By Elisabeth Malkin / New York Times
Jesús Rascón embodies the sort of success story that was supposed to epitomize “Mexico’s moment.”
The plastics company he founded 13 years ago now employs 350 people in two factories. He sells parts to global companies like Volkswagen and Whirlpool. Even the slide in the value of the Mexican peso this year works in his favor because it makes his products cheaper overseas.
Then why is he feeling so glum about Mexico’s economy?
In a word: poverty. “Unfortunately the problem in Mexico is the wage rate, which is enough only to survive,” said Rascón, 48. Unless people have money to spend, he added, the companies that sell to them will never be able to expand the way his has.
Such economic pessimism is pervasive across much of the country as President Enrique Peña Nieto prepares to reboot his presidency midway through his six-year term.