Mr. President, you have done really well by putting the axe to the open global order the United States has built and maintained since World War II. Well, but not well enough! Let’s get serious about protecting this “blessed plot” America from these foreigners. Think not just about punitive tariffs on steel (25 percent) and aluminum (10 percent) against the European Union, Canada and Mexico, which, unfortunately, you have just postponed for 30 days. Don’t forget the real threat to the United States, which is people rather than goods.
A good start was the wall along the country’s southern border to keep out Mexican and Central American hordes. Tightening immigration in general was also a brilliant idea. Immigrants are like steel; they destroy American jobs. Even better, your State Department now wants to go after tourists, too. To get a visa, applicants will have to submit their social media user names, email addresses, and phone numbers used over the last five years. This will hit about 15 million annually who want to gaze at the Statue of Liberty and shop till they drop. It’s worth it! No terrorist will slip through this net.
Mr. President, please don’t listen to those free-trade fanatics and globalists who claim that freedom of movement supposedly increases the welfare of all nations, and above all your own. This is how they argue (erroneously, of course):
Slapping a tariff of 25 percent on steel imports will raise steel prices at home. This will increase the prices of domestically-produced cars, bridges and construction machinery, lowering demand and employment. However, finished goods—foreign-made earth movers or trucks—will not be affected by these charges. So Americans will buy less from Mack and more from Volvo, killing more domestic jobs.
The globalists also moan that you will endanger 6.5 million jobs in the steel-using industry to protect 140,000 positions in the steel-making sector. Nor is this all, they keep carping. If those foreigners retaliate, say, against U.S. agriculture, more jobs will go.
Be firm and steady, Mr. President: America’s dignity is not a matter of picayune book-keeping. We’ve got to show them that they cannot play the United States for a patsy, flooding our country with dumping-priced goods and outselling us with their deliberately undervalued currencies. Punishing them will make America great again, as you have so eloquently promised.
Immigrants are even more insidious. They steal our jobs directly by inundating the labor market and offering their services at lower wages. Yes, stopping this will cause some pain initially, as hospitals run out of doctors and caregivers, restaurants out of cooks and waiters, and house builders out of roofers and brick layers. We’ll get lots of people off the welfare rolls, including single mothers and folks who can’t wait to attend nursing school for the next four years.
Never mind that we are at full employment, with labor scarcities besetting the U.S. economy. Also, don’t fret about all those Indians, Russians, Chinese, and Israelis who have made Silicon Valley great. Keep them out, and American engineers will make the Valley even greater. Since American students don’t like hard sciences, this will take only a generation or two.
Your most brilliant idea, Mr. President, is plugging the hole your predecessors have blithely ignored: tourists and all those supposedly uber-bright folks who come here to study or do business on non-immigrant visas. There are about 14 million of them per annum. True, they bring lots of cash with them. They spend it on tuition, consumer goods, hotel and restaurant bills. According to the International Trade Administration, more than 70 million arrivals spent about $250 billion in 2016. But safety must come first! Hidden among these 70 million are those heinous terrorists who want to do in America.
Don’t listen to Bloomberg (“Tourists Are America’s Renewable Resource”). According to their numbers, for the period spanning 2002 to 2016, only one terrorist hid among the 379 million entrants of all nationalities. It is also true that the vast majority of terrorist assaults over the past few years have been committed by people who were born and raised here.
So what? The real point is that one killer who slips the net is one too many. And this is why your idea, Mr. President, is so ingenious. If we make it really hard for friendly visitors to get into the country, we will keep out that one bad guy as well.
In fact, your State Department isn’t tough enough. Exempt from the planned third-degree vetting procedure are all those, mainly our European allies, who travel to the United States on the visa-waiver program ESTA. They can gain entry just by filling out a computer form in the comfort of their homes and paying a measly 14 bucks. This gaping hole must be plugged, subito! ESTA is just too easy.
The mainstream media, Mr. President, will try to feed you all kinds of bunk. According to those virtue-mongers, America will no longer be America if it closes itself off. Extreme vetting, they claim, will alienate the multitudes who regard the United States as a model or a magnet. They preach that this country became great by welcoming the world.
The truth is that those foreigners have taken us for a ride. No more Mr. Nice Guy. So what if we lose jobs, profits and talents? As Machiavelli famously put it: If the prince has to choose, it is better to be feared than loved.
So let’s show them.