Then-Attorney General William French Smith argued that a perfectly harmless ID card system would be necessary to reduce illegal immigration. A second cabinet member asked: why not tattoo a number on each Americans forearm?
According to Martin Anderson, the White House domestic policy adviser at the time, Reagan blurted out My God, thats the Mark of the Beast. As Anderson wrote, That was the end of the national identification card during the Reagan years.
We all forget, all too often. Once again, the presumed premise of the problem leads us to bogus solutions.
The Federal Government, not any privately or publicly owned entity was ever meant to be the keeper or even have right and access to all citizenry information. Our founding respected our rights (both enumerated and inalienable) and our privacy. If you wanted someone to have your information, you gave it to them. It’s why getting a loan was big deal in the old days. You had to prove your worth and your reliability to a lender.
Think about this. With the latest advent of data collection on the internet, personal information collection, sales and distribution for marketing is big business. We do not own our personal information (healthcare, spending, debt, account balances, shopping habits, browsing habits, what we watch on TV, what hotels we stay in, where we work, our taxes, income, property value, net worth, the names of our kids, present and former addresses and employers.....).
There is nowhere to hide and it won’t change. So what do you do about it. Create a second identity early in life (maybe 2). ;o)
I’ve been around Germany....off and on...for over twenty years. I’ve seen their national ID card (the old version and new one with the chip/bio-metric picture). The card works. I admit, the cost factor would have to be modified or improved.
The forearm/tattoo story is one of the most naive episodes that come up from the Reagan era and we are lucky that the same characters weren’t making up reasons why we shouldn’t have automatic transmissions.