comparison of underground economies (was Commie Nonsense)

From: altamira (
Date: Sun Jun 18 2000 - 19:35:43 MDT

OK. I'm sure willing not to use the word capitalism to describe the Mexican
economy. But I don't think it's exactly feudal mercantilism either, at
least not like what existed in Europe in 1600. You could say it's a mixture
of feudal mercantilism and capitalism, as the U.S. economy is a mixture of
capitalism and socialism and fascism. None of these terms seems to have a
very precise meaning. In both of these countries there's an active
"underground" economy.

So here's a question that occurred to me and led me to use a different
subject heading for this message. In which country can there exist a
healthier underground economy--Mexico or the U.S.? Will the partial
dissolution of borders change this? As far as I can tell, there seem to be
at least 2 underground economies in both the U.S. and Mexico. One kind is
controlled by organizations similar to governments where a small elite group
controls the rest of the parties involved in the economy ("organized
crime")and, I suspect, though I don't have first hand knowledge, that these
underground economies have close ties to the governments alongside of which
they operate. The other kind is a true free-market economy. I'm asking the
question about both kinds, but in particular the latter, the free market
underground economy.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Everitt Mickey
> Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2000 7:21 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Commie Nonsense
> -----altamira is alleged to have uttered the following;
> <quote>
> I can't claim to have visited many 3rd world countries, but I've
> spent some
> time in Mexico. I've noticed 2 major causes of poverty there. One is the
> Catholic church which discourages the use of contraceptives and abortion.
> The second is the behavior of people who hold positions of power
> in various
> governmental and corporate entities.
> When you buy bananas at the grocery store, odds are they came
> from land that
> was once occupied by people who grew enough food, fiber, and fuel crops on
> the land to take care of themselves. Business corporations, acting in
> conjunction with the Mexican (and sometimes the U.S.) government,
> took over
> the land and gave the people who'd been using it the option of leaving or
> staying there and working for the corporation at very low wages,
> which they
> would use to buy exorbitantly priced food at the grocery store
> (likely also
> owned by the corporation). The more self-respecting of the dispossessed
> peasants go to seek their fortunes in the city. The lucky ones
> have friends
> in the U.S. who can help them find work (if they can make it safely across
> the border and get past the check points). Others live on the outskirts of
> cities such as Mexico D.F.
> This is the ugly side of capitalism.
> <end quote>
> I take exception to the last sentence. I don't call a "protection racket"
> capitalism. What is the deference between the above scenario (where a
> corporation engages in acts of extortion with government backing) and that
> of a local thug extortion shopkeepers with union boss/policitcal machine
> boss approval? The only difference I see is scale.
> I agree and accept what you said...but don't call it capitalism.
> EvMick

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