Tue, 01 Apr 2008

Is our country run by morons?

Both the new passport requirement for crossing the U.S. / Canada border, and the requirement for standard driver's licenses makes me wonder if our country is being run by morons. And if it is, what do we do about it?

The passport requirement is completely insane for two reasons. First, because you can cross the Canadian border on lakes, rivers, and woods. Neither the fish, the birds, nor the worms care if you show them your passport. Second is an implication stemming from the first. Because there are so many ways to cross, the border isn't so much as a line as it is a zone extending into the US by some distance. So if one must have a passport to cross the line, one must also have a passport at all times within the zone. Thus, internal document checks. I was raised on WWII movies where the Nazi SS barked "Papers Please!"

The driver's license as identification is also similarly insane. Once you have an id card which everyone must have to enter federal buildings (arguably unconstitutional; how do you petition your representatives if you cannot enter the building housing their offices?) then everyone will expect everyone to have that id card, and it will become a defacto national id card. The problem with that is that once you've forged a card, or gotten a valid card matching your biometrics but belonging to someone else, you've gotten the keys to the kingdom. You can go everywhere and do everything with that fake id.

We're more secure with the current mix of identification which people don't trust overmuch.

Posted [16:43] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics,security [digg this]