Another look at national ID cards

During the health care debates, much hay was made from the claimed success stories of other first-world countries that have universal health care. “Why,” the proponents thundered, “does America think it’s so different? Universal health care works in Europe - why shouldn’t we adopt it here?”

So I’m like to copy that argument, since it was so persuasive, and apply it to the concept of a national ID card. In France, a national ID card seems to pose no undue threat to freedom. In Belgium, one must carry one’s card, complete with identity RFID chip, anywhere fartehr then 200 meters from one’s home.

Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom all have national ID cards.

If their experience in universal health care is so relevant, why isn’t their experience in national ID cards?

Are people who are in favor of European-style health care opposed to European-style national ID cards? It seems like that is what you are getting at here.

I’m not sure – which is why the thread says “another look” rather than something else. I certainly imagine that those favoring European-style UHC will also favor national ID cards, but I’ve been hurt before, so who knows?

Saying that universal health care works in Europe is a counter to the argument that universal health is doomed to fail. Obviously it’s not doomed to fail if it works elsewhere. So if you find somebody whose argument against national ID is that it is doomed to fail then citing countries that have done it successfully would be a valid counter.

I don’t think that’s an argument commonly made against a national ID though. From what I’ve seen it’s usually more along the lines of ‘we don’t want it/ don’t need it’ rather than ‘we can’t do it.’

Isn’t this an example of some sorta logical fallacy? Maybe fallacy of false equivalence? If not, it should be.

Why the hell should I have to carry my national ID card with me if I am going for a run or a bike ride more than 200 meters away from my house? Ludicrous. If I don’t want to carry ID on my person, I shouldn’t have to. I completely understand if you are operating a vehicle that requires some sort of license, but if I’m a passenger or a not performing an activity requiring a license, then it is crazy for the government to require me to be identifiable.

The UK does not have national ID cards, at least not compulsory ones and very few people actually posses one. I am not even sure they are universally available. You don’t even need to carry your drivers licence with you when driving - though you may be asked to present one at a police station if you get stopped without one.

Which parts of this article are in error? He is a lawyer and knows damn well that is illogical. He is playing with us again.
I would suggest the Happiness Charts showing what countries are the happiest. We are not very high on the list. We don’t even appear on this list at all. That would be a better metric for comparing the relative success of countries.

I have absolutely no objection to a national ID card, provided it is provided free and at no inconvenience to the cardholder.

Of course, bear in mind, this only hastens the day – and be sure that day will come within your lifetime – when there is one master digital and/or paper file somewhere in Washington, linked to your name and Social Security number, containing copies of all your official papers and records, including your birth certificate, school report cards, driver’s license, all voting registrations, arrest records, welfare applications, federal income tax records, county property tax records, passport, green card if applicable, DNA if a sample was ever taken – any time you have ever interacted with government at any level in any way for any reason. And the cop who pulls you over will be able to access all of it from his dashboard computer with a few keytaps and mouseclicks.

“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”

– Scott McNealy

One thing you forgot to do, which I believe people did in the healthcare debate when mentioning systems that work, is show that national ID cards actually work. In other words, if you want to draw a parallel, shouldn’t you show that these countries have actually accomplished something by implementing national identification cards rather than just stating that they have them?

What have these countries accomplished with ID cards other than getting ID cards? You actually haven’t brought an argument so far other than it is physically possible to implement national ID cards. To me, national ID cards have always been a solution looking for a problem.

Are you trying to start the Strawman of the Day Club here? :dubious:

This one is a strain even for you.

Yeah, I’m straining to see how this analogy is any good. Most Europeans speak languages other than English, too. Maybe we should switch languages…?

What is the problem we are trying to solve here, and what have we learned from other countries trying to solve the same problem?

It’s been shown that the US has a health care/insurance problem. UHC is a possible solution.

As theR says:

So show me the problem, and we can discuss if this is a desirable solution.

The problem presented here seems to be that Democrats are poopyheads.

Actually, your link shows that most people don’t have one:

If you are planning on introducing a big new thing here then of course other countries experience is relevant. You’d have to keep in mind the differences between the countries - just because something works in one place doesn’t guarantee it will work elsewhere, but even a better understanding of the differences gives you insight in how already existing systems can be modified to work in your environment.

Bricker, it isn’t really clear what you’re getting at here. Is that really all you wanted to debate? It kind of seems like debating “Is water wet?” - It seems obvious that looking at prior implementations of your plan would be a useful activity.

So in the specific case of national ID cards - of course we should factor in the experience in Europe. But since you brought up the parallel, why don’t you tell us why you think they have worked so well in Europe? All you have provided so far is in effect “they don’t do any harm”. In my mind that is not a sufficient reason to implement an expensive government program. What problems do these national ID cards solve that make them worth the expense? If nothing of significance then factoring in the European experience we get “No, they are a waste of money, we shouldn’t do it here - the Europeans got this wrong”. If they solve amazing problems at minimal costs we should get “Yes, they seem to be a good idea, we should investigate further to see if they can work here too. Good job Europeans!”.

I’m really having a hard time understanding your motivations here. Is it really up for debate whether one should ignore previous experience?!

This is a misrepresentation of ID cards in the UK. It’s a new introduction (only part way there) and a HUGE political hot potato. Originally the government wanted everyone to carry one to stop illegal workers. This caused an almighty fuss. It’s now been downgraded to: new legal immigrants must have one, British nationals can, in the future, have one if they want one but it’s not compulsory. Which makes it completely pointless, particularly as most Brits use their passport when they need to prove identity.

I support UHC and a national ID card. I do not, however, support the idea that you must carry it at all times. We already have Soc Sec cards, driver’s licenses, passports, and other forms of ID. I’d like to see just one ID that can be used for everything, and that is issued with a consistent methodology.

This issue, however, is not a right vs left one. Last time I had a thread on this I was attacked by both sides.

Here is how I’d like it to work. One ID with a barcode or smart chip. These could be read by devices that would only give the information needed by the current application. For example: a bar could swipe it and find out nothing but your correct age, a bank could just verify your ID, police could verify ID and see if you had outstanding arrests, at the border it would give immigration status and other info normally obtained from a passport.

IDs for all of these situations exist already, so why not make it convenient and consistent.

The OP presents a logical fallacy in trying to use the argument for UHC as a basis for the an argument for the ID card.