Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Wall Is Too Expensive

There is an argument that building a wall or fence along the US-Mexican border would be too costly. Let examine the cost. In fact, let look at the most extensive and extravagant barrier - the Israel security fence. Israel is building a security fence along the West Bank, a 540 miles long fence. According to Relief Web:
The wall, which is estimated to cost Israel $1.5 million U.S. per mile to construct... In some places the wall is a 25-foot-high concrete barrier and in other places a series of razor-wire fences with electronic sensors.
According to Wikipedia, the US-Mexican border is 2,067 miles. Multiply that by $1.5 million we arrive at $3,100,500,000. Our Federal Budget is $2.119 trillion. The Bridges To Nowhere alone costs us $453 million. According to Porkbusters there are $23,345,344,262 in porks identified in fiscal year 2006.
Decide for yourself if building the wall would be too expensive.


Anonymous Mitch said...

And that's leaving out the cost of fighting the environmental lawyers. I'm sure there's something rare and unphotogenic along the 2,000 mi. border that could serve as the basis for a lawsuit.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Pedro said...

A wall is a cowardly solution to a larger problem that merely allows politicians to avoid addressing the situation.

Anybody who has studied basic economics knows that a market will exist as long as there is enough demand to persuade suppliers to fill it -- regardless of what the laws say. If you want to shut down a market (and is not the flow of illegal immigrants not a market phenomenon?) you have to either a) decrease the demand, b) cut off the supply, or c) both.

b), as we learned in the "War on Drugs," is probably impossible. (And in the case of human traffic, immoral.) The best way to fix this problem is to curb the demand for illegal labor.

Unfortunately, we have no politicians with big enough stones to do what it would take -- namely, making legal immigration more straightforward and attractive, and making illegal immigration more difficult and unattractive.

Some of the best people in this country today -- and the promise of our future -- are immigrants. Illegal immigrants, however, are permanently cut off from this future. To do nothing is a crime. To build a wall is just silly, like sticking your fingers in your ears.

1:44 PM  
Blogger 2Hotel9 said...

The other objection made concerning a wall along the border is that illegals will go around the ends. To which I say, exactly. By fencing long sections of border you narrow the points of egress, forcing border jumpers into using fewer and fewer lanes of access. Thereby making it easier for Border Patrol to round up and return illegals to their side of the border. Also, it is a bit deceptive to call it a"wall". A 10 meter wide concertina field, two rolls high on the center rows, would work quite effectively, and cost far less. Long story short, we can not solve the problem of illegal immigrants in the US until we staunch the flow coming across our borders.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous dymphna said...

Darn it, MH, I tried your email and it bounced.

I *do* wish you'd post more often. Your posts are better than 90% of what's on the other blogs, including mine. And you're so smart (but you must have known that early on).

I think of you often, and wish I could do your biography. Think what a wonderful book it would make.

How about just an interview with you that I could do on Gaates and you could
cross post on FLUX.

Think about it?


PS I *still* want to know what "antebella Vietnamese music" is. IS there any
French influence? What are is antecedents? It sounds so

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Dan Morgan said...

I agree that a wall is affordable and needed. Those that argue against a wall are essentianlly saying that the status quo is okay. Let a million people year sneak into the country, oh well.

Solving the problem of massive illegal immigration will take much effort on many fronts, and a wall is only one component. To the leave the border open, and expect the results to come from only other measures (like cracking down on employers) is wishful thinking.

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