Closing California

It seems as if there was once a time when the right and good, the moral and just were guiding principles for the United States. It may be that it was never as true as it appeared, but at least it seemed as if it were truer than not. That may be little more than wishful nostalgia, more fantasy than reality. Even so, it’s easy to consider the daily news and conclude that morality and ethics have nothing to do with how decisions are made, how resources are distributed, how the public’s business is conducted.

Let’s play a little mind game. It’s sort of like playing musical chairs. The population of all of Central America is only slightly more than the population of California: about forty million. Let’s suppose that people concluded that California is no longer a fit place to stay and raise a family. Staying is just not possible. Let’s further assume that the only reasonable decision is to close California. The migration into the rest of the United States would be extremely disruptive for a while; but if we look ahead five years, the population of California would be absorbed, and life would go on.

Okay, closing all of California may be a bit excessive. Let’s suppose that It’s only necessary to close Berkeley. Now we only need to assimilate about one hundred and twenty thousand people. That sounds a lot more manageable. It may be that none of them has to actually leave California.

Sure, we’re back to discussing the border with Mexico. That’s the border that is about the same distance as it is from Chicago to Los Angeles. President Trump is threatening to close the border, letting no one into the United States by way of that border. His only announced goal that I have heard is to prevent an influx of criminals and hooligans. But here is the problem with that. The current border policy is probably reducing but not eliminating the influx of criminals and hooligans. That would be a good thing were it not for the reality that it is also preventing thousands of law-abiding adults and children from peacefully entering the United States.