Monday, August 02, 2010

Bet the other way

Vicente Fox was recently asked in an interview by the New York Times, "What do you think Mexicans have contributed to American culture?  His answer:

While we can be confident that Fox wants to put the best spin he can on Mexican contributions to the country, we can assume that he knows what he is talking about on this subject. 
"Oh, starting with Mexican food! The jalapeños and the tacos and the rest. I think they have contributed family values. And then we have our culture. When you were killing Indian Apaches there, we had built Mayan cities, the pyramids, Mexico City."

A well-informed Mexican lets us know that Mexican Americans have given us good food and family values. Perhaps Mexico has benefited from its Aztec past, but I don't see how that is connected to improving America. And the "family values" cliche is just a neocon talking point. American families are not not stronger because of some Mexican influence.

So, based on Fox himself, Mexicans, compared to other American groups, have not contributed much to the country. Don't get me wrong--every American who lives a decent life is contributing to the well-being of the country, but "cultural contribution" is a different question.

General Social Survey respondents were asked, "Since the beginning of our country, people of many different races, nationalities, and religions have come here and settled. As I name some of these groups please tell me if the group has made: 1) one of the most important positive contributions to this country, 2) an important contribution, 3) some contribution, or 4) little positive contribution to this community." 

Respondents were asked about many groups, and Mexican Americans were on the list.  I identified factors predicting that a person thinks Mexicans have done a lot by estimating a model with ordinary least squares regression. If a factor, for example sex, turned out to be unrelated to one's attitude, I removed it from the model. Here's the final list:

Thinking Mexicans have contributed a lot (OLS regression coefficients--standardized, N = 1,033)

Age -.15
Education .14
Job prestige .10
Church attendance -.05
Political conservatism -.08

The profile of someone who gives Mexicans a lot of credit looks like this: young, educated, prestigious job, not religious, and liberal.  Objectively, this immigrant group has not contributed a lot compared to others--even Fox doesn't make a contrary case--but SWPLs, supposedly our best and brightest, are most likely to view Mexicans as playing a key role. If a SWPL feels strongly about something, the smart move is to bet the other way.


  1. used to be lib11:56 AM

    Family Values???????? Read the birth announcements in any local paper of all but the most affluent California towns--lots and lots and lots of Mexican babies born to unwed mothers.

    Check out our CA prisons and schools--Central American and Mexican gangs. The flood of illegals who came up to my Bay
    Area CA town and school system came directely by way of the San Diego and LA area about 17-20 years ago. Within one month of the beginning of the flood, the school desks in classroom after classroom were engraved with gang graffiti. For the first time ever, school officials had to worry about weapons on campus. The school buildings themselves as well as neighborhood and highway overpasses over town were tagged with gang graffiti. Drive-by shootings became something other than what we had seen in movies.

    Many had moved here because they had a family member incarcerated in a prison about a two hours' drive away.

    We became a community forever changed by a government that didn't give a damn about mass migration over the border. The human excrement has now spread to communities to our east.

    Yeah. Family values. Sure.

    Whatever mess the entire of the US will become socially, politically, financially is right here in CA. Just look to us and realize that whatever we are, you too shall become unless we stem the tide and fast.

    I have met too many people who visit this state, see the evidence of gangs, see the broken institutions like our schools, see the idiocy like that which is seen in San Francisco where illegal aliens who commit heinous crimes are freed and where "men" feel perfectly okay about wearing feathers on their penises and prancing about on what they ironically call a "Pride Day" (ha! some "pride") and where straights spend their money to watch that freak show, where you can go almost any weekend, traipse through Civic Center and see scores of booths set up advertising to grown men how to avoid hepatitis, HIV, or some other communicable disease, where you can find groups pushing to insert chapters on fisting in our kids' .....these visitors think CA is and will always be an anomaly; they think that things such as they see here will not ever reach the same scope in depth or breadth.

    Oh yeah? Just wait. The violence and the freak show, the whole damn circus is coming your way. It always does.

    So much for "family values."

  2. used to be lib1:24 PM

    Add the word "textbooks" following the word "kids" in the following clause: from my previous post: "where you can find groups pushing to insert chapters on fisting in our kids'...".

  3. I like Mexico and I like Mexicans. I speak Spanish fluently and have enjoyed visiting that wonderful country many, many times. I have made some good friends and really, some of the colonial towns in Mexico are wonderful, not to mention world-class sights like Teotehuacan.

    But I kind of like the United States, too. There are plenty of mestizo nations already without adding this one.

  4. Anonymous7:52 PM

    To the swpl, the Mexican does fufill an important function:

    The Mexicans, willing to live 2 and 3 families to a house and peform construction labor for seven-to-nine dollars per hour, undercut the earning potential for some of those smart-mouthed-redneck-Americas that swpls hate the most (to be fair, they are the only group swpls are socially allowed to hate). The Mexicans thus hurt the financial and reproductive prospects of the whites that swpls detest. The Mexicans thus have helped the swpls against their most primal enemy, lower status (but often physically superior) whites.

    I think (I promise I was not born this cynical and used to be optimistic to the point of being a flower-child at times in my youth), that people subconciously identify who their most primal reproductive competition is, and then support _anything_ that is detrimental to that reproductive competition.

    If the Rapture Reverends are right, and everybody who walked forth to the front of their church when they were a kid and professed Jesus-as-savior, only to have their pastor almost drown him the next week in front of the entire mini-mega-church around his ninth birthday (hint), and average American whites all dissapear in the next 20 years to heaven, the swpls will then identify whatever group is "next" to compete with in their hindbrains and begin to critique them, make fun of their culture, blame them for despoiling the environment, and use them as a negative foil when describing their own glorious trancedental qualities. I bet they'll even note that they are racists in some form if they can identify a lower-status group whom the new second-tier group somewhat excludes.

    The swpl fantasy is buoyed by government spending, which is curently financed by borrowing. I read recently that we borrow 41 cents for every dollar spent in one of Obama's budget requests. Thats not "sustainable" in swpl-speak. I wish swpls realized that tax-paying boring Americans often pay for swpl employment, and illegals and chinese wage slaves do not. If the bottom does fall out, many a swpl will get to see the underclass close up. They aren't going to like them.


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