There are three reasons why the border wall with Mexico is a bad idea:
1) It costs too much – and US taxpayers are paying for it. Even with Trump’s promises that Mexico will pay the US back, there are far more pressing infrastructure issues facing our country. The investment of billions of dollars in infrastructure that will not help increase our economic productivity is a dubious investment to say the least. This has echoes of the Bush era where the Republicans both cut taxes and led the US into two very costly wars with devastating economic and human consequences. Trump estimates the wall will cost 8 billion – CNBC suggests it will cost closer to 16 billion dollars. For a businessman who ostensibly considers his return on investment, the cost of a wall will simply not help the US economy the way new bridges, power infrastructure, highways, and public transportation would. It costs too much and it’s a bad investment.
2) It won’t work. Few border patrol or ICE agents are convinced that a big border wall along the US-Mexico border will actually stem the flow of illegal immigrants or drugs. The causes of both immigration and drugs are social and economic; desperate drug dealers and families desperate to provide for their families in a struggling economy will find ways around or under a wall. It won’t work because it ineffectively addresses a symptom of a problem – not the problem itself.
3) It doesn’t reflect reality. The reality of today’s global economy is that goods, services, and finances move back and forth across borders with great frequency. A border wall, an ineffective symbol at best, sends the wrong signal to our trading partners and neighboring countries. The future of our economic growth is increased trade and better relationships with other countries. The future is connected global economies.
Donald Trump is breaking his promise that Mexico will pay for the wall. He is also imperiling our economy with his choice to invest in an ineffective monument to intolerance.