How About A City Instead Of A Wall?

Sometimes the best answer to a challenging issue is the exact opposite of what the conventional wisdom is.

We just spent a week in Mexico City and, as I always do when we travel to Mexico, I came away impressed with the character and work ethic of the Mexican people. They are entrepreneurial and hard working and always have a smile on their face. I have great respect for the people and culture of Mexico.

So when I read this piece on a proposal to build a “binational border city” instead of a wall between the US and Mexico, it got my attention.

Mexican architect Fernando Romero has proposed a new city be built between New Mexico and Texas in the U.S. and Chihuahua in Mexico. It would look like this from the sky.


I like the contrarian thinking. Instead of restricting trade and cross border economy between the US and Mexico, expand it.

It is my strong belief that globalization is a reality and we can’t put the genie back in the bottle. We should accept it and figure out how to work with it to everyone’s advantage.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Building bridges, not walls. Yup, that kind of thinking can apply to so many other areas and parts of the world too, but only if the world was made-up of rational people. Otherwise, openness gets abused.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      It would take more than “rational”. How about angelic?

      1. William Mougayar

        Peaceful ? Law obiding?

  2. Justin Fyles

    Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso (also a fervent Guided by Voices fan) is very outspoken on the floor about how El Paso and Ciudad Juarez make up such a city, and how it should be used as an example of what our border really should look like

    1. JLM

      .It is only under the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) that one even is required to present a passport to enter and leave the US. Now, the passport is the safe harbor.Until about 2008, an American could enter and leave Canada on an oral declaration of citizenship (it was easier even still if you had a plaid shirt, jeans, and a fishing pole).People who live in Texas understand how easy it currently is to enter and leave Mexico and the US for citizens of both countries. One only has to be in the parking lot of the McAllen Mall to understand the nature of this traffic.For the last ten years, Americans are reluctant to enter the Mexican border towns because of the violence.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  3. awaldstein

    Openness with boundaries. Authenticity not unabashed honestly. Clarity of intent.Big ideas that lubricate our thinking especially as the status quo isn’t working.

  4. Kurt Stangl

    This is one of those business opportunities that have been rotting on the vine. If we’d have spent the last 20 years being positive and building something instead of being led by petty bullshit politics, we’d have built a city and created prosperity. So much opportunity with a city and the right work visa program.

  5. Pete Griffiths

    “It is my strong belief that globalization is a reality and we can’t put the genie back in the bottle”True dat.

  6. Ana Milicevic

    What a beautiful concept.Cities increasingly have very different needs than the countries they reside in — London post-Brexit is a great example as is New York during the Bloomberg years. Cities are by default more open and what works for a city doesn’t necessarily work for areas outside of it.

    1. jason wright

      In essence London is a city state. It has little in common with the island that hosts it. It has become a burden.

      1. awaldstein

        Jason, curious comment, how so? I’m a personal believer that cities, where most of the world’s population live are the answers to ecological and efficiency issues with a growing population, not the problem.Very open to all data or articulate ideas to the opposite side of this discussion.

        1. jason wright

          Have you been to any of England’s provincial cities? Most are deprived wastelands. Mass unemployment, welfare dependency, poor social and technical infrastructure, and all because power is concentrated in London (economic, political, media). Fred couldn’t get a penny of interest from London when raising his fund in 2003/ 4. No surprise at all.London is like a black hole. Nothing escapes.

          1. awaldstein

            London and Manchester are the only cities in the UK I have any connections with personally and professionally.Neither are what I would consider a black hole in today’s world but this is not my area of experience though.

          2. jason wright

            Morning. Black hole as in a gravity effect, sucking everything in.

          3. awaldstein

            I can see this as a positive.

          4. jason wright

            And Britain is an island first and a country second. Geography shapes reality.

          5. awaldstein

            To a degree I guess as it impacts economy, as does climate, density, size and everything.Worked lots in the UK but never lived there so while this doesn’t sound right, I have an totally outside point of view.

          6. jason wright

            When I’m at a physical keyboard I’ll give you an anecdotal example of just how little autonomy cities beyond London have in their development. If I forget please remind me. ‘1976’ will jog my memory.

          7. jason wright

            in 1976 my city identified the need to widen the road (a single lane in both directions) that connects it to the UK’s M1 motorway (the backbone of the nation’s road network) and beyond to the local airport (which is only 14 miles away). the city drew up a plan and submitted it to Whitehall (London) for funding approval (a necessary legal requirement dictated by the state). the newly widened road opened to traffic… last year(!), 39 years later!!cities in England and Wales have discretionary power of spending for less than 10% of their total annual revenues. the +90% is decided by Whitehall (London). politics, media, financial capital, it’s all centralised in London. there is very little regional autonomy at all, unlike as an example Germany. a chalk and cheese comparison.the UK is silently screaming for change and decentralisation. people who enter the public debating chamber to campaign on this get squashed and marginalised by the media and the state. power begets power. it’s self reinforcing.

  7. Twain Twain

    Globalization increases the water (wealth) available to “float more boats” (households, families).A lot of the “us versus them” debates are ironic and stuck in trade hegemony from C18th Ricardo to post-war Marshall plans and have no basis in the Internet Age we live in.Case in point, look how quickly trade automation means data flows in nanoseconds and has knock-on effects across interconnected economies. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > Globalization increases the water (wealth) available to “float more boats” (households, families).Right, a case of Pareto optimality. Except in the real politic case of globalization, that argument is just to cover up the hidden agenda and a scam.All the economists who promote that Pareto stuff in this situation should be laid end to end. E.g., the usual approaches to globalization would need a strong global government or we would be without the important US laws on monopolies, predatory marketing practices, collusion in restraint of trade, various other market manipulations, the US FTC, etc.

      1. Twain Twain

        We’ve benefited more from globalization than we’ve lost.Look at the Internet. American techco’s make $ BILLIONS from selling their data, cloud services etc around the world.And people around the world can make friends and exchange ideas.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Here you are factually wildly wrong.All we need is one number — Trump’s 800 billion dollars, the US annual trade deficit.For my startup, if it works as planned, then it should generate ballpark $1 billion a month in pre-tax earnings, with more than 50% of the revenue from outside the US. Still, that won’t do much to close the $800 billion gap.Again, yet again, once again, over again, one more time, Trump is FOR trade and NOT against trade. I know this is tough to see, but Trump wants MORE trade, not less. He has made this point really clear. But, he, and maybe this is complicated, wants to move the trade deficit back to nearly $0 per year.The “globalization” is propaganda, pro/con to have us ignore the real issue. So, since we don’t want no trade, the globalization people want to argue that, then, we DO want their globalization. Nope. No way. Instead we want more trade with that trade in balance.The globalization stuff has a big hidden agenda best understood by following the money.

          1. Twain Twain

            Here are some facts that lead to the US’s weakened economy AND here’s how globalization has benefitted everyone.Who helped the US when its economy was falling through the floor in 2008-9? The Chinese. The Chinese weren’t the ones telling the US banks to up their gearing ratios to 40 (disproportionate risk exposures) and nor were they the ones packaging toxic sub-primes in asset-backed securities.If not for globalization, how could the Chinese have the $$$ to help the US when it needed that help? (@fredwilson:disqus @JLM:disqus @lawrencebrass:disqus @le_on_avc:disqus @ccrystle:disqus @cavepainting:disqus @wmoug:disqus — Clearly, I’m for globalization.)And which party was in government before 2008 and whose policies fueled the subprime mortgage problems that led to $22+ TRILLION in value loss for US households? The Republican Party.https://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.c…Trump blaming the Chinese for the US’s weak economy is ridiculous and his glib, “round the mulberry bushes and off to Pluto” debate responses and lack of specifics about how he’d fix the US economy should make you even more worried than his “bull in the china shop” approach to the Middle East.The two biggest banks in the US do more business with Europe than China, by the way. So the financial risks for US banks are more from Brexit than from China. https://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.c

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Who helped the US when its economy was falling through the floor in 2008-9? The Chinese.If not for globalization, how could the Chinese have the $$$ to help the US when it needed that help? Uh, likely the Chinese printed up some of their currency, went to the foreign exchange markets and bought dollars, and then bought the T-bills.Okay, I read all of your inserted pictures. That was not so easy to do: For each picture I had to have a Web browser write the picture to a disk file and then use the Microsoft Windows Picture and FAX Viewer to display the picture and zoom in so that I could read the text.I will not yell and scream bloody murder here about people who draw graphs with teeny tiny, itty bitty, dinky twinky, thin, light characters for the axis labels, etc. and then use JPG, good for landscapes, instead of the lossless GIF or PNG for the file compression.Okay, from some of your inserted files, you seem to be saying that soon after the crash of 2008 China bought nearly $1 trillion of US T-bills and that that helped the US handle the big crash of 2008.I have lots of files on the crash of 2008 and some broad opinions on the causes and who the dirty dogs to blame were, but, still, I’ve never seen any even decently meaningful discussion of just what went wrong, why, just what we could, would, should, and did to get out of the crash, etc.Yes, about the best I found was the Frontline piece with the Chair of Wells Fargo, apparently still at…If work at it and download a lot of pages, edit those, etc., then can get an actual, clean simple text transcript — I did that.Or, why did we have a crash? Sure, we’d used high leverage to blow a huge housing bubble, and it crashed for some of the usual reasons high leverage financial asset bubbles crash.How? That’s more complicated and involves some mortgage brokers, some Wall Street CDO guys and rating agencies, the SEC asleep at the switch, Fanny and Freddie backing mortgages written on used toilet paper, and more.Why? From W and his case of born again White guilt, there was a strong social engineering effort to put poor people in middle class housing. Fannie and Freddie policies, essentially affirmative action, were the main, first causes.I do recall a Bernanke remark: “I do not want to be the Chair of the Fed that took the US into the Second Great Depression” or some such. So, I can believe that the crash was serious, could have been as serious as the Great Depression.That’s a lot of effort and cost for affirmative action.And I don’t want to take the time and space here to try to get some solid rationality about the Great Recession.Still, for your praise of globalization and China, I would suspect that (A) China bought the T-bills not at all as favors to the US but just for their own, selfish reasons and (B) the US had alternatives.For a very short description of an alternative and more generally a single, fast way out of such a situation, IIRC there was a remark by some famous economist: “Depression and deflation are the easiest problems in the world to solve — just print money.” Inflation is the tough one to cure; deflation is easy.Or in one step more detail, just have the Fed or US Treasury (with loans from the Fed) buy up Lehmann, AIG, Morgan Stanley, etc., buy stock from GM, Ford, and Chrysler, and then, as the economy recovered, sell those assets back to the open market and get the money back, maybe with a profit.And it did appear to me that with Bernanke’s obscure circumlocution quantitative easing, the TARP programs, etc., first-cut, roughly, having the Fed print money is essentially what we moved to instead of the first steps of selling T-bills to other countries, e.g., China.And which party was in government before 2008 and whose policies fueled the subprime mortgage problems that led to $22+ TRILLION in value loss for US households? The Republican Party. Yup. And that is one reason why in…I wroteDumb de dumb dumb W. The other main reason I wrote that was W’s Gulf War II with (1) accepting the Cheney remark “There is no doubt Saddam has weapons of mass destruction”; (2) accepting the Condi stuff that the aluminum tubes were for uranium separation; (3) putting L. Paul Bremer in charge in Baghdad who right away disbanded Saddam’s 7 million man army, thus, just throwing those soldiers on the streets, and left Saddam’s military supplies too poorly guarded; (4) went along with the P. Wolfowitz claim that it should not take more US troops to occupy Iraq than it took to conquer it; (5) ignoring the evidence, from Saddam, etc., that, really, Iraq was a three-way civil war that had been held together only with Saddam’s Stalinist tactics and that we would have one heck of a time trying to hold Iraq together; (6) W’s effort to give Iraq a constitutional, parliamentary, representative, secular democracy with some or all of freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion, separation of church and state, gender and racial equality, a US-style legal system, etc.; and (7) W’s statement that “The Iraqi people are perfectly capable of governing themselves.”.So, right, I am not a fan of W or the Bush wing of the Republican party with Cheney, Wolfowitz, the neo-cons, that wing’s broad ideas about how the US could and should, police the world, etc.But I am much less of a fan of Hillary.With all that background, for your praise of globalization: I don’t like it. Broadly it’s more “foreign entanglements”.For more, we’re talking one global house of paper with no effective firewalls — so if one part catches fire, all of it does.We saw that in the crash of 2008: The US did some totally dumb de dumb dumb financial things; the economies of the US and much of the rest of the world got really sick; and 8 years later we are not well again yet. Really big, bad bummer.But, IMHO, although some writers about the history disagree, that was just the same song, second verse of what the US did in the crash of 1929. Then, IMHO (although some people disagree) that led to the Great Depression in the US; that spread around the world and in Germany and Japan led to military dictatorships; those dictatorships led to WWII; and that killed ballpark 100 million people. Dumb de dumb dumb. Really big bummer. Wildly, outrageously irresponsible.So, the US has done this to the world twice now. Really big bummer. Wildly, outrageously irresponsible and very dangerous and destructive.If the US does this again, then we could get WWIII where none of us live through it.And, if China, Japan, the TPP, the EU, some UN thing-y, etc. do some such thing, again, then we could be in WWIII where this time it was not the fault of the US.So, in the world economy, I want a lot of relatively independent countries with financial, economic, military, medical, legal, etc. firewalls so that when one country does another dumb de dumb dumb bummer, say, from another W-Cheney, the problem mostly doesn’t spread.Look, as we know, financial systems and economies are darned unstable and far too easily can kill millions of people, next time maybe billions of people.So, in the US, we’ve tried to get some stability — monetary policy, fiscal policy, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, Glass-Steagall, the SEC, FDIC, CFTC, FTC, regulation of M&A by the DoJ, Fannie, Freddie, commercial banking reserve ratios, regulations of pension funds and insurance companies, laws regulating monopolies and outlawing predatory marketing practices, collusion in restraint of trade, and more. Still, as we just saw in the crash of 2008 and our slow recovery, we don’t much know what the heck we are doing with our financial and economic systems.Then along come the globalizers, the TPP conspirators, the UN poobahs, the European Union types, the Atlantic Union folks, the one worlders, etc. So, we get the EU with Brussels with lots of talking, lots of unelected, dictatorial poobahs talking and writing regulations on every tiny thing-y, and arriving to hard work at 10 AM, breaking the hard work for lunch, with lots of French Beaujolais, German Mozel, or Dutch beer, 11-1, a nap from 1-3, hard work from 3-4, and, after so much work, call it a day at 4. Then, don’t show up at all on Wednesdays because that would ruin two weekends.So, in the EU, the Brussels government is too bureaucratic, too unresponsive to reality and the people, can’t find anything too small to write ridiculous regulations about, and too inefficient, politically correct, and socialistic.E.g., they just decided that all the EU countries should take in Muslims from the Mideast and North Africa, Muslims who don’t know a European language and will be slow to learn one, have nothing of value in any sense to bring to the EU, are basically totally unemployable in the EU and will be a welfare burden, don’t understand and won’t accept European values, hate Jews, Christians, essentially everyone else in the EU, and the EU as a whole, will molest, attack and rape girls and women, will form no-go ghettos, will too commonly want to kill all infidels, will bring serious, communicable diseases long since eradicated in the EU, and too often become radical Islamic jihading terrorists killing Europeans. All loss. No gain. The politically correct EU, so eager to show they won’t discriminate that they are bringing in enemies of the EU. Dumb de dumb dumb bummer. And Obama and Hillary want to do the same for the US. Why? In the last debate, Hillary said “to do our part” or some such — total BS.Another EU problem was EU dumb de dumb dumb, bummer banking policies that created the Greek crisis.From this EU politically correct nonsense, England voted for Brexit. Good for England.The UN? A lot of talk, a lot of nasty talk, next to nothing good, and a lot of really bad, now especially the psych-o, sick-o, wack-o, self-destructive nonsense about carbon dioxide from human activities causing significant global warming. There, beyond the total nonsense, look for the hidden agenda and follow the money.Lesson: Efforts like the EU are too clumsy and fail. The UN has wanted to grow to some world government but has always been so clumsy it never got to grow. It goes on.Net: I very much do not want the US involved in financial, economic, political, citizenship, etc. globalization.Good trade deals and trade that obeys the deals, fine. The dreams of the globalizers — no way.Trump blaming the Chinese for the US’s weak economy is ridiculous No it’s not. We can settle that point with just one number, if believe Trump or look up the number — the US has a trade deficit with China of about $500 billion a year. So, a lot of US work and jobs went to China and seriously hurt US companies and workers. Simple enough.his glib, “round the mulberry bushes and off to Pluto” debate responses Such debating style is necessary in such debates. Anyone who just takes the questions literally and answers them directly and stops is a fool.Or, like Newt Gingrich explained recently: For the questions, mostly ignore them. For each question, say a few words about the question and then use the rest of the time to address not the question, not the moderators, not the other candidates, but the VOTERS watching.lack of specifics about how he’d fix the US economy You’d like more specifics. I’d like more specifics. That’s two. We’d struggle to find a third.In…I did write you a long post on some of the less general details and included a lot of relevant references.For Hillary, she lies so much there is nothing she can say on what she would try to do on the economy we could believe she even hopes or would do. And Hillary is so incompetent at getting anything good done that we have to hope she doesn’t try to do anything. Mostly we have to suspect that all Hillary would do on the economy is sell favors and, thus, get $1 million speaking fees for Bill and billions of dollars for her fake foundation, i.e., Hillary family slush fund.”bull in the china shop” approach to the Middle East. Trump (1) wants to defend the US from serious threats to the US from the Mideast, e.g., radical Islamic terrorism, ISIS, and Iran, (2) is willing to lead in humanitarian efforts where the money comes from the Mideast, (3) doesn’t want to depose leaders and won’t depose them without it being clear the result will be something significantly better, (4) apparently would like for the Mideast to be stable and achieve its much deserved inattention from the rest of the world, and (5) does NOT want to police the Mideast or save it from itself.His approach is much less of a bull than Bush 41’s Gulf War I, Bush 43’s Gulf War II, and everything Hillary has done and tried to do.Hillary’s approach? A huge, out of control bull, no, rogue elephant: She voted to let W do Gulf War II and depose Saddam and do Akrapistan and Wackozerostan in Pukistan. She wants to depose Assad in Syria. She did help depose Gaddafi in Libya which enabled ISIS in Libya and let ISIS control some or all of the high value Libyan oil. For Benghazi, she refused to increase security, ignored the 600 requests, refused to take the 3 AM phone call, neglected to respond as we really could have, and lied about the attack, saying the cause was “that awful video” when she knew much better. She did gun running to Libya that ended up in ISIS. As US Secretary of State, Hillary helped enable ISIS. I’m not taking time to check the dates, but likely Hillary helped depose the leader of Egypt we liked and put in the Muslim Brotherhood we shouldn’t like. Hillary wants to be the big Mideast dictator de-poser — Saddam, Gaddafi, in Egypt, Assad, at least. Hillary was big for the Iran deal. IIRC, Hillary is on record wanting to import ballpark 1 million Mideast Muslims. She is on record saying that there is no good way we can vet those. She is on record for “open borders” and giving all immigrants instant US citizenship. Clearly too many of those imported Muslims will be ISIS soldiers out to kill Americans, including with nukes ASAP. Here Hillary intends to give “aid and comfort” to people who declare themselves enemies of the US, and that is high treason and impeachable.Maybe one way Hillary gets by with such astoundingly awful things is that they are so bad people are reluctant to believe they are true. But the evidence is rock solid, and her awful things are fully true.Hillary is the bull, rogue elephant in the Mideast, doing a lot of harm and never any good.In general Hillary does next to nothing good: (1) She has just awful judgment, character, and, in private, temperament. (2) Her interests are in helping only herself, Bill, and Chelsea. (3) While she is bright in some ways and a talented actress, apparently actually at anything at all practical she is 99 44/100% incompetent — for good things, she can’t get them done.

  8. Vendita Auto

    Brave new world

  9. Dorian Benkoil

    Challenging assumptions (something great engineers tend to be really good at IMHO) is always a good idea.

  10. lynnerae

    Thank you, Fred — yours is an important voice. I, too am “…impressed with the character and work ethic of the Mexican people”, which is why I’ve been working for the past 4 years to start a VC fund dedicated to supporting the many amazing tech entrepreneurs in Mexico, and foster cross-border tech innovation. So happy you enjoyed your time in Mexico!

    1. Richard

      awesome! What side fund are you looking to start? How receptive are prospective investors, LPs in tUS and Mexico?

      1. lynnerae

        We raised a small fund in 2014 (to test thesis/build track record) and are now raising a $30M fund. Just signed an anchor LP at $5m last week (happy dance). When we started it was a very, very tough story to sell – more than a few called me crazy. For this fund we’re finding much better receptivity – still more from US LPs than MX investors. There are some awesome startups being developed in MX, and it never hurts to be early.

        1. Richard

          Whats the name of the fund? What are some of the early companies that jade been funded? Is the structure of the fund similar to the US?

          1. Nathan Lustig

            Very cool. I was just in Mexico City a few weeks ago to check out the tech scene up close and personal. I was impressed by how much money is flowing into the DF ecosystem and how many entrepreneurs are doing cool, mexico focused things.There’s way more $ in the ecosystem compared to what I’m seeing in Chile, where we have a small fund. After Brasil, Mexico seems to be the second spot in Latin America for investment. Good luck on your raise, it would be great to connect to learn more, I’m always interested in meeting people helping build the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem!

          2. Lawrence Brass

            It is very probable that most of the countries that make the so called “southern cone” of South America will be ruled by centre-right governments simultaneously for the rest of the decade. That would be Chile, Argentina and Perú.It would be an unique opportunity for these governments and innovative investors coming from mature venture capital markets to help start up the required ecosystems.There is a lot of potential in South America that is mainly locked up due to restricted access to capital and low wages. How to free this potential gradually while controlling the risk and developing the needed work and business ethics are the keys in my opinion.Glad to know about people as you that are working on this!

          3. lynnerae

            Thanks, Nathan, and I’d welcome connecting, and learning more about what you are doing–I feel the same about building a supportive network for LatAm entrepreneurship! I agree with your observation re: Mexico tech — it is on the rise, and growing rapidly. For the first time ever, Mexico led the LatAm region in number of deals funded for 1H2016, with 47 transactions.

          4. lynnerae

            We’re MITA Ventures ( — the site features links to a few of our funded companies: Nuve (IoT for transportation security), ParLevel (IoT) and Sunu (wearable device for the vision-impaired) are standouts. And yes, the structure is similar to a US fund — US/DE LLC for the GP, however the L.P. is structured in Canada to facilitate pass-through tax treatment for our international and Mexican investors. Thanks for your interest!

        2. Donna Brewington White

          Very cool. Congratulations! Much success to you!

          1. lynnerae

            Thank you, Donna!

  11. jason wright

    What about NAFTA in your thought process on Mexico/ US relations?

  12. Richard

    Pretty picture, but it would take a constitutional convention to work this out. Too much money in politics to pull anything like this off.Well, there’s people and more peopleWhat do they know, know, knowGo to work in some high riseAnd vacation down at the Gulf of MexicoOoh, yeahAnd there’s winners and there’s losersBut they ain’t no big deal’Cause the simple man, babyPays for thrillsThe bills the pills that killOh, but ain’t that AmericaFor you and meAin’t that AmericaSomething to see, babyAin’t that AmericaHome of the free, yeahLittle pink housesFor you and meOoohOoooh, yeah…

    1. LE

      To me, this was the best part of the song:There’s a black man with a black cat Living in a black neighborhood He’s got an interstate running’ through his front yard You know, he thinks, he’s got it so goodAnd then:And there’s a woman in the kitchen cleaning’ up evening slop And he looks at her and says: “Hey darling, I can remember when you could stop a clock

      1. DJL

        But if we focus on the positives – family, love, gratitude – then how could we get all of the these black people to hate us and riot for injustice? (Internal Obama Administration Memo.)

  13. LE

    How About A City Instead Of A Wall?Trying to be positive but this doesn’t solve the problem at hand now. Which has been framed as illegal aliens entering our country. A wall will take years to build. This city will take decades. And from a quick look it doesn’t address gaps in the border where people can still sneak in.I like the contrarian thinking. Instead of restricting trade and cross border economy between the US and Mexico, expand it.This is a massive multi year bet though with no assurance it will work as intended. And as mentioned does nothing in the near term to solve the apparent problem. The contrarian thinking might be better when hedged with other more realistic bets (as is done in VC) but not with a project of this scale and/or importance. [1][1] And why not spend the same time effort and money investing it in the poorer parts of our current US cities. Why is Mexico our problem (other than it is our problem..)

    1. Richard

      The Mexican Peso has lost nearly half its value vs the US dollar and average Mexicans are paying for this dearly.

      1. JLM

        .Only in the last 18 months on a financial instruments trading basis and not at all on a PPP (pricing parity) basis.http://www.tradingeconomics…This is exactly why the cost of labor in Mexico is so low and why it has again become attractive to move labor to that country.I miss the days of cetes and tesebonos paying 65% annual interest.JLMwww.temusingsofthebigredcar…

    2. DisentAgain

      “And from a quick look it doesn’t address gaps in the border where people can still sneak in.” So make it easier to get in legally and documented. Problem solved.

  14. JLM

    .I am in Old Mexico as I write this little screed. Not sure if the Internet will get it to y’all but we shall see.Of course, I live in a state, Tejas, which used to be part of Mexico, which was a country created by a revolt against Santa Anna (Alamo, Battle of San Jacinto and all that), and which proudly retains a lot of the culture of our history.South of San Antone, it might as well be Mexico, which is not a bad thing. Y’all don’t think we love breakfast tacos?The issues between the US and Mexico have absolutely nothing to do with globalization.We have had a border with Mexico and we have had bi-lateral relations for centuries. Mexico owned what was both California and a swath of land which went all the way to the modern Canadian border. As the Mexican empire receded, it was demarked by borders — borders are what define the land mass of a country and are not, inherently, evil.What is at stake between the US and Mexico is NAFTA, illegal immigration, drugs, the deportation of criminals, terrorism, and trade (actually included under the umbrella of NAFTA).As to NAFTA, to understand its implications for US employment, one has to study the Maquiladora program which has resulted in a million manufacturing jobs being exported to the other side of the border by the stroke of a signature on a bit of legislation.[Just for the record, there are absolutely no restrictions on trade between Mexico and the US and I am not sure from whence that is coming. Under NAFTA, the rules are clear and we have a robust legal trade relationship with Mexico. There is no trade problem other than the export of US jobs.]On this score, Trump is absolutely correct. A simple modification of the agreement (which authority is provided in the agreement itself) will staunch the flow of jobs to Mexico and will return many, if not all, of those jobs.Here is a description that spells out the implications.http://themusingsofthebigre…The illegal immigration is a matter of obeying the existing laws. The implications of not obeying this body of law has been staggering in Texas — tons of illegals to be educated, tons of criminals being admitted, tons of apprehended criminals being dumped on our street corners, and downward pressure on wages, jobs.The implications as it relates to the distribution of drugs is obvious and apparent. It is not people hauling bales of weed. It is deadly and, often, chemically altered drugs which are killing our youth. Go legalize marijuana, if you must, but do not pretend that these deadly drugs can be harmlessly dealt to our youth.Terrorism. A schoolmate of mine is the DHS honcho between El Paso and Brownsville — the terrorists are using the border to infiltrate the US both with personnel and materiel. It is a huge vulnerability.So, let me bottom line it. We don’t really have problems which can be solved by a lovely city. We have garden variety border problems which are a century old and that are as ordinary and normal as bordering countries have always had.Now, back to the rainy season in Old Mexico.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      Go legalize marijuana, if you must, but do not pretend that these deadly drugs can be harmlessly dealt to our youth.Agree. And I hear about the impact of drugs (legal and illegal) everyday from my wife who deals with drug seeking types.Idiotic to think that the answer to bad enforcement policy (and other ways of control) is to legalize something and try to compare it (as has been done) to prohibition not working in a different time period.Curious the answer to the question that I posed to Charlie with his comment about legalization very broadly.

      1. JLM

        .I was just in Steamboat a week ago and the price for illegal weed (much of it coming from the oversupply of medical marijuana) is far lower (untaxed also) than the price for legal weed (Colorado has legal weed both medical and recreational) and therefore is thriving.I did not witness this but I am told that the illegal distribution point is in a Suburban across from the legal weed store in downtown SBS.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          A Suburban. Mainstay of the US Secret Service and law enforcement?http://www.policecarwebsite…I wonder what the impact on the college towns in Colorado are. Are kids more likely to choose a college there than in a state more restrictive?

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Yes, but with a Suburban, need a US Secret Service team to carry the needed step as in…The picture doesn’t show the agent carrying the wholesale sized box of Depends.

          2. Lawrence Brass

            Good photo, start getting used to it. 🙂

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Go long on the company that makes Depends? Also Pampers? And walkers? Of course pant suits. And don’t forget face makeup, about three pounds a day. Else she would look like…

          4. DJL

            That’s the car taking her to jail.

          5. SubstrateUndertow

            You have achieved a new low on AVC :-(Be careful what you wish-for/joke-about, such banana republic political thinking is a dangerous contagion !

          6. DJL

            Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot to call Trump an idiot, sexist, bigot, crazy who hates Mexicans and blacks and women. That is totally acceptable AVC chatter. Liberals can sling whatever hate they want, but then get “offended” when they get a tiny dose? What self-righteous crap.

          7. SubstrateUndertow

            Your response is irrelevant.My comment comes from neither the right nor the left.My comment was about the lack of civility that leads to social disaster for both sides of the ideological divide.I’m a Canadian and it is somewhat unnerving to see Americans even toying with such irresponsible political rhetoric.It makes the outside world start to lose confidence in America as the foundational world democracy !

          8. Cam MacRae

            I am similarly unnerved, but take solace in the notion that they’ve been doing this a long time and thus far have managed to change governments without issue. Besides, the invective and puddle deep reasoning we see here has been a feature of this blog every election.In the end they’re going to elect a centre right authoritarian to the Whitehouse. While Xi-Li (and to a lesser extent Putin) are in power I don’t think it matters which one.

          9. LE

            What people don’t realize is that they say the same “bad” things they just cloak it in nicer language so it comes across as more acceptable.Both Trump and Hillary exaggerate and lie with their claims (as do quite frankly all politicians) however I do admit that Hillary does a better job of making it ‘sound’ legitimate.Whatever his drawbacks are, nothing gets me angrier than hearing tv hosts (like Chris Matthews) talk about a subject (taxes or business) and not recognize that avoidance is a legitimate legal aspect of what someone might do. Then saying things like “scam” to describe it or “living high off the hog” and so on. Or talking about (Hillary does this) his business failures when we all know that that’s part of the game and actually to be admired (in a business sense).

          10. PhilipSugar

            The problem is you can’t be for either candidate you can only be more against one.That is what is causing so much consternation. People try and point out flaws that don’t exist or defend deplorable actions because they are so much more against one.Really it comes down to can you control corrupt or crazy.Sadly you also have to realize your decision means to you are deciding continue to build government up or tear it down.You can only be left shaking your head at this shitshow.On one side you have Hilliary: A corrupt, morally bankrupt person that believes she is clearly superior to the populace, because she is part of the government.She has made a quarter of a billion dollars with the only asset being the ability to illegally influence political decisions that she is supposed to make while serving the public. She takes money from the very people she says are against the populace.She had an illegal email server to cover up her dirty deeds, and would in fact be in jail except for the fact that she has so much influence, confirming her belief she is in fact in a different class that the populace: the Government Class which is the very thing so many people hate, and what she has spent her life to build.Then you have Donald: A psychopathic crazy, misogynist that has the impulse control of a three year old. He has always been surrounded by people that put up with his crazy because he controls their paycheck, which has increased his crazy and lack of impulse control. He thinks he is superior because he is rich.He completely confirmed this in the past two weeks.First he was completely unprepared for the debate. Every one of Hillary’s attacks were predictable and he should have had easy soundbites memorized to respond, instead he came off like an angry rich child.Then you have have him on tape describing how he as a married man sexually assaulted a married woman. It is worse than the deplorable, despicable actions described. It showed total lack of judgement and impulse control. It also confirmed he doesn’t think that rules apply to him because he is rich. To top it off he said it to a person he didn’t know when he should have known he could be on tape.

          11. LE

            He has always been surrounded by people that put up with his crazy because he controls their paycheck, which has increased his crazy and lack of impulse control.This is exactly what most people don’t realize. The fact that when you are surrounded by people who have something to gain from you (and with Donald gain can even be just saying they got to be in your office) they will let you say anything. I am reminded of this by the girl who has cut my hair for since the 1980’s. She will let me say anything to her. Lately I’ve picked up a few grimaces when I become particularly offensive. It’s a game I play sometimes. Noticed it also with employees in the past. I am sure you have as well.He thinks he is superior because he is rich.I don’t know if this is actually the case (the rich). The fact is most regular people are pretty mediocre single function machines. I mean generally I think I am ‘superior’ to most people that I run into where I live that work in certain types of jobs. And those intellectuals teaching at Universities think they are superior in some way to people even with money. It doesn’t bother me that they think they are better than I am. I just dealt with a customer who is 90 that is a distinguished professor at Princeton. His resume is stunning. I am sure he thinks a great deal of himself. I am sure Bruce Springsteen thinks he is better than a wedding singer. I think Donald thinks he is smart more than he thinks he is rich. Because it’s easier. Obviously there are many richer people than Donald is.First he was completely unprepared for the debate.Exactly he is the key of “wing it”. This is why he can’t be President. What I said before about being an entrepreneur means you can do what you want when you want with only self imposed deadlines generally. He controls the vertical and horizontal. Can do what he wants when he wants. Not suited for a job like President where you have to buckle down. Plus the government is a big fucking machine filled with ordinary people. They just won’t be able to rise to the occasion like he thinks they will. Let’s face it. Maybe some small city he could pull it off but not with the federal government.To top it off he said it to a person he didn’t know when he should have known he could be on tape.Of all the things that part bothered me the least. Because I think he knew and simply didn’t care. He was riffing and was riding so high it didn’t matter to him. As far as the things he said he was trying to get a laugh out of the other guy.I actually learned something yesterday though. I was discussing the club crotch grab with my wife saying that I couldn’t believe he would do that (I thought he could do other things). And my wife told me that she has had that happen in the past, with both men that she knew just a little and men that she didn’t. They just grabbed her down there. I am guessing that since you were in a fraternity you know tons more about what guys will do than I do. I am naive in that area.

          12. PhilipSugar

            I agree with everything but your last paragraph. There is a term for a crotch grab by either gender. But if you did that without consent you would be blackballed. Since this is such a sexually charged topic:

          13. LE

            Most stupid thing he did was not knowing how he would kill his brand and what is important to him and his family when he loses. He didn’t hedge his bet. He bet it all (just like developers do ironically when they sign personally on a big project which ironically was something he was in many cases able to avoid).To me the reason is he was addicted to the entire process and lost sight of the bigger picture (screwing up his brand). The thing that backs this up is the fact that his brother as an alcoholic and addiction I think runs in the family. So his addiction was not alcohol or drugs but the thrill he gets from doing all of those speeches and being in the press. That’s what I think happened.Additionally the schedule and lack of sleep made him even crazier and caused him to lose his judgement. That is my “medical” opinion of what is going on here.

          14. fredwilson

            acceptable to you but not to me. i have never banned anyone other than a spammer. i’m about to start changing that policy because of dickheads like you

          15. DJL

            What the f*ck, Fred? What part about what I said was incorrect? Do I have to copy and paste all of the ruthless shit that has been said against Trump (and Christians and Conservatives) on this blog just in the last 6 months? So I disagree with you and some other anonymous suck-ups and I am the dickhead? I have tried to disagree with you without personally insulting you.This is classic chicken shit Liberalism – call the other side names and shut them down. It is much easier than having to put up with logical opposition. With all of your success and intellect, that’s what you come up with – “dickhead.” How sad.I’ll save you the trouble and bow out myself.

          16. JLM

            .Echo chamber, indeed. Stay the course, deplorable.Deplorable myself.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          17. DJL

            Yes, but probably in another deplorable forum.

          18. PhilipSugar

            Fred when people said Trump was Hitler the worst human in history. There were crickets.

      2. Richard

        The real issue is why the distribution of drugs are not legalizing in Mexico not the US

        1. pwrserge

          Because the cartels have no incentive to go legit. Even if their trade was legal, it would still be profitable to dodge taxes and carry on business as usual. Mexico’s government is a joke bordering on failed state status and has no realistic hope of coming out of such without the US burning the entire country to the ground and starting from scratch.

    2. sigmaalgebra

      Now, now, now, when go to a proper, upper class, Victorian garden party, under penalty of contempt, rejection, ostrasization, etc., e.g., never mention, sex, politics, religion, mathematics, or anything numerical or technical, there are some special rules of etiquette to observe. Some of the situation is clear in some of the fiction of Henry James, e.g., The Golden Bowl. More of the situation is in “Anyone who always calls a spade a spade is fit only to use one.” Instead, learn the arts of circumlocution, evasion, euphemism, high society social small talk, political correctness. Remember the basic dynamics — the higher go in high society, the less the content in the conversations! Otherwise there will be a skunk at the Victorian garden party! Say, learn from the British royals, say, the one in The Social Network, with, what was it, about the crew race, “brutally close”? An incongruous juxtaposition of meaninglessness! I’m surprised the Catholic nuns didn’t teach those parts of upper class socialization! It’s a fact: It’s possible to make saying nothing at all as complicated as you please — no upper bound! You seem to have learned from Patton, maybe, “Sacred cows make the best hamburger.” Let’s call up G. B. Shaw and get his responses, e.g., “… dear, we have already established that; now we are just haggling over price”.

    3. jason wright

      When drugs are illegal where does the money end up?If drugs became legal where would the money then end up?

      1. JLM

        .Basic reading comp problem?In the example I noted, the public flows are a wash at best. Increased pubic revenue, perhaps, offsets increased public cost. That’s the buzz coming out of Colorado.In the instant example I note, revenue to the cartels increases while the gov’t provides the marketing while the cartels provide the better priced product while providing a simultaneous gateway marketing program.The better question is — who are the winners?That is a much shorter list to contemplate.Better still, let’s build a country where our reality of our great life is more than good enough.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Ryan Frew

          “Cartels provide the better priced product”How many products can you name that are cheaper on the black market than on legitimate channels? Any? Certainly, very few. There will be a challenging transition period, but what you describe doesn’t sound like an issue that will be sustained.

          1. JLM

            .Part of the price disadvantage is sales taxes which are 2.9% for general sales (state) plus local taxes of 5.75% (Routt County and SBS) plus a targeted 10% [which is in addition to the “trim” tax of 15%, which is like a VAT].In SBS, the top quality stuff is selling for $400/ounce — top quality based on THC content and the nature of the high (quick, long, easy decline, sleepiness index).You are looking at another 18.65% tax (the trim tax is already baked in).The illegal seller avoids both the 18.65% tax and the 15% trim tax.This structural price advantage is not likely to dissipate.Remember also, you are dealing with the back door product of the medical marijuana industry (six plants per patient, two blooming at any one time, all marijuana not consumed by the patient to be destroyed) which is not going away.So, it is difficult to see how this structural advantage is not sustained for a long period of time.Add to it that there is no documentation required and the illegal sellers do not take credit cards.I am not certain why you suggest there is any connection between some “black market” that is applicable. Just don’t get that relationship but I would opine that stolen and illicit goods always sell below their legal counterparts.Last, I would suggest there is no instance I can think of in which a highly regulated and taxed product is ever the low cost provider. When gov’t is involved, it always costs more.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. PhilipSugar

            Mmmmm…..cigarettes would be a huge one. HUGE. ENORMOUS.Same for booze.Where do you live?

          3. Ryan Frew

            Somewhere the coffee isn’t strong enough. My comment makes no sense. But I’m leaving it up – deleting feels like a copout

        2. jason wright

          Colorado is inside the US. Mexico is in theory outside.Why did the US have a civil war between north and south?

    4. Stephen Palmer

      The actual real world “staggering” implications for Texas has been a thriving economy and little crime.

      1. JLM

        .The Texas economy has been driven by energy, business environment (of which no personal taxes and reasonable levels of regulation are an essential component), a Legislature which meets every other year, a balanced budget, and an abundance of land and housing.A million and a half Californians can’t all be wrong, right?We are at an all time in gun ownership and an all time low in murders — you do the math. Still, we will have more than 1,000 in a population of 27MM — much better than Chicago where guns are illegal.Here is a good bit of data on Texas crime.http://www.disastercenter.c…Mexican terror gang, MS 13, owned an apartment complex here. Huh?Nonetheless, my little hometown has three more high schools, two middle schools, and three grammar schools to accommodate the flow of illegal aliens who must be schooled regardless of their immigration status.Wages in the construction industry have been suppressed for two and a half decades. We still pay laborers the same wage we did fifteen years ago.NONE of the vigor of the economy has been caused by immigration, illegal or otherwise. Why are we not entitled to have the laws of our nation enforced?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Stephen Palmer

          If you want better wages for construction workers, all you have to do is drive up the road to Austin or DFW. Plenty of jobs to be had and wages going higher.

          1. JLM

            .I live in ATX and hired some stone masons a month ago to build a wall for the exact same wages I use to pay in the 1980s So, no, ATX is not the answer.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Stephen Palmer

            Raise the minimum wage then. Employers in the city can afford it.

          3. JLM

            .Come on, Stephen.Nobody in the construction industry with a skill makes minimum wage. I paid $15-25/hr for skilled masons in the 1980s and paid the same thing last month.The fast food industry might be impacted but not construction. The most unskilled but hardworking laborers make $12-15/hr in places like ATX.Sheesh!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. pwrserge

            When has raising minimum wage EVER helped workers? Every single case in history resulted in higher unemployment, higher cost of living, and the people you were seeking to “help” winging up worse than they started off.

        2. sigmaalgebra

          > Why are we not entitled to have the laws of our nation enforced?Because we elected a POTUS who very much did not want to enforce those laws. Most of the media chipped in, and we didn’t castigate the media and run their eyeball numbers and ad revenue into the sewer but let them get away with their propaganda and even followed it.IIRC, the US Constitution says that the POTUS should enforce the laws. Well, our POTUS has not, and that should be impeachable.When voters were pulling the levers in November 2012, they were alone in the voting booth with no one pulling on their arm or threatening to make public how they voted.

  15. LE

    I came away impressed with the character and work ethic of the Mexican people. They are entrepreneurial and hard working and always have a smile on their face. I have great respect for the people and culture of Mexico.This is actually part of our problem. [1] The people from Mexico (that I see) that are working here in low paid positions are definitely hard working nose to the grindstone types that run roughshod over our workforce for certain types of work. (Don’t see smiles though..)As a result they drive down the wages for our citizens that might be doing the same jobs at a higher cost. [2] To much supply of good labor. I am sure most of us wouldn’t like it (when we were starting out) if there was a flood of people doing exactly what we do lowering the opportunity for us to earn a good living. I know I wouldn’t.[1] The land of opportunity is great but there has to be restrictions on who is able to take advantage of that opportunity w/o displacing to many people in our own country from meaningful employment.[2] Ironically one reason we have unions and minimum wage. To prevent undercutting of the price of labor.

    1. creative group

      LE:It appears the same concept as the slut walk of the woman sexually violated by the coward male who makes excuses regarding her dress was the blame. The problem is the Republican hypocrites who hire the illegal aliens to the low wage jobs on construction sites around the country and farms.The jobs will not be filled by the complainers who will not retrain nationally for over eight years.And what the surprise of who the majority of people on welfare…. has the breakdown for over fifty years. Surprised us really. Would be hard to tell with all the decades of Right Wing rhetoric.

    2. DisentAgain

      “As a result they drive down the wages for our citizens… ” That’s not actually happening. There is no evidence that immigration negatively impacts wages in any measurable way in the long-term. The net result we do see is *zero* effect on wages and available jobs. The “they drive down wages and take our job” narrative is a myth.We have a record number of open jobs here, and layoffs are at a three year low. Wages are currently, on the rise. So wither we don’t have an immigration problem, or it’s not doing what opponents think it’s doing.

      1. curtissumpter

        It’s not a myth. You’re talking about net wages. If I make 10K as an owner but the wages of my employees are decreased by 9K that’s a +1K gain net. But that goes right back to the idea that the gains aren’t distributed fairly. Cheap labor drives down the wages. This isn’t rocket science. It’s simply supply-demand curves applied to labor.

        1. DisentAgain

          Yes – in the short term, some wages are not distributed fairly. There is still zero indication that this is a chronic issue here or that it matters at all.It’s immigrant scapegoating pain and simple. The facts are that immigration benefits our society, and any issues it causes are 100% addressable – provided we can get rid of this nonsense authoritarian nationalism, and irrational nativist attitude we picked up from the more ignorant roots of our society.Want to solve illegal immigration? Make it easier, safer, and more transparent to get here legally and documented. Have a problem with a surge of unskilled workers? Make them skilled. These are not hard problems, we just keep turning to draconian solutions proven to *not* work, instead of doing what’s needed. Bad immigration policy makes illegal immigration happen. Doubling down on it will just make the problem worse.We have a record number of open jobs here. Wages are sharply on the rise. Layoffs are at a three year low. Immigration is not the problem.

          1. curtissumpter

            “There is still zero indication that this is a chronic issue here or that it matters at all.” Wages in the US for the middle class have stagnated for the last 30 year. I would call 30 years chronic.”It’s immigrant scapegoating pain and simple. ” Not according to the Wall Street Journal. There are tangible benefits to workers when immigration is curtailed as exhibited in the A/B test with Arizona and surrounding states.…”Have a problem with a surge of unskilled workers? Make them skilled. “This is not true. It’s not that simple.Check Out The Podcast at 21:27 on this Podcast:…You’re just wrong. There is this globalist agenda that you’re touting but the facts don’t support you.…The Globalist Agenda pushed by the global elite are going to upset the apple cart generally. The greed of the capitalist class, the siren song of “More” is, in my opinion wrong, shameful, and morally reprobate.

          2. DisentAgain

            ” Wages in the US for the middle class have stagnated for the last 30 year. I would call 30 years chronic.” Blaming immigration for that is baseless and irrational. “There is this globalist agenda…” Oh. I see. You are a kook. I thought you might actually want to discuss the issues. Conspiracies and gibberish about “globalist agendas” are not an argument. Capitalism is global. If it’s growth oriented, it has to be global – there is no other choice. There is no “agenda” beyond the basics of capitalism.”The Globalist Agenda pushed by the global elite…” Those are not real things. Phantoms. Fear-based fever dreams. There are powerful elites, but the “agenda” is simple – profit and growth. It’s not some principle driven “Globalism”. It’s just plain old neoliberal capitalism. Greed. Nothing more.”The greed of the capitalist class, the siren song of “More” is, in my opinion wrong, shameful, and morally reprobate.” I agree. How exactly, does this equate to blaming immigrants?

          3. curtissumpter

            In my response to you I offered evidence by respected reporters and respected publications.You offered ad-hominem attacks backed by your opinions and nothing more.I think at this point the conversation is over since through your comments it has devolved.Globalization is an agenda. It is being promulgated by the US Chamber of Commerce as well as the Financial Services Roundtable. Open borders are an integral part of this agenda. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s factual.

          4. DisentAgain

            “In my response to you I offered evidence” None that actually supported your claim, no.My opinions? You mean the things we know to be true about actual economics and immigration? Those are not opinions.”Globalization is an agenda.” Gibberish. And you talk about opinions. “It is being promulgated by the US Chamber of Commerce” That’s just neoliberalism. Basic capitalist neoliberalism.”Open borders are an integral part” Of growth based neoliberal capitalism, yes. So? What’s your point?You are not making any sense. Immigration and open trade go hand in hand. It’s not some nefarious agenda. You want to reinvent the economy. Go right ahead. I’m no fan on neoliberal capitalism, but that’s how it works. You want to trade on global markets, you have to loosen immigration too.But don’t tell me immigration hurts the economy when the data and science and every single reputable economist on the planet say *you are wrong* and you have no evidence to suggest otherwise.….…I can do this all day, because everything we know about immigration says you are wrong.Here’s the thing, blaming immigrants for neoliberalism is irrational, and stupid. I’m sorry if you take that and your kooky ideas as ad hominem attack – I assure, I’m attacking your ideas here – not just the apparent lack of thought you’ve given the subject and your gullibility to kook propaganda.Don’t want to be called a kook? Try supporting less kooky ideas.

  16. Oscar Jung

    Globalization is the best thing ever! Without that we would be so poor! I get that some people need to find new jobs, but no one is complaining that they are not working in a t-shirt factory anymore. Embrace it! But cities are best organic. Most planned cities does not go so well…

    1. JLM

      .Cross border trade is not the same thing as globalization. The US and Mexico have shared a border for a long time and have had a continental trade accord — NAFTA — amongst the US, Mexico, Canada for a longer time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. DJL

        You cannot help these people. If someone does not know the difference between globalization and trade (the Democrat Party and the Media) then how can you have a discussion?

  17. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:people in America not living in the wealthy isolated bubble don’t require any trips to actual view the work ethic of the Mexican people. More than 11 Million are here in America already showing how hard they work. OMGDefend and deflect not required.Things that need to be said in face of perceived power that is given by people who feel less empowered. They put on their shirts and pants the same way you do.

  18. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Atif Mian ✔ @AtifRMianSix Americans won the Nobel prize this year in various sciences. ALL of them immigrants.6:34 AM – 10 Oct 2016

    1. Dave Pinsen

      How many were immigrants from Mexico? We get more immigrants from Mexico than any other country.

  19. Daniel Levine

    I love this idea! A fascinating concept which will certainly expand trade, globalization, and cooperation in addition to showing what America really stands for.

  20. sigmaalgebra

    It is my strong belief that globalization is a reality and we can’t put the genie back in the bottle. We should accept it and figure out how to work with it to everyone’s advantage.That statement is like a lot of Hillary’s statements: Distort the claim and then argue about the distorted claim. E.g., recently she said that she was sorry or some such about using “private e-mail” or some such. Well, the claim is not that she used “private e-mail” or used e-mail for private personal messages about the wedding of her daughter or yoga classes, etc. but used a personal, private, DIY, home brew, at home, unsecured e-mail SERVER for essentially all her OFFICIAL US State Department e-mail. If she was doing her job as Secretary of State at all, then she had to have received a LOT of e-mail on her DIY server with highly classified US national security information. Then she stated that there was “no classified” e-mail on her server. Well, there had to be a lot of highly classified information in e-mail on her server, and FBI Director Comey so confirmed with just the e-mail data he did have although apparently Hillary deleted 33,000 or so e-mail messages that might have had much more.Well,globalization is a reality and we can’t put the genie back in the bottleand Trump and everyone else significant in this topic agree. That’s not where the discussion is.There are serious problems now:(1) The Obama policy of refusing to enforce our long standing laws, procedures, and policies on immigration are flooding the US with new versions of slave labor that are taking jobs of US citizens, lowering wages of US citizens, creating a collection of people who will have trouble assimilating and being successful, and creating ghetto situations, crime problems, and welfare expenses.(2) Some of the immigrants with Obama’s policies are Muslims, and too many of them stand to be radical Islamic terrorists or have children that will be.(3) At present, for globalization, we have trade deals with details Obama refuses to enforce. We have theft of intellectual property of US businesses, theft Obama refuses to do anything about. Obama is permitting foreign countries to get their products into the US and keep US products out of their countries by cheating on rules and tariffs. Some foreign countries are using classic predatory marketing practices to target US businesses and industries, e.g., steel, and Obama is not doing anything about that. E.g., the EU is subsidizing Airbus in their attack on Boeing. Trump claims that China is a currency manipulator and in violation of WTO agreements and that Obama is doing nothing about that.(4) Trump is not proposing to “put the genie back in the bottle” — that is a Hillary-like misstatement of Trump’s position. Instead, Trump is for more trade, he calls fair trade. E.g., the trade should obey the signed trade agreements.How would Sand Hill Road like it if any US entrepreneur could take any term sheet to a US office of an EU VC firm in Brussels, a firm that loses money and is subsidized by the EU, that doubles the size of the investment, multiplies the pre-money evaluation by a factor of 4, and otherwise has more favorable terms for the entrepreneurs? That’s essentially what is going on in US steel and much more.China, Japan, Taiwan, Viet Nam, South Korea, the EU, etc. are often playing hard ball and doing whatever they can get away with to attack and drive out of business and take over major US industries. Meanwhile Obama is letting them get away with it.And from some recent Hillary remarks, she is for more on “open borders and free trade”. Then, if Hillary is POTUS, for the companies that do benefit, Bill gets $1 million a speech and the Clinton Foundation, Clinton family slush fund, gets big donations.Architectural drawings of beautiful, fantasy cities are not the point. The main points are that, at least from Trump, since about 2000, about 1/3rd of US manufacturing jobs, e.g., as for Carrier, Nabisco, Ford, are leaving the country, as a result the economies of lots of US communities have been devastated, we have about 95 million US citizens able to work but out of the labor force, and we have large areas of our central cities with no hope of jobs and with broken homes, poor schools, big welfare and policing expenditures, high crime, and no hope.None of this is about my startup: It is doing just fine ($12 worth of DIMMs just did wonders for my development computer) and stands to continue to do so for any reasonable way the globalization cookie crumbles. But due to W and Obama, with Hillary a bigger threat, the US is in deep trouble, and Trump is on track to solve the problems.Yes, we could use some first-cut Leontief input-output models of trade and the US and global economies, but that is way, Way above the content of this election discussion or any public discussions about trade.But to concentrate on the technical, numbers, etc. is to ignore the real agenda: There are some people who see a way to get an advantage for themselves from something like Hillary’s “free trade and open borders”, and Hillary wants to serve them. Hillary’s main means is some exceptionally good acting and lying, some little girl personality tricks, a facile, put on smile at selected times, some contempt and laughter when caught lying or being wrong, some clever wording, some good legal diversions, e.g., distorting the statement of an issue and responding to that, making totally unfounded accusations, e.g., that Trump ridicules US POWs (look at the C-SPAN video of the Luntz interview and review the first shot, “fired up the crazies,” of McCain), etc. That is, to Hillary, the issue is about doing valuable favors for her funders, not about helping the US, the US economy, or devastated parts of the US economy. The results of a Leontief model would not influence Hillary at all. Neither would anything about Pareto optimality, optimal control models (once mentioned by J. Yellen) to maximize the US GDP growth rate, etc. Instead, Hillary is just going to use her tricks to get favors for her funders while Bill goes around the world “d…ing women” (General Powell) and shouting “Hillary for sale”.

    1. JLM

      .Agreeing with you far more than you agree with yourself.Well played.Even Lincoln would agree with you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. cavepainting

        JLM, You and everyone else supporting Trump will be far more credible if you just focus on the issues without the hyperbole, conspiracy theories and the vitriol. There is a genuine debate to be had, but it is lost with the approach of throwing the kitchen sink and then some.

        1. JLM

          .Cave, it would be at this junction in time I would normally tell you to go fuck yourself but I am watching my language with an eye toward safeguarding my future political viability. Don’t want to use any bad words.I was agreeing with what seems to be a very substantive statement related solely to issues and hadn’t had a chance yet to advance any hyperbole, conspiracy, vitriol or even a kitchen sink.Please in the future, allow me a chance to commit a sin before you find me guilty, offer my penance or grant absolution, alternatively, fuck off.Thank you for permission to express my opinion and in the future I will make certain it conforms to your guidelines, grandma. On the other hand, it may not be advisable to hold your breath until then.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            it would be at this junction in time I would normally tell you to go fuck yourself but I am watching my languageConsider for the future this subtle and slightly more respectful variation:There are others out there who would tell you to fuck yourself but I will not do that

          2. JLM

            .Haha, good one but I’m not that subtle. I like a bit of direct feedback myself.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. cavepainting

            Well, you just proved my point with your abusive language.

        2. DJL

          The Democrats are the masters of mudslinging. That is their entire platform against Trump. A party that has spent the last 40 years destroying morality – now wants to declare someone “unfit” according to moral standards? What a crock of hypocritical BS. They cannot win on policy – EVER – so they sling insults. That is Democrat 101 (and 102 and 103…)

          1. Salt Shaker

            Well, it looks like many GOP leaders are changing their def of morality too. This isn’t about party lines, it’s about ethics, common sense, leadership, morality, family values, temperament, etc., irrespective of policy. Forget about Hillary, Stein, Johnson or any other candidate. Trump, in and of himself, plain and simple, is unfit to serve. The amazing thing is that with all the datapoints out there already it took a heinous (oh, excuse me, “locker room”) video to throw him over the edge. Undoubtedly, we’ll see even more in the remaining pre-election slog. Forget about party lines, that’s so friggin old school and restrictive thinking.

          2. LE

            The amazing thing is that with all the datapoints out there already it took a heinousActually that was more an example of never letting a good crisis go to waste.I’d hardly call (in all fairness) what he did heinous. Especially when compared to what JFK did [1] or Monica Lewinsky (obvious, link not even needed!) Or of course Bill Clinton.None of this is to excuse what Trump did as a private citizen while riffing with another man who was egging him. And additionally doesn’t take away from other clearly wacky drawbacks that he has either. But I don’t consider it ‘heinous’ (so far it’s only words).Separately all men of power (Republican, Democrat, Communist) have the gene that makes them act out sexually. This is obvious, right?[1]

          3. Salt Shaker

            It doesn’t matter what JFK, LBJ or WJC did or didn’t do. Different times, different era. The media gave the former two a free pass. One could argue that was wrong, or one could say journalistic ethics and standards of that period were more respectful of one’s privacy. In the case of WJC, he was impeached. Remember?With respect to the Trump tape, it wasn’t even a “locker room”. He was mic’d for a national TV show. He was on a bus w/ other people. Strangers. How many other people were present beyond the camera and sound guys? Great judgment, right? The guy can’t control himself. No filter. You think for an instance there isn’t other tape of Trump espousing his “irresistible manhood”? He’s a narcissistic, ego maniac pig, plain and simple. Btw, did you catch the Trump kids’ expression pre-debate. They looked shattered.

          4. LE

            It matters in the sense that a man of power (JFK,Clinton) could think that type of behavior was acceptable but yet people still thought they made great Presidents. I was blown away by what Clinton did. And you know Trump was born in 1940’s NYC not in San Francisco in 1985. So he is an old timer in a way in his thinking. My ex father in law was like that as well. Would call women “babes” and even (true story) said something not appropriate about his stepdaughter that totally surprised me. But he was good at his job (but very uncouth for sure). Remember him laughing with my ex brother in law and his crude mouth. Thought that was odd.With respect to the Trump tape, it wasn’t even a “locker room”. Missing the point. It means jazzed up saying shit just like in a locker room.How many other people were present beyond the camera and sound guys? Great judgment, right?As a private citizen, an entertainer, totally not a reflection of judgement because who did he have to answer to? Not knowing one was miked? Yes. Big issue with that. But then again hey George Bush looked stupid to me for not knowing how to use a supermarket scanner and I marveled at how Nixon couldn’t figure out things with that tape recorder. Shit my Dad could, and even I could at 12 years old. But you know my Dad couldn’t be President so….You think for an instant there isn’t other tape of Trump espousing his “irresistible manhood”? Oh for sure. A total dog. Tip of the iceberg. But words are one thing. Kissing someone (to be proven just alledged or boasting is not proof). One time or always? Details matter.Btw, did you catch the Trump kids’ expression pre-debate. They looked shattered. For sure 100%. Long faces. As if someone died. Melania had resting bitch face. But then again she always does.His kids? Big problem now. Dad has killed their brand going forward. They are tainted. Like almost as bad (as it appears) being related to Joe Paterno. Not as bad as being related to Sandusky or Cosby though. Or Madoff. But pretty bad. He has wrapped himself in bad. Balls to the walls. To me, that part is stupid. And shows bad judgement. It was bet the ranch when he really didn’t have to. And could have modulated this much better. Clinton wins on do bad but look good. She beat him on that one.This will hurt Trump business wise when he loses. It will hurt his kids. Live by the sword die by the sword.I would previously brag that I did business with someone who was friends with Ivanka trump. Now I can’t say that anymore. So they have lost a bit of that social capital.Still love Rudy G. though. Love those girls that work for Trump love the loyalty. (Also Kayleigh McEnany, Trump suporter, my god she’s only 28 years old!)…

          5. Salt Shaker

            Lost all respect for Rudy G. He’s very, very devout, but when it comes to seeking power, like with many, everything is negotiable. People forget, before 9/11 Rudy was getting roasted pretty good in NYC, particularly among minorities. He gen was not considered a good Mayor. One could argue he alone benefited from 9/11, and he admittedly was masterful in very dire times. I’ve met him a few times. (I actually pitched to him in a softball game between my company and his admin literally weeks before 9/11.)With regards to the Trump Kids, they’re actually kind of anti-Trump. Smart, humble, grounded. My gf has met and spent some time w/ Ivanka. She’s very, very impressive. (Someone should calc the PR value Donald has given to Wharton when talking about either himself or Ivanka….it’s off the charts.) I think the Trump brand will survive under “The Kids,” but not necessarily the Donald. Payback is a bitch, and many in the industry would like to stick it to him. He’s gonna be playing a lot more golf, and not by choice.

          6. LE

            (One should calc the PR value The Donald has given to Wharton….it’s off the charts.)Actually (as a graduate) disagree with that. Wharton already had a good vibe and a well known name. It was in the 70’s when I attended and obviously before that.Everything surrounding Trump is negative. Anyone who didn’t already know Wharton was a big deal honestly doesn’t matter.To me it’s more like Chappaquidick effect. If anything it’s a tarnish.Now if he had gone to my private school I would agree with you. Because it’s not well known and now it would be in a general sense.Ivanka is of course great I’ve heard that so many times. A bit naive when she was younger. In the Jamie Johnson film about rich kids she said something like “I don’t know why people are nice to me it’s my parents with the money not me”.

          7. Salt Shaker

            Ha, a bit of east coast bias re: Wharton

          8. LE

            Sure party in my brain! Which is what matters! (But it does make all of the top lists.)

          9. Salt Shaker

            Great, great school, certainly wasn’t dissing, but when a Presidential candidate continually boasts about his and his daughter’s fine education, that’s a testimonial that’s worth a lot of pesos, devalued or otherwise. On the West coast Stanford shines bigger, though.

          10. LE

            Agree Stanford (especially in this day and age) is a great school. Wasn’t the case back when I was in school though.However on the East Coast (sniff) we have a ton of great schools with world class reputations. West Coast is no match as far as “schools that your aunt thinks are great” test.but when a Presidential candidate continually boasts about his and his daughter’s fine educationYeah but unfortunately he sounds like an idiot most of the time so I’d kind of rather that he didn’t do that actually! (Sounds like is not “is” but still you get my point).

    2. LE

      The main points are that, at least from Trump, since about 2000, about 1/3rd of US manufacturing jobs, e.g., as for Carrier, Nabisco, FordYou have to also wonder why, if manufacturing is so highly automated as it certainly is when building cars with robots, it’s necessary for Ford to build cars in Mexico if not to squeeze out additional profit (which of course is their right withing the law) at the expense of jobs here. They counter any bad press by talking up the jobs that they have also created in this country. Similar to when Clinton surrogates talk about. The good that the Clinton Foundation has done in order to nullify anything bad. Very robin hood.are flooding the US with new versions of slave labor that are taking jobs of US citizens, lowering wages of US citizensExactly my point.creating a collection of people who will have trouble assimilatingThis is my bone to pick. In particular I am sick and tired of call trees that require me to press 1 for english or stay on the line. Used to be a time when learning a countries language and customs was de rigueur. I mean for god’s sake even Tony Montana in Scarface could speak pretty good english before he got here with the boat lift.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        There is some question about the effects of automation.E.g., supposedly that big electronics assembly company in China, IIRC, actually owned by a company in Taiwan, is putting in robots.So, with a lot of robots, the humans left have to be technical enough to be productive designing, selecting, installing, programming, monitoring, and maintaining robots. So, need to know basic electricity, electric motors, basic mechanics, computing, software, and programming. Soon enough will also want to know some optimization, how to be flexible, etc.Now we are back to work where can’t just take labor from rural farms in China.Okay, Taiwan can do a bunch of such work.Well, the US can do more of it.Well, shipping smartphones might not cost much for just the shipping costs, but there are also issues speed of business communications, reliable suppliers, good business environment, good trade schools, etc., and on these the US can win, especially for products for the US market.And for some goods, e.g., cars, shipping costs and the time-money involved, etc. are significant — again, if there is to be lots of robotics, the US should be able to compete.Trump wants to bring auto manufacturing back to Flint. Okay. Maybe with enough robots in the factories and enough trade school training and university EE and CS robotics courses.Maybe Trump is thinking about the arithmetic — we won’t let those 95 million US citizens starve or even have horrible lives. So, we have to pay them anyway. So,might as well get some work out of them.But quickly high end automated production gets challenging, right up to the frontiers. E.g., that work quickly gets problems in NP-complete, indeed, was essentially the first source of such problems.Here’s one: Suppose have a flexible manufacturing line, that is, lots of robotsof different designs. When get some work, say, assemble 5 million widgets, design an assembly line, pick the robots, and assign them to positions on the line.Okay, for positive integers m and n, suppose have m robots and n positions where m >= n. Then your mission, and you have to accept it, is to pick the n robots to assign and to assign them to then n line positions. So, for picking the n robots, there arem!/(m – n)!ways to pick the robots and, for each of those, n! ways to assign them to the positions. So, are looking atn! m! / (m – n)!ways. So, unless m and n are quite small,don’t rush off and write a program to try all the possibilities.Now, in this, what you want is to have the line run as fast as possible. So, you want the slowest line position to be as fast as possible. So, you want the slowest assignment to be as fast as possible.Well, while in grad school, I had a part time job, and as I arrived, I was presented with such a problem. In about 90 seconds, I had a solution. There is actually a very fast solution, with guaranteed fast execution time, so fast the running time is just trivial. Gee, the running time is so fast, can also optimize on the nature of the stations on the line, include cost and/or opportunity costs of the robots used, etc.! Nice.Not many people in the world can do such work.The US is a good place for such work. If automated assembly lines get serious, the US should be able to win.How to solve that problem? I’ll grade solutions tomorrow! If there are any solutions submitted, then I’ll give a good solution!

        1. Lawrence Brass

          Assuming that we know the execution speed of each robot and that they are ‘general purpose’ robots, I would first order the robots by their execution speed. Then assign the fastest robot to the last stage of line 1, the second fastest to the last stage of line 2, the same until line n. Then repeat until the lines are completely equipped.That would be my initial setup, while I look for an optimal solution probably using a simulation.Don’t forget Japan.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            So far I was assuming just one assembly line. So, for a car, maybe the first position starts with a frame and adds the engine and transmission. Then the next position ads the rear axle and suspension and drive shaft. The next position adds the front suspension. The next position puts on the inner body. The next position connects the hoses and wiring. … and the last position runs tests on the car.So, maybe have 15 positions and 25 robots. Maybe some of the robots are the same and some are different. So, for each robot and position, there is the fastest rate in tasks done per minute that robot can do the task of that position. So, put 15 robots on the line, one robot for each position so that the slowest rate in tasks per minute is maximized.Yes, often it is tough to beat Japan.

          2. Lawrence Brass

            Oh well, assuming that we know the performance of each robot at each position, I would install the fastest performers in the positions in which tasks take more time to complete, from top to bottom. Can I read the robot’s operating manuals?Robots are a part of Japan’s tech culture.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            In1 Discrete Optimization BackgroundWe start with some background in mostly discrete optimization and, then, in2 Solution of Assembly Line ProblemHere we give a solution to the problem of assigning robots to positions on an assembly line to maximize the rate at which the assembly line produces finished instances of its products.=== 1 Discrete Optimization BackgroundFor solving the assembly line problem, all we need in this background is to touch on1.3 Maximum Matchingand1.8 Solutions for Maximum MatchingBut the rest of this section adds understanding and provides more general tools that also could used instead of maximum matching.=== 1.1 Ford and FulkersonThere is some old work by on flows in networks by Princeton profs Ford and Fulkerson (here I am neglecting to look up my old notes, actually quite carefully done when I was in grad school). That work was for maximum flows.They found a result, the max flow, min cut theorem, which is a duality theorem (sadly, in our desire to be brief, we omit discussion of duality theorems).=== 1.2 Kantorovich Nobel PrizeThere’s the late 1940s Nobel prize in economics by L. Kantorovich for his work on essentially least cost shipping of some one good from factories to warehouses.=== 1.3 Maximum MatchingThere is some old work on maximum matching of, say, workers to jobs — given which workers can do what jobs, assign as many workers to jobs as possible.=== 1.4 Linear ProgrammingThere is the subject of linear programming: Let R denote the set of real numbers. For positive integers m and n. As usual, we let R^n be the set of all n x 1 x of real numbers (i.g.. real n x 1 x). Of course, such x is also a case of an n-tuple.Each element of the set R^n is called a point or vector.We are given m x n matrix A of real numbers, 1 x n real c, and m x 1 real b, find n x 1 real x to solve LP1:max z = cxsubject toAx <= bx >= 0These last two inequalities are called constraints.Vector x is feasible providedAx <= bx >= 0and optimal provided it is feasible and for any feasible y we have cx >= cy.It may be that there is no x that is feasible; then the problem LP1 infeasible; if LP1 is feasible, it may be that for any real number w there exists feasible x so that cx > w; then LP1 is unbounded. If LP1 is feasible and for some real number w and any feasible x we have that cx < w, then LP1 is bounded.A fundamental result, not trivial to prove, is, if LP1 is feasible and bounded, then it has at least one optimal solution. One of the nicest proofs makes use of a surprising result of R. Bland.The set F of all feasible x is the feasible region. Of course, F is the empty set if and only if LP1 is infeasible. In the vector space R^n with the usual topology, a closed half space H is, for some z and c, the set of all x so that cx >= z. The feasible region is the intersection of finitely many closed half spaces in the vector space R^n. When R^n has the usual topology, then each of those closed half spaces is actually closed in that topology.Given real n x 1 u, v, x in R*n and real t in the closed interval [0,1] we have thatx = tu + (1 – t)vthen x is a convex combination of u and v. For any subset S of R^n, if x is in S and x is not a convex combination of two other points of S, then x is an extreme point of S.If each convex combination of two points in S is also a point in S, then S is convex. Of course R^n is convex. It is easy to show that the feasible region F of LP1 is convex.More generally if x >= 0 and the sum of the number in the rows of x add to 1, then Ax is a convex combination of the columns of A.Suppose for n x 1 x i R^n we have 1 x n y where for i = 1, 2, …, n, the number in row i of x equals the number in column i of y then y is the transpose of x and we write y = x^T.If for some real number b, for all n x 1 s in S we have that s^Ts <= b, then S is bounded.Since the feasible region F is an intersection of finitely many closed half spaces, it is a polytope and has at most finitely many extreme points. If the feasible region is bounded, then it is all convex combinations of its extreme points.Then one of the nice results in linear programming is, if LP1 is feasible, the feasible set F is bounded, and there is an optimal solution, then there is an extreme point optimal solution. Since there are at most finitely many extreme points, in looking for an optimal solution, we can restrict our search to just the finitely many extreme points.Although F has at most finitely many extreme points, for realistic cases of LP1, that finite number might be astronomically large, e.g., larger than the number of neutrons that would, as neutron star material, fill the current visible universe — literally.The set of all optimal solutions is a convex set.=== 1.4.1 The Simplex AlgorithmIn linear programming, the standard, usually astoundingly efficient, simplex algorithm is the usual means of finding numerical feasible and optimal solutions.The simplex algorithm starts with an extreme point of the feasible set F and moves iteratively and in a greedy way along an edge of the boundary of F to another extreme point, a geometrically adjacent extreme point, that increases the value of z = cx.The whole algorithm is actually a relatively simple modification of classic Gauss elimination as sometimes taught in high school for solving systems of linear equations.As simple as the algorithm is, it can be used to prove many results about convex sets, cones, supporting hyperplanes, separating hyperplanes, theorems of the alternative, etc. in the geometry of R^n, results often not easy to prove otherwise.=== 1.4.2 DantzigLinear programming was started by G. Dantzig in the late 1940s for solving problems in US military logistics, and he invented the simplex algorithm, since regarded as one of the best contributions to engineering in the 20th century.By now, linear programming is a well developed subject, at times at least moderately deep.=== 1.4.3 ApplicationsTwo person game theory is an easy special case of linear programming, and there is a proof of Nash’s result closely related to linear programming.Some of the theorems about linear programming are important in linear algebra and geometry.Linear programming done iteratively is often a good approach to non-linear optimization problems.The fundamental Kuhn-Tucker conditions of non-linear optimization are close to linear programming.A surprisingly large fraction of the Nobel prizes in economics have been based on linear programming or the Kuhn-Tucker conditions.E.g., part of the theory of linear programming is duality, and that is the foundation of shadow prices in micro economics.=== 1.4.4 Integer Linear ProgrammingAlso of interest is linear programming where in LP1 above we ask that specified components of x, maybe all the components, take on integer values — then the problem is called integer linear programming, ILP. That problem was one of the early and strong motivations for the theory of NP-completeness, and, indeed, ILP is in NP-complete.=== 1.5 Least Cost Network FlowsA special case of linear programming is least cost flows on a directed network with on each arc a cost per unit of flow and a maximum flow.Here the simplex algorithm takes on an especially simple form — curiously, based on spanning trees on the network — that leads to nearly always some astoundingly fast execution times. There is a still better version due to W. Cunningham, at one time one of my professors, and long Chair at the important Department of Combinatorics and Optimization at Waterloo.=== 1.6 Worst Case PerformanceDue to some examples of Klee and Minty, alas, the worst case performance of the simplex algorithm on problem LP1 above is exponential, not polynomial, but there is at least one polynomial algorithm for linear programming, and D. Bertsekas at MIT has a polynomial algorithm for the problem of least cost flows and used for an important assignment problem.=== 1.7 Integer FlowsOf some interest is the fact that for any least cost flow problem with all the flow capacities integers and that has an optimal solution, there is an optimal solution with all the flows integer. Moreover, if we have feasible flows that are all integers and start the simplex algorithm with those flows, then the simplex algorithm in its iterations will maintain integer flows and find an optimal solution with all integer flows. This is an important case of ILP that nearly always in practice we can solve efficiently.There is folklore that a shockingly high fraction of the problems in ILP where we have good success are problems that really are just network flow problems with integer capacities or closely related.=== 1.8 Solutions for Maximum MatchingThere is an old solution to the maximum matching problem, the Hungarian algorithm, with a nice article in…The Ford and Fulkerson work built on the matching problem and the Hungarian algorithm.The algorithm is good, that is, has guaranteed polynomial worst case performance.The problem of maximum matching is a special case of min cost network flows.The Kantorovich work is also a special case of min cost network flows.=== 2 Solution of Assembly Line ProblemSo, we have an assembly line with n positions where each position needs a robot that can do the task of that position.We have m robots.And we have for each robot and position, the rate, say, in tasks completed per minute, that that robot can do the task of that position. Some of the rates might be zero. If too many of the rates are zero, then those robots can’t do the work of that assembly line.=== 2.1 SolutionStep 1. Get all the mn rates and sort them into descending order. Keep only the unique rates, that is, discard the duplicates, the ties.Step 2. Set up a matching problem to assign robots to positions where a robot can be assigned to a position if and only if the associated rate is positive.Solve the matching problem with any of the approaches mentioned above, e.g., with the polynomial Hungarian algorithm.Observe the rate of the slowest assignment. Call this rate 1.Step 3: Do a binary search on the rates between rate 1 and the rate n + 1 in the sorted list of distinct rates (that is, after ties have been removed) looking for the fastest rate for which all n positions can have a robot assigned.In each step of this binary search, use maximum matching again, use the rate from the sorted list to say which matchings are permitted, and permit no matchings at a lower rate.=== 2.2 RemarksIn short, just do maximum matching and do a binary search looking for the fastest rate.Since the Hungarian matching algorithm has polynomial performance on worst case instances and since so does binary search, the whole algorithm has polynomial performance on worst case instances.Also, in intuitive terms, nearly always in practice, the whole algorithm will be just blindingly fast. Moreover, the original version of the Hungarian matching algorithm, also polynomial, is very simple. So, code for the solution can be short and simple.Also, likely can make the code still faster: Just save the work of two of the uses of the maximum matching algorithm and for the next effort in the binary search start the algorithm taking advantage of one of the two saved efforts.Which two? Likely the one with the fastest rate where an assignment could be made and the one with the fastest rate where an assignment could not be made.Which one to use? Ah, the one with the fewest changes in the input data to the next use of maximum matching!Or just save the work of the last maximum matching effort, modify that, and continue.If using the simplex algorithm of linear programming, then there is an easy way to exploit an earlier effort at the matching.Question: How to modify the Hungarian maximum matching algorithm to make good use of an earlier execution of the algorithm.All I did that day for my 90 second solution was see to use binary search on any solution to the problem of maximum matching — the time may have been only 60 seconds instead of 90! I was already well informed on all the algorithms in1 Discrete Optimization BackgroundLater I discovered that this assembly line assignment problem has been called the bottleneck assignment problem.Since our solution here is better than what most unaided humans can do, some people would count the solution as artificial intelligence (AI) or, due to the use of binary search, machine learning (ML).But the applied math of this solution is much different from what currently is popular in AI/ML.So, this solution is an example of a huge theme: For solving practical problems, there is MUCH more in the applied math in the QA section of research libraries than is used in currently popular AI/ML.Question: For some positive integer p, extend to the solution of assigning the m robots to p assembly lines, each with the same n positions. A guess is that this problem is in NP-complete.

    3. DisentAgain

      ” the US is in deep trouble, and Trump is on track to solve the problems.” Hahhaahha… oh man. Had me going there. Whew. Almost thought you were serious for a second.Trump. Donald “I tanked by businesses on the taxpayer’s back, and I’ll tank yours too” Trump… “on track”…. Seriously, I can’t stop laughing.Adorable.You could have saved yourself some typing and just said “I really don’t understand domestic nor global economics, but I sure like the con-man with the funny hair”.

  21. bfeld

    Powerful ideas. Since the beginning of time, humans have been trying to kill their neighbor to take over the neighbor’s backyard. It’d be pretty amazing to proactively create a joint border city like this.

    1. DJL

      There is a joint border city – its called El Paso. There is another one call Nogales. Not by industrial design, but by policy design. We might want to go look there before we decide to start making copies. (HINT: It ain’t pretty. ;>)

      1. bfeld

        I was under the impression that El Paso was a city in Texas which is part of the United States. Am I missing something?

        1. DJL

          Nope. Just trying to make a point (which obviously didn’t work very well. El Paso is very much a city of two cultures. It is within the US border, but walking around town you would be hard-pressed not to think you are in Mexico. As you can imagine, they have lots of issues. These cross-cultural “mecca” ideas are much more challenging in reality.

          1. bfeld

            Yeah – but there’s something different about a gateway city that spans two borders and has joint government.

          2. Dasher

            I would love to see joint border cities between all the neighboring countries one day. I know it is a dream, but a beautiful one.

  22. jason wright

    Stephen, an old friend of mine from our twenties, has been killed in a road traffic accident. He was only 40. He leaves a young boy behind.He was such an outgoing and positive person. A terribly sad thing to happen. He was a good man.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      I am sorry Jason. It is sad when a friend goes away.Just the other day while talking on the phone to my brother he told me he had recognised a name in the obituaries that he recalled as a friend of mine, so I checked and it was him, died August 19. We knew each other counting votes at the elections a long time ago, and later in the nineties did business together. One of those old friends you sometimes think about and say I should call him or should visit him, and then let time pass by using the same stupid excuses and then suddenly, they are gone.

      1. jason wright

        Thank you Lawrence.It’s a shocking thing when someone is taken so suddenly and in such meaningless circumstances. I know that Stephen and your friend have both gone to a better place.

    2. Twain Twain

      Sorry to hear of your loss, Jason. I hope Stephen’s son is surrounded by love from his family and friends during this sad time.

      1. jason wright

        I hope so. Thank you.

  23. pointsnfigures

    interesting idea. end birthright citizenship-have a guest worker program, and make sure that immigrants (legal and illegal) don’t qualify for US social programs etc

  24. DJL

    Interesting idea. But the enforcement of immigration policy (of which a “wall” is one component) has nothing to do with the quality of the citizens. Mexico does not allow American’s in illegally. (I still don’t think we can own land.) Does that mean they distrust the entire United States? If you just flip the perspective you can see how silly and unfair it is to declare that anyone who wants to enforce immigration hates Mexicans. (Of course, that doesn’t stop the media.) By that standard, Canada and Mexico REALLY hate America.

  25. The Sanity Inspectorن​

    Aren’t there already cities that serve this function? I’m thinking of Brownsville-slash-Matamoros & other twin border cities.

    1. DisentAgain

      The concept is about a designed and intentional approach to solving specific problems… not about letting organic border-town dynamics run their course. You could re-purpose an existing city, but that seems like a much more difficult task – politically as well as practically.

      1. The Sanity Inspectorن​

        I dunno, seems to me that a designed city would need more hands-on management, & suffer from the resulting artificiality. I’m thinking primarily of the challenges that Brasilia has faced over the past fifty years, even though it’s the capital city.

  26. mikenolan99

    I was able to go on Governor Mark Dayton’s delegation to Mexico city last year – was very impressed. One of my eye-opening exchanges was touring a large shipping company with our US Congressman, and discussing the difficulties and bottlenecks at bridges. Both incoming and outgoing shipments are subject to massive delays due to closures, traffic and other problems. I’m sure technology can help…

  27. curtissumpter

    That’s a beautiful concept.So when someone gets shot in your binational city who investigates it? The Mexican police department? The Federalis? Or would you trust the Mexican government? How about the fact that adding any Mexican state to America would be the equivalent of adding another Mississippi to America, a very poor state in need of large amounts of US assistance.My grandmother had a saying that I find to be more true every day. Whenever she’d hear some wildly outrageous idea that had no chance of ever becoming reality, she’d say, “Boy, someone brilliant had to come up with that idea. Because you have to be really smart to think of something that dumb.” This idea, and the idea that you can ignore culture, history, language, religion, and fundamental structure to create Amerexico is ludacris. But don’t take my word for it. How about Austan Goolsbee?…The populations of the world are rebelling against globalization. It amazes me when people are like “there’s no way to reverse this so let’s just go with it” when the fact of the matter is that the British just did. Talk about reality distortion field? For Pete’s sake, Brexit is in the news right now.

  28. Dave Pinsen

    Globalization goes back about 500 years, to Columbus and Da Gama, so I would agree it’s not going away. But the West’s approach to globalization has changed over that time period. And it’s changing again now.You don’t need to be a weatherman to see which way the wind is blowing. Brexit was the first victory against the current, neoliberal status quo, because Britain has, arguably, the most democratic government among major western countries. Elites in France, Germany, and the US have been able to hold the line so far. But I don’t see how they can hold it indefinitely without fomenting civil unrest.Here’s a question that’s too late for likeminded Brits to answer, but may be worth it for Fred and others to consider: what elements of the current neoliberal status quo are you willing to compromise on? Would you be willing to tolerate some restrictions on immigration in return for free trade, or vice-versus? Or to throttle back on other issues (guns, transgenderism)? Or to split off global cities like New York into Singapore-style entrepôts?Because my sense is that the status quo is unsustainable. Even if Trump loses in November, the millions of his supporters who waited hours in line to get into his rallies aren’t going away, and they’re not going to fall in behind a GOP in lockstep with Dems on trade and immigration.

    1. JLM

      .An interesting and thoughtful comment.One thing about Brexit that folks seem to gloss over is that Britain has a history of being a global empire while the EU was an experiment in collectivism.The experiment — from the perspective of the Brits — didn’t take. Nothing more.Remember, they maintained the Pound Sterling rather than the EU currency, so they were going in with a certain British reserve and skepticism.Many people cannot define what they mean by the term globalization and confuse trade issues with governance/environmental issues.The US has been allowing access to the American market for decades with no quid pro quo required as it relates to the quality of American access to those same trading partner’s markets.When the US has been thoughtful about market access — such as the requirement that foreign cars be assembled in the US giving rise to huge MB, BMW, Toyota, etc plants in the US — it has worked out fine.One can be respectful of American interests and still a proponent of the realities of a shrinking globe.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Lawrence Brass

        Brexit was and is a mess. The more I look into the reasons, it seems to me like the elites not sharing the profits of globalization was the main, indirect reason more than a failure of collectivism. Just look at the election results map.On the other side, every time I see pictures of the European Parliament in session with its… 751 members! … it is hard not to relate it to the Galactic Senate which elected Palpatine Chancellor. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

        1. JLM

          .It was just like the US 2014 elections — everybody was surprised by the results and everybody immediately understood where they came from.Anger.The anger is multi-faceted but it is, at its core, a revolt against the quality of the leadership and its total inability to improve the lot of the common man while patting themselves on the back for tackling climate change (not literally but figuratively meaning a subject that does not impact one’s life in Dime Box, Texas).I suspect the election in a month will be more of the same. The anger is way underpolled as it was in 2014. The anger at Obamacare (both candidates want to change it dramatically) is not recognized for the tsunami it truly is.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Lawrence Brass

            Its anger vs fear, totally visceral and that is a shame.Honestly, I don’t think there is enough time to reverse the current forecasts. You say anger is underpolled, I say fear of Trump is underpolled, so they cancel each other.Flaps 1, Captain.

          2. JLM

            .It is difficult to think that the onslaught of the MSM and the cooperation amongst the HRC campaign, the MSM, the faux polls could possibly be underpolling anything.Whilst on the other hand, the folks who are going to vote “against” Obamcare, etc. are not voting for Trump but against the GOPe, HRC, the DEMe, the MSM, Obama admin, war, the economy.Again, this was what happened in 2014 and nothing has really been done to change it.I have pointed you to Cotton v Pryor in Arkansas several times as an example of how quickly things changed. A complete political novice beat a two term Senator whose father held that seat for three terms.The win was 57% v 39% while it polled close within a week of the election.Everybody missed the voter anger which was almost entirely Obamacare driven. HRC and WJC went to their home state to campaign for Pryor. Arkansas was a pretty damn solid Dem state at the time.I don’t share this math because I support Trump but because it is specifically untainted by anything related to Trump but was a race the Dems should have won handily.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  29. laude05

    The question is simply will globalization eliminate national boundaries; will nations still be able to control who crosses from one country to another? For hundreds of years there were national boundaries limiting crossing from Switzerland to Germany as one example. With the EU those border crossings became much simpler and routine for good and ill. How open can the borders between the US and Mexico become and still maintain national identities and is maintaining separate identities still necessary? I have no answer but that is the fundamental question.

  30. Ales Spetic

    Fred, there is a town like this already. It’s on the border of Italy and Slovenia and it’s called Gorizia on Italian side and Nova Gorica on Slovenian side. A border actually goes through one of the squares. The city has been there for a long time, but it was artificially divided during the cold war. Since Slovenia joined the EU, the fence has fallen and the two cities joined virtually into one. It’s a great example how this works. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  31. Amar

    Here is my question and think of this as preparing ahead for the post election reality. Fred’s blog regulars (for the most part) are really smart, thoughtful, opinionated, action oriented and problem solvers.I am curious to hear how do @JLM:disqus @le_on_avc:disqus @andyswan @ccrystle:disqus @SaltShaker1:disqus @lawrencebrass:disqus (just picked the top ones that popped into my head) plan on reconciling as a group with whatever the reality is say 12/2016. This election has a polarized voter population like none before. Which of this two leaders can bring the country back together post november and how will they?

    1. JLM

      .People disagree on things all the time. Gentlemen — and rascals — can take the same facts and arrive at different conclusions and even propound their conclusions with great vigor while agreeing on other matters.Personally, I would much rather debate with someone who is keen on their conclusions and clever in their presentation.It is boring as Hell to agree with people and to live in an echo chamber.When ideas compete, the result is better and stronger ideas as well as a learned means with which to articulate them.I relish the thoughts of the folks you mention as a means of testing my own. I love it when someone is able to find the flaw in my thinking.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Amar

        Completely agree 🙂 But you are _not_ “most” of the population. The bulk of the support behind these candidates (both of them) does not (seem to) have the ability to separate the message from the messenger?

        1. JLM

          .Only about seventy-five percent of those “eligible” to vote are registered.Of those registered, only 60% will actually vote.The vote will split right down the middle with the election being determined by the Electoral College in no more than 10 states.Princess Di’s wedding was seen by 750MM people while the last debate was seen by fewer than 90MM.The US will add about 5% to its population before the next election.The system is rigged in both parties and it will continue to be rigged.Still, when one looks at eligible to vote v registered to vote v actually voted v disagree — it is a very small part of the US.It will be about 22% v 22.2% — small potatoes.It will all work out as it always does. We have changed governments peacefully for almost 250 years. It will be fine.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Amar

            🙂 from your lips to God’s ears as they say. If we ever meet in person, I owe you a Taco Deli breakfast taco (i am not a Torchy’s fan) for that thoughtful and optimistic response.

    2. Lawrence Brass

      Amar, thanks for listing me among such renowned members of this community. I have to say that I am just an aspiring entrepreneur exploring the capital world and a newcomer as they are consolidated CEOs and entrepreneurs with a track record and a long time presence in this bar. I have been dutifully picking jewels from them all this time, hidden in their posts.I have the same concerns as you about the healing process post-election and asked a similar question a while ago to @JLM. This was his reply:

  32. pwrserge

    How about NO? It is not my job to work hard just so that my tax dollars can be spent pampering more illegals. When Mexico can secure the border from their side, we can talk about brining down the wall. Until then, there should be a wall, a double ring of barbed wire and several bands of minefields.

  33. Paul Marotta

    Interesting idea but what happens in between the new border city and the US? The border city and Mexico? How much drug trade? Who polices? How much corruption? It doesn’t actually address any of the real problems,other than possibly stalling those who want to enter the US to participate in our property rights, rule of law, and economic freedom, at the new city.

  34. Kimberly Klemm

    This is a wonderful idea. Be cautioned new laws will have to enact bi-border specific. Commerce cannot be a law unto itself and dual citizenships will need to represent with primary foundations.

  35. LE

    Very broad (and I don’t mean a girl). Which drugs? All drugs, some drugs, pot only? What does “drug legalization” mean in this context?You are aware that some drugs which we have a problem with are already legalized and controlled by the pharmaceutical companies. And that an illegal market exists for those drugs as well.And noting also that a few years ago even buying OTC things like Sudafed now requires showing a drivers license so they can track how much you are buying.Pseudoephedrine-based therapies–including Johnson & Johnson‘s Sudafed line, Pfizer‘s Advil Cold & Sinus, and others–have been banned from store shelves since 2006. To buy them you need to find a pharmacy, which takes a copy of your driver’s license number. [1]

  36. Nathan Lustig

    The problem with just declaring victory and pulling out is that we’ll still have massive cartel vs. cartel violence in turf wars.If we’re not willing to go the Portugal route [1] of legalization, i think the next best is the Colombia route [2] of going after the bosses, then having publicly unspoken agreements that if there’s no violence, the government kind of looks the other way.[1]…[2]…Sorry for stealing your style LE!

  37. JLM

    .Only seems fair as Tejas was part of Old Mexico once upon a time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  38. LE

    will find work elsewhereThe appropriate saying is “the devil you know”. I guess they will just get training in votech school and be able to take up a new trade?I’ll leave the rest of the details to you and JLMSpoken like a true big thinker.

  39. JLM

    .The Millenials will need a job first to be able to be drugged up in their mothers’ basements, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  40. JLM

    .Truly ignorant statement. In Colorado, where they piled recreational marijuana on top of medical marijuana, legal weed is almost twice the cost of illegal weed.Much of the illegal weed is the excess production from medical marijuana (six plants, two blooming at any time, gigantic yields from better hydroponic growing regimens) which is supposed to be destroyed if the medical marijuana card holder is unable to consume the product.Illegal weed sells for half of legal weed and no taxes.So, all legal weed has done in Colorado (I was in Steamboat a couple of weeks ago) is give the cartels a low cost provider advantage.Re-think the “kill the cartels” meme?The cartels are now selling joints rolled in THC liquid and then rolled in opium. Called an “OJ.”So, yeah, weed isn’t a “gateway” drug, is it?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  41. sigmaalgebra

    Can you still buy the original Sudafed? I wish I had some; maybe somewhere I have a small, non-empty bottle.Uh, sometimes I have a little problem of congestion in my left eustachian tube, and the original Sudafed was a big help. The pills were tiny little things, and I had a small bottle about half full. Last time I looked, the bottle was empty. Bummer.

  42. bfeld


  43. JLM

    .Because there is the matter of legality and some amongst us do respect and follow the law.Then, there is the issue of parenting and some parents don’t allow their children to use drugs.Then, there is the matter of ambition and many people are not willing to sacrifice their future on the altar of drugs.Then, there is the issue of health and many folks like organic bread and hate the unhealthy aspect of drugs.Then, there is the issue of self-image and there are those who can meet life as they truly are and don’t need the crutch of drugs to assist them and to overcome their insecurities.But, still, there are those who need to follow role models and exemplars to nudge them along the path of righteousness.We strong ones are responsible for assisting the weak ones to find their potential and to protect us and them against our own weaknesses.Do you recognize yourself amongst any of those? I hope so.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  44. JLM

    .There is nothing quite like doubling down on stupid.Yes, what the US needs is the State of Colorado in the drug ag business. Really?Why doesn’t Pennsylvania get in the organic bread business?Because it isn’t the appropriate role of gov’t?The taxes are barely a break even proposition on the added burden of drug rehab, drug DUI, increased fatalities, burden on emergency rooms, additional law enforcement, added burden to the courts.Colorado gov’t is singing a decidedly different tune today than a few years ago.Even states that run their own state liquor stores (N Carolina as an example) do not produce their own alcohol.In the end, more stoned Coloradans and visitors serve what legitimate gov’t purpose?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  45. LE

    Exactly exactly exactly.Would also add that back when I was in high school (70’s) there were discussion on whether to allow kids to smoke. It was a wooded campus of roughly 500 acres. In the end they decided not to allow it even though there were students who already snuck off into the woods (pot as well I would imagine). The reason was “some people will always smoke, some will never smoke, and the rest are somewhere in between”.They were worried about that third group in particular.We strong ones are responsible for assisting the weak ones to find their potential and to protect us and them against our own weaknesses.The saying that I have for this is “you have to prevent people from their folly”.and don’t need the crutch of drugs to assist them and to overcome their insecuritiesAnd make no doubt about it, drugs are a crutch. And it’s unfortunate as well that more and more people need drugs to keep up with the pressures of modern life and the Joneses who in many cases are taking drugs (or alcohol) in order to climb or keep themselves up.

  46. LE

    Because there is the matter of legality and some amongst us do respect and follow the law.I am reminded of a cousin of mine. When my father, many years ago, closed down and sold his business he still had accounts receivable due from many of his customers. My cousin (who is a bit older than I am but was young at the time) asked my father “well why would they pay you money they owed you when they don’t need your merchandise anymore??” He couldn’t understand anyone doing that.What’s funny is this is a guy that when he closed his business last year and moved to Florida ignored an invoice for something that I had sold to him. Not a major amount of money. But that actually did happen. Just no sense of any responsibility.Then, there is the issue of health and many folks like organic bread and hate the unhealthy aspect of drugs.Yeah they will swear up and down that it has no health impact at all. My guess is that the impact of pot is way greater than any benefit (other than psychological) of eating organic anything.

  47. LE

    It’s the new casino gambling. Not a net gain in dollars either. Money spent on pot is money not spent on other things, at least for those that weren’t already spending it illegally. And if what you are saying is right (the legal cost more than the illegal cost) it’s in the direction of a loss.

  48. JLM

    .As a doctor friend said, one night under an unhealthy self-dosage of wine, “Who the fuck thinks that we deliver medicine with hot smoke?”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  49. LE

    Not me, but others might say that the only good smoke, is smoke blown up one’s ass.

  50. Salt Shaker

    Badge of honor, actually….What am I doing wrong?

  51. fredwilson

    no JLM. weed is like booze, but way better for us. you have you head up your ass on this and pretty much everything else these days.

  52. JLM

    .Thoughtful, well-reasoned reply. Classy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…