In one way this Great Wall will add jobs to the economy. Think of it being like the old WPA (Work Process Administration) or the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), government spending programs to create jobs and put Depression Era folks back to work. That 10 billion price tag will buy equipment and materials from companies that will buy the raw materials and pay taxes.. and it will pay the workers, who buy consumer goods from companies that make consumer goods, in the end everyone will pay taxes. In essence, that 10 billion gets taxed in some form or another. I’m not sure how that works out mathematically; the government just might get all that back… albeit, through the economy.
Will the Great Wall work in keeping people out? In one way, does it matter? I mean, it will be a spending stimulus to the country and the states where the wall will pass through. Even if half of South America tunnels their way through, the Wall will have served its greater purpose of putting people back to work… you know, those rust belt, displaced manufacturing jobs people, who will no doubt dash down to the border to take up a shovel before it’s given to some Mexican (uh huh).
In the long term it will be a monument (maybe even seen from space, like the other wall?) to the idiocy of man in his attempt to contain himself. The crazy thing is, if you recall the walls of history… Hadrian’s Wall, the Berlin Wall, China’s Great Wall, the Maginot Line, the Siegfried Line, have all gone by way of the gooney bird as not having been practical to their original intent for very long (although the Chinese wall seemed to be a force to reckon for 1,800 years). Yet here we go again. And here we go again treating the symptom and not the problem… the problem being, what is on THIS side that people from THAT side want so much? Money? Safety? Security? Education? A future for their families? D – All of the above?
Back in the 80’s one of the parents of my oldest son’s classmates was an officer of the old Immigration & Naturalization Service. Back in those days immigration, illegal or otherwise, was not a huge issue as it is today. But it was still a part of life. When I was involved in local education as a businessman there were a couple schools in the district that tended to have a larger amount of transient families, hence certain issues arising when trying to meet government education mandates because many Mexican families didn’t stay around long enough.
Anyway, this Immigration officer parent, during a chat I had with him about illegal immigration posing issues, told me something interesting at the time. He had spent some years as a border officer prior to his current position in the Chicago Metro area. He said that the government tended to look the other way regarding keeping illegals from entering the country.. preferring to round them up later, if found (which wasn’t likely). The unofficial pretext was that there was an active communist movement going on in Mexico trying to gain political influence and power. The key to doing this was to rile up the poor people.. blaming capitalism for their sorry lot in life. Allowing those with the ambition to enter the States was, in fact, thought to be relieving some political pressure from the pressure cooker environment in Mexico existing at the time. Obviously this mindset would reflect events from the Cold War 60’s and 70’s.. and likely linger through the 80’s. Nonetheless, it’s not unrealistic to presume elements in the government thought this at the time. All it did was compound the problem into the 90’s and well beyond.
So.. back to the Great Wall. Apparently we don’t have to worry about Mexico falling to the communist horde anytime soon. So if it’s so important to keep those folks on their side of the border for all the… Trumped-up… reasons… (haha.. I’m gonna love the next four years!) why can’t we prop up the Mexican government? Gotta be a helluva lot less expensive to do that then all the crap with chasing them down… plugging drug tunnels… extriditions… building walls… yada, yada. If we are lucky, maybe we can get them to be the 51st state.
Here’s a better thought. Get Mexico to build a wall at their southern border, along Guatemala and Belize. It’s only about 600 miles compared to the nearly 2,000 mile one along our border. This will keep those Central Americans from getting up here and sucking up Mexican resources along the way. That will likely take care of half of the illegal traffic across our border.
There. Problem solved.
Just a historical reminder….