White nationalists salivate over the prospect of a Trump win. They believe that he will deal with the ‘problem’ of immigration. He will rid the country of raping Mexicans and peace will descend across white America. I don’t know what happens to non-white American citizens in this fantasy. Not that it matters – the wall is a unicorn. And Trump’s plan a mirage. Let’s have a look

He promises mass deportations – but how? A deportation force going door to door? Checkpoints? Sweeps of workplaces? Rewards to citizens for tattling? Any way you slice it, the civil liberties of American citizens will take a beating.

There are 11.4 million undocumented aliens – a number equal to the populations of Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming added together – plus another 700,000 people.

How do you identify undocumented aliens? You can’t just round up brown skins. Five-five million Americans are Hispanics. Free to be left alone and constitutionally protected.

No matter what the nature Trump’s plan, he will still have to hire 1,000s of enforcement personal. Let’s do some math. If his plan is a two-year project, it would require the removal of 15,600 people every day. That requires not just new foot soldiers for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but also new supervisors, vehicles, administrative facilities, weapons, holding facilities – even office supplies. And that’s not the end.

It would also require new judges, courts, and jails. Add to that plane tickets and other transportation.

Then what would we do with undocumented parents of American kids? Are we really the country that breaks up families? And what about people who fled from Guatemala and other high crime, high murder countries? Are Americans comfortable – would it fit in with their morality – to put people in harm’s way?

And this daily count assumes that no new undocumented were entering the country. Which brings us to Trump’s wall.

We must dispense with the nonsense that Mexico will pay for it. Trump’s reasoning is this: People in America wire $24 billion to Mexico every year. Trump says he will stop those transfers unless Mexico makes a one-time payment of $5-10 billion. However, no one knows how much of this money is sent by citizens, who are entitled to do with their money as they wish.

Should the undocumented be barred from making direct transfers, they would simply find a different way . They could use citizens as agents. Or wire it to Canada first. Or physically mail the cash to Mexico. And that’s just for starters.

Plan B is raising fees on visas – which will just decrease Mexican tourism with a concomitant decline in tourist spending.

Plan C is using America’s $50 billion annual trade with Mexico deficit to finance the project. But trade is primarily conducted by the private sector. If Trump buys suits from a manufacturer in Mexico, he pays the manufacturer – not the Mexican government. Of course, if President Trump repealed NAFTA then America would be free to charge tariffs on Mexican goods. However, consumer prices would rise. The Mexican economy would decline. And more Mexicans would come to the US. An expensive and counter-productive measure.

Even Trump himself is watering down his wall demands. Now he is saying we will build and pay for it first. And then send Mexico a bill. Which Mexico will treat with the same contempt Trump treated his sub-contractors’ bills.

As Americans would get stuck with paying for the wall, we have to ask what a border wall would cost. Trump’s estimate is $5-10 billion. Experts say that is wildly optimistic – $25 billion seems more realistic. Even that doesn’t include land acquisitions, maintenance, or staffing.

Just making the concrete slabs would require the construction of hundreds of concrete plants. In turn imagine the roads needed.

And when the wall is up and running, does anyone think it is going to work? History shows that when there is a demand for something entrepreneurs find a way to supply it. Even prisoners in supermax prisons can get their hands on contraband. Smugglers will dig tunnels. Bribe guards. And hack electronic surveillance.

As with every government boondoggle, there will be winners – corporate America will make a fortune. And losers – the taxpayers will take a beating. Politicians will spend other people’s money, but the people will re-elect them regardless.

So let’s raise a glass and make a toast: “To dumb ideas.”


Who would build Trump’s fantasy wall?



Whites Won’t Go Gentle into that Good Night.

June 1, 2016

“Whites saying “make America white again” is like millionaires saying “make the wealthy rich again.” ― DaShanne Stokes The standout feature of Election 2016 is the blatant racism. The last hurrah of white nationalism. Eight years of a black President has set hair on fire, boiled blood, spit-flecked lips, and purpled faces. And in their hearts […]

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Mr. Trump Proposes His Dream Wall.

April 6, 2016

“The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.” ― H.L. Mencken On the first day of his campaign, Donald Trump – self-described non-politician – promised to build a border wall and get Mexico to pay for it. It has become a mantra. His fans […]

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Really? – 8.18.15 Deportation follies; the EPA pollutes a river; Trump unintentionally encourages more immigration.

August 18, 2015

The GOP’s deportation fantasy. On immigration, the Republicans play a duplicitous game. On the one hand, extravagant promises of mass deportations and shiny new border walls – now paid for by Mexico – rile the base straight to the ballot box. On the other hand, business conservatives – from the US Chamber of Commerce on […]

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The Lesson of the GOP Base’s Embrace of Donald Trump.

July 17, 2015

“Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious” ― Oscar Wilde The most unsettling thing about Donald Trump is not Donald Trump. The man may be a world class mouth – spouting racist paranoia or cynically trumpeting an issue he calculates will resonate with the base. And he has tapped a wellspring of deep fear and […]

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Donald Trump: The Dark Side of Bombast.

June 20, 2015

“Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate” – Bertrand Russell There was a time in the 1980s when Donald Trump epitomized the big talking, swagger of the New York […]

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The Immigration Paradox

June 1, 2015

“There is always danger for those who are afraid” ― George Bernard Shaw. Conservatives hate illegal immigrants. Buisness loves illegal immigrants. Conservatives love business. How can this be? The answer is that big business conservatives pay lip-service to hating illegal immigrants. It’s nothing but expediency. Let’s unpack it. What do big business conservatives and the […]

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For Bigotry to Flourish, Its Victims Must Be Stripped of their Humanity

May 16, 2015

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Harper Lee – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Racism, xenophobia, and other bigotry are easy when you do not see people as individuals – but only as part of a […]

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Really? – 5.7.15 – Taxes, Trump, Canadian Conservatives Canned, Gays 1 Evangelicals 0, Phyllis’s Phillipics.

May 7, 2015

“The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through […]

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