|Trump Hotel in Las Vegas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
As I indicated in my previous post, today's post will present my reasoning why Donald Trump's idea of the border wall between Mexico and the United States not only could be highly effective, but also could potentially be a very good idea that would be embraced by the governments and citizens of both countries. Before you shut me out on this, keep in mind that this post is nothing to do with Trump the man and candidate, but is simply my argument why the border wall might be better than many people think. To my knowledge none of what follows here is what Donald Trump has said, but this is my speculative vision on the possibilities of a wall as I imagine it.
The Concept of the Wall
The border wall is one of the pivotal points of appeal for many regarding the campaign of Donald Trump. When I first heard him announce the idea I laughed. Many called the idea totally absurd and impractical while millions of Americans fed up with illegal immigration embraced the idea of a border wall that would stem the flow of Mexicans and others coming through Mexico to make their way to benefit from whatever the United States had to offer them without going through normal legal channels. Then the more Mr. Trump touted the wall and the subject became the main point of conversation in media and among the other candidates, the more I began to think about how this would all work.
The rhetoric has been entertaining: "We're going to build a wall. It's going to be beautiful. It's going to have a big beautiful door where people can come in legally. You're going to love it." Okay. "And Mexico's going to pay for it." Huh? How does that work?
|Great Wall of China near Jinshanling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Why Would Mexico Want to Pay for the Wall?
The Mexican government would undoubtedly be resistant to paying outright for a wall. Convincing them to do it would require a powerful presentation that would have to demonstrate the benefit of doing so. There are many potential ways of making Mexico pay for the wall through what could be considered punitive measures. Trump has already suggested some potential ways of getting the money for the wall. We could impose taxes on remittances on money from the states going into Mexico, tariffs on goods coming from Mexico, turning trade imbalances to our favor, and other means. Other possibilities might entail charging additional fees to those coming to the states or taking away foreign aid that the U.S. gives to Mexico. A combination of measures such as these would likely over a few years provide the funds needed to build this pipe dream of a wall.
But what if the United States could convince Mexico that building the wall would work greatly to their advantage in the end? If the wall concept were marketed in such a way that the Mexican government could understand that such a wall would provide a huge economic stimulus that could result in massive regional development on both sides of the border then they might be persuaded to take the idea far more seriously. Creating a powerful partnership between our two nations could lead to an unprecedented agreement that would create a dramatic impetus to both economies. They would have to be convinced and we would have to be willing to work with Mexico in every possible way to assist them in cleaning up corruption and the drug cartels. It could all come to fruition if the vision were made real enough. Again I say it would come down to some effective marketing and persuasion. Dedication to the ideals of the mission and a sincere effort to cooperate would be paramount to the success of this venture.
The "beautiful wall" would need to be attractive in appearance as well as contain surveillance technology that would suit our modern times. We would not want an ugly metal or concrete apparatus such as some of you might have seen in places such as El Paso or San Diego. After all we shouldn't want to create the image of a prison wall or a DMZ zone between warring countries. This is not a wall to attempt to stop heavily armed militaristic invading forces, but a deterrent intended to keep people from entering the country by means that evade legal procedure. A properly constructed wall could virtually stop all or most flow of drugs or other contraband into the country.
When I envision the wall when Trump talks about it I think of one of the Trump properties--a modern thing aesthetically designed fulfilling its purpose in a practical manner. The wall would be expensive, but all things considered it would have great viability in the present as well as the long range future.
A dynamic project such as this would create a surge in job creation not only for the construction trades, but for all businesses in the locales where the wall was being built. Part of our deal should include Mexican workers as well as labor from the U.S. side It might be safe to say there would be an economic boom in the job market as well as nearly all aspects of the economy in the border cities and even having a farther reach beyond those cities most directly affected.
Cleaning up the cities on the Mexican side to make them safer and with sounder infrastructure would encourage an infusion of investment from private sources. These cities are far larger than their counterparts on the U.S. side and have a great potential to become destination spots for tourism and convention trade. As these cities become more attractive, the cities on the U.S. side would likely experience similar growth.
The bottom line is that large projects require sizable investment, but if approached in the proper manner the pay off can be enormous. Through the tandem effort of the United States and Mexico we can turn the border region into an economic behemoth. Remember--it takes money to make money. If the border is managed well we can sustain that economy for decades to come. There is no reason that Mexico should not assist in these efforts as they can experience great benefit in doing so.
|Map showing the border region (U.S. Dept of Health & Human Svcs)|
As money pours into these regions we should see vast improvements in the infrastructure on both sides of the border. Airports would need to be expanded or improved in order to accommodate increased numbers of travelers to the region. With a safer Mexico that would likely result in more ground traffic there would be more improvements to the highway systems. Development would not be confined only to the border, but likely extend to far greater distances. Greater prosperity would lead to more tax revenue which then can be diverted into projects that benefit the citizenry (and hopefully not line the pockets of corrupt opportunists). Investments would be encouraged which would lead to new businesses and expansion of existing businesses.
We might also look at this another way. The wall concept has become famous throughout the world. If the wall is built and it is indeed beautiful--a sight to behold--then the wall could become a draw like other famous landmarks throughout the world. An impressive modern highly technological feat of ingenious engineering might become our Tomorrowland version of The Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, or the Roman Colosseum. This factor alone would create development in the border region that could impact the U.S. and Mexico in significant ways.
A wall covering every inch of the border does not make sense as in some areas it would be impractical and not economically feasible. Since I'm not specifically familiar with all of the terrain involved, but do have some general knowledge that there are mountainous regions, I realize a wall crossing the entire border should not be done. In some areas such as the Big Bend National Park area in Texas--an area with dramatically beautiful scenery as well as ecological considerations--building a wall would be a travesty. There is other technology and methodology that can be used in any of these cases. For the most part though, especially in the areas where there are the highest numbers of border incursions, the wall would not be much different than constructing a highway or a large building.
Experts have most likely looked at this issue from many aspects and what has not yet been determined would have to be figured out. It can be done and it can be done well.
A Possible Dream?
Okay, perhaps I've gone overboard with my imagination. Or have I? My mind becomes fired up when I start thinking about this, but this is the way I operate when something of this nature fuels my thinking. I'm a dreamer--perhaps even a visionary. But please don't say this is something that can't be done without telling me exactly why. If you believe that the wall is just a foolish pipe dream and none of what I've described here is possible in your mind then tell me what I'm missing.
This post has already gone longer than I like my posts to go so I'm going to stop here for now to allow my ideas to settle in your minds. I do have one more point to make about this big wall idea as I have imagined it, but that is going to wait until Friday when I will present a more idealistic aspect of this vision.
And if you are convinced that I am off base and this idea can never work, I have a special message for you. But you will have to wait for that next post to hear my message to the doubters.
Do you think I might be onto something or am I spouting off silly thinking? Please tell me one way or another why you think the way you do about this. Is there anything that you think I've missed regarding the positive benefits of the border wall as I've explained it? Is there a fallacy in my thinking that knocks down this fantasy wall?