Brent E Zepke
My search for a rewarding career led to my “preserving” knowledge through lectures in my course Physics of Electricity at the University of South Carolina.
I wish I could say “It was better than the ones in calculus,” but it didn’t even rise to the level of chemistry. My father’s saying “be an engineer” and the ease with which I could “see” math problems directed me toward joining the 597 men and two women in the engineering college.
Perhaps it was that ratio, along with the subjects, that stimulated my preferring courses elsewhere on campus that, except for four semesters of physics, were always far easier and more interesting.
Spending time and tuition searching for a career taught me three things:
— I preferred concepts that involved people instead of machines.
— Priesthood was not in my future.
— And “there is a cost to time wasted searching for a solution.”
While most of my Physics of Electricity course was wasted on me, it did introduce me to the Black Box Theory, which is to focus on measuring what flows into the “black box” that houses the connection of wires, and what flows out, and the difference is the contribution of the black box.
In economics, this type of analysis is called an “Input-output” analysis, and I used it in my master’s program to study the flow of goods into, and out of, the Greenwood, S.C., area.
In management, it is used to evaluate a manager by comparing his/her out-box with the in-box and the difference is their contribution.
The Black Box Theory of the Mind is a technique to use the input and output of a mind without understanding the inner workings of the system or how the output is obtained from the input.”
In evaluating the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the “input” is whatever arrives to cross the border into the U.S.
The “output” is whatever actually crosses, and the Black Box provides the difference.
Input: Within minutes of the inauguration in 2021, President Joe Biden stopped the construction of the physical barrier of the wall and restricted the authority of the Customs and Border Control.
The Mexican cartels assumed control by creating a “toll road” where they decide who and what can cross — and at what price. The estimate is that the cartels charge between $4,000 to $16,000 (an average of $10,000) per person. Women may be required to perform “personal services.” Prostitution?
Many of those crossing have terms similar to the modern version of “indentured servitude,” meaning they have to “work off” the charges as a work force in the U.S. for whatever the cartels dictate. Human trafficking?
In May, there were 180,034 “encounters” by the CBP, and 112,302 were expelled, leaving 67,732 entering besides those who are not apprehended by the CBP.
These may even generate more cartel profits than from Chinese fentanyl. The CBP estimates the cartels “only” make $25 million a week, which seems very low but is probably more income than received by the Mexican government.
Output: The increase in migrants overwhelmed the ability of the CBP to house, feed and medically treat them, which also caused the CBP to not be able to stop the drug flow.
Even temporary facilities could not be built fast enough, so the thousands a day were bused to local small border towns without any notice or accompanying support. Locals have counted migrants from 73 countries that arrive with a taxpayer provided bus or plane ticket to various places within the U.S.
Unlike the procedures for you or me, the TSA reports that special procedures permit them to bypass all requirements and simply board the flights. Other sources report that they are equipped with access to an ongoing $2,300 per month, which is more than most Social Security checks.
Cities in other states, like Tennessee, report they arrive unannounced in the middle of the night and become the responsibility of the cities to deal with housing and feeding them.
The Black Box Theory provides a quick overview of the situation, be it electrical boxes, the economy, the scope of a manager’s responsibilities, the workings of the mind, or the border after the changes on Inauguration Day. However, for a more complete understanding of the systems, be it electrical flow, economics, management, the mind or the border, it is necessary to analyze the activities within the Black Box.
What about the information inside the Black Box Border?
The administration is prohibiting access to the border or data (which it may not even be keeping), and the mainstream press prefers to focus on other topics.
Who is in charge? The president or his team sets the policies that are being enforced by Homeland Security, while delegating “something” to Vice President Harris. The VP announced that “something” was to search for the “root” causes, which led to her flying over the U.S. border to Guatemala to inform the nation that its problems are climate change, its economy and corruption.
Even the $315 million taxpayers’ money she handed Guatemala did not deter the nation’s president and people from saying “It’s Biden’s fault.” Perhaps the problem not existing until the day after the Inauguration inspired the VP to say “Do not come.”
The next day the same accusations by the VP were greeted with the same responses in Mexico despite the $130 million gift of taxpayers’ money, some of which, again, came from the U.S. border towns.
What about today? On June 15, the president finished his European tour that began with his giving his opinion to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on their border issues with Northern Ireland. Then he went to Geneva to discuss, among other things, the border issues of Russia.
The VP was hosting the women of the Senate at the renovated vice president’s mansion. Congress voted to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. The secretary of Homeland Security was at home secure.
The CBP was scrambling to process the 6,001 daily encounters (1/30 of the 180,034 encounters a month) before sending 2,258 (1/30 of 67,732) to the border towns. The border towns braced for the arrival of the 2,258 plus however many others the cartels sent across the Rio Grande.
The cartels are counting the 1/30th somewhere between 180,000 times $10,000, and $25 million, plus the drug money. The mainstream television networks search for topics while avoiding the border crisis like the proverbial “third rail.”
Since that Physics on Electricity course, I learned to switch to math, to teach statistics to fund my becoming an employment lawyer, and “there is a cost to time wasted searching for a solution” that can be reduced by promptly taking responsibility.
To quote President Truman “The buck stops here,” not at the VP’s mansion. And “the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over expecting different results” (Albert Einstein).
It would be unfair to allege the White House decision makers are insane, so what could their motive?
Who is paying the “cost in time wasted searching for a solution” instead of looking within the Black Box Border?
The author lives in Santa Barbara.