Thinking about “the wall”

Nancy Pelosi is playing a dangerous game.  Let’s look at the facts.

When Donald Trump was still a candidate for the US Presidency, one of his cornerstone promises was to “build the wall.”  He was running against Hillary Clinton, who’s popularity among Democrats was so high it was almost sacrosanct.  Even Bernie Sanders couldn’t beat her.  But she lost the general election to Donald Trump.  Those facts are not disputed.

But, now, Nancy Pelosi had decided to make the obstruction of “the wall” a pillar of her service as the reinstated Speaker of the House of Representatives.  She needs to realize that she runs the risk of so strongly galvanizing Trump’s support base that she will guarantee his re-election in 2020.  I don’t say this to attempt to change her mind (because I harbor no delusions that my word has so much weight) but because I want to be fully understood when I say the following.

While I believe that Pelosi is delusional in thinking that blocking the wall will help the Democratic Party, I do not believe that she is wrong about why she is blocking it.  Building the wall will not do anything to prevent illegal immigration.

Why do I say that?  It is VERY simple.  Even if the wall is built, it will do nothing about any of the reasons WHY people choose to illegally enter the United States.

There are 3 main reasons why someone would illegally enter the US. In no specific order, they enter the US for jobs, citizenship, or entitlements.

As it stands now, an immigrant who illegally enters the US for a job can make a better living working the same job as a US citizen, while taking only half the wages the citizen needs to earn.  An illegal immigrant pays no taxes, gets free health care, and (as I have witnessed myself) they will often live with 3-5 families in one home, while avoiding getting a driver’s license, car insurance, or other things US Citizens need to survive.  That does NOT stop them from driving cars on our streets, or using our health care system – they just don’t pay for any of it.  We pick up the difference by paying more for our insurance, licenses, and basic needs.

Citizenship – another reason that someone would illegally enter the US is if a woman is pregnant and wants her child to be a US citizen.  The whole world knows that the US is one of the few remaining sovereign nations that grants unrestricted Birthright Citizenship.  While it was once fairly common among developed nations, it is now seen as anachronistic, a throwback to a time that is no longer relevant.  Most G-8 countries do not use this system anymore.  The US does, which is why more people than ever are turning to the US, looking to fulfill their dreams for their children’s future successes.  There is only one way to do anything about this – end the practice.  We only need a minor change to make a major difference.  Just require that all future Birthright Citizens have at least one parent who is already a US Citizen, and this will no longer be a draw for illegal immigration.

Entitlements – free welfare, medical care, and even government subsidized smart phones go a long way to encourage people to believe that they can live a better life in the US than they could in their own home country.  As the law is currently written, no hospital can legally refuse to treat any patient purely on the grounds that they can’t afford to pay for emergency care. Plus, any married man working an “under the table” job, which is illegal,  has a wife who qualifies to apply for welfare benefits on the grounds that her family has no income.  The welfare agencies are not only not required to verify citizenship status, they are actively PREVENTED from doing so by Federal mandates.  Once again, the fix for this is simple.  Start requiring ALL welfare agencies to verify LEGAL US residency, every 6 months, and this will no longer support those who are here only to take advantage of our generosity and altruism.

Best of all – those are all changes that cost almost nothing.  We don’t need a $50 Billion dollar wall to stop illegal immigration.  We just need to end the reasons why citizens of other countries would want to enter our country illegally.  Leave the current LEGAL entry system alone – people who are willing to follow our rules to legally enter the US should always be welcome.

And, let’s not forget, Donald Trump is a businessman.  He’s intimately familiar with “the Art Of the Deal” – he even had a book written in his name on that very subject.  So, if Pelosi were to go back to the negotiation table with Donald, and offer full support for ALL 3 of these suggestions, we might see an immediate end to the debate about the wall AND our illegal immigration problem.

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Saturday Posts . . .

I’ve seen this attributed to several different sources.  My wife first told me about it as something that one of her professors in college had on his office door.

Here is the way it works.  If you want something of quality (good) then you can either get it fast, or cheap.  If you want it cheap, it takes longer.  If you want it fast, it will cost more.  Something that is cheap and fast can’t ever be quality.  It’s that simple.

In practical application – let’s use an example I’m very familiar with – leather crafting.  I can’t begin to adequately express my frustration when I hear someone say things like, “I’d rather pay $5 for a wallet right now, even if I know I’ll have to buy another one in a month.”  That’s going to cost them $60/year just for wallets.

But someone who is good at crafting leather goods can make a wallet in a few days that will last for 20 to 30 years.  If he charges a fair price for the materials and his time, that wallet will cost you about $150.    If you want a wallet fast and cheap, it will not last.

Or, to hit closer to home, people often say they can’t afford to eat healthy food.  So they’ll spend $5 per person for a meal at a fast-food place instead of cooking from scratch with healthy ingredients.  But, then they will have to follow that up with expensive health care – doctor visits, pharmaceutical prescriptions, perhaps even obesity and heart disease.  By the time you reach retirement age, you’re looking at spending 1/3rd of your income on health care, and if there is a crisis, one trip to the hospital can cost more than $10,000 AFTER your insurance has paid it’s share.  How expensive are those fast-food meals now?