# Let's dissect a rant! With a rant

So in a recent chain mail about what it means to be a manly cowboy, there was an interesting bit at the end. I'm unsure whether I should take it seriously or not; it's pretty crazy from my standpoint yet I can imagine people believing it as a sound course of action. But for amusement I shall take it on anyway, and rant to the air on the web! First, the full text, edited only slightly for formatting:

The COWBOY Solution to save Gasoline !

OBAMA wants us to cut the amount of gasoline we use.....

The best way to stop using so much gasoline is to deport 15 million illegal immigrants!

That would be 15 million less people using our gas.

The price of gas would come down.....

Bring our troops home from Afghanistan to guard the borders....

When they catch an illegal immigrant crossing the Border, hand him a canteen, rifle and some ammo and ship him to Afghanistan ....

Tell him if he wants to come to AMERICA then he must serve a tour in OUR military....

Give him a soldier's pay while he's there and tax him on it......

After his tour, he will be allowed to become a citizen since he defended this country.....

He will also be registered to be taxed and be a legal resident.....

This option will probably deter illegal immigration and provide a solution for the troops in Afghanistan and the aliens trying to make a better life for themselves.. ......

If they refuse to serve, ship them to Afghanistan anyway, without the canteen, rifle or ammo.....

Problem solved.....

Before I lay into this piece by piece, I invite you to watch this news clip:

Anyway, on with the show...

The COWBOY Solution to save Gasoline !
Go back to riding horses everywhere?

OBAMA wants us to cut the amount of gasoline we use.....
I suppose that might be true, considering gasoline isn't an easily renewable resource and experts say we've already reached peak oil... So you're on Obama's side right? Scary upper-casing his name makes me unsure.

The best way to stop using so much gasoline is to deport 15 million illegal immigrants!

That would be 15 million less people using our gas.

Uh... Hang on a sec. Lots of problems here. Let us first go into this notion of "our" gas. Excuse me, but did we become Venezuela? I was under the impression that our gas and oil companies are not nationalized, and furthermore most (all?) are multinational, and lastly most of our oil doesn't come from US-claimed territory. So what do you mean by "our" gas? The taxpayers don't own it, the government doesn't own it, and if you believe you at least own the gas in your tank (try selling it) then shouldn't the illegals own their gas in their tanks too? This is assuming they even have cars; illegals are known to be poor and not always have that luxury. But back to the ownership: if illegals don't own the gas they purchase with their own money, then do tourists not own anything they buy?

Or maybe you mean humanity for "our gas"? Illegal immigrants are humans too.

I'll come back to the real offsets of gas usage in a moment, for now let us continue.

The price of gas would come down.....
Yes professor of economics! I'm sure that will be the case! I'm sure it will go down and stay down! Let us take the naive model of simple supply and demand determining the price of oil. 15 million randomly selected American citizens don't use up that much gas, considering. 15 million illegals use up far less. The demand would not change, and the supply would not magically go up. Unless we discover a magical way to cheaply turn some other resource into oil, the supply can only go down, and meanwhile population and technology grow and literally all of our technology require oil to manufacture, transport, etc. Even if magically the price went down shortly due JUST to this measure, it would be back up within a month tops.

Bring our troops home from Afghanistan to guard the borders....
I'll support bringing our troops back home from Afghanistan, but not just to go have camp outs all along the southern border. (What about the northern border, the bearing straight, and the waters around Hawaii and Puerto Rico?) There are 94,000 troops in Afghanistan, and you can find nothing better for them to do than camp out in our deserts and wait for the occasional immigrant to show their heads so they can blast them down? Perhaps they could be useful in taking on the drug lords, but I highly doubt that would be fruitful without the drugs' legalization.

When they catch an illegal immigrant crossing the Border, hand him a canteen, rifle and some ammo and ship him to Afghanistan ....
Phew, not just shooting them on sight. How humanitarian. Wait, what? Where do you get off taking someone and forcing them to a different country very very far away to clean up a job they had no part in anyway? If I had that done to me I'd just join Al Qaeda or the Taliban, they probably have better gear!

Tell him if he wants to come to AMERICA then he must serve a tour in OUR military....
And just because you were fortunate enough to come out of your mother's womb on a patch of US-claimed land you get to sit on your fat ass and not share this requirement to live in America? Note that this isn't necessarily a horrible idea pragmatically, at least if it's altered to a form of volunteer service and treating him or her or the child (they come across too) as a real US soldier with all the gear and food that implies. I'm sure you could get a lot of immigrants to sign up for it, just like our current system gets a lot of young people to sign up with the promise of paying for college. It's rape, but it works for the goal of increasing our military numbers without direct force.

Give him a soldier's pay while he's there and tax him on it......
How considerate. You're not giving him proper gear but you're giving him proper pay (taxed). Why not say "give him minimal living expenses" and be more consistent?

After his tour, he will be allowed to become a citizen since he defended this country.....
And you get to have your third heart bypass, paid for by the taxpayers under universal health care, since you've sat around all this time watching the latest football games eating nachos and drinking beer... Is there an alternative path to citizenship? Especially for children? Especially for all the religious Mexicans who want to take Christ's message of non violence a little more seriously than the people in the US do?

He will also be registered to be taxed and be a legal resident.....
Yay! Why not do this from the start instead of spending all this time and energy to have him be in a foreign nation we have no business being in, be a part of a complex that wastes huuuuuge amounts of money, and in general probably be pissed off with a gun when he comes back? Now seems like a nice point to mention that the amount of gas required to ship him over to Afghanistan and back probably exceeds the amount he'd ever use in his life. Remember, this started out as a way to save gas? And now you're offering them legal rights! Which means they'll be paid minimum wage (which is pretty decent) and will improve their standards of living, followed by using more gas. If you just said kill the 15 million illegals, you'd be more consistent with the notion of reducing gas usage.

This option will probably deter illegal immigration and provide a solution for the troops in Afghanistan and the aliens trying to make a better life for themselves.. ......
Probably? What is your probability estimate? Do you have confidence intervals? Even if this was 'forced', you still may get the volunteer effect since a soldier life may in fact be better than living poor in Mexico surrounded by drug gangs. At least you get a gun. In fact this is just a fancy legal route of immigration one has to take, the first step being to illegal cross the border.