Mexico and the middle class… The awakening of a giant.

“If you’re not in the middle-class, how are you going to understand what Saturday’s vehicular march against Lopez Obrador means? Impossible!… take your milk and go to sleep.” Says the text already shared by thousands on social networks attributed to Omar Eli Robles.

The author says: “The middle class in Mexico is the majority, because if there are 40 million poor people, then there are 70 million middle-class people because there are only about 30 million rich people”. His figures, although in the calculation, are not wrong, yet, not exactly right either.

Mexico has a population of 127 million inhabitants according to the INEGI, with the following socioeconomic levels, according to the AMAI -Mexican Association of Market Intelligence Agencies and Public Opinion.
– Level A/B, equivalent to 7% of the population. It is made up of billionaires, millionaires, and the rich. That is to say, 8,890,000 people with incomes above 100,000 pesos per month.
– Level C+ is a class determined as medium-high, comprising 12% of the population, that is, 15,240,000 people who earn more than 45,000 pesos a month.
– Level C is established as a middle-middle class that includes 15% of the population, that is, 19,050,000 people with an income of around 30,000 pesos a month.
– Level C- or D+ is determined as the lower middle class, which includes 30% of the population. In other words, 38,100,000 people with incomes ranging from 9 to 18 thousand pesos per month.
– The D level holds 27% of the people of Mexico in a situation of poverty that brings together 34,290,000 people with incomes ranging from 4 to 9 thousand pesos
– Level E, 9% of Mexico’s population is equivalent to 11,430,000 people, extreme to critical poverty with a maximum income of 4,000 pesos per month.

Counting the socioeconomic levels described above, we can see that 57% of the country falls into what is known as the “middle class.”

The author mentions that traditionally, Mexico’s poor historically vote for those candidates who offer and give them gifts. Still, it is well known that they yearn for a better life for their children. Hence, they are the ones who make the most considerable effort to advance their children’s education and achieve something better for them. They aspire to become part of the much-desired “middle class.”

Recalling what Elí Robles wrote, he mentions that it was the middle class that had to survive the populist governments of Luis Echeverría (1970 – 1976) and José López Portillo (1976 – 1982). Both populist and corrupt, which is an inescapable reality. In the government of Miguel de la Madrid, the middle class had a vital respite. This president did not persecute them or consider them “enemies of the system.” In other words, from 1982 to 1988, making money in Mexico stopped being a capital sin.

With Carlos Salinas de Gortari, the middle class grew thanks to the opening of credit. After a long time, people could have a credit card and buy a car or a house. This mirage did not last long. At the end of 1994, Mexico was the -until then- mother of all economic crises, and it was the middle class who suffered the worst of all falls.

People lost their homes, their cars, their bank accounts, their businesses. The interest on bank loans ate them up. The banks went against them, persecuted them, and took everything away from many of them. Millions of people were forced to take their children out of private school, left behind club memberships, vacations, outings. It was the worst nightmare in recent history.

But, as Omar Eli Robles rightly mentions, the middle class, like a phoenix, rose from its ashes, shook itself off, and began again. Credits were restructured, both parents went out to work, a process of entrepreneurship began on a par with jobs from 8 to 5 pm, and they went to work. From zero, they began, once again, to build their small businesses.

Against what many think, “Mexico has no memory.” The middle class came to a standstill, and not only did not forget, but it did not forgive the PRI for the insult. For the first time, the “perfect dictatorship” succumbed to democracy, and the fed-up Mexican middle class made Vicente Fox of the PAN president of Mexico. In 2006, he joined in avoiding the threat of López Obrador, and Felipe Calderón of the PAN was elected president of Mexico.

This middle class got fed up with Felipe Calderon’s bloodbath and backed down, giving victory to Enrique Pena Nieto. He took corruption to levels never seen before. The cynicism of the system reached its peak. By then, Andres Manuel had been campaigning for 18 years, with a discourse of anti-corruption, anti-violence, and economic growth. The Mexican bought his words and gave him the opportunity. AMLO won the presidency with 30.11 million votes.

It’s been a year and a half since AMLO won the presidency. Right now, the middle-class today is feeling restless. They didn’t forgive Peña Nieto for his corruption and his violence. They continued to work and strive under the understanding that with this new government, they would be better off. Now that middle-class feels its stability threatened. 57% of the population, does not have an important “godfather”, nor it is on top of the food chain. They criticize the PRI and the PAN and now begin to hate MORENA, which has turned out to be worse than the so-called “PRIAN.”

In the past few days, this middle class in Mexico organized a demonstration where they shouted “LISTEN TO ME” to the president. The response was to despise and minimize their anger.

Today the Mexican middle class is concerned. Everything seems to indicate that, just as with Luis Echeverria and Lopez Portillo, there is a furious attack. Generating wealth in this government is a mortal sin, and added to that, a crisis worse than the one experienced in 1995 is coming.

Today, Mexico’s middle class is clinging with all its might to its achievements, the fruit of its work in the previous years. Andrés Manuel López Obrador proved to be that danger so often mentioned. López Obrador is against the generation of wealth. That makes him an imminent adversary of those who wish to prosper and grow.

As Omar Elí Robles mentions in his editorial, Slim, Salinas Pliego, Romo, and the 7% of Mexico’s A/B class will not go bankrupt in this crisis. The ones hit by the coming storm are the micro-entrepreneurs, the independent professionals, the small businesses. Those people who pay tuition, buy their cars with a credit from the bank. Their clothing with the Sears or Liverpool credit cards or pay by credit card their car insurance or medical insurance, and save some money to be able to afford certain luxuries, like travel.

That Mexican middle class comprises 72,390,000 desperate people. That famous example of AMLO during the elections about the “tiger’s awakening” is nothing compared to a middle class fed up of being beaten, looted, ignored, and now threatened to its very foundations.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador and MORENA have not measured the size of this. How can they when they are parasites who have never worked to earn anything in their lives. They live off the taxes of people already fed up with being screwed over and over again.

The cars demonstration is just the beginning of much more to come. The old strategists like Sun Tzu say there are two kinds of enemies you should never face. The one who has nothing left to lose, since he has lost everything, and the one who has everything to lose and will give his life to defend what he has achieved with so much effort.

Before AMLO, people were fed up… Now they are fed up even more.

José E. Urioste Palomeque
For The Yucatan Times / Times Media Mexico
Merida Yucatan, Mexico
June 04 2020
Facebook – @JoseUriosteMX
Twitter – @PipoUrioste

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