since the Revolution, is rich in natural resources and hard-working people, next door to the most powerful nation in the world, but its only achievement is becoming the most corrupt nation in the Western Hemisphere and digging drug tunnels into the U.S. What say you?

—Love that Low-Priced Lettuce

Dear Gabacho: Mexico isn’t the most corrupt nation in the Western Hemisphere — that dishonor falls to Haiti, according to Transparency International’s 2005 Global Corruption Index (Guatemala wasn’t too far behind). As for your question, the answer is obvious — the United States. America was gracious enough to rebuild Japan after smashing it during World War II and implemented democracy, capitalism and most-favored-nation trading status; Japan prospered as a result. America, meanwhile, never had the decency to invade Mexico (stealing half of the country doesn’t count), ensuring that the country remains a de facto feudal state. But regardless of which country makes better use of its resources, the outcome is the same for los Estados Unidos: Japan responded to our charity by flooding us with cheap products that spelled the doom of the gabacho working man; Mexico responded to our negligence by flooding us with cheap labor that spelled the doom of the gabacho working man.

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LA Weekly