Ever have a really brilliant idea or dream only to realize after further consideration that it’s actually rather hair-brained? I floated one such idea recently, and after receiving mixed reviews from both sides of the aisle I took every comment under careful consideration, analyzed the angles, and reached some sobering conclusions.
First for the good news. A “statehood or you’re on your own” policy towards the current US territories is very reasonable. Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and Samoa all receive monetary benefits, welfare, and subsidies from the US government right now, but are not expected to contribute to the pot they are drawing from. The people are considered US citizens. No additional national funds or bureaucracy would be necessary for them to be states, and they would actually start contributing tax revenue and lighten the welfare burden on every other state in the Union. This entitlement without taxation situation is the primary motivator among the territories for continuing non-statehood. This must end, and if they don’t like it they are free to be their own country and have nothing to do with the US.
While it is unlikely that any Canadian province that splits off from the rest of Canada to escape the socialist system would initially want to join the US they may find it beneficial to do so at a later time. These are generally English speaking people who are familiar with our culture and have an electoral and educational system in place that is similar to our own. Assimilation as a state would be very easy if they choose to join us, and I for one welcome them wholeheartedly.
Mexico, on the other hand, is where the whole idea got rather hair-brained.
Mexico has over 200 million people last I knew, and the vast majority are poor by US standards. This means there would be an instant, massive influx of welfare recipients that would suck up a disturbingly large chunk of the national budget. If Mexico were to join the US as several states it would have to barred from receiving welfare benefits for maybe several decades. Or, and this is the silver lining, it could be a really good reason to strip or eliminate the welfare system in its entirety.
How on Earth would we handle the money situation? What will we give them for all of their Pesos that wouldn’t leave them, us, or both in the poorhouse when we were done? Unifying our monies could single-handedly destroy our entire monetary system and wreck our whole economy. I have no idea how to avoid this.
Many Mexicans are uneducated, or poorly educated. It is one reason why so many of them become laborers when they come to the US. They have no other marketable skills, and their education has not prepared them to compete in the US economy. This could be no problem if we have enough unskilled labor jobs to employ all of these people, but right now I don’t think we do.
Skilled professionals like doctors and lawyers from Mexico would be screwed. The way they do things there is so vastly different from the way we do them here that many of these people would be forced to go back to school to learn to do it our way, or they would be forced to become laborers.
The Mexican police and military operate under different laws and standards. Integration, while not impossible, would be exceedingly problematic, and would be met with strong resistance by top officers who would almost certainly be forced out and replaced with US officers. This is a formula for armed revolt.
Organized crime in Mexico is powerful beyond what American criminal scum have been able to achieve. They are well armed, well organized, very well funded, and highly integrated into Mexican life, society, and government. They will not go down easily, and they will most certainly fight openly. We could take them out if we use the military to destroy them as part of the war on drugs, but it will most certainly cost lives.
Institutional corruption is so rampant in Mexico it makes our own government look like Mother Theresa by comparison. We would have to sweep away every vestige of the current government, military, and law enforcement Mexico currently has and install new, hopefully uncorrupted people into these positions. The people who are swept away may very well decide they want their power back, and many have the weaponry to put up a stiff resistance, and there are enough small, remote towns in Mexico that they could easily use one of them as a base of operations to conduct guerilla warfare against the US. NOT good. Not good at all.
Finally, and this is from my wife (she’s such a smart lady). While it is very likely that the poor and oppressed masses of Mexico would vote to join the US, and may even do so under VERY strict requirements for integration out of a desire to share in our freedom and prosperity, there is an excellent chance they will not choose to integrate once they join us. These people are very proud of their heritage and national identity, and they will not give it up easily. It goes beyond national holidays. It goes to their language, personal conduct, belief systems, methods of education, business practices, and attitudes that are so different from ours despite the mutual familiarity that it could be a recipe for the balkanization of the US. This is not good.
I must admit that I have dreamed of a unified North America for many years now. I must also admit that it is a dream that cannot happen at this time. Mexico is not a good risk for the US to take on right now.
I look to Mexico and I see the oppression and poverty, and I am heartbroken. I look to their lush farmlands and vast oil fields, and I see poorly utilized wealth. I look to our current border and then I look at southern Mexican border and I see an easily defended tiny strip of land. I look at the people and I see their dreams and their willingness to work hard to achieve them that is one of the core behaviors that has made our own country great until we decided we deserved what we have not earned and grew to expect the government to take of our needs if we don’t do it for ourselves. I have known Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, and they are generally the hardest working people I have ever had the privilege of knowing, and I think of what our own entitled youth could learn from their strong work ethic. It is these positive qualities that I know will make admitting Mexico into the US as several new states eventually serve to bring us all up and make us a better nation. Unfortunately, the obstacles are great, and I have no idea how to overcome them without ruining us in the process.
Mexico cannot join the US. It pains me to say it, but they cannot. They need to fix their own problems, and we need to get that border tightly secured, and we need to do it now.