Monday, March 31, 2008

Circular Logic- This Doesn't Fly!

The new American Passport is comprised of an electronic chip and a wireless antennae. The American Government has reasoned that in the shadow of the 9/11 tragedy, tracking devices should be inserted into all passports in order to avoid counterfeiting by terrorists who hail from overseas. The irony is that the American Government Printing Office (The GPO), has hired foreign companies to manufacture these sensitive devices and place them into passport sleeves. The sleeves are then shipped to America where data is added. Some deem this to be a threat to national security.

Certain members of congress are opposed to this outsourcing, stating that it makes America extremely vulnerable to terrorists abroad (the very problem that the passport chips are supposed to alleviate). The Government's rebuttal is that the companies they have hired, have all been inspected. The GPO feels that these companies are safe. However, the Washington Times reports that one of the contracted companies has already fell victim to Chinese espionage. Still, the GPO further justifies its position by saying that America doesn't have the technology to produce the new passports on their homeland.

In conjunction with the safety risks, outsourcing such a lucrative job during an economic downturn seems to be perilous to American Citizens. The easy solution to this simmering debate, would be to train American workers to manufacture these passports. This would increase safety, and infuse revenue into the American economy- a simple win-win.

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