On another note, does anyone remember the national ID card
debate? This system was part of the same outgrowth.
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Date: Sun, 23 Nov 97 21:54:04 +0100
California wasn't in it alone. It's a federal government thing, and
they're blaming the fiasco on the states now. Nationwide, the bill is
almost $3 billion, and the whole thing is pretty much a flop. Give me
$3 billion to build a computer system and I'll have it running the
world in a few years. $3 billion - give some thought to what could
really be done for $3 billion. Anyway - I investigated this just after
the first billion was allocated by Congress. I checked with state and
county agencies and purchasing departments. They already had computer
systems they were happy with, tracking all the child support cases they
had. They didn't want in on the federal system. They said it was a joke
from the start. But they have to accept it because it's bundled with
other federal funding (a la "block grant"). The fed had very little
idea what it wanted to change from the old computer systems running on
such crude machines as DEC VAXs and such. They had no plan. No goals.
There were just some extremists who wanted every father in the country
to ware one of those ankle bracelets that tells where they are at all
times, track every single financial transaction, take away everyone's
right to be self employed (for real, they actually tried it with a
federal law a few years ago), and tap into all other government data
bases, including the IRS data base - so much for privacy. Now they're
going to register all employees from now on, and eventually everybody's
going to have a computer file so thick that future generations will
wonder why people made a fuss about Hillary Clinton getting her hands
on a few FBI files.
Might as well buy a red flag now before the prices go up.
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