Friday, October 27, 2006

The Fence

The President signed into law the fence between the United States and Mexico. At least, we think he did. His abuse of signing statements never makes it clear anymore exactly what the law is. Let’s leave that issue aside and move onto the next.

Congress has not yet funded the fence. That is supposed to happen when they return from the elections, or when some of them do.

Let us now speculate on and predict what will happen when the 12 billion dollars to build the fence starts sloshing through the Homeland Security contracting system. I predict scandal, corruption, and cost overruns that will make it one of the biggest boondoggles in US history. In fact, I would not be surprised if contractors hire, either legally or illegally, Mexican labor to build it.

It is no use applying the finer points of philosophy and political economy to the immigration issue. Things like the fence and its vast potential for corruption will always take center stage and nudge substantive debate aside.

A few folks will make a lot of money off it. Everybody else will lose money. The corruption issue will replace all the substantive issues. The world will continue in its orbit.

Please, watch your wallet.


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