Marolt: When nationalism Trumps common sense
When the United States sends its people overseas, we’re not sending our best. We’re sending people who have lots of problems, and we’re sending those problems to foreign countries with them. Americans abroad are greedy. They’re obnoxious. They’re lazy, stupid and arrogant.
Who could be offended by such a remark? I mean, at least I didn’t call them rapists. I assume some of them are good people.
I haven’t talked about immigration for a while. We haven’t needed immigrants as much since the great economic implosion of 2008, and so their smaller numbers have been pretty much out of sight and out of mind since then. Now we have Don Juan Trump spouting, and he’s leading in the Republican presidential polls and that worries the hell out of me, so I figure I better at least mention my views on immigration again before he gets the chance to build his wall around Mexico and force the Mexican people to pay for it.
If The Dumb Don really had a meaningful goal in mind with his absurdity, he would at least offer to pay for the wall and hire only Mexicans to build it. At least billions of dollars over dozens of years would flow into Mexico’s economy, giving it an economic booster shot, creating an environment where more of its citizens could make a comfortable living at home and eliminating some of the need for them to migrate north to support their families.
I see immigration as a complex choice between two simple options. We can either allow foreigners into the United States to take low-paying jobs so that we can produce cheaper goods for the world to buy from us, or we can force people to stay in their countries of birth and then ship all of our jobs across borders to them so that their countries can produce cheaper goods for us to buy from them.
With this in mind, then, the discussion about immigration in this country really might boil down to whether we like people who don’t speak English well coming to live with us. At best, it devolves into a discussion about overpopulation in my backyard. At worst, well; at worst we have to admit that profound nationalism is a second cousin to racism and bears a lot of the ugly family resemblances.
The way I see it, with the advent of the global economy, the ultimate result is that we, the inhabitants of Earth, all eventually end up with one economy (since there is, in reality, just one globe) and, thus, one worldwide scale for standard of living. For those of us keeping score at home, that means a transition is occurring. The standard of living in the countries living high (i.e. us) have to settle lower while the poorer counties of the world (i.e. everyone else) will experience a rise in their standards of living. You can build all the walls you want, but none can hold back the flow of economic equilibrium in the technological age.
I don’t exactly feel like I earned my right to live in this great country. I’ll admit it — I was simply born here. So, conventional wisdom made by Donald Trump in the U.S.A. basically says I am entitled to be a part of this nation because I am lucky. And, the reason we should make it extremely difficult or impossible for Mexicans, Canadians, Ethiopians and really all people with funny accents, extra long or unusually short limbs and unfamiliar tones of skin color to come and live with me here is because they are, to say it straight, unlucky. It’s survival of the luckiest; a dog-eat-dead-horse world.
The forces of economics are as fluid as water. My father had a theory on water here at the head of the Roaring Fork River. There were those long ago who were against diverting our precious resource of life and beauty through the mountains to the populated Eastern Slope of Colorado. It was also a time, as it is now, when we were pretty much in favor of protecting the small size and feel of our town. He said, “If we don’t send the water down to them, eventually they will have to move up here to live.” As it turned out, the water now flows to where it is needed and most of the people get to live where they want. Looking back it’s easy to see; there really was no other solution.
If Donald Trump is elected president, Roger Marolt will consider moving to Canada … if they’ll have him. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.