A BETTER WAY TO SPEND $25 BILLION THAN ON A WALL

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So how does one deal with a problem like the present neverending stream of undocumented aliens and their children flocking to and illegally crossing our borders? What doesn't seem to be understood or addressed by our leadership at both the state and federal levels is that this and other problems like it will not be dealt with today until our leadership presents today's problems in their true historic and economic contexts, where all relevant facts are considered. Hopefully, this will be a process which no longer ignores past actions and decisions made by the United States, that remain directly responsible for the present situation we now find ourselves in.

Going back to the beginning of the 20th century, again and again the United States went around the Carribean and other countries in Latin America with the U.S. marines implementing a United States foreign policy of coercion that created weak undemocratic puppet governments in these countries, where an economic mercantilism balance of power was established in the exclusive favoring of a rapidly industrializing U.S., while relegating these purposefully stunted and underdeveloped countries to a poor country subsistance status in their sole role as suppliers of a raw material or one product for the sole benefit of the U.S., which gave them the aptly titled description of banana republics.

The present anarchy and lack of hope that has driven people in these countries to leave their homes or send their children unaccompanied to the U.S. border is a direct result of a U.S. economic and military hegemony that has precluded the normal development of Mexico and the rest of Central America, making them incapable of coming out from under the shadow of the U.S. This history is well documented by Oliver Stone in his Untold History of the U.S. that you can presently see on Netflix.

The gross disparity between North and South economic well being doesn't just exist in the Americas, but can also be found in Europe, where South-North migration has been a positive reality going back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. But in the U.S., Latino migrants, while immeasurably benefiting the American economy with their cheap labor, have not been allowed to integrate themselves into this country as immigrants from elsewhere have done in the countries they moved to.

The Bracero Program instituted in 1942 to help replenish the war-depleted ranks of the farm sector of our economy by allowing temporary workers from Mexico, did little to increase the economic well being of these workers. What it established was an underclass of workers willing to do jobs that Americans were no longer willing to do. It is worth mentioning that even when this program was formally ended in 1964, borders were somehow temporarily left opened between the U.S. and Mexico to allow workers to come pick crops, since nobody else in this country was willing to do this work.

As if drug cartels and gangs that continued to terrorize the population of Mexico and Latin America weren't bad enough, then came NAFTA. At the beginning, Mexican culture and society was built and sustained around the cultivation of corn. But what does a Mexican compesino do when one Iowa farmer can produce far more corn at a cheaper price than tradition Mexican farms can? Where other than North to the U.S. can these displaced farmers go with no other options for work?

So now, the best Trump & Co. can think of is to build a $25 billion wall against the "barbarians" in much the same way China tried- and failed- in the past. Might I suggest a better alternative, based on this country's use of the Marshal Plan at the end of WWII. Instead of going into Germany and Japan seeking further retribution for the war, this country's smart leadership rebuilt the economic infrastructures of both countries to modern state-of-the-art standards, so that not so many years after the war both Germany and Japan had become dynamic and independent economic powerhouses that helped drive the post WWII years world economy into being probably the most prosperous for not only Germans and Japanese, but also for Americans, while offering the best response to the looming communist threat. Alas, the Marshal Plan was not instituted in England, which caused one Englishman to remark, "The worst thing that happened to England was that it won the war."

We have spend a trillion dollars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. And after 16 years of "policing" these countries, we are no closer to peace. The only folks who like this policy are the corporations getting rich fulfilling war materiel contracts. So now, we can spend $25 billion building a wall to keep people out of the U.S. or we can rather invest this money and more into finally building the modern infrastructure in Mexico and Central America that makes it possible for people to do well at home. Might they then offer a market for American goods and services that far exceeds the seed money necessary to get them finally on the right track? Gee, what a radical idea.

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