Mr. President, is it immigrants or is it drugs? Make up your mind.

“We’re going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, particularly cars.

And if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border.”
Donald J. Trump

O.K., he’s talking about drugs. But the vast majority of illegal drugs come through legal ports that are protected by American guards — via planes, boats and through legal entryways.

The vast majority of illegal drugs comes through legal ports, not via unwalled areas.

Stopping immigrants will do virtually nothing to “stop the drugs.”

“The lawless state of our Southern border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans.

“We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens.

“This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today, who followed the rules and respected our laws.

“Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways. I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.

“I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally . . . . Our country is full.”
Donald J. Trump

O.K., now he’s talking about people and the law. But, statistics show that undocumented immigrants are far less likely to commit crimes against the “safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans” than are American citizens. Stopping immigrants will do virtually nothing to make America safer.

And does Trump want immigrants, or is our country “full”? As always with Trump, there is no rational answer.

Immigrants also contribute greatly to the American economy in labor value — just as immigrants have done for the past two centuries. That is why Trump historically has hired immigrants to work for him.

In short, Trump:

  • Wrongly conflates undocumented immigration with the drug problem
  • Wrongly blames an incomplete wall for America’s drug problem
  • Wrongly implies that completing his wall will solve America’s drug problem
  • Wrongly blames Mexico for America’s drug problem
  • Wrongly claims that Mexico can solve America’s drug problem
  • Wrongly claims that the undocumented immigrants are mostly Mexicans
  • Wrongly claims America has no more room for immigrants
  • Wrongly claims that punishing Mexico will solve the two real problems:

1. The drug problem is not caused by the easy availability of drugs, which in any event, more miles of wall will not solve.

The drug problem is not a foreign problem; punishing foreigners will not solve it. We must accept the fact that the drug problem is America’s problem. 

Blaming the Mexicans is an excuse invented by a dishonest leader and adopted by weak-minded followers.

The drug problem actually is a symptom of many, more fundamental problems in America: Poverty, bigotry, unpunished corporate greed,  the lack of help for addicts, crooked politicians, judges, and police, and the wide and growing Gap between the richer and the rest.

How is President Trump addressing the fundamental problems? He goes in exactly the wrong direction.

Poverty: Trump cuts, or tries to cut, social programs that benefit the poor and middle-income people: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, school aids.

Bigotry: Trump does not conceal his loathing for Blacks, browns, Muslims, gays, foreigners from “shit-hole” counties. He defends the KKK and white supremacists as “good people.” He wants nice, white immigrants to come from Norway.

Unpunished corporate greed: Trump takes pride in removing consumer financial protection and environmental protection laws. Banks that steal from poor Americans are protected. Industries that pollute our air, water, and ground are protected. Global warming is denied.

The lack of help for addicts: The drug problem is not solely a supply problem. It is based on supply and mostly on demand.

America’s addicted victims are the buyers of drugs. American buyers create the demand. If there were no demand, the illegal drug trade would dry up.

Many, perhaps most, drug users would like to stop, but they need help. Trump’s approach is strictly about punishment. Yet that has been proven not to work.

Just as Prohibition didn’t work many years ago, the current “war on drugs” doesn’t work. Trump didn’t invent the war on drugs, but he is an enthusiastic supporter of the police-and-punish approach.

Addiction recovery requires money and time. But, the GOP’s anti-healthcare for the poor efforts, assure a steady, even growing, demand for illegal drugs by helpless addicts.

Crooked politicians, judges, and police: Trump sets the tone. He himself is an admitted crook, having had to pay an astounding $25 million dollars as a penalty for his crooked Trump University. His Foundation was fined and closed for crooked dealings.

He is so crooked, American banks refuse to lend to him, forcing him to beg for money from Russians and Saudi Arabians (which gives them leverage over him).

And he has surrounded himself with an astounding number of bad actors: Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Richard Gates,  Konstantin Kilimnik, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Sam Patten, Rob Porter, Richard Pinedo, Rob Porter, Tom Price, Scott Pruitt, Wilbur Ross, Bill Shine, Stephen Moore, and Roger Stone are examples of the type of people with whom Trump associates.

Trump hires people, not for their skills or honesty, but rather, for their love for and loyalty to him, which also may explain his admiration for dictators Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Rodrigo Duterte.

There is no effort toward morality or honesty within the Trump world, where lying is considered normal. When a leader is dishonest, his criminality is contagious.

The wide and growing Gap between the rich and the rest. Poverty breeds crime and hopelessness, which in turn, are a large part of the drug-use problem. People with no hope for future happiness often turn to drugs.

Trump and the GOP foster widening the Gap by favoring the rich with unfair tax laws, and punishing the poor with the elimination of protections and social benefits.

In Summary:
Trump appeals to his base by creating a culture of hatred and fear. As with nearly all dictators, the hatred and fear are directed at “others.”

Sometimes the “others” are people following a different religion. Sometimes the others come from a different country. Sometimes they have different customs.

Trump directs his followers to hate all three: Muslims, Mexicans, and gays. Muslims are “terrorists.” Gays are “immoral.” And Mexicans “bring crime and drugs.”

All such claims are lies, but Trump’s lies appeal to people who are psychologically susceptible to hatred and fear.  To them, no matter what the leader’s faults and lies, his promulgation of hatred and fear keeps followers loyal to the Fuehrer (the leader).

America is not “full,” and Mexicans are not responsible for America’s drug crisis. These are pretexts to keep Trump’s followers in line.

The war on drugs can be won, not by a war on supply, which never will succeed, but rather by efforts to reduce the poverty, sickness, and hopelessness that create the demand for drugs.

America, being Monetarily Sovereign, has the unlimited money to create resources that would reduce the demand. We need only the will.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY