local economics... in plain language

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Posted by ZihuaRob from (dup-200-65-183-45.prodigy.net.mx) on jueves, septiembre 25, 2003 at 22:12:43 :

In Reply to: Re: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly posted by Gringo Frio from (209-112-221-163-cdsl-rb1.sol.acsalaska.net) on jueves, septiembre 25, 2003 at 20:15:44 :

The big picture in simple terms is this: Zihuatanejo is willing to develop and to meet the challenges of the future, but what keeps it hogtied is the meddling of powerful and monied interests from "beyond the sierra", let's say. Some are political, some are economical, some are just old-fashioned caciquism (what Mexico's revolution was supposed to change but didn't).

When Zihuatanejo began to develop a tourist industry on a supply and demand basis, the locals in Zihuatanejo began to prosper, and the community in general began to realize an improvement in living conditions and job opportunities. All of the sudden, just when the local standard of living was improving and things were growing at a steady and manageable pace, greedy folks from other places decided they wanted a piece of the action. First they tried to expropriate Zihuatanejo, but that didn't work, so Ixtapa was born. There went the end of supply and demand as land prices became arbitrarily fixed by a state-run land development agency in Zihuatanejo, and a federally run land deveopment agency in Ixtapa. Then came dozens of macro- and micro-political parties seeking power bases, and voilą, we had mass migrations into Zihuatanejo from all over Guerrero and the surrounding states squatting on lands that weren't for sale but that mostly command spectacular views of the bay. Very quickly local prosperity per capita began to decline along with the general standard of living, as all of a sudden Zihuatanejo's services were stretched beyond their capacity to provide for all the new non-taxpaying impoverished residents clamoring for services and trading their votes for favors. All of the political parties are guilty of this without exception. And that is how we find ouselves at today's anarchical situation where no matter how fast we try to run we only go backwards.

But Mexico's newfound democracy that was ushered in with the election of President Fox has also brought along with it an emboldened populace, now more determined than ever to try to control their own destiny as they slowly become more politically educated and aware of the options available to them. No longer are they willing to be dictated to from above, as has been the norm in Mexico's long, sad history, but now more than ever sovereignty and self-determination are the cherished prizes more and more communities are competing for against the caciques and special interests that would keep them enslaved. We still have a long way to go, but we can see the hopeful pinpoint of light at the end of a long tunnel encouraging us to continue seeking our self-determination and to strive for control of our future in a vision more in tune with the desires of Zihuatanejo's community. We want to be an ecologically oriented community where development is based on sustainable growth.

We are still acutely aware of the desires of the powers beyond our sierra that want to divide up Zihuatanejo for themselves, but we are also seeing ourselves as a force to be reckoned with as we throw off the yoke and the blinders that have kept us submissive and cowardly for too long. And in spite of the apathy of so many newcomers, both the affluent and non-affluent (it's not their homeland so what do they care, right?), there are enough locals who care strongly enough and who will be the vanguard for Zihuatanejo's interests and well being for generations to come, and this is the promise of the new Zihuatanejo dream. ;~)

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