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Thread: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

  1. #1
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    Default The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Happy New Year everyone!... Kind of...

    If you're one of the 800,000 workers not getting paid, or one of the hundreds of thousands of contractors not having invoices paid, then I guess it's been pretty awful so far.

    A simple calculation for a part of the shutdown - those directly paid as employees - is shocking:
    At an average US wage of $24.57 per hour that makes the daily cost to the US Federal workers...

    $157,248,000 a day or;
    $786,240,000 a week.
    At three weeks of shutdown this cost is $2.359 billion.

    This doesn't include the private contractors, nor the knock on effect of the Trump shutdown, such as loss of tax revenue, consumer spending, business and consumer confidence. And remember he explicitly stated on national television any shutdown would be his mantel to wear.

    I'm sure the costs go well beyond the borders of the USA to major trading partners and allies as well.

    But let's get to the cost of this imaginary wall:

    Washington: The wall that US President Donald Trump wants to build along more than 1600 kilometres of the US-Mexico border would take an estimated 10,000 construction workers more than 10 years to build, say construction industry experts.

    The $US5.7 billion in funding Trump requested during a primetime Oval Office address on Tuesday would stretch only as far as 370 kilometres, according to estimates
    The full version of Trump's envisioned border wall Ė featuring rarely tested heights cast over almost unimaginable distances Ė would cost at least $US25 billion, said Ed Zarenski, who teaches construction estimation at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.
    Zarenski has spent 30 years figuring out project pricetags for Gilbane, one of the nation's largest construction firms.


    "I wouldn't say it's impossible, but you've got to factor in engineering considerations," Zarenski said. "And then I would say, is the project realistic? Probably not."
    After almost two years of Trump demanding that Congress fund his desire for an expanded southern border wall, little time has been spent determining how the project might actually come together.


    A project of this scale has rarely been attempted Ė not even by the developer-president himself when he was erecting New York skyscrapers.
    The border's landscape is uniquely remote and difficult. The project site is narrow and runs for hundreds and hundreds of kilometres. And there are unknowns, such as the maximum wind load for a fence.


    The wall design currently favoured by Trump appears to make heavy use of steel, which the President said would be good for the US steel industry.
    About 3 million tons of steel would be needed for a steel-slat wall and concrete base, according to Zarenski's calculations, which factored in 20-centimetre hollow steel tubes standing nine metres high and spaced every 35 centimetres.
    But the demand for that steel would not land all at once but be stretched over the project's life. If it took an optimistic 10 years to build, the wall would require less than half a per cent of the annual US appetite for finished steel.
    The wall "would have a very limited impact for US steelmakers," said Josh Spoores, a steel analyst with the research firm CRU.


    Trump has made supporting the US steel industry one of his administration's focal points. Last year, his administration slapped tariffs on steel imported into the United States, obstensibly to help domestic steelmakers. But the steel tariff also has hurt US manufacturers who use steel and must contend with increased prices, said Jim Doyle, of the industry trade group Business Forward.


    "Trump is disrupting the auto industry and other manufacturers in order to help steel, a much smaller, less important industry," he said.
    The same dynamic would be seen in the steel used for a border wall. The steel tariffs add about $US1 billion to the estimated $US25 billion border wall project pricetag, according to Zarenski.
    The design of Trump's border wall could still change Ė and has already fluctuated with the political winds. During the 2016 campaign, Trump talked of a solid concrete border wall. Then it was steel slats. Sometimes he called it a wall, other times it's a fence. He has described it stretching for 2000 miles (3210 kilometres) and 1000 miles (1609 kilometres) and even just 700 miles (1126 kilometres).


    Gary Winek, a professor and construction program director at Texas State University, recalled how excited the concrete industry had once been back when the wall was going to be all concrete. Concrete is a fickle material that doesn't travel well. It has to be mixed close to a project site at either a permanent or temporary plant.
    "The logistics are not going to kill the project," Winek said, "but it will make it challenging."
    If Trump's border wall gets funding, construction wouldn't begin for at least six months Ė and likely longer, Zarenski said.
    Land along the border still needs to be acquired. Soil and environmental studies need to be done.


    The first thing a construction firm would build is not a wall but a road. A roadway running parallel to the border would be needed to allow the backhoes, dumptrucks and cement trucks to reach the remote construction sites.
    Finding enough skilled workers in the current tight labour market would also be difficult.
    And the project's massive price tag comes with its own constraints. The construction industry's rule of thumb, Zarenski said, is that it takes 5000 to 6000 workers a year to build $US1 billion worth of construction. But you can't fit them all on one job site. For a project like the border wall, you would want to have dozens of different sites going at once.
    Zarenski calculated how fast the work could go - assuming 10,000 workers spread equally over 50 sites. Then, they could build 11 metres of border wall each work day at each site.
    Even if these huge crews broke ground today, they would finish just 138 kilometres of border wall by year's end. By election day 2020, 259 kilometres of border wall would be done. It would take 11 years to reach the 1000 miles most often quoted by Trump. And that's assuming 10,000 workers going all at once, five days a week.


    In October, the Trump administration touted the completion of about three kilometres of steel-slat and concrete border wall near Calexico, California, as the first section of the President's border wall. The project had been planned since 2009 and replaced an existing barrier. And it still took eight months from contract award to completion.
    It's also increasingly clear that Mexico is not going to foot the bill for the border wall, despite Trump's insistence on Tuesday night that it would pay "indirectly" through a renegotiated trade pact.
    But it might make more sense for Mexico, Spoores with CRU said, because if Mexico built the wall, "the steel would likely come from their mills." That would make a big difference to Mexico, whose steel market is one-fifth the size of the American market.
    Washington Post
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-a...10-p50qh9.html

    Trump is a complete idiot, a mendacious lover of authoritarian regimes, an anti-democracy ego-maniac. I could tell you what I really think, but I don't want to be banned for my first post in some time.

    The wall ain't coming, and it never will.

    Republican senators need to face facts and provide a veto proof majority vote for spending bills and put a wall around the Trump instead; preferably one with bars and a lock, and an orange jumpsuit to replace the orange visage once he can't access his god-awful fugly spray tan.

    The douche is a clear and present danger, not just to the American people, but also the ROTW. Lock him up! NOW!
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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    duncan gibbs in the house!
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Yo!
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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Well said Duncan. My wife, who is American, has reminded me a few times recently that POTUS is there to serve the American people, not to rule over them. Just thought I would throw that in.
    Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H. G. Wells

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    I'm touched with the concern of so many throughout the Anglosphere regarding the humanitarian crisis at the Southern Border. Especially those that live in nations that are essentially islands. Where would we be without such intelligent guidance from men such as these? Truly, where?

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    At three weeks of shutdown this cost is $2.359 billion.

    The wall ain't coming, and it never will.
    If the cost of the shutdown is too much, perhaps the Democrats should vote for the wall.

    I am less certain as to if the wall will be built or not.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky Blue View Post
    I'm touched with the concern of so many throughout the Anglosphere regarding the humanitarian crisis at the Southern Border. Especially those that live in nations that are essentially islands. Where would we be without such intelligent guidance from men such as these? Truly, where?
    You really are the paragon of ignorance, idiocy and/or total trollishness.

    How you can apparently be so articulate and swallow so much of the GOP's and your Dear Leader's total mendacious BS is truly an ontological juxtaposition. I'll allow you to plead insanity if you continue on like this.
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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Seems to me that a wall, on the scale proposed by Trump, even if you believe it will be effective, cannot provide an instant solution. Even if the funding were to be granted tomorrow (and 5 billion is nowhere near enough), the construction work would not happen overnight. Would Trump supporters be content to just have work on new sections started? Would that seem like a significant enough victory over the Democrats to have Trump supporters whooping and fist pumping? If so then those analysts who claim that the wall is just symbolic would be proven right.
    Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H. G. Wells

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    If the cost of the shutdown is too much, perhaps the Democrats should vote for the wall.

    I am less certain as to if the wall will be built or not.
    Trump is a terrorist. You don't negotiate with terrorists.

    Trump is also a toddler. You don't cave into the demands of a toddler, otherwise you have a problem child.

    The article clearly outlines why the wall will never happen.
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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    I thought when the US shut down government like that the payments were simply deferred until the government opens. That means to me that the 2 billion plus that hasn't been paid will simply be paid when the government does open so there really aren't any savings or costs, just some pissed off people. (and the additional costs to their credit lines/credit cards, anger and misery that results from not being paid for a protracted period of time.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    When yer a RWW, troll without a paddle, ya go craven. See exhibit A.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    You really are the paragon of ignorance, idiocy and/or total trollishness.

    How you can apparently be so articulate and swallow so much of the GOP's and your Dear Leader's total mendacious BS is truly an ontological juxtaposition. I'll allow you to plead insanity if you continue on like this.
    Pure troll. No one with half a brain can support the moron-in-chief & SB shows enough education to know better.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    I thought when the US shut down government like that the payments were simply deferred until the government opens. That means to me that the 2 billion plus that hasn't been paid will simply be paid when the government does open so there really aren't any savings or costs, just some pissed off people. (and the additional costs to their credit lines/credit cards, anger and misery that results from not being paid for a protracted period of time.
    There are very real costs associated with late payments that have precisely the same effect as not being paid at all. I cannot begin to imagine the scale of hardships that are being faced by millions of Americans as a result of this aerosol's ego trip. We can put direct monetary costs to it, but the mental toll must be horrendous.
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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    Trump is a terrorist. You don't negotiate with terrorists.

    Trump is also a toddler. You don't cave into the demands of a toddler, otherwise you have a problem child.

    The article clearly outlines why the wall will never happen.
    I am not sure you see the silliness of your position. The only way to achieve your goal is for the Democrats need to deal with Trump.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    My position isn't silly at all. Trump stated on live TV he owns the shutdown. "I'll wear that mantle!" he said. All he needs to do I sign the bills. He's holding the entire country hostage, for a completely idiotic and unreasonable demand. Throwing good money after bad isn't any kind of economic management.

    The national emergency IS Trump. Lock him up. Don't negotiate jot with him. Lock him and his corrupt kids up, and misplace the key. Utter criminals all of them.
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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    The engineering department has checked in on "the wall" at https://www.facebook.com/apatrick/po...00902776405671. The author is Amy Patrick, a forensic structural engineer. It sounds like the "design" and bidding for "the wall", like everything else done by this administration, was done as shoddily as possible. Not that that should surprise anyone.

    A quick google for "Amy Patrick structural engineer" will give you her C.V. (if you're interested).


    Howdy.

    To recap: Iím a licensed structural and civil engineer with a MS in structural engineering from the top program in the nation and over a decade of experience on high-performance projects, and particularly of cleaning up design disasters where the factors werenít properly accounted for, and Iím an adjunct professor of structural analysis and design at UH-Downtown. I have previously been deposed as an expert witness in matters regarding proper construction of walls and the various factors associated therein, and my testimony has passed Daubert.

    Am I a wall expert? I am. I am literally a court-accepted expert on walls.

    Structurally and civil engineering-wise, the border wall is not a feasible project. Trump did not hire engineers to design the thing. He solicited bids from contractors, not engineers. This means itís not been designed by professionals. Itís a disaster of numerous types waiting to happen.

    What disasters?

    Off the top of my head...
    1) It will mess with our ability to drain land in flash flooding. Anything impeding the ability of water to get where it needs to go (doesnít matter if there are holes in the wall or whatever) is going to dramatically increase the risk of flooding.
    2) Messes with all kind of stuff ecologically. For all other projects, we have to do an Environmental Site Assessment, which is arduous. Theyíre either planning to circumvent all this, or they havenít accounted for it yet, because thatís part of the design process, and this thing hasnít been designed.
    3) The prototypes they came up with are nearly impossible to build or donít actually do the job. This article explains more:

    https://www.google.com/Ö/mobile.engi...amp/17599.html

    And so on.

    The estimates provided for the cost are arrived at unreasonably. You can look for yourself at the two-year-old estimate that you see everyone citing.

    http://fronterasdesk.org/Ö/Bernstein...Trump%20Wall.Ö

    It does not account for rework, complexities beyond the prototype design, factors to prevent flood and environmental hazard creation, engineering redesign... Itís going to be higher than $50bn. The contractors will hit the government with near CONSTANT change orders. ďCost overrunĒ will be the name of the game. It will not be completed in Trumpís lifetime.

    Iím a structural forensicist, which means Iím called in when things go wrong. This is a project that WILL go wrong. When projects go wrong, the original estimates are just *obliterated*. And when that happens, good luck getting it fixed, because there arenít that many forensicists out there to right the ship, particularly not that are willing to work on a border wall projectó a large quotient of us are immigrants, and besides, we canít afford to bid on jobs that are this political. Weíre small firms, and weíre already busy, and we donít gamble our reputations on political footballs. So youíd end up with a revolving door of contractors making a giant, uncoordinated muddle of things, and itíd generally be a mess. Good money after bad. The GAO agrees with me.

    And it wonít be effective. I could, right now, purchase a 32 foot extension ladder and weld a cheap custom saddle for the top of the proposed wall so that I can get over it. I donít know who they talked to about the wall design and its efficacy, but it sure as heck wasnít anybody with any engineering imagination.

    Another thing: we are not far from the day where inexpensive drones will be able to pick up and carry someone. This will happen in the next ten years, and itís folly to think that the coyotes who ferry people over the border wonít purchase or create them. Theyíre low enough, quiet enough, and small enough to quickly zip people over any wall we could build undetected with our current monitoring setup.

    Letís have border security, by all means, but letís be smart about it. This is not smart. Itís not effective. Itís NOT cheap. The returns will be diminishing as technology advances, too. This is a ridiculous idea that will never be successfully executed and, as such, would be a monumental waste of money.

    This is set to public. Have a blast sharing it.
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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    The wall is not about keeping anyone or anything out or even in the long run actually building it. Not getting the money for it is a blessing for him as the tussle is about distraction, owning the front pages, and keeping donald's faithful just that. But mostly about distraction, and that works.

    Certainly it works here, look at the attention Sobell and BS get?

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    Default Re: The Shutdown Cost So Far and the Projected Wall Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    [...]It sounds like the "design" and bidding for "the wall", like everything else done by this administration, was done as shoddily as possible. Not that that should surprise anyone. [...snip]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    You really are the paragon of ignorance, idiocy and/or total trollishness.

    How you can apparently be so articulate and swallow so much of the GOP's and your Dear Leader's total mendacious BS is truly an ontological juxtaposition. I'll allow you to plead insanity if you continue on like this.
    Wow, talk about come in swinging.

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