Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fording the River: Go West and El Norte

As a kid I loved to play the game Oregon Trail. If you haven't played the game before, it simulates migrating from Independence, MO all the way to Oregon in the mid 1800s. The game involved a lot of economics, at the beginning you had a limited budget to purchase your supplies (ox, bullets, spare parts, food, clothes). You also have to decide how to allocate your time (keep going on the trail, hunt, rest). The trail also presented dangerous diseases and river crossings. In short like the families that actually traveled the trail in your game shows you spending almost a whole year and a few thousand dollars making a dangerous trip all in the hopes of a better life.

Although the trip may be shorter, it many ways the economic analysis that most families make in Mexico to travel the trail up to the United States isn't much different. There is an upfront cost in some ways on a similar scale to those on the Oregon trail, there is chance of death or deportation, all in the hopes of higher incomes in a different place.

This post was inspired by the below video, which any Oregon Trail fan will love.

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