Trump’s Wall and the Neoliberalist Agenda: A Brief Analysis
Although Candidate Trump’s adamant insistence of “building the wall” was discussed numerously, right from the outset of announcing his presidential candidacy, the executive order that the now President Trump has just signed, albeit not entirely legally applicable from the perspective of some, has caused more controversy in that now-way-too-familiar unique Trump confrontational stance.
Although the cost of this wall is rather minuscule when it comes to other federal projects, it is estimated to run anywhere between $8 to $25 billion. Some have argued for the $12 to $15 billion figure. Having researched and written on Washington’s culture of waste and excess in squandering taxpayers’ hard earned money, and regardless of Mr. Trump’s now familiar slogan to “drain the swamp”, this wall will definitely cost the American taxpayers upwards of $25 billion, because that’s just how things are done when it comes to federal government spending. Need I remind you of the $800 hammer or the $1,000 toilette seat?! Corruption is rampant. Corruption is everywhere.
But let us get back to the topic. Here are some raw facts about the wall:
The wall will stretch around 1,000 to 1,300 miles (due to natural barriers) which is half the distance of the US-Mexico border. It will extend through the four southwest states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and of course my own home state of California. It is also said that it will be 35-40 feet tall which is astonishing. Naturally, Former Mexican Presidents Vincente Fox and Felipe Calderon have openly expressed their hate towards this idea and at times used rather colorful language to express their contempt, especially Mr. Fox.
But what we need to keep in mind, not just with this executive order, but the ones to follow, as well as the entire Trump presidency in the next four years, is of course Mr. Trump’s signature style pushover showmanship. For starters, President Trump is already switching his rhetoric. His famous rants about how “We are gonna build it but Mexico is going to pay for it” has now been suddenly switched to, “At first, the American taxpayers are going to pay for it, and then Mexico is going to reimburse us.” This, of course, is pure lunacy – Mr. Trump’s typical way of addressing what would otherwise be a legitimate national concern when it comes to our unenforced (or loosely enforced) border policy with Mexico.
To make the diplomatic crisis worst, in response to President Trump’s inarticulate, uneducated, amateur, and simpleton way of providing “solutions” to systematic problems, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto just canceled his planned state visit to Washington, which was supposed to take place on January 31st. This was of course not a big surprise.
But to be fair and balanced, we need to address the fact that there is a lot of organized crime, narco-terrorism to be exact, that is making its way up north not just from Mexico, but also from countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, and Costa Rica – all of which also serve as a conduit for drug smugglers from South America – Columbia to be exact. This is a serious socio-economic and now political problem that has been plaguing not just the United States, but all the Central American countries listed above who are the first victims of brutal narco-terrorism.
Again, in my home state of California, the biggest and the most dangerous organized gang that operates within (and without) our prison industrial complex as well as in El Salvador itself is a gang called “MS13”, aka, “Mara Salvatrucha 13”. This is one of the most violently dangerous gangs not just in California but across the United States with methods reminiscent of ISIS and Al-Qaida savagery.
In California where we have a state of the art Department of Corrections, or better put, a prison industrial complex system, we spend approximately $41,000 per inmate per year. It is an absolute fact that a lot of these incarcerated criminals are undocumented immigrants which we keep deporting but they somehow find their way back because of our loosely defined immigration policy – a rational component of Trump’s wall.
Furthermore, it is very hypocritical of Mexico to expect a liberal immigration policy from the US while their own southern borders with Guatemala and Belize are two of the strictest borders in the world! However, when it comes to our border, suddenly the neoliberal globalists’ agenda takes the upper in this border control national and now international discussion. Well, those days are literally coming to an abrupt end – and perhaps for the better!
I personally believe in the old anecdote that walls or fences (albeit a euphemism) make good neighbors. This has been historically proven. It is a fact.
Another reason why we should have a much stricter border control policy is because of narco-terrorism, as I stated earlier. This imported/ exported plague has been traumatically affecting Arizona and New Mexico. Luckily, this problem hasn’t been too wide spread in California and Texas since these are the two most powerful and resourceful states in the union in every which way. But poorer states such as New Mexico and especially Arizona have been deeply affected to the point that extreme militia groups, even White Supremacists and various Neo-Nazi groups are assisting with the border control. These extremist groups set aside, this is another sane reason why we should be more realistic, verses idealistic, about this proposed wall.
On the other hand, all four border states rely heavily on the current “free trade” neoliberal globalization border policy arrangement with Mexico. The entire NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) is on the table now. Radical changes will be made under President Trump – for better or worst. Only time can determine their merit. But if this wall ever materializes, there will be a heavy economic price to be paid (at least in the beginning) when it comes to cross border business. The economies of Texas and California are heavily reliant on the Mexican trade. This is a very convoluted and multi-dimensional issue with many different angles to it that need to be carefully considered before rash decisions are to be made.
I strongly believe, based on solid academic evidence, that this is just the beginning of a much bigger and newer global trend that we are currently witnessing not just in America, but all across Europe as well. The European refugee crisis has exasperated this issue and has added a different layer of challenges to the mix. What’s certain is the fact that the now rapidly collapsing so-called “New World Order”, i.e. borderless neoliberal globalist policies are self-imploding through the coming into power of the Right all across the West: be it the US, the UK, France, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and even quite possibly in Germany. The Trump phenomenon is just one piece of this complex new puzzle.
There is no doubt that we need to systematically reform this aforementioned neoliberal globalist agenda and perhaps go back to the pure nation-state sovereignty model. Of course, globalization and free trade will always be with us, as they always have been in throughout the millennia of human experience. We just have a whole lot of twiking to do in the next several years and possibly decades. This is a Herculean endeavor that requires consensus and cooperation instead of conflict and confrontation which has been the modus operandi. Mutual respect for national sovereignty is the key phrase here. That has been missing in the neoliberal agenda and voters all across the West are clearly signaling their profound discontent. Rational minds should not ignore these voices. That is my counsel.