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07/31/2002 Archived Entry: "National ID Cards"

Sheldon Richman -- friend, editor of Ideas on Liberty magazine, and an AASG (All Around Spiffy-sorta Guy) -- has just published an excellent article entitled Reviving a de facto national ID in the Washington Times. Sheldon writes, "Sen. Richard Durbin, Illinois Democrat, has introduced a bill to standardize the driver's licenses of all states, converting them into a de facto national ID." That may not sound as threatening as a government-issued ID card...

but, actually, what else is a driver's license? Especially a federalized driver's license? True, people do not *need* to have one except for purposes of driving but if more and more services, such as air travel and banking, insist on government ID as a prerequisite for doing buisness, then not possessing such a card in one form or another could relegate people to the status of second-class citizen.

It leaves me shaking my head in sadness. Fortunately, an antidote crossed my desk yesterday. Carl Watner and I have just signed a book contract with the publisher McFarland & Company for a manuscript tentatively entitled, "United States National ID System" -- an anthology that argues vigorously against the imposition of National ID from both history and theory. The credit for the anthology belongs to Carl, of Voluntaryist fame. (I am listed appropriately as "with" Wendy McElroy.) Claire Wolfe has contributed a wonderful introduction to the MS. The deadline for delivery is December 31st, after which Carl is going to take a much deserved hiatus in order to attend to family/business matters.

I hope everyone out there holds on tightly to their privacy rights. It is going to be a wild ride.


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