glorifying poverty

social progress

Given an economic growth in the third quarter of 0.9% compared to the previous quarter and 4.3% compared to the third quarter of 2021 (both with seasonally adjusted figures), there was an upward revision of the forecasts for the end of this year. Thus, the growth expected by the analysts consulted by the Bank of Mexico, which in the October survey forecast an expansion of 2.1%, for the survey carried out in November their forecast increased to 2.8 percent. On the other hand, the growth forecast for next year was 0.95% in view of the possible recession in the US economy and its impact on the Mexican economy mainly through the channel of manufactured exports.

With the information on the growth registered in the period 2019 – 2021 and if the aforementioned forecasts are met, for the entire six-year term of President López the average annual growth would be only 0.28%, with an accumulated expansion of GDP of just 1.7 percent. With this, per capita GDP will have fallen by 4.3%, which implies a significant setback in one of the key variables in the process of economic development.

It is important to note that although what happens to GDP per capita is crucial to measure economic development, this is only one of the relevant variables. Measuring social progress requires taking into account many other elements and thus having a multidimensional measurement of the well-being of individuals and families in particular and of the country as a whole. In this regard, INCAE and the Social Progress Imperative organization estimated the Social Progress Index for 169 countries, with Norway, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and Iceland occupying the top five places; Mexico ranked 66th in the evaluation with an index value of 70.8.

As part of this effort to measure the progress of society, the organization Mexico, how are we doing? prepared the 2021 Social Progress Index for the country as a whole and for each of the 32 federal entities, where the high positive correlation that exists between the level of GDP per inhabitant and state social progress stands out; family and state income is not everything, but it is certainly very important. The index is built from three large aggregates.

The first is Basic Human Needs, which measures four dimensions: nutrition and medical care, water and sanitation, housing, and personal security. For the country as a whole, the value of this aggregate, which in 2014 had a value of 74.3, by 2020 fell to 69.9, this drop being explained almost entirely by the drastic decrease in the nutrition and medical care subindex, which it fell from 78.9 in 2018 to 47.9 in 2020, a collapse explained by the institutional destruction of the health sector undertaken by the government and which left 15 million people without access to health services, to which must be added the shortage of medicines.

The second aggregate is Foundations of Well-being, which measures four dimensions: access to basic knowledge, access to information and communications, health and well-being, and environmental quality. The value of the index of this second aggregate, which showed a slight improvement in the period 2014 – 2018, going from 66.4 to 65.8, fell to 63.4 in 2020. Here, the importance it has for purposes of improving progress and individual well-being stands out. and family the accumulation of high-quality human capital, particularly through education and access to health services. The states with the highest level of human capital also have the highest levels of progress in a broad sense.

The third aggregate is Opportunities, which contains four elements: personal rights, personal freedom and choice, inclusion, and access to higher education. The value of this index went from 48.1 in 2015 to 56.3 in 2020, falling to 56.6 a year later.

Increasing the level of social progress such that it translates into higher levels of individual and family well-being requires the implementation of national, state and local public policies that are conducive to improving education, health, personal safety, the environment and the social capital in which individuals operate and interact without forgetting that the main source of improvement is high and sustained income growth. In this line, as in several others (education, health, security) the government has failed resoundingly.

Twitter: @econoclasta

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