Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. I’ve been crossing the border into Canada for 20 years. Back then, we had paper declaration forms we’d fill out. Remember those?
Now instead of the paper declarations, there are beautiful, sleek machines at the airport. And there’s an app. You can’t enter Canada without the app. But the app and the machine didn’t make the process of entering the country faster or easier. To the contrary. Yesterday, I arrived in a 40% empty airplane from Chicago and waited in a line the likes of which I hadn’t seen in 20 years. It took 1 hour 45 minutes to cross the border. I’m a citizen, I had all the paperwork, the vaccine passport, the negative COVID test. And yet it took this insane amount of time. In 1998, it had taken less than half this time actually to go through the immigration process at that border. Surely, it shouldn’t be easier to immigrate than come home as a citizen.
I’m all for technology making things easier. But it often doesn’t. Here it clearly did not because I’m telling you, this is the first time in two decades that I’ve seen anything similar at this border control. You go through all these apps and machines but at the end of the line, you still end up having the exact same conversation with the exact same tired border officer that you always did. All I’m suggesting is that we throw away the technology and go straight to the conversation.
And by the way, at that same airport, the process of crossing the border back to the US isn’t encumbered by apps and machines, and it goes in a flash. Let’s keep that in mind before some enterprising fellow gets a contract to build some stupid app that will create massive delays and make everybody’s lives harder.