immigrants are rarely the poorest people; they usually are educated and are lookingto go farther than they are able to in Mexico. Currently, workers in the UnitedStates, on average, get seven times as much as someone working in Mexico. As thatratio gets closer to equal, more and more Mexicans will be able to affordimmigration, until a turning point where staying in Mexico is as financiallyrewarding as emigrating. However, a U.S. government estimates the equalization of wages may take several generations. (Rothstein 65)On the northern side of the border, higher standards of living also are a pull factor,causing Mexicans to immigrate. As the U.S. economy grew in the mid-90's, so didthe desire of Americans to eat healthier. Healthier foods such as broccoli,cauliflower, and lettuce actually take more work, since their production has not yetbeen mechanized. This necessitates the use of cheap labor, found in immigrants.Studies show that as American wealth increases, so does their need for immigrantsto maintain that level of wealth. (Rothstein 70)Because of changes to the Mexican constitution and a reduction of subsidies,Mexico has moved from an agrarian society to more industrial. According to a 2003Chicago Times article by Hugh Dellios, rural areas of the country that have relied onfarming have not been helped by NAFTA, and the implications of tariffs andsubsidies being removed has been to the detriment of many small farmers. Between1993, the year before NAFTA was signed, and 2003, a third of Mexican hogproducers shut down due to a doubling of the imported pork from the United States.Mexican farmers have a hard time competing with U.S. farmers, who get $7 billionannually in federal subsidies. (Dellios 52) This will lead to a mass exodus fromfarms, likely to Mexican cities, and to the U.S., as one million Mexican peasants arepredicted to give up farming each year for the next 10 to 20 years (Rothstein 66).NAFTA has also not caused the massive investment into the Mexican economy byU.S. companies that was expected. Investment by U.S. companies in Mexicancompanies is only one percent of what is being invested into the U.S. companies.(Griswold 58). Another major provision of NAFTA was the creation of Maquiladoras, factories that are tariff-free and were supposed to provide majoremployment on both sides of the border. However, almost a quarter of theMaquiladoras that sprung up in the wake of NAFTA have shut down in the last sixyears. (Smith 70). The manufacturing jobs that were created by NAFTA do notprovide stable employment and can not promise a future of employment.NAFTA is generally held in a positive light by many for the jobs it has created andhow it has helped the economies of areas both north and south of the border.However, most of the benefits of NAFTA have gone to creating more wealth for thealready wealthy. In Mexico, twenty percent of the population holds fifty-fourpercent of the wealth, leaving less than half of the country's wealth for theremaining eighty percent. (Payne 52
). NAFTA also has not been proven to have anyeffect on the U.S. economy (Griswold 55), and some even say it has compoundedthe trade problems that have been plaguing the U.S. for several years (Hawkins 63).