Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Trump's Wall

The various talking heads of the entertainment side of the media have had a lot of fun with Trump. He's arguably good for their business. He gives them lots of buzz to sell, and in so doing he gets his populist notions aired. Doubt it? Well think of Marco Rubio's approach to uncontrolled Mexican immigration - can you remember anything? Nope? That's because Rubio couldn't get the time of day from the media, and now he is gone.

Trump's wall is a polarizing idea. Why? Because it will work. And that defines the ideological split in America on the subject of immigration. I know there are entertainment talking heads who deride the idea as fundamentally unworkable, but these are not very bright people - they just work for laughs. The Wall most certainly will work.

There are those in America who believe borders are meaningless - we are all "citizens of the world" - to misquote Barack Obama. Conversely there are those who believe America is a sovereign nation, American citizenship should convey special privileges, American citizens should be economically protected, and America should be selective on who we allow in. In my view, this defines the tension in the immigration debate in general.

Much of the wave of popularity Trump is riding is generated by the rising anger of Americans who feel betrayed by the Beltway. President Obama has long since lost his sizzle to thinking people, he no longer commands the bully pulpit. Can you think of Obama's solution to uncontrolled Mexican immigration? Did positive thoughts come to mind?

America has absorbed 12 million unskilled, uneducated, from Latin America - probably the largest foreign aid program ever run under a different name. Made sense to prop up failing Latin American States back in the Reagan years when the Soviet Union was creating proxy states. Doesn't make sense now.

The entry-level job market has been hammered by a gross over-supply of labor. Wages have stagnated for years, causing some jurisdictions to pursue a silly course of mandating "living" minimum wages.

So if you are in ideological agreement with President Obama, the Wall scares you. If you disagree with the President, the Wall is one real solution that doesn't require an act of Congress.

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