Since When Did the United States Start Taking Americans Hostage?

Since When Did the United States Start Taking Americans Hostage?

In the Iran hostage crises, in 1979-1981, for a year and a quarter, 52 Americans were held hostage.  This cost Jimmy Carter his re-election.

Donald Trump has now held 800,000 government employees for a month without pay, half of whom were furloughed without pay for the month.  That is 800,000 American-months.  The Iran hostage crises was 780 American-months.  So Trump has topped that by a factor or multiple of 1,000!  

More than a year ago, I calculated that the value of the K-12 education of the 2 million DREAMERS at $300 billion.  Trump is holding the registered 700,000 DACA adults hostage for his $5.7 piece of a border fence.  But in three years, he said that he would take them hostage again for a larger deal.  In terms of getting a career started, or making a college educational investment, or buying a house, or getting married, or having kids, they are still being held hostage.  From all practical considerations, these are Americans.  Furthermore, if we let them go, they will just go South of the border and compete against American businesses, when they could be aiding American businesses, especially with an employee shortage.

This means that the US economy is losing the full value of 2 million at maybe $50,000 a year, or another $100 billion for each of the next three years of uncertainty.  So threatening to give away $300 billion in educational investment plus another $300 billion in training, education, and experience for $5.7 billion is losing a factor of 100 for a wall of questionable usage.

“The Art of the Deal?”, I don’t think so.  Winning?, not by a factor of a 100.  It’s only the art of pleasing Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, and Steve Miller in their racist views.  Witness Trump’s inability on Martin Luther King day to say a kind or inspiring word at the MLK Memorial today.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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