Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Halting Illegal Immigration with Manifest Destiny


The number of illegal immigrants that flood into this country every year is a cause for concern. Many people want to "treat" the problem with more restrictive laws, greater enforcement of current laws, and strengthening our borders (maybe build a fence along the Mexican border). What is common to these approaches is that the root cause is NOT being changed - that of abject poverty in Mexico and Central America. Attacking poverty takes MONEY, and money is ALWAYS hard to find for this type of issue.

Mexican Poverty

Mexico has a difficult time trying to combat poverty. It takes a whole lot more money then they have to make a dent in this issue. Without any money, and in debt itself, Mexico just can't change the parameters that send thousands of its citizens north to make a living. If they could just get some help . . .

Manifest Destiny

No one likes spending money and getting nothing tangible in return. There are scores of stories of our government giving money to some country, only to have it squandered and the people of that country not receiving any benefits. Throwing money at problems is easy to do, and highly ineffective! Giving money to the Mexican government would be seen in this light. We would rather spend $100 billion on a new fence, then give it to the Mexican government.

The USA has not grown in size since the 1867 Alaska Purchase. In the 1840-1850 era, we fought a war with Mexico and made 2 land purchases (Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and Gadsden Purchase). It is now time to grow again - But how?

To kill 2 birds with 1 stone I propose that the USA purchase Baja California from the Mexican government! This allows the USA to "get something for their money" - even though Baja is probably more desolate than Alaska was . . . This also will be a great help to the Mexican government, as the money is sorely needed for infrastructure improvements.

What price, Baja?

When the US defeated Mexico in the 1840s, they could have paid peanuts for Texas and California land - but they didn't. The US overpaid for the territory to help Mexico pay off its foreign debt (lest the Europeans come over here to collect!). This pattern will be followed with the Baja Purchase. From my research, the Mexican GDP is $150 billion and its debt is $30 billion, so I propose a purchase price of $180 billion. The land area of Baja is about 2x the Gadsden Purchase - about 60,000 sq. miles. This means that the price would be about $3 million per square mile.

Also, the price would NOT be paid in cash! The US would pay $30 billion in cash to Mexico so it could pay off its debts, and the rest of the $180 billion ($150 billion) would be paid in services. The US would partner with Mexico in order to build up its infrastructure - and NOT just throw money at the problem.

Transition specifics

  • Baja would NOT become a state initially - it would become a territory and follow the same rules that other states followed.
  • The Mexican people residing there would still hold title to their property, and would become American citizens on the turnover date.
  • The territory of Baja would include all land west of the Colorado river.
  • The Gulf of California would be split evenly down the middle in terms of territorial waters. The US could claim up to 150 miles of "economic zone" water on the Pacific side - but NOT on the south side. The Mexican 150 mile economic zone would extend out past the 12 mile limit on the south side of Baja.
  • Oil and gas development to be negotiated . . .
  • Proposed purchase price may be negotiable . . .


Its hard to see any downside here! The US gains land and a stable (and friendly!) neighbor - plus American companies gain jobs and business in Mexico. The Mexican government becomes debt free, and gains employment for a large number of citizens. Better infrastructure will allow Mexico to attract business and raise the living standard of its people. The "loss" of its land would be a benefit, as the cost of maintaining the Baja infrastructure and policing its borders costs more than it receives from Baja taxes. I would hope that nationalism and accusations of Imperialism would not derail this worthy effort . . .

Foreign Aid Service Partnership


The US government is set up to throw money at issues - rather than solving them! In the case of Foreign Aid, we send BILLIONS of dollars to countries - and then THEIR government squanders it, uses it for largess, or it disappears through corruption. In the end, the PEOPLE that we are trying to help end up with little or nothing, AND they resent us more and more! How can we do a better job?


It is very easy to just throw money at issues! It is much harder to do the proper Project Management to make sure that things are getting accomplished. In the case of Foreign Aid, it would be hard for government money-managers to work INSIDE the Aid country's government, making sure that money gets spent properly. This would be seen as Imperialism and violating their sovereignty. So if you can't use the "stick" then maybe we aught to use the "carrot".

Service, not cash

Instead of the government offering CASH to other countries, we should be offering SERVICES. For example, in the past we would give a country, say $50 million to build a new sewer system for a city. In the Service Partnership, we would offer to BUILD that sewer system for them (The "Service"). An Aid country would be stupid to look a gift horse in the mouth and turn down the offer! However, the issues of Imperialism and Sovereignty can bog down any implementation, so we need to get the Aid country a stake in the success of the Service.

The Local Partnership

In order to provide a service, you need to have the manpower and knowhow to make it all work. I don't see the government creating new organizations to get into this service process, so we need to involve the business community. The government would select a partner business, and pay HALF of the costs involved in building that sewer system. The selected business would pay the other half. So what's in it for the business? They get to keep what they build . . .

The Foreign Partnership

The Aid country would also be a partner. The business that will provide the service (sewer system), would hire and train locals to do much of the work. When the project is finished, the business would "own" it (i.e. can now charge usage fees), and the Aid country would own part of the business (say 49%-51%).

Pluses and minuses

There are MANY advantages to this Service Partnership:

  1. The government gets DOUBLE the value for their contribution.
  2. The people in the Aid country see us as job providers and partners, and our image is boosted.
  3. The business gets to grow at half the RISK!
  4. The Aid country gets the following:
    • A brand new sewer system for free!
    • Employment and expertise for the people - thus boosting its image.
    • A new source of income, without taxation.
  5. Elimination of the specter of "Nationalization" of the business, since the Aid country already owns part of it - and would smartly recognize that they are not the best people to run it.
  6. Elimination of corruption? It would NOT be in the Aid country's best interests to have a corrupt business. It already collects a good amount of money, so corrupting the business would give them LESS money - not more. The business owners would not want to corrupt the business - heads could roll, LITERALLY. Also, the more corruption in construction, the more the business would have to pay (its half of the government partnership).
  7. Revenue stream - The Aid country may be one that doesn't collect taxes, or is very bad at it, or very new at it, so these business revenue streams can be a godsend!


  1. People have to work together!
  2. This would take planning and execution!
  3. Governments would have to audit the process!
  4. It's not as easy as throwing money!


I see this a a win-win-win for everyone! Just the image enhancement for the government would help - it would dry up the pool of terrorists since they would have jobs at the sewage plant!

The Beach Ball Organization

Picture a beach ball, floating on the ocean.
  • The beach ball represents an organization (company or government).
  • The ocean represents customers (citizens) that are not directly linked to the organization.
  • Where the beach ball touches the blue ocean represents the blue collar workers in the organization.
  • The peak of the beach ball is a small circle that represents the highest level within the organization (with the president at the very top point).
  • The bottom point of the beach ball represents the first (entry) level of the organization.
  • The different colors (longitude) represent different departments within the organization.
  • Inside each color (department) there a certain levels of the organization's hierarchy (stars).

There are certain structural rules that this organization follows;

  • A color stripe can be wider, but never taller - This translates into each department having the EXACT SAME levels of hierarchy - but can have larger numbers of employees.
  • The stars can be any size - This translates into individuals getting paid different salaries within the same level of hierarchy (salary range or "steps").
  • Part of the beach ball is above water, some is below - This translates into the dividing line between blue and white collar positions.
  • There is only so much space for stars. Take an average of the size of the stars and draw latitude lines - This translates into the (limited) number of levels in the organization hierarchy.

What does all this mean? Lets assign some departments to colors to see how it works. The Navy gets blue (obviously), and the FBI gets red, and the Secret Service gets white. Since there exists a latitude line that connects all three colors, there must be equivalent jobs (positions) all of those organizations. In other words, a chief petty officer (Navy), a special agent (FBI) and a sergeant (Secret Service - just guessing here) are at the same level. What then, is the major differences between these positions? Basically it is training and experience.

Let the training define the colors - i.e. You need certain training to be in the Navy or FBI, etc. Let the hierarchy levels represent experience - i.e It takes about 4-6 years to make chief petty officer, or special agent, etc. This means that (potentially) a chief petty officer can become a special agent - if they had the training and experience. Now here is where it gets interesting. If you had closely related experience (such as a Military Police investigator) to that FBI position, you should be able to "transfer" to that position (after you finish the FBI training). This allows for many opportunities that may not be available today, and potentially happier and more productive employees. So a possible career path would be enlisting in the Military Police, advancing to an investigator rank, transferring to the FBI, advancing to senior special agent, transferring to the Navy as a J.A.G., and then retiring. This career path is probably impossible to do today.

To further define the training (that defines the colors), you would need more than a single "course" of training for each department. Say the FBI needs to have the following training: investigation, laws revue, firearms, computer (plus a lot more). Say the CIA requires this training: firearms, computer, world government, foreign language. Say the ATF requires this training: investigation, firearms, explosives. You can see that there is some duplication here! Instead of the FBI, CIA, and ATF having their own computer training, how about having one course that they all attend? This has many advantages in reducing duplication and standardizing processes. In this way you can see that if you are an ATF agent and want to join the FBI, you would know exactly what training to take, and exactly what training you already have that is applicable.

I mentioned in my Military Reorg project that a Navy officer could be in command of Air force and Army troops - if he has the highest ranking. Lets see how this applies to the beach ball organization. Say the Homeland Security department sets up a task force (under a HS manager) to track terrorists. This manager could have FBI, CIA, Military Police as well as Homeland Security personnel under his "command". He would direct their activities, like any other commander (By the way, this is how you get "related experience" for transferring to other positions i.e. the Military Police officer decides to transfer to Homeland Security - does he have experience? He sure does).

This type of organization is really called a "matrix" organization - where an employee reports to more than one superior.

Interesting Note: The beach ball organization has ONE IT (computer) organization for all branches. This should cut down on the number of failed computer projects that each separate department has experienced recently.

A New Military Paradigm

I have read articles on different ways of transforming the military. I am familiar with the way Canada transformed their military into "Canadian Forces". By far the most important influence on my plan is from David Hackworth. NOTE: I DO NOT ADVOCATE shrinking the armed forces, or "breaking units up" - The following Plan is a Zero Sum Game i.e. everyone that had a job BEFORE the reorg, has the same job AFTER - just they report to different areas. Here are some of the basics of my plan:

  • One single military organization - The Army, Navy, Air force, Marines, Coastguard, Military Police (MP and SP), Corps of Engineers, and "Civies" would belong to one organization. All requisitions, training, hiring, etc. would be from this one organization (Call it "American Forces" for lack of a better name). This would effectively eliminate duplication from the existing organizations. The different branches of the American Forces would still exist - as "subsidiaries" of American Forces.
  • Standardization of Ranks - Each military branch would have the exact same number of levels of hierarchy, for both "enlisted" and "officer". The names of the ranks would still be determined by the branches ("private" and "seaman" and "general" and "admiral").
  • Standardation of Roles - There would be one training class for "police" that would be used to train both MPs and SPs - for example. All Navy and Coastguard personnel would be trained in "seamanship", while all Marines and Army would be trained in "armed combat". Same classes for both.
  • Personnel Mobility - Any military person could apply and transfer to any other branch, since roles are standardized i.e. a chief petty officer in the Navy finds out that he is prone to seasickness, but doesn't want a desk job. He can apply to become a sargent in the army (same level in hierarchy). He would still need to pass the training needed (such as combat training). Maybe a soldier wants out of the Marines and can fly a plane - he can decide to transfer to the Air force, as long as he passes the training.
  • New Roles Defined -
    1. Marines - The marines will be the rapid deployment force. They are responsible for all (ground) operations that require first strike. This will eliminate Army Rangers, Navy Seals, "Delta Force", etc. they will all become marine units.
    2. Air force - The Air force will be in charge of all things in the air! Duh! This includes all airplanes, helicopters, balloons, etc. This will replace Marine air units and Navy air units.
    3. Army - The army is responsible for all continuing ground combat operations. This includes paratroopers, since they do conduct combat on the ground! This will replace Marine divisions.
    4. Navy - The Navy is responsible for all sea combat operations outside of territorial waters. Marine assault carriers will be integrated into the Navy.
    5. Coastguard - The Coastguard is responsible for ALL rescue operations and police duties on the sea, in and around territorial waters.
    6. Military Police - Responsible for all police duties in all areas that are under military control.
    7. Corps of Engineers - Not just "Army", the Corps of Engineers is responsible for all logistical and skilled trades work for all military branches.
    8. Civilian Bureaucracy - This organization is responsible for all HR, requisitions, deliveries, etc.
  • Chain of command - The highest ranking person is the one in charge! Yes generals on ships and admirals in tanks being in charge seems strange, but I will explain how all of this works.

How would all of this work?

  • On an aircraft carrier - The Air force guys fly the planes. The Marines wait to be deployed. The Navy guys run the ship. The SPs are in charge of security. The "Civies" keep the organization humming. The Corps of Engineers do all logistical work such as loading and fueling the planes, fixing the boilers, moving equipment, etc. The (Navy) captain of the ship is the highest ranking person and is in charge.
  • On an airbase - The Air force guys fly the planes. The Army defends the perimeter. The MPs are in charge of security. The "Civies" keep the organization humming. The Corps of Engineers load and fuel the planes, plow the runways, de-ice the planes, etc. The highest ranking person is in charge (usually an Air force officer, but could be an Army officer).
  • On a navy (port) base - The Navy sails the ships. The Army defends the perimeter. The SPs are in charge of security. The "Civies" keep the organization humming. The Corps of Engineers do most of the work . . . The highest ranking person is in charge (usually a Navy officer, but could be an Army officer).

I think you get the idea!

It is true that the military branches will give things up to make this happen. Everyone wants their elite troops, and putting them under the Marines command could be a bitter pill. But as with all change, they are also opportunities! The Army could specialize in recon and germ/chemical detection. The Navy gets control of the Marine assault carriers. The Air force gains control of carrier planes, Marine and Army helicopters and jump jets. The Corps of Engineers gains by becoming the skilled trades area for all military branches. The "Civies" gain control of the bureaucracy - while all military branches are "unburdened" of this. Everyone gets to keep their own uniform style and "traditions".

The greatest benefit of all is that all the military branches will all hang together (or they will surely hang seperately!). Eveyone working together is a great benefit to the american people, and specializing in roles is a great benefit to the military branches. This also give flexibility in terms of staffing the "Civies" - they can be government employees, contract personnel or purchased service or any combination.