We are in the midst of October, with the revelations of misdeeds and incompetence coming thick and fast. As the opposing political factions pull out all the stops in a last ditch effort to destroy their political rivals, it’s become a race to see which candidate can be least reviled. This is what our elections have become, not to say that political ugliness is new to politics, but more time and energy has been spent on the ugliness than actual policy this year than ever before.
So dominating has been the political sideshow of who grabbed who and when did they grab them, the actual political issues driving the angst of the nation have been lost in the maelstrom. These political issues are supposed to be what this whole painful process is about, after all, but now, as the election comes to a close, we remain distracted away from Donald Trump’s unrealistic campaign promises by his own flagrant moral failings. Moral failings, by the way, that should have been obvious to everyone long before now.
Putting aside his repulsive statements about women and his numerous transgressions in dealing with the opposite sex, as well as his numerous ugly outbursts on Twitter and in interviews, and his frequent outlandish accusations about other Republican candidates and let’s look at the meat of Donald Trump’s claim to political fame: his immigration policy. Avoiding talking further about the pure politics of the matter, let’s focus instead on the economic and logistical realities.
“Establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to
ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.”
-Donald J. Trump Website-
At just shy of 2000 miles long, the US-Mexico border presents a distinct logistical challenge. The shared border with Mexico is rough terrain of desert, river basin, hills, and mountains. Assuming he actually intends to go through with this campaign promise, geographical sections of the wall would have to be the largest contiguous structure in the United States other than roads or highways. It would dwarf the Berlin Wall by every conceivable measure, and that is saying quite a bit.
Additionally, there are the problems with private and public ownership of the land through which Donald plans to build his wall, because, naturally, there are literally thousands of properties and principalities through which the wall would pass, requiring a significant amount of legal hassle that has, until today, not been worth the effort. And then there is just the problems associated with having the wall itself, from an operational standpoint.
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As the Chinese discovered thousands of years ago, the building of a wall, or hundreds of walls, as the case may be, does not actually prevent people from entering the country if that’s what they want to do. In addition to just going around the wall, like most illegal immigrants already do, there are such things as ladders, ropes, tunnels, and simply just climbing over the thing. Donald Trump has stated the wall will be 25 feet tall, though he’s also indicated the wall could be 35 feet high (about a two and a half story building).
There’s also the problem with paying for the wall in the first place. Donald claims that he will make Mexico pay for it, but we’ve already dealt with why that would be ridiculous. There’s simply no way that Mexico, already struggling with massive unemployment, and with a GDP per capita a fourth of the United States, could afford to pay for it. On top of all of this, under Donald’s plan, Mexico gets an extremely raw deal, and, in reality, Donald wants to punish Mexico for playing by the rules that the United States and Mexico agreed to under NAFTA.
“It’s to defend this very same nation that is hosting you.
This nation is going to fail if it goes into the hands of a crazy guy.”
-Vicente Fox, Former President of Mexico-
In the end, this is Donald Trump’s core campaign promise, and, just weeks away from the election, there remain many unanswered specifics. Throughout this hectic political season, Donald has managed to dodge serious scrutiny of any of his political promises, including this one that has carried him past numerous political missteps. Despite all of this, however, it remains a highly dubious campaign promise, because it is simply beyond the authority of the office of President.
Worse still is that the wall will do very little to address the trade problems that Donald promises to solve. Even if Donald does manage to build the wall and kick out all of the illegal immigrants, the fact remains that the jobs these ambitious young men and women were working were not premium market jobs. Contrary to what many believe, illegal workers were not and are not pushing a significant number of American workers out of the job.
In many cases, these jobs wouldn’t exist at all were it not for these immigrants, because, due to current regulation of health benefits and wages, they cost far more than they could possibly produce. For all of his bluster about how much he knows about business, Donald doesn’t seem to understand even rudimentary economics or policy. He just doesn’t get that to repatriate these jobs, all that is necessary is to reduce the cost of hiring an American worker below that of hiring an illegal immigrant.
Instead, Donald and his supporters focus on trying to raise the cost of hiring an illegal immigrant above that of hiring an American worker, which requires more taxes, more regulations, and more government. This is exactly the opposite of the Conservative solution, of less taxes, less regulation, and less government. While his plan will undoubtedly reduce illegal immigration, it will do so only so much as brute force protectionism can.
There are much better options, but they require reasserting capitalist Conservative principles that have long been abandoned by Americans indoctrinated in socialist collectivist dogma for over a century. Donald’s political career may finally be coming off of the rails, but that he got this far only proves how un-American America has become. We are no longer the land of the free or the home of the brave, having traded our economic Liberty for false security long ago.
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