Saturday, August 6, 2016

How Would Donald Trump's Wall Get Built?

A woman stands on the Palestinian side of the Gaza Strip wall in Israel. Could the Donald build a similar wall between the US and Mexico?

UPDATE 11/9/16:  Wow.  Just wow.  Ya'all people are gonna be very, very sorry you did this.  Electing Donald Trump is possibly the dumbest thing that you have ever done.  

But that's okay.  Dumbness is what the human race is all about.  Here's the original post:

You can say what you like about Donald Trump.  He's crazy.  He's a pathological liar.  He's a danger to civilization.  He tells it like it is.  He's going to make America great again.  

Personally, I think the Donald is a shill hired by the Illuminati to drive up TV ratings and make sure that Hillary Clinton is elected President.  

So far, he's doing a bang up job of this.

But let's just assume, for the moment, that Trump is in fact doing what he pretends to be doing - namely, running for President of the United States.  I don't believe this for a minute, but a lot of people seem to.  Perhaps you're one of them.  

If so, what are we to make of Trump's signature policy initiative and the major promise of his campaign - that he is going to build a gigantic wall between here and Mexico?  And by the way, the Mexican government is going to pay for it?

Is such a thing even possible?

"It's this big."  Trump has told a few whoppers in his time.

The Donald and The Truth

As is well known to everyone but his supporters, the Donald has trouble telling the truth.  It's not clear if this is because he's actually lying, or because his grip on reality is so tenuous that he doesn't know what's real and what isn't.  

The fact-checking website keeps a running tally of Trump's statements.  Of 214 public statements made by Trump that they've analyzed so far, 150 have been found to be "Mostly False," "False," or "Liar Liar, Pants on Fire" False.  That's about 70%.

Yes, you read that right.  70%.  Of the things he said.  In public.  Are not true.  

As of this writing, he's been going on and on for several days about a $400 million payment from the United States to Iran, which he's been calling a ransom.  The Donald claimed to have seen a video of men off-loading the money in briefcases from an airplane.

The "ransom" he's been talking about was in fact $400 million owed by the United States to Iran since 1979.  After the recent mild warming in relations between the two countries, the US decided to pay the money back.  The payment was scheduled this past January, and happened in recent days.

Today, Trump admitted that the video he saw of men leaving a plane with briefcases was unrelated to the payment.  He was just watching the TV news and got confused - that's all.

See what I mean?  People get confused.  Maybe he's not a liar.  Could be he just gets confused.  A lot.  He's 70 years old, by the way.  Some people that age get very confused.  

But what about The Wall?

The Berlin Wall in 1986, as viewed from the West Berlin side.  On the East Berlin side, you can see the so-called "death strip," a wide open no man's land where East German border guards would shoot attempted escapees on sight.

How to Build Donald's Wall

Ah yes, the Wall.  

Full disclosure: I don't believe the wall he describes will ever happen.  Too many powerful people have too much at stake to allow anyone to build such a wall.  

Mexican immigrants (especially undocumented ones) are a vast pool of low-paid labor, who do dirty, strenuous and dangerous work, generally without complaint, and without the protections and benefits that many American workers still enjoy.  

You think the companies who employ them are going to allow Trump to keep them out?  If so, I invite you to sit down and have another think until your mind clears.  

But that doesn't mean the wall itself is impossible.  It is entirely feasible to build such a thing, and it has, in fact, been done before, with quite a bit of success.

This graphic illustrates the drop-off in undocumented immigration from Egypt to Israel after the Israelis built a wall between the two countries.  From an estimated 2,295 people in January 2012, to an estimated 10 people a year later.  The Israelis are famous wall-builders, and Israeli companies would likely be involved in any US-Mexico wall project. 

Here's a few things the wall has going for it:

- Although the border between Mexico and the US is nearly 2,000 miles long, natural obstacles between the two countries mean that an effective wall could actually be less than 1,000 miles long.

- As of May 2015, there is 650 miles of fencing along the border already built.

- According to Magal Security Systems, as Israeli company involved in building the walls along the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in many places "a wall" isn't even necessary.  A lot can be done with surveillance systems (video cameras, watch towers, radar and drones, for a few examples).  

- There are currently more than 17,000 American border guards, police and intelligence agents deployed along the border - advanced surveillance systems could simply alert these people of attempted intrusions.

- Trump estimates the wall would cost between $8 and $12 billion.  Other estimates range from a mere $5 billion to as much as $25 billion.  

This is pocket change for the United States.  For comparison purposes, the American military budget (not counting various "black budgets" which the public isn't allowed to see) is more than $600 billion.  Every single year.

You only have to build the wall once.  There are, of course, ongoing maintenance and staffing costs, but the staff mentioned above are paid from other budgets, and maintenance costs on a lot of ugly concrete and fencing is likely to be manageable.  

Open gates in a Peace Wall dividing Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods in West Belfast, Northern Ireland.

But Aren't the Mexicans Supposed to Pay for the Wall?

Indeed.  According to the Donald, not only is he going to build a wall to keep Mexicans out, he's going to make the Mexican government pay for it.

Now, how in the world does he plan to do that?

Simple.  He's going to use extortion.

Mexican immigrants already in the United States wire an estimated $24 billion a year to their families back home.  This is because the vast majority of Mexicans in the US are not rapists or freeloaders or "bad ones" or terrorists.  They are people who came here to work.

$24 billion is a lot of money being pumped into the Mexican economy.  Many Mexicans are very poor, and the Mexican government depends on this money as a sort of pressure-relief valve.  

The Donald has threatened to cut off the money flow by investigating the banks and other agencies involved in it, regulating the payments, and stopping any that are coming from undocumented workers.  

Again, this is something that could be done.  It won't be done, but it is do-able.  

Trump has promised not to do this, as long as the Mexican government makes a one-time payment of $10 billion to build the wall.  It's an ugly set-up, but the math is a no-brainer.  Lose $24 billion a year, or lose $10 billion once.  

For his part, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has said there is "No way" the Mexican government will pay for the wall.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite part: "Personally, I think the Donald is a shill hired by the Illuminati to drive up TV ratings and make sure that Hillary Clinton is elected President.
    "But let's just assume, for the moment, that Trump is in fact doing what he pretends to be doing - namely, running for President of the United States. I don't believe this for a minute, but a lot of people seem to."

    Yeah, I think Trump is a plant to keep us all distracted away from the REAL issues (the ones Bernie talked about). And, yes, the existing, evil, power structure just wants a corporate shill like Hillary to be their puppet. So it's a win-win-win for Trump (who increases his "brand" even when he'll be this election's "loo-sah"), Hillary and the power elite. And a YUGE loss for the bottom 95% (non-wealthy) Americans.

    Lastly, the fact that so many people are supporting Trump (or Hillary) just confirms what I've known for decades: most people are just plain fucking stupid, ignorant and/or misinformed.