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Good Reads: Mexico’s rise, Lincoln’s precedence, and tomorrow’s truth

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Alfredo Sosa/Staff/File

(Read caption) Shipping trucks in Veracruz, Mexico, a major port city on the Gulf of Mexico.

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Which country produces the biggest share of America’s flat-screen TVs? You know it can’t be China, or we wouldn’t bother asking.

Three years ago, a Pentagon report warned that Mexico was on the brink of becoming a failed state, notes a special report in The Economist. Instead, Mexico’s economic growth has overtaken and surpassed that of Brazil. And as Chinese wages have quintupled in the past 10 years, Mexico’s competitiveness is rising to match its great field position next door to the US Sun Belt. The flat-screen TVs are the least of it. What’s amazing to The Economist is how little Americans know about the progress of their southern neighbor. It estimates that nearly a tenth of current US residents, or their children, are Mexican citizens. But as the Monitor has noted, net migration from Mexico has dropped to zero or lower as opportunities there have expanded.

Many Americans have heard, if vaguely, of Mayan calendars that seem to predict the end of the world coming in a few weeks. But few have heard that recent translations revise that apocalypse into something more like a renewal or fresh start. And that, the magazine argues, looks to be where Mexico is heading.

Lincoln’s example for today’s mess

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