Property taxes still the highest in the nation. The pension system still not maintainable. But what is one Assemblywoman working on?

Cursive writing.

Assemblywoman Angela McKnight wants to make cursive reading and writing mandatory in NJ public schools.

“I know we are in the age of technology but what happens when technology goes on a blackout? What happens when you have to go and sign that check so that you can cash that check? What happens when you have to go vote and you can’t sign your name,” McKnight said in an interview with Philadelphia’s CBS3. “And then you talk about fraud, how you sign your name, everybody’s gonna sign in just regular handprint?”

Whoa, Angela, slow down. While it’s pathetic you want to ignore the real problems in this state I’ll go ahead and play along for a moment. First of all, a legal signature can be whatever you want it to be as long as it’s consistent and if truly challenged a handwriting expert could identify a fraud. Yes, these experts can deal in printed writing too. Also, how often do people really need to sign checks anymore? Direct deposit has largely cut into that need. Yes, direct deposit, more of that technology she seems to loathe.

Technology is far more reliable than she posits. And as it advances signatures have become less and less necessary. I’ve done entire tax returns for years with an electronic signature, no cursive required. Credit cards have higher and higher maximums before a signature is even required. My debit card doesn’t need one.

Soon we will be using thumbprints or eye scans. My son just used an identifying system at Overlook Hospital where they scanned his palm.

If the argument is made how future generations won’t be able to read the U.S. Constitution, think about how few have seen the actual original anyway. Our constitution is available in print version everywhere and it’s the ideas that matter, not the form in which they were written. Calligraphy was one a big thing. Just like cursive will, it went away. Interesting to think that the very bill McKnight offers to mandate cursive in schools is not written in cursive and we all understand it just fine.

Education experts will argue that cursive helps with cognitive and motor development and literacy skills. I’m sure calligraphy did too, and I’m sure there are other ways to develop said skills.

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