Thursday, November 12, 2009


I don't know if it struck anyone else as ironic when this week we saw Europeans celebrating the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, while at the same time some Americans are advocating building a new wall all along the Mexican Border.

Yes, we have a lot of illegal immigrants here. Would I like to see this situation handled better? Yes. But is the decreasing amount of good paying jobs in this country a result of Mexicans coming here to work? Or is it that so many corporations have found it more profitable to outsource jobs to India and China, where they can pay people a lot less?

Perspective: The people in India who answer our calls about our credit cards, bank accounts, cable service, computer problems and so on, and the Chinese people who now make our computers, TVs, phones, music players and so much else get paid a lot less than the Mexican gardeners, maids, construction laborers, busboys, waiters and cooks and others working here. Manufacturing of everything from clothing to shoes to furniture to appliances used to provide good paying jobs for a lot of Americans. A great many of the new jobs corporations have created in recent years are lower paying jobs.

Building a wall across our southern border will not bring back plenty of good paying jobs.

Walls can act as a defense mechanism. Of course, a wall will not keep out all immigrants, it will just slow them down as they figure out ways around it. This is still the country most people on earth want to come to, and that says a lot about us, and the quality of life we enjoy.

I am thinking that more good paying jobs will be created when corporations act differently. That will raise our standard of living more effectively than building a wall.

As the Berlin Wall anniversary reminds us, all walls eventually come down. If you need another reminder, visit any European country, and notice that most of the old castles with their defensive walls came apart a long time ago.

In the meantime, the more creative we are, the more we can find ways to improve our own standard of living. Nobody said it would be easy, but it is possible. Building walls is old thinking and we need new thinking.

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