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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dead Capital in Mexico

From TCS Daily:

Mexico's poor own their limited property in "deficient form," says Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, with inadequately documented rights and assets. They have what he terms "dead capital" - "houses but not titles; crops but not deeds; businesses but not statutes of incorporation." Worse, they have little opportunity to improve their lot, as long as they remain in Mexico.

Much of rural and small-town Mexico does not even have electricity, telephone and internet service, sewage treatment, water-purification, or decent roads, schools and healthcare. Just five miles from Cancun, I visited Valle Verde, where several thousand people live in primitive wood shacks, with electricity for only a few light bulbs and no running water or sanitation. One cannot help wondering where all that petroleum and tourism money has gone.

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