(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 1, 2017- this one wasn't posted to their website until several days after publication. So I saved it for now, in its entirety.)
Whatever else it might accomplish, President Trump's border wall has already divided America. I oppose the wall, believing it's a bad idea, but mine isn't a popular opinion-- even among libertarians.
Some wall supporters make the analogy of fencing your property, saying fences make good neighbors. I agree, but it doesn't apply. The US government doesn't own all the land within the borders drawn on the map, even if it believes it does.
If I decide to fence off my own property to keep out people I don't like, but I build my fence around your property, too, without your consent, have I done the right thing? What if I force you to pay for the fence even after you've told me you don't want it? Am I being a good neighbor?
What if I also control who is allowed onto your property and who you trade with?
There are simple fixes for every issue the wall is supposed to address. Don't like immigrants using welfare? End welfare for everyone. It's wrong to redistribute other people's money to anyone for any reason.
I share your concerns about crime. The difference is, I am concerned with real crime; not most of the things called "crime" today. I am willing to fight that crime by removing all laws regulating defense of life, liberty, and property-- and the proper tools with which to carry it out. Self defense solves crime.
If you don't like the crime the drug trade brings, end the government's ill-conceived War on Politically Incorrect Drugs. Prohibition breeds theft and violence; a lesson which should have been learned decades ago.
No matter how the wall is paid for, you and I will end up carrying the entire burden through higher prices and reduced real earnings. It's basic economics.
I can't afford to pay for this wall though higher prices caused by the law of supply and demand, after the supply has been limited.
When this wall backfires and causes another great depression, don't expect those responsible to own it. They'll undoubtedly blame everything and everyone but themselves, and will be as surprised as ever when government plans ruin things. It's just the way it works.
I'll never support the wall, but I'd keep my objections quiet if it's paid for by abolishing the BATFE, DEA, EPA, Department of Education, the FBI, and every other unconstitutional agency, job, or position. Anything less will make government bigger, more powerful, and more corrupt. This can't end well.
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