UNITED STATES—The European Union was created with the best intentions, however it had trouble from the start. While the cause for this is too complex an issue to tackle in a few sentences, there was one reason that stood above the rest. Many of the countries in said union were bankrupt from the start. What’s worse, there was no way for these countries to ever recover due to certain economic policies such as high taxes, high social benefits and wages that prevented industry in these countries from being competitive in the world marketplace. This is the main reason that the UK pulled out of the EU (European Union). They got tired of supporting financially struggling countries.

This being said, the idea and the model are a good one that would work well in North America. I lived in China long enough to see a city named Shenzhen go from having a population of just 20 thousand people, to over 25 million in only 25 years. In the process, they maintained the highest employment and production of income in all of China.

Years ago, I read a book by Russel H. Conwell called “Acre of Diamonds”. The basic story revolves around a farmer who gives up to prospect for diamonds, only to lose everything.  He decided to become a diamond hunter when he grew tired of barely making ends meet tending his fields, and set out to find great wealth.  The twist of this book is stranger than fiction. Ironically, the farmland he sold to finance his search for diamonds was the richest diamond field ever discovered.

The lesson and moral of this story could be applied to North America.  If this farmer had only taken the time to study and prepare himself before selling his land, he would have seen what was right beneath his nose and been successful beyond his wildest dreams. Instead, he set out in search of diamonds without having any idea of how to find them. As a result, he sold off the richest diamond field ever discovered. If you think about it, had he slowed down he could have been pulling diamonds from the ground for years, but at the time was unable to identify them in their rough form. Isn’t this similar to the United States current situation? They have also plunged ahead without looking in their own backyard, or taking the time to find the diamonds that are right under their nose (Mexico and Canada).

After reading this story, Mexico crossed my mind.  I believe Mexico is North America’s “Acre of Diamonds”. It is my opinion that Mexican citizens are good people who cross to the USA in order to find a better life. They want, like most people, to improve their situation so that future generations can benefit. To me, this is noble.

Mexicans cross to the USA border due to their country being poor and largely uneducated, with little to no opportunity to better oneself. Mexicans, like most people, want a better life. In the United States of America, we have difficulty competing with Asian countries where labor costs and safety regulations are low.

My idea is a North American Union. Combine the power of Canada, the USA, and Mexico in a union to the mutual benefit of all. It must be phased in using Shenzhen as an example. I believe it will take twenty years to achieve, but it is achievable.

If Mexicans had a healthy economy, their citizens would have no need to leave their own country. The USA has given out over $3.75 trillion in foreign aid (adjusted for inflation) since the end of World War II. What if that stopped, and instead we focus on our own backyard and a North American Union.

If even a fraction of that money were used to build new roads, schools, ports, airports, and hospitals, across all three nations, we could begin to dominate the world market. Canada has resources, and Mexico has cheap trainable labor, providing the perfect ingredients for the ‘ultimate win’.

It will take time, as change does not happen overnight. But I believe after 20 years Mexicans, Canadians and United States citizens could cross the borders anytime they wanted and live in a harmonious fashion. Mexican would come to the USA not to immigrate, but instead for vacation and to do business.  With this approach, there would be no need for walls. Certainly, we would still buy goods from other world markets, however we would be far more self-sufficient. It would also balance the dissemination of world goods. With this strategy, North America would no longer be held captive by foreign territories.

I think this a winning approach and if I were President, I would do three things: 1) Form a North American union (Canada, USA, and Mexico), 2) Go to a flat tax and 3) Follow the Works Progress Administration (WPA) model. While these three items have been talked about in the news, it has always been done as if they were separate issues. I do not see it that way.

The infrastructure in America is crumbling. In many parts of the country roads are full of potholes, bridges are falling, and water mains are failing due to age. Even our power grids are old, inefficient and outdated.

A move like I am proposing will mark the return of North American steel and provide unlimited projects. This is not a new idea, but instead it takes a page out of the President Roosevelt’s New Deal era. The Works Progress Administration (WPA; renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration) was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of jobseekers (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads.

Taken all together, a North American Union can be the catalyst for a true “Acre of Diamonds”. The future will tell, but with this approach Mexico, Canada and the United States will all be made stronger, providing a better life for the citizens of all.

Written By John M. Probandt