Topic: "Letter to Lou" (4)
Dear Mr. Lou Dobbs,
Frodo is a very big fan, especially when you lambaste the stupidity of the Bush Administration. Frodo does have to admit however, that you become very tiresome dealing with the same issue over-and-over-and-over. Frodo appreciates the business approach taken to analyze the machinations of government, but feels that you sometimes overlook the trees in the forest by constantly viewing situations from a single perspective. Respectfully Lou, please read the following as an example, because friend Frodo thinks he makes a very important point.
As you know, mortgages are something relatively new in Mexico, since most homes were either inherited, or built by hand. In 2000, the Mexican government began an active promotion of home loans through government agencies in order to stimulate the housing industry. Slowly, traditional bank mortgages became more accessible as interest rates fell. At this point, analysts now estimate that Mexico has a housing shortage of about 4 million homes. The Mexican government is planning for a miilion housing starts annually over the next four years. The goal is to double the present housing inventory by the year 2030. This, friend Lou, means that there is a need for workers trained in new-home construction, in Mexico.
Perhaps Frodo's point is swiftly becoming evident. From where are so many skilled workers going to come? In the United States, where there is a virtual shut-down of new-home construction, with sufficient inventory completed to meet all projected demand for up to five years, there are thousands, if not millions, of immigrants from Mexico who have been working, many illegally, in new-home construction, who are now unable to find jobs. That, kind Sir, is what you've been telling us, night-after-night-after-night. The jobs are now back in their homeland, and that is where they are bound to go, at least in Frodo's opinion.
"Nice theory Mr. Frodo, but how do you know this?," you ask. Well Lou, take a look at the current financials of a little old company based here in Atlanta; you know it, it's Home Depot. Home Depot, since it opened its first retail location in Mexico seven years ago, now has 69 stores in Mexico, and is planning to open 9, or more, this year alone. At the same time, Home Depot has announced the closing of 15 stores in the US. Home Depot, as Frodo is sure you know, makes most of its money from the sale of building materials for residential purposes. At the same time, Home Depot's biggest competitor, Lowe's, has announced plans to open five stores in the City of Monterey by the end of next year.
What this means Mr. Dobbs, is that a lot of those people you've been so concerned about are going to disappear from our borders. They are going to go home, build desperately-needed housing, raise families, and become consumers. They will likely significantly increase living standards in Mexico, and perhaps the next trips they take across the border into our country will be to purchase the goods and services we sell to them.
Now that you've thought about it, aren't you glad we didn't put 12 million people in jail?
Sometimes, Mr. Dobbs, patience is a virtue.
Your friend and admirer,