If Mexico were communist, would there be enough to attract back the emigrants?

If they decided to give each returning emigrant “40 acres and mule” or the equivalent in todays world, and pay for it with the oil and mineral wealth now showered on the rich, would it be enough?
Would their GNP/polulation = decent living?

I don’t know, and that’s not Communism.

Mexico’s per capita GDP is about $7,300. That’s higher than Russia. Mexico is not an impoverished 3rd world country. But you’re suggestion (which isn’t communism, btw) is not a bad idea. Land reform of some kind is probably needed in most Latin American countries, as those societies were often set up in an almost feudal-type system with land concentrated in the hands of a few well-connected families. Someone with a better understanding than I have about Mexican history can probably do that topic more justice.

The “forty acres and a mule” idea had nothing to do with communism. It was an alleged promise of reparations to former slaves after the Civil War.

I´m quite certain that 90% of Mexicans (in Mexico or elsewhere) wouldn´t know what to do with 40 acres and a mule.

Mexico has been there and done that. Land reform was a major tenant of the Mexican Revolution. The battle cry of Emiliano Zapata’s revolutioanry armies was “tierra y libertad” Land was redistributed in a major way in the decades after the revolution with the formation of the ejido system. In the early 1990’s Carlos Salinas reformed the agrarian laws permitting the sale of ejido property and the trend now is for many small landowners to sell off their parcels.

So what about the “leftist” PRD presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador? What is he actually promising to change about Mexican society? And is there even a snowball’s chance it would be enough, and successful enough, to lure emigrants to return (assuming he wanted them to)?

In this thread – http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=329210 – I’ve speculated on the implications of the Andean Community and MERCOSUR merging to form South American Community of Nations, consciously modeled on the European Union, and the possibility that a new Latin American free-trade zone will emerge, consciously opposed to the U.S.-dominated NAFTA, and forestalling the possibility of a hemisphere-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas.

But things aren’t running so smoothly. Venezuela recently announced its intention to pull out of the Andean Community, on the grounds that Peru and Colombia recently made their own trade deals with the U.S. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4925056.stm

A recent Miami Herald article – http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/breaking_news/14645316.htm – reports that a lot of Latin American leaders are on very bad terms with each other right now, over a lot of things, including issues you’d never imagine. “Bolivia wants to recover territories on the Pacific Ocean that it lost to Chile in a 19th century war.” Shades of Alsace-Lorraine!

What does all this mean, for Latin America’s near-term and long-term future, and Latin countries’ economic and political relations with the U.S.?

Yep. Nowadays parceling out land like this is just a way to guarantee poverty and/or land fraud. Small scale agriculture isn’t very effective. You’d just have many small farmers living in hand-to-mouth poverty.

And as Ale pointed out- most Mexicans are urban (76%+):

Mexico only has 32 million hectares suitable for cultivation
A hectare = 2.71 acres so that’s 87 million acres, but Mexico has 106 million people, so there’s not even enough for one acre per person, let alone 40. :rolleyes:

More from the Library of Congress cite "*. Mexico’s most extensive land redistribution took place during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-40). Cárdenas redistributed some 18 million hectares, twice as much as all his predecessors combined. By 1940 most of the country’s arable land had been redistributed to peasant farmers, and approximately one-third of all Mexicans had benefited from the agrarian reform program (see Cárdenas and the Revolution Rekindled, 1934-40, ch. 1).

Agrarian reform sharply increased the proportion of Mexico’s arable land held by minifundistas (smallholders). The share of total crop land held by large estates fell from 70 percent in 1923 to 29 percent by 1960, while that held by small farms of fewer than five hectares rose from 7 percent in 1930 to more than 33 percent by the 1980s. Between 1924 and 1984, the government expropriated and redistributed more than 77 million hectares of large-estate land, amounting to more than one-third of the national territory.

Declining agricultural production and mounting food imports moved President Salinas finally to address the root cause of the problem, the land tenure system. In 1991 Salinas announced a constitutional reform of the ejido and land distribution systems intended to overcome the low productivity resulting from the fragmentation of ejido farming units, of which 58 percent contained five hectares or fewer. A reform of land tenure rules in February 1992 gave Mexico’s 3 million ejidatarios formal title to their land, enabling them to lease or sell their plots if a majority of members of their ejido agreed. No further land would be distributed, and joint ventures with private capital were legalized and encouraged. The reforms sought to reverse the trend toward smaller and less productive farming units and stimulate rural investment by allowing ejidatarios to use their holdings as collateral for raising capital*"

So, re-distibuting the land back to the peasants has already been done, and isn’t working.

Please disregard, I meant that as the OP for a whole new thread – this one: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=372950