Reader Opinion: Caring for the wall
Much has been said lately about whether or not a wall should be built along our southern border. Most of the discussion seems to favor a wall built from steel, constructing it over a distance of hundreds of miles, making it about 20 feet high and...
Much has been said lately about whether or not a wall should be built along our southern border. Most of the discussion seems to favor a wall built from steel, constructing it over a distance of hundreds of miles, making it about 20 feet high and having it cost about $5 billion. Not much has been said about maintaining the wall once it's built. Since much of it will be located in a river valley which will be damp, at least in the morning, and the fact that steel rusts, it seems fair to wonder how long it will be before the wall needs to be painted.
Imagining finding a contractor to paint a fence like that is mind boggling. There aren't many paint contractors with the equipment needed to paint a fence that is 20 feet high, even it it were possible to get them to tackle 10 miles of it. And anyone who has ever tried to repair a rusty fender knows that before it can be painted it must be cleared of all rust.
Securing a loan to purchase the equipment needed to service the top of the fence, transporting the workers that far out of town to do the job, and providing the chipping equipment, the prayers and the paint would require some really fast talk at the bank. That would be particularly true if you listed the U.S. government as the cosigner. Surely the bankers would know that when finding money gets tough, the government shuts down and won't pay on its contracts.
Finding the people to do the actual work would be another problem. Chipping paint all day in the hot sun would be brutal. There aren't many Americans who would be willing to do it even if they paid union-scale wages. Illegal migrants probably wouldn't apply.
John F. Ehlert