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"I Will Build a Great, Great Wall and Mexico Will Pay For It" Said Donald Trump
Yeah right. How do you spell sTupIDe?! What makes you think Mexico will pay for a wall that does not benefit her? Building a wall on Mexico’s border will not stop illegals or stop the flow of drugs into the US. Duh, What can you do? I don’t know. Post signs on Mexico’s side of the wall saying;
To go over this wall use a ladder 1′ taller than the height of wall. To go under this wall, contact El Chapo’s Cartel for a manual on how to dig an elaborate mile long tunnel complete with lighting and ventilation. Another option is pay a toll to pass through the Cartel’s tunnel used to continue the drug trade with the United States. After passing under the wall and into the US side, stop at the Hertz Rent a Motor Cycle Stand (we wish to keep all businesses in the United States) for transportation through the rest of the tunnel. Be aware, you may be charged an additional toll when traveling to your destination. Thank you for taking the Mexico/Us Subway, drive safe and arrive alive.
How deep should this wall go and how high should we need this wall to be? Has Trump provided blueprints to submit to each state? Has Trump secured the necessary financing for the wall? Has Trump provided paperwork showing the before the wall statistics on illegal immigration into the US and $ amounts of illegal drugs making into the US and estimates of the same after the wall is completed? Is Trump presenting the cost of illegal immigration and drugs from Mexico in comparison to the overall cost of building the wall?
LET’S CUT TO THE CHASE!
It is estimated 720,000 unauthorized immigrants cross the US/Mexican border each year. Approximately half of the illegals are captured and arrested. According to National Center for Border Security 43% of the illegals will attempt to cross the border again. So when we look at the 720,000 illegal immigration number and how does it break down?
Of the 43% who will attempt to cross again will it be one time, two times or sixteen times and are the multiple crossing figured singularly in the 720,000 crossings?
Why does the 57% decide they would not attempt another crossing?
The 720,000 unauthorized immigrants represent the number caught. How many unauthorized immigrants were not caught?
We know the number of illegal immigrants is declining each year. This decline is due, in part, to a better Mexican economy with a lower unemployment rate. Mexican illegals account for only 53% of the 720,000 unauthorized immigrants while the balance is from Central America. For the past 5 years the percentage of the Mexican illegals has dropped. If by chance (I pause to chuckle) our master negotiator did manage to get Mexico to pay for the wall at best they would only pay 52% of the cost of building this wall leaving us, the taxpayers, with the balance.
So, let’s start with the elephant in the room.
WHAT WILL THE WALL COST TO THE UNITED STATES?
I will use the estimate by MIT Technology Review with Trumps specifications of a 50′ tall 18′ deep wall with varying widths. MIT Technology estimated the required concrete, steel, and labor for a total cost of $38 billion. The following is a quote from the November/December issue of MIT Technology Review:
… That fits with what structural engineers have told me: the total cost of highways and other mega scale projects in the U.S. is generally two to three times the material costs. That makes a 1,000-mile wall pencil out at $27 billion to $40 billion.
= up to $40 billion.
Trump might say it would be worth the cost since border crossings are out of control. However, because of several factors, including improvements in the Mexican economy and increases in Border Patrol staffing, fewer people are making the attempt. Officers caught 331,000 people crossing the Mexican border in fiscal 2015, less than one-fifth the number in 2000.
This estimate is for 1000′ while the proposed wall will be approximately 2000′. Having the actual proposed project the total would be $76 billion.
Although Trump is attempting to appropriate the money from congress he hasn’t even produced a set of construction drawings. All we can do is guess except we know Mexico will be paying for 52% of the bill, right? Trump says he will place a 25% tariff on Mexico’s exports to the US. Great! If Mexico is charged a 25% tariff as Trump has threatened, it won’t cost Mexico anything WE would end up paying 25% more for everything Mexico sends us. In 2015 Mexico exported $316.4 billion. WE would pay $79.1 billion. In addition we would have to pay the 48% of Central America’s share of the wall cost. Of course Mexico would have to choose if she wants to pay our 25% tariff or go elsewhere paying 25% less for goods normally imported from the US. Mexico is our 3rd largest goods trading partner.
A study from Pew Research, for instance, suggests that more immigrants have returned to Mexico since the end of the Great Recession in 2009 than have migrated to the U.S. The vast majority of immigrants arriving in the U.S. illegally now come from Central America.
If, as Trump himself has said, a prosperous Mexico is good for the United States, a reworked trade deal that hurts the Mexican economy could also put more pressure on Mexicans to try to enter the U.S. illegally.
A Chicago Tribune article states; Mexico’s economy is showing signs of stress from Trump’s win. The Mexican peso has lost nearly 10 percent of its value, and a new report by Mexico’s second-largest bank predicts the country will enter a recession if Trump follows through on his threats to scrap NAFTA, which would scare away foreign investment.
That wasn’t what the Trump told us when he threatened President Enrique Peña Nieto. Another option he stated is to charge a 25-35% tariff on Mexico and use that money to build his “great, great wall”. Then when Mexico puts a 25% tariff we will be in a trade war. The end result would mean that since businesses can’t sell their products they would have to lay people off. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 6 million U.S. jobs depend on US trade with Mexico. We could actually end up in a depression. This is not how Trump told us it would work.
PRINCE SKI’S SOLUTION
I grew up in the Salinas Valley. For those of you not familiar with this area, it is located near Monterey California about 100 miles south of San Francisco. The rich black soil found in the Salinas Valley has given it the title Salad Bowl of America. Here you will find lettuce, celery, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli and basically most of your vegetables. Next door you have Castroville the Artichoke Capital of the World. Of course included nearby are all the berries, raspberry, strawberry, and blackberry, and so on.
The job to prepare the soil through the packing and shipping the fruits and vegetables is an immense project that requires a large labor force. This has not changed today from when I grew up in the 60s. I can guarantee there are illegals working there today because of availability but also because the work is so high and the pay so low. Naturally we have to have low labor cost to avoid cost increase at our supermarkets, we can’t have that now can we?
We had illegals when I was growing up but we also had a Braceros program. The following quote is from the Rural Migration News:
Between 1942 and 1964, there were 4.6 million Braceros admitted legally and 4.9 million Mexicans apprehended in the United States (both numbers double count individuals who entered the US as a Bracero several times or were apprehended multiple times).
Breaking down these figures, there was on average of 245,000 illegals apprehended per year far less than today. If the Braceros program had increased the allotted number of work visas, the number of illegals would have been evens less. Of those 245,000 illegals most were repeat offenders. They could have crossed and went back to work two, ten or twenty times or more each year. Point being, each time they did cross, they always found work and employers needed them because they had work that needed to be done and nobody willing to do the work except the braceros and illegals. Granted there were some employers looking to pay cheap wages that they didn’t have to declare but for the most part it was farmers who couldn’t pay more without the price of our household food budget getting higher.
If, during the Braceros program of the 60’s, the government increased their allotment of work visas the number of illegals each year would have dropped drastically and farmers wouldn’t have been forced to hire illegals. The main rule each employer had to follow was if an American wanted a job, they had to hire them. I worked in the fields during my summer vacations during my high school days. I had to meet the boss before sunrise and load onto the bus with the Braceros and illegals and ride out to the fields. We would work until nearly sundown. The work was very hard. Gringos wouldn’t work for minimum wages and do work that was so physically demanding. I didn’t really mind the work and the money was great, especially when we met and exceeded quotas on boxcars and got a bonus. I could start and quit any time and best of all I really got in shape for football.
I propose a 2 prong approach. First create a pool of workers. Vet them as much I.C.E. feels is needed. Let’s call these workers Braceros like we used to. Each Bracero would receive a work visa along with a Social Security Card. The Braceros would stay & live barrack style in holding. Room and board would be deducted from future payroll. Employers needing full time employees for farm work, construction jobs or house duties would order as many needed for as long as needed and provide transportation to and from the jobsite. Employers needing Braceros for multiple days will provide room and board to be payroll deducted. If any citizen wishes a job they will have first option. Second prong is to subsidize the employer’s payroll. Example, minimum wage in California is $15 per hour more than other states but higher than most so a higher scale can be established for this example. Each week the employer turns a copy of his payroll listing the Braceros’ name and SS number. The government then refunds the employer $7.50 per hour or ½ the minimum wage paid. If the employer hires and illegal whose name and SS number does not match with a name from the pool he will not be subsidized. The advantage here would be the employer would not be encouraged to hire illegals. Of course there are employers who would hire illegals so they could cheat them out of their money but a program like this may even entice them to join since it would be more profitable and a lot less risky for them. This might sound outrageously expensive but consider, the following; 50% of the estimated 720,000 illegals each year (because the other 50% are repeat customers) or 360,000 working 40 hours per week at a $7.50 per hour subsidy totals $10.8 million per week and $5.616 billion per year. This is a far cry less than the $76 billion for the wall. In addition our border patrol can spend more time in securing our border from drugs. Our government will have more revenue from taxes paid by the braceros. Jails would have fewer inmates. If consumers paid $.01 per pound tax on produce and fruit, the government would recoup $366,735 used to subsidize the program.
We subsidize countries all over the world. In 2013 we paid Mexico $51,500,000 a drop in the bucket compared to what we pay other countries. Of that amount 48% was for democracy, human rights and governance, 21% was for the environment, and 16% for economic development (I rounded out each of these percentages so exact % was not given).
According to the Los Angeles Times,
Baja California farmworker leaders and the Mexican government reached a tentative agreement Thursday that would boost wages and guarantee government-required benefits to thousands of laborers, in an apparent breakthrough aimed at ending the nearly two-month-long labor dispute.
In an unprecedented move, Mexico’s federal government agreed to pay part of the workers’ wages in order to meet their demands for a minimum daily wage of 200 pesos, or about $13.
“This is an agreement that will help us construct an orderly, peaceful, respectful and responsible way to provide a better quality of life for those workers who live in the valley of San Quintin,” Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega de Lamadrid said after 18 hours of tense negotiations in Ensenada.
If we, the U.S., were to add to the money we give to Mexico by about say $1 billion to be earmarked for programs such as the one described above along with educational programs to help raise the standard of living for the Mexicans why would we need the wall?
All in all I believe either option could be the answer to the alternative of a $76 billion wall. Then all we would need is a debate on which would be best.
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