To the delight of 25 states, the Supreme Court has ruled that President Obama’s executive action relative to undocumented aliens is illegal.
There are exultant cries of triumph and shouts of jubilation that we should send them all back.
“Secure the border,” they say,” keep them out.”
“Build the wall” is repeated across the nation.
The Intrinsic Weakness in the Wall
You may protest all you want but, this is undeniable, all people are inherently selfish and greedy.
We must struggle everyday against our natural instinct to step on the other guy, exploit him or do him in. A number of us succeed in that fight, and the book “Hola America” highlights some of them.
The two primary motivating factors in any institution,any organization,any government, any country, any entity public or private,any individual life are money and survival.
Who uttered the statement,”I must look out for number one?”
Have you ever heard, “I want the most bang for my buck?”
People will move in the direction, no matter what you say, think or feel,where they can earn a dollar and live another day.
Ask any immigrant, legal or otherwise , the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock,or the CEO contemplating moving operations from the Midwest to the Far East.
Hence companies, organizations , political parties which are supervised by these same self-centered people are exactly the same way.
The best you can hope for in this world is that the greed of the other guy coincides and intersects with your need at any given time.
And when it does not!
This is an article by Leo Gerard, President of the United Steel Workers, dated Feb 23, 2016 in Industry Week.
“In the week before Valentine’s day, United Technologies expressed its love for its devoted Indiana employees, whose labor had kept the corporation profitable, by informing 2100 of them at two facilities that it was shipping their factories, their communities’ resources to Mexico.”
Is it not ironic that just before the day we celebrate love and support for one another, a company with “united” in its name, pulls the rug out from under your feet and stabs you in the back?
Some employees wept, others cursed loudly upon hearing the distressing news.
Their ability to pay, at $20 per hour, middle class mortgages and purchase goods and services consistent with that level of income, had just disappeared across the border.
The company like so many others had been seduced by the $3 per hour salaries and benefits and could not resist.
So what about families, friends and loyal hardworking employees?
It had nothing to do with business.
The root premise of capitalism is, “unhindered,unregulated delivery of goods and services at the lowest possible cost to garner maximum profitability to ensure the continued capability to deliver said goods and services.”
At its core is an appeal to human avarice. Do not be mistaken; these are not altruistic endeavors.
That is why unions and demands for more salary and benefits are antithetical to big business.
Everybody wants to get and keep more of the income generated by the product--to retain more of the return for his or her investment in life.
What causes tax evasion?
Why do people embezzle funds—from churches and charitable institutions nonetheless?
“Will a man rob God?” asks Malachi 3:8.
The resounding answer, “Oh! Yes! He will.”
How about the motive behind Ponzi schemes? Why do you think the abolition of slavery was met with such violent resistance?
Can you imagine all that free labor—without fixed recurring expenses --except for the initial purchase price of the slave? In addition, any offspring of the slave represented pure profit.
Therefore, it is inevitable that business or human beings will flow or gravitate to where they can achieve that aim.
Do you think that Coca Cola, IBM, HP, GM, Chrysler, Xerox, Ford and 3M were thinking about patriotism or concern for American workers when they relocated their plants to Mexico?
Most of these plants are located near the border of Mexico and the United States.
Ideally, you want be in close proximity to the market where people presumably have the ability to purchase your goods and services,and reduce your transportation costs in the delivery of same.
They want the cake and to eat it all, too!
The Construction of the Wall
Now someone has suggested building a wall and having Mexico pay for it.
What form will it take? How will it work?
Is it going to be one solid block of concrete stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean? Will it be manned 24 hours a day with machine gun-toting security guards to prevent breaches in the wall? Who is going to underwrite the tremendous continuing maintenance cost of such a massive project?
Mexico reportedly sends us rapists, murderers and thieves, thereby releasing a burden on their already impoverished society.
Let us, for the sake of argument, assume that is correct.
They are happily going to agree to pay to erect a barrier to prevent such an occurrence. They are going to persuade people earning three dollars an hour to build an obstruction to stop them from crossing the border where they can earn six dollars an hour.
This is tantamount to persuading people to supply the knife to cut their own throats.
Good Luck with that!
The Inevitable Holes
A good profitable business always seeks less regulations,more profit and ease of delivery of its goods and services. Companies are always on the lookout for “good, fast and cheap.”
A solid wall would represent an obstacle to free enterprise and hamper their movement. So an exception would have to be made for big business or risk their ire. (Campaign funds anyone?)
The avocado, grape and strawberry farmers in California need cheap migrant labor or their crops would rot in the fields. So, an accommodation must be made for them.
The citrus growers in Central Florida and winter vegetable farmers in Homestead, Florida are not willing to witness all their time and investment go up in smoke. So, we need to find a way to get them help from across the border.
(Any practical political strategist will tell you, people will always vote for their pocket book or their lifestyle.)
What about the affluent Mexican (yes, there are some of them besides Carlos Slim) who wants to cross the border to purchase American products?
The parents of Alfonso Pacheco featured in the book, “Hola America,” are two of them.
How do we distinguish between the rapist, murderer and thief and the one who just wants to conduct legitimate business?
Or do we just say, “To hell with all of them –build it.”
The human rights advocates, societal, economic and cultural pressure may demand something else.
How easily people forget that the solution to one problem always creates another.
Build it, you say. Yes, it tickles the ear and stirs the fancy.
Here is an inescapable truth and reality.
People, looking out for their own interests, will always find or create a hole in the wall.
V. Knowles is a husband, father and prison minister with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick.