I’ve been reading on Facebook that some of you are quite delighted about falling gasoline prices. Plenty of Internet articles announce the same.
For a long time, gasoline in Mexico was cheaper than in the U.S. When driving north to the U.S. we would try to fill up on the southern side of the border. Those days gone! For those of you who need a little help with conversion into metric, remember that there are 3.79 liters in a gallon. That would mean that the price of a liter of the lowest octane gas (called Magna here-87 octane rating) would be 13.13 x 3.79. That comes out to 49.76 pesos. Now, we need to divide that number by the exchange rate. Today it is 13.46 (which is at a historical high). The result: a gallon of gas costs $3.70. Oh, and due in part to a nationwide monopoly, prices never come down…they always just keep going up.
That’s a little less expensive than a gallon of milk, which will run you 51 pesos at the local Walmart, or $3.79.
Keep in mind that the minimum wage here is about $6 a day, with most people making 3-5 times the minimum wage. At 5 times the minimum wage, calculated to a five day work work, that comes out at $600, or about 8000 pesos.
It costs the average person anywhere from $2-5 in public transportation every day. Food prices continue to rise. Another example…we bought simple, plastic benches for the church 8 years ago for 39 pesos. The price today…65 pesos, a 60% increase (in spite of the fact that official statistics has inflation here at around 4% a year).
All of this to say that often we have no idea how people live. How they get by. How they have any money left over to do anything.
Any increase in the minimum raise is connected, by law, to the additional cost that home owners pay on their mortgages. So anyone with a mortgage really doesn’t want the minimum wage to increase to much. Classic class warfare, perfected and made the law of the land.
To add a bit of irony, once again, according to Forbes, the world’s richest man is…a Mexican.
Being poor, however, in God’s economy, isn’t a bad thing. It forces us to trust, to be dependent, to pray. For much more on this topic, check out a former post HERE.