May 9, 2013

Hispanic economic productivity: the New Mexico case study

Generations of Exclusion is a book by two UCLA sociologists, Vila Ortiz and Edward E Telles, published in 2008. It originated in a fair-sized data set (1576 people) collected in 1965, which was rediscovered in 1992. The original respondents and their adult children were interviewed. It shows quite clearly that although second-generation Mexican-Americans averaged more education and higher SES than the first generation, presumably because they knew English, there was no further improvement in the third and fourth generations. The gap remained substantial: the fourth generation had a college completion rate of 6%, compared to a rate of 35% for whites of that same era. 
Which is pretty much what you see in New Mexico too, except that here we’re often talking about the fifth, sixth, and seventh generation living in the US 
I don’t see much sign that the story is greatly different in Central and South America. Mestizos – whose ancestry is part Amerindian and part European (usually Spanish), make up most of the population in those countries. Their PISA scores are low – lower than those of Hispanics in the US. Performance in science and technology is more important than test performance – but Latin America’s low performance is consistent with their low test scores. This showed up in my Zones of Thought map. 
Isn’t there reason to believe that this is all going to change radically for the better in the near future, powered by the strongest force in the Universe, wishful thinking? Nope.

New Mexico has relatively few illegal immigrants because it has had so few jobs. 

When New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (who is 3/4th Latino) was running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2007, Tim Russert gave Richardson a hard time about his state on Meet the Press:
MR. RUSSERT:  But let’s go through the resume a little bit.  First, there’s governor of New Mexico.  As you well know, they rank states in a whole variety of categories from one being the best, 50th being the worst.  This is New Mexico’s scorecard, and you are the governor.  Percent of people living below the poverty line, you’re 48.  Percent of children below, 48.  Median family income, 47.  People without health insurance, 49.  Children without health insurance, 46.  Teen high school dropouts, 47.  Death rate due to firearms, 48.  Violent crime rate, 46.  You’re the very bottom of all those statistics of all 50 states, and you’re the governor for five years.


New Mexico's state motto ought to be "Thank God for Mississippi!"

Of course, when I was a kid, I never thought that would be California's motto.

For data from Generations of Exclusion on Hispanic educational attainment through five generations of assimilation within families, click here.

For data from Roth et al on test score gaps between whites and Hispanics, click here.


Anonymous said...

There are pure European Spanish descendants of the original settlers that are the aristocracy of NM. It has been my experience that they are very sharp and take advantage of programs designed to help the poor and trodden down.

Jokah Macpherson said...

New Mexico's state motto ought to be "Thank God for Mississippi!"

Sorry, Alabama already took that one. It makes more sense because we are neighbors.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of people from Latin American are not white (pure Spaniards) but rather are MAMBs

MAMBs = Mestizos, Amerindians, Mulattoes, and Blacks

Latin America is populated with MAMBs

Anonymous said...

New Mexico is a *classic* Conquistador American, as you call them. There are families in New Mexico with an almost unbroken lineage back to honest-to-god conquistadors.
As an example, still people who speak archaic 17th century Spanish. And it's not like a few old people who half-remember 20 words, it's as real and current as english.
The older, "established" families frequently use it as a class marker. NM is basically a time capsule

Conquistador Cielo said...

New Mexico had two colonizations, the original 1598 colonization was followed by an Indian revolt that forced the Spaniards out. NM was re-colonized in 1693, and several of the colonists at this time were French in addition to Spanish and Spanish-Mexican.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Santa Fe for a summer while interning at at the labs in Los Alamos. I grew up on a farm in central Illinois and I really don't like living in the city, but I wouldn't mind living in either of those two places. I found New Mexico to be very charming...

That being said, New Mexico really dependent on (usually white) federal workers...

From wikipedia...

Federal government spending is a major driver of the New Mexico economy. In 2005 the federal government spent $2.03 on New Mexico for every dollar of tax revenue collected from the state. This rate of return is higher than any other state in the Union.[17] The federal government is also a major employer in New Mexico providing more than a quarter of the state's jobs.

Francois said...

As I say in the other post, the only contributions mestizos have made to humanity are the taco and the donkey show.

Sad but true....

The Five Jays said...

One of the funniest things I've ever seen is Red State Update discussing Bill Richardson's endorsement of Obama.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of people from Latin American are not white (pure Spaniards) but rather are MAMBs

MAMBs = Mestizos, Amerindians, Mulattoes, and Blacks

Latin America is populated with MAMBs

What do you define as a vast majority? If you look at all of Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, then:

36% of Latin Americans are white
30% are Mestizos
20% are mulattos
9% are Natives
3% are black

True, whites are outnumbered, but they are still the single largest group. BTW, about half of the whites live in Brazil.

Alcalde Jaime Miguel Curleo said...

Richardson's whole consigliere-Hispanico career is a giant crock. For a further small but illuminating example check the intermittent series Michael Kinsley did on the tax-breaks-for-Hollywood-crews boondoggle under the governor's tenure ("Was wondering one day why the cinematic art of depicting downtown Albuquerque had suddenly come into its own")

Anonymous said...

But the green chili is so good. It's vibrantly good!

Jokes aside, I kind of liked NM when I was passing through. Though it's the original place you going to want to leave when you grow up, if you're from there. It just doesn't have anything going on.

Dennis Dale said...

From an SNL presidential debate parody in 92:

Sam Donaldson:
Governor Clinton, let's be frank. You're running for president, yet your only experience has been as the governor of a small, backward state with a population of drunken hillbillies riding around in pickup trucks. The main streets of your capital city, Little Rock, are something out of L'il Abner, with buxom underage girls in their cutoff denims prancing around in front of Jethro and Billy Bob, while corncob-pipe-smoking, shotgun-toting grannies fire indiscriminantly at runaway hogs.

Bill Clinton:
I'm sorry, Sam, do you have a question?

Sam Donaldson:
My question is: How can you stand it? Don't you lose your mind living down there?

Bill Clinton:
Sam, you must have watched too many of my opponent's TV spots. I'm tired of the Bush campaign trying to portray my home state as some sort of primitive Third World country. The fact is, Arkansas did have a long way to go, but we've made progress. When I started as governor, we were fiftieth in adult literacy, and last year, I'm proud to say, we shot ahead of Mississippi. We're #49, and we're closing fast on Alabama. Watch out, Alabama - we got your number!

[Dana Carvey as President Bush makes lame joke referencing "Deliverance"]

Bill Clinton:
That's not fair. Just this year we passed Mississippi to become 41st in the prevention of rickets!

Anonymous said...

"From an SNL presidential debate parody in 92:"

This is the risk we run as a continental nation and a global power when policy is made from Rockefeller Center. Most NY elites wouldn't know a Mexican from a Mormon.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a middlin' comment thread and no mention of the Crypto Jews in the Southwest?

Anonymous said...

You should also blog this older piece by Cochran:

Corn said...

"The point that the US owes its large influx of Mexican immigrants, at least originally, to the Mexican Revolution "

This is a point that needs to be hammered home with the public. Everyone so often some Mexican-American activist trots out the old "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us" saw. In reality probably 90% of the Mexican-American population are immigrants or descended from people who have immigrated since 1910.

Unknown said...

Having lived in New Mexico for 7 years, it is almost impossible to find anyone that is hispanic that will identify being Mexican. Apparently the are all of Spanish ancestory.