Donald Trump and his ridiculous rants have somehow become the topic of discussion in major political circles and public alike. Although it is depressing that such a , of a person has so much attention fixed on himself, it is our responsibility as engineers to show the world just how stupid his claims are in reality as many people can’t fathom it right now. His most famous statement since his desire to run for president has been the construction of the so-called Great Wall of Trump to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants from the USA and supposedly with it, their drug trade and social problems.
Now we as engineers don’t need to highlight the moral and political repercussions of this act as many people would know about them already. But we can point out how much this fantasy wall can cost the government if we ever had the misfortune of building it. A civil engineer, Ali Rhuzkan, crunched some simple figures for us regarding the material costs, labour costs and according to the national average of the country.
It is assumed that the wall will be built using pre-cast and cast-in-place concrete. Also, a necessary thing would be to include steel rebar in the occurring costs. He then summed it all up and let us know the answers:
167 million cubic yards of cast-in-place concrete. The current cost in 93$/cubic yard and it sums up to nearly 15.5 billion $
1 million segments of pre-cast panels of 10′ at 17$/panel. It adds up to nearly 17.5 million $.It is assumed that the wall will be built using pre-cast and cast-in-place concrete. Also, a necessary thing would be to include steel rebar in the occurring costs. He then summed it all up and let us know the answers: 167 million cubic yards of cast-in-place concrete. The current cost in 93$/cubic yard and it sums up to nearly 15.5 billion $ 1 million segments of pre-cast panels of 10′ at 17$/panel. It adds up to nearly 17.5 million $. 2.5 million tons of steel rebar @ 600$/ton is equal to 1.5 billion $. The total cost for this project comes out to be 15.5 billion $ + 0.0175 billion + 1.5 billion $ = ~17 billion dollars! So, an impossible 17 billion dollars for a worthless project. Then he also compares it to the Great Wall of China that was built to keep out Huns and Mongolians from invading the Chinese. Guess what? Even if those ancient times, the wall didn’t keep them out and they managed to breach it at will. Maybe the Qin Emperor was a long-lost ancestor of Donald Trump’s? Let us show you how much 17 billion dollars are worth: NASA that has countless satellites and cutting-edge labs operates on a budget of 17 billion $.
The world’s largest dam, The three Gorges, cost 38 billion dollars and produces 18,200 megawatts of electricity, enough to power a large state. So 17 billion dollars for a worthless wall that can still be breached? The world’s tallest building, an astonishing 163 floors cost around 1.5 billion dollars. So, you can make around 12 Burj Khalifas with that sort of money when the US doesn’t even have one! 17 billion dollars is the annual budget of more than 50 countries around the world, and it can be used to pay for the complete college education of more than 17,000 students! So even if the budget could spare that kind of money, would you prefer it to such bullshit walls or free education for all? Your choice!