Today: July 19, 2024
January 24, 2022
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AMLO’s bet is the lower middle class, not the poorest

Social spending that is not

With López Obrador, the trend turned around. The current goal, unlike the PRI, is not to reach the poorest and, unlike the PAN, it is not to spend as little as possible. The bet is to give more money to everyone who wants it.

Thus, in this administration, social spending and cash transfers have increased by 24% and 47%, respectively. The number of households receiving cash transfers also increased, from 28% under Peña to 30% under Obrador.

López Obrador’s spending policy has triggered an extremely momentous change: for the first time in recent history, the poor-not-so-poor, the lower middle classes, are receiving government transfers. For example, among lower middle class households, only 17% received transfers with Calderón or Peña; with Obrador, these households receive 26% and get 54% more money.

For these people, social assistance makes a big difference. Although they are not the poorest, they are households with critical deficiencies. For example, among the lower middle class strata (decile VI and VII), 54% of people do not have enough income to satisfy their basic needs.

This has given Morena great electoral returns. In fact, the best kept secret of López Obrador’s cash transfer policy is that his bet is not on the poorest, but on the lower middle class. Morena is betting on winning the hearts of precarious urban areas such as Iztapalapa, Gustavo A. Madero and Ecatepec, areas mostly abandoned by past governments because they were not ultra-poor.

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