The challenge of a prosperous North America

Aída López

When I hear the aspiration for equal opportunities, I wonder if it is possible, and if so, where do we start? All the more so if inequality is as marked as in Mexico. Believing that there is equity helps to unite us, however, it is a hollow discourse when we realize that inequality has been created by the economic policies of governments, depending on the country’s project. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics, in his essay The price of inequality (2012), sustains the thesis that one percent of the population enjoys the best homes, education, doctors and standard of living, but there is one thing that money cannot buy: the understanding that their destiny is linked to how live 99 percent, which has been demonstrated with the pandemic.

He assures that if measures are not taken, inequality will create a greater gap by 2053, since equal opportunities will be reduced and with it the increase in social, political and economic problems. Stiglitz offers hope through reforms that help build an equitable society and thus a strong and stable economy. It exemplifies the theme of the United Kingdom where there is a marked division of classes, however, the people at the bottom have a 70 percent probability of moving up, which shows that there are the same opportunities for a person born in a poor family or with a low level of education and another born into a rich family, with a high level of education and well connected.

According to statistics from the Economic Mobility Project and research from the Economic Policy Institute: Poor children who are successful in their studies are less likely to graduate from a university than wealthier children who do worse in school. Even if they get a college degree, the children of the poor are still poorer than the children of the rich with less education. Economists call it a “poverty trap”, since it is difficult to get out of it, when the destiny is marked from before schooling by nutritional deficiencies and exposure to pollutants and environmental agents, whose effects are for life. Others distinguish real poverty from relative poverty: although in all countries there are poor, there are poor to poor. Countries also fall into the poverty trap, impoverishing their citizens. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has developed a standard measure with income, health and education indicators. Stiglitz emphasizes that the success of an economy can only be evaluated by examining the standard of living of the majority of citizens over a long period of time, as soon as this is not achieved, it will fail.

In recent days the trilateral meeting was held between the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico, who agreed to give millionaire contributions for the program: Sowing Opportunities, similar to the program of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador: Sowing Lives, with which it is expected to benefit 540 thousand people from Central America and southern Mexico.

It has already been clear to the Canadian presidents and prime minister that the immigration problem will not be solved unless people have the possibility of living with dignity in their cities. Resources need to be injected from the economically stronger countries for their project of a safe and prosperous North America to come to fruition.

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Edition: Estefanía Cardeña

We wish to give thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding content

The challenge of a prosperous North America