Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Border Wall: Fiasco in the Making

President Trump made many campaign promises. Today, he insists on keeping one of them. Behind the scenes there are six companies in competition to build the Border Wall.
There are many conflicts concerning the wall. Up front is drugs, to which the Border Patrol was suppose to stop. It has failed, but the wall could help. There are other off beat problems like migration of animals, Indian lands and of course, the question of immigration.
I have no protest against immigration except it should be tied to the economy. In good times we can add more and in tough times, limit the flow. However, there is the question and problem of jobs, particularly service jobs since our government does not protect workers in manufacturing. Illegals take those service jobs. They are considered low paying, but what is not considered is this: It keeps one in the labor force. It is honest labor and many of these jobs pay better than one realizes like lawn service, cooks and hospitality. They can lead to other jobs like in construction. You have to be in it to hear about it.
Big Problem
Today, the flow of Mexicans through the border is not illegal Mexicans, but people from Central American nations. Why is that, you ask?  
Because so many global companies have developed manufacturing plants in Mexico along with the loopholes of NAFTA, the Mexican economy has more opportunities than in the US. Mexicans are staying home with better paying jobs. So, in essence, the concept of the wall is probably 20 years too late. Nevertheless, President Trump is going ahead with his promise to build the wall. There were submissions by the hundreds and it has been narrowed down to the final group.
Then, there were 6... 
Last week the deadline to submit a prototype by each company ended. There was a subsidiary contract to the six to help cover costs with the guidelines. The final list is: W.G. Yates and Sons, Caddell, Elta North America, KWR Construction, Tefas Sterling, and Fisher Sands & Gravel Company.
The winning model must possess according to the US Customs and Border Patrol, the following:
* must be able to stop digging to enter.
* must be able to stop climbers to enter.
* must be strong enough to prevent penetration to enter.
* must be transparent so agents can see through it.
Dear reader, the more likes that is added the more the final cost. I heard there is one design that includes a solar application. I like this idea because it could generate revenues while helping our energy and environment and probably be the only positive associated with the wall. For example, there is a height mandate. At present, in locations where there is a wall, it rises from 8 to 10 feet. The six finalist have walls going from 18 to 30 feet. Then again, there is no time table for selection of the winner and it must pass Congress to which is the
final obstacle
When the original idea surfaced, cost estimates ran from $100 million and up. Quickly, the cost zoomed to $1billion. Today, (are you sitting?) estimates begin at $20 billion. It seems the price for the wall keeps climbing like our national deficit. Maybe we should add another feature like the Great Wall of China. The ability to walk on it and make it a tourist trap. What do you think?