Human Costs Of The Mexican Debacle

Mexico is a classic case of an economy run amok, leaving in its wake great human suffering ("Mexico: The rough road back," Cover story, Nov. 13). In the past decade--and more so in the past year--the Mexican middle class has been wiped out. The poor have been driven to despair. Health and education have deteriorated. Hunger and disease have spread.

But not to worry: Mexico's billionaires have grown richer, and foreign bankers keep collecting interest. With amazing insensitivity, BUSINESS WEEK suggests that there is hope for Mexico's productivity because of increased layoffs, including one company that "has cut 8,000 jobs in eight years while doubling output."

Mexico's worst error was trusting English-speaking economists with little appreciation for Third World problems. Its second-worst mistake was joining NAFTA.

Luis Murillo

Professor of International Business

University of San Francisco

San Francisco

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