Caravan Leaves Behind Mounds of Surprisingly Expensive Garbage
TIJUANA, MEXICO — December 4, 2018
Over the past few weeks, the theme of the so-called “caravan” has occupied a leading position in all news, not only in the US but also in many other countries.
Journalists, especially from the mainstream media, talk about the suffering of children and women that are fleeing widespread violence, poverty, and corruption in Honduras, about their hard-luck stories, and about the villain Trump who poisons children with tear gas.
Numerous bloggers are also covering the event, but from a slightly different angle. For example, some drew attention to the garbage that is left behind in large quantities by the “poor” refugees. It turns out that these refugees are not so poor as journalists say, if they can afford to throw away such expensive things.
Garbage can you tell a lot about a person.
Initially, the media fed us with the stories about the warm reception that accompanied the migrants in southern Mexico, where residents of small towns greeted them with hot food, campsites, and even live music. However, at the moment, Tijuana is in shock from the mountains of all kinds of garbage and bags with feces and bottles of Honduran urine scattered throughout the city by the caravan.
Daily Wire's excellent Ryan Saavedra has a report on what the place looked like, writing:
Caravan migrants from Central America that are stuck in Tijuana, Mexico are reportedly trashing the area, leaving behind bottles of urine and mountains of trash.
The news comes as migrants are facing increasing backlash and negative attitudes from local Mexican residents, as the overwhelming majority of Mexican residents – 73% – hold negative views towards the migrants, according to a poll from the Mexican newspaper El Universal.
Any surprise the Tijuana people don't like this?
Tons of trash and clothes left behind by #caravan #migrants at the #TijuanaBorder shelter this morning. #Mexico police moved most of them about 15 miles away from the border yesterday to a different camp @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/bU6tEyEeo0— Kyle Rothenberg (@kylerothenberg) December 1, 2018
Mexico is not the richest country in the world, and Tijuana is not the richest city in Mexico. Community services certainly work, but their capabilities are severely limited. In order not to turn your city into a life-threatening cesspit, local residents, as well as residents of all cities in the world, can follow simple rules.
These rules are common to all slums in the world. But, as was seen by Tijuana citizens, the Honduran refugees violate all the codes and have turned the city into a landfill. Had this scenario happened with a U.S. Tea Party-type group, some of the men and women within would quickly organize a clean-up campaign and institute informal rules about trash disposal. Even the worst slums in Latin America have informal rules.
The caravan migrants don’t. They, however, are guests in Mexico, so what also stands out here is that they don't seem to see themselves as guests, for whom polite behavior or clean habits are de rigueur.
It rather speaks to a lack of social capital to see people unable to clean up after themselves. Tea Party groups always cleaned up after themselves, while Occupy protesters famously didn't. The failure to clean up points to a lack of ownership (even of one's own behavior), and a refusal to care about how one's behavior affects a community's surroundings. When a person just uses resources without caring about how he treats them, that is what early free-market economists called "the tragedy of the commons." People who own things keep them nice and maintained. People who don't and who expect others to bear the cost usually just let them go to hell.
But let's go back to the waste: the fact that they have so much stuff to litter with suggests they aren't as poor as the press says they are. Based on the pictures, that level of garbage, mounds and mounds piled high, suggests a lot of money among the caravan migrants.
As it turns out, “the poor people from Honduras” threw away a lot of almost new things that Honduran slum residents cannot afford. They trashed bedding, tents and hiking sets from very expensive shops for tourists, high-quality and expensive clothes with tags from high-end stores, packaging from food that is too expensive for 75% of the residents of Tijuana, and even unopened food and drinks.
However, if you look at the situation more soberly and think about who financed this entire camp and what kind of people are marching into America, who throws out new tents at a good price with a used car, it doesn’t bode well for our future.