Border fence

English: The start of the border fence between...

English: The start of the border fence between the United States and Mexico near Sunland Park, New Mexico, U.S.A. and Rancho Anapra, Chihuahua, Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ostensible reason for a secure border fence between the US and Mexico is to keep the undocumented out. A secondary reason is to put more profits in the pockets of the defense contractors who will build the fence. A third reason, that no one is talking about, may be the most important reason of all, to prevent Americans from seeing how similar the two countries are now and are becoming. Both countries are ruled by a small group of oligarchs (the very wealthy) who hire corrupt politicians to run the government on a day-to-day basis. Economic opportunities in both countries are decreasing for the vast majority. The principal difference between the US and Mexico is that english is spoken north of the border and spanish south of the border. Even that difference is decreasing.

 

Advertisements

Southwestern Homelands

Noam Chomsky.

Noam Chomsky. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Southwestern Homelands by William Kittredge is part of the National Geographic Directions series. This is part of what he has to say about the border between the US and Mexico.

“Our answer to the ‘problem’ of illegal immigrants, like our answer to that other problem driven by desire, our exploding use of drugs, is a ‘war.’ The battle against illegal immigrants, just like the war on drugs, is against a tide that’s not likely to subside in the foreseeable future. It’s obviously an ongoing, expensive failure–militaristic, inhumane, and foolish.”

“Conditions along the border are already out of control. I’ve been studying horrific pictures taken by street photographers and collected in Juárez: The Laboratory of our Future, with text by Charles Bowden, an introduction by Noam Chomsky, and an afterword Eduardo Galeano (whose three-volume Memories of Fire is the most necessary text for anyone interested in the underside of history in the Americas).’The precarious equilibrium of the world,’ Galeano writes, ‘which teeters on the brink of the abyss, depends on the perpetuation of injustice. The misery of the many makes possible the extravagance of the few.'”

Please see Justice

Energy independence

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the V...

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the Values Voters conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mitt Romney and the GOP have a plan for energy independence in North America. I wonder if they bothered to consult Canada and Mexico? The Romney/GOP plan includes more drilling for oil, fracking for natural gas, more coal mining, wind, solar and nuclear power. The heart of their plan, which they don’t mention, is the conversion of our cars and trucks to burn gasoline and diesel fuel refined from snake oil.

Wealth tax

English: Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helú....

English: Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helú. Deutsch: Mexikanischer Unternehmer Carlos Slim Helú, u.a. Präsident von Grupo Carso. Español: El empresario mexicano Carlos Slim Helú. Português: O empresário mexicano Carlos Slim Helú, presidente do Grupo Carso, chega ao Palácio do Planalto para reunião com o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The UN has proposed a wealth tax of 1% on the world’s billionaires to help poor nations. I think that it is a good idea, but I have a better idea. Some European nations already impose a wealth tax of a fraction of 1%. I would impose a wealth tax on the wealthy, not just billionaires, in every nation of the world. If a first world nation generated more revenue than it needed, it could increase its foreign aid to third world nations that need help.

For example, Mexico‘s Carlos Slim Helu is the world’s richest man. If Mexico would tax its wealthy fairly and then impose an added wealth tax, it could improve the lives of Mexico’s poor to such an extent, that the flow of undocumented workers to the US might slow or cease. In that case US employers would be forced to automate many low wage jobs in the US or pay US workers a better wage to do those jobs. Both US citizens and citizens of Mexico would benefit.

 

War on drugs

Cover of "Joe's Law: America's Toughest S...

Cover via Amazon

We have lost the war on drugs and it is time to try another approach. In his book Joe’s Law, Sheriff Joe Arpaio talked about his thirty year career in the DEA and preceding government agencies. He estimated that at the beginning and the end of his career, the government was successful in stopping only 10% of the illicit drugs coming into the US. That is 30 years of effort and 90% of illicit drugs still manage to enter the US market. And what have been the results? Crime and violence in the US and crowded, privatized prisons. Drug wars and 10s of thousands of deaths on our southern border.

Prohibition of alcohol until it was repealed led to the formation of organized crime syndicates in our major cities and the political corruption they brought with them. I don’t advocate the legalization of all drugs, but I do think that at least the weaker drugs, like marijuana, should be legalized. Rather than spending our resources on combatting the use of marijuana and putting people in prisons, we should be spending the money on education.

Please see Joe’s Law | Arizona