What Do Young Mexican Professionals Want? Choice. Essay

Submitted By peterstwcedu1
Words: 1556
Pages: 7

ast week's El Diario editorial addressed to local drug cartels asked what the "defactopolicing authority" expected from the town's journalists. As the battle for control of the US drug market escalates between the Mexican federal government and the various drug cartels, El Diario s editorial, while a radical and bold step forward in p~blic recognition of the perniciously deteriorating civil order in Mexico, is only the beginning of what I believe is an important and positive step towards the opening up of public dialogue and debate on Mexico's future. Mexican political culture is coming of age and is about to be led by a new generation of well-educated, well-traveled and increasingly impatient young professionals. This new demographic represents a nascent political, economic and social force that will drive fundamental change in Mexico. Make no mistake, this group is not interested in armchair, historically captive, apologetic academic theories on the causes of Mexico's problems and the country's limitations. They came into political consciousness on the hopeful pledges of change that brought Vicente Fox and the PAN to Los Pinos. Mexican political leaders would do well to recognize the aspirations and concerns of this demographic window of opportunity. Who are these young Mexican professionals and what do they want? Although by no means an exact statistical assessment, this new demographic is represented by Mexicans who have studied abroad, pursued graduate/professional degrees and either returned to Mexico or maintain close family and business ties to the country. And this trend is continuing to develop. In 2009, an estimated 15,000 young Mexicans were studying in U.S. colleges and universities alone. Add in the students attending universities ranging from the London School of Economics to the University of New South Wales in Australia, and it becomes apparent that Mexican professionals, like their US and international peers, have achieved world-class educations. The disciplines these young people have chosen to study are significant as well:


• Economics, Business and Management (28 percent); • Engineering and Technology (25 percent); • Arts and Design (13 percent); • Behavioral and Social Sciences (9 percent); and • Medicine and Health Sciences (7 percent). Today's young Mexican professionals have observed and participated in economic, political and social systems around the globe and have very clear ideas on what they want to see developed as workable, Mexican-modeled comparisons. They are keenly aware, as The New York Times commented last week, of a growing dissonance across the increasingly isolated sectors of larger Mexican societi. While it has been no secret, for a very long time, that there are many Mexicos, all sharing the same geographic space but with little or no contact, there is a growing realization among these young professionals that the status quo is holding the country back. Having seen firsthand how other countries grapple with similar problems and succeed, they are no longer mollified by ineffective politicians and are growing impatient.


A recent article by veteran Mexican man-of-Ietters Jorge Castaneda in the US magazine Newsweek, "A Paralyzed Democracy," underscores the challenges facing Mexico's electorate and political parties. A national conversation on the country's future, which I believe will be led by young Mexican professionals running up to the presidential election in 2012, will grapple with the unfulfilled expectations of Mexico's middle-class revolution. This revo}ution, which began with Mexico's entry as a player on the world economic stage player through its accession to the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), has continued to open the country's economy to the opportunities and challenges of competitive globalization-while only slightly rationalizing Mexico's governmental and political