The Financial Times recently published an un-titled op-ed piece discussing the virtues of a cash-less society.
The author of the piece claimed cash as a relic from the past in need of elimination so central banks can do a better job of “controlling the economy”.
As the article reasons: “The existence of cash — a bearer instrument with a zero interest rate — limits central banks’ ability to stimulate a depressed economy. The worry is that people will change their deposits for cash if a central bank moves rates into negative territory.”
This thinking borders on something out of a dystopian novel and is sure to send End Times watchers scurrying for their well-worn copies of Revelations. In the bible, Revelations predicts the anti-Christ will insist on earth’s citizens wearing the “Mark of the Beast” in order to participate in commerce.
Conspiracies and Biblical references aside, reasons exist for concern about a cash-less society with the biggest being anonymity.
Governments hate cash for lots of reasons:
COST: Paper money is expensive to print, store and transport.
SECURITY: Counterfeit currency and overall protection from theft.
ANONYMITY: It’s impossible to track taxes when citizens perform person-to-person cash transactions. Additionally, every transaction on a credit or debit card is recorded, leaving a paper trail that helps create a profile for location and preferences. As an example, the Ashley Madison hack exposed people based on credit card transactions, overriding any false profile information.
Anonymity, really, serves as the crux of the problem for “statists” who want to control and understand every aspect of their citizen’s lives.
The Financial Times piece argues that removing cash would “make life easier for a government set on squeezing the informal economy out of existence.”
An “informal economy”? Remarkable use of language.
A right to privacy and personal property can be considered “informal” or perhaps “out of line” with the control-related desires of big government.
If you can’t horde or hide cash, the government knows how much you’re making and transacting and therefore could dip into your accounts to collect taxes. As the anonymous author argues: “Value added tax, for example, could be automatically levied — and reimbursed — in real time on transactions between liable bank accounts.”
And if you think being charged a service fee for using an ATM is an egregious scam, consider the author’s idea of banks up-charging individuals for liquidating their electronic credits into cash. In the author’s words, citizens would “pay for the privilege of anonymity”. This amounts to the government ensuring they get their cut before you go off and make any untraceable transactions.
Statists learned through their Soviet Union experience and appear ready to adapt. A black market developed under communism for goods and services that undermined all the control aspects of Soviet life. American dollars served as the preferred currency for black marketeers.
“Ban on cash” starring: Dead Bird Buiter and Harvard socialist and Keynesian Kenneth Rogoff http://t.co/HOM4Los7LZ
— ✕ ANCÊTREIV ✕ (@ancetreIV) June 1, 2015
Kenneth Rogoff, the chief economist for the International Monetary Fund, recently called for big bills in 100 and 500-Euro denominations to be phased out. Rogoff met with members of the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and several Swiss bankers in London earlier this year with this idea as a major agenda point.
— The War On Cash (@thewaroncash) July 11, 2015
To a degree, the U.S. government is already monitoring personal transactions thanks to the Patriot Act. Try moving large sums of money from a savings to a checking account and see what happens.
Just be aware: There are elitists around the world who want to control and understand everything we do. They will not stop until they achieve their goals.
— *･゜ﾟ･rebel❇yell *･゜ﾟ (@lisa_alba) August 28, 2015
— Smaulgld (@Smaulgld) August 27, 2015
@Halsrethink Governments will argue cashless society more efficient,relieve theft risks,but real purpose tax compliance(&bailins if needed)
— Harald Malmgren (@Halsrethink) August 23, 2015
— Roy Teo (@royfintech) August 23, 2015