People love to tell “war stories” that put them in a favorable light. Not so common is the urge to tell war stories that describe personal failures. I’ve used this space in the past to talk about successes. Today, I want to talk about a failure, and some of the lessons to be learned from it.
The much-publicized proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border will, I hope, provoke some serious conversations about the whole issue of security: personal, national, global. Security is a great subject, not least because it is never far from most people’s central concerns -- but more talked about than realized, more sought-after than achieved. And the impacts of border security happen to be of particular concern to those of us who live and work in San Diego. I can’t speak with confidence about the macro complexities that would accompany beefing up the existing segments, and filling in the gaps, in the partial border wall/fence that now extends from the Pacific Coast, here in San Diego, to the Gulf Coast, just east of Brownsville, Texas; but I can give you a small scale example of what’s happening on the ground here where we already have a wall.
Of course I have something to say about the presidential election, as does most everyone. But I will spare you any pronunciamentos as to how it will all play out, where it will all go and who will do what to whom. We lack the data from which definitive conclusions can be drawn because no one in a position to do so – not least the prospective members of the administration – has given us much of a clue as to how programs, policies and promises (made or inferred) will actually take definitive shape. Perhaps there has been some kind of strategic decision to stay quiet about the planning process until after the inauguration, or perhaps they are waiting for some of the contradictions that have been presented to us to shake out. In any event, there is nothing to do but wait (unless you favor speculation, which I do not).
There are any number of challenging topics I could address this quarter: Brexit, the election, interest rates, inflation, recession, asset values in the domestic and foreign markets. Instead, I am going to turn from the challenges of the moment and say something about both the for-profit and the nonprofit worlds - something I think readers will find compatible with their worldviews, no matter where they may be on the economic/political/social spectrum. And what I have to say will result in a modest proposal.