Saturday, February 2, 2008

Gateway to American Life

Yesterday I received my social security card in the post. This is the gateway to American life. It is a talisman that wards off purchasing disappointment. It is the single-most important item to have when living in the US. If you want a phone, a car, cable tv or a credit-card you will be asked for your social security number - and without one you are considered a 'problem customer' and your application will go into the round filing cabinet.

So with all that in mind I was rather surprised when I opened the envelope to find something that appeared to have been made on an $50 ink-jet printer It is a piece of flimsy card with some simple printing giving your name and number and that's it. No chip, no metal strip, no hologram or watermark - just a card that wouldn't look out of place in a Monopoly set.

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