Money, Money, Money … And Stuff They Haven’t Told You

CashThe “cashless society” is being proposed here and there, usually pointing to the convenience of credit and debit cards and the cash-based drug rings as justifying abandonment of cash. And those are truths, too. But there are some other truths that are receiving less attention from the ‘cashless society’ folk. You may wish to consider them before you shrink your purse or wallet down to a cardholder. This is one of those times to remember that: “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.”

A short list of simple considerations:

1. A few bills in your pocket or under the mattress is insurance against many things, from power outages that shut down card readers through computer glitches to card loss or theft.

2. Cash is always legal tender, even when your card is shut down for any reason. With cash, you are never in need of resources while unable to use what you have.

3. The government nor your bank are able to either track you by your purchases nor shut off your use of your own cash. Cash is anonymous and available for use 24/7.

4. Government, hackers and others are unable to know how much money you have when it is cash. You are a smaller target.

On the other hand, you are a larger target for thieves if they become aware of a stash. And nowadays, lots of cops who might find significant sums of cash during a routine stop, will simply (and legally) seize it because it is there, even though no warrant or reasonable suspicion exists. Yes, we think that unconstitutional too, but it is happening regularly in the U.S. And when they find and grab cash, they often grab your car, too.

Denmark is now considering permitting retailers to refuse cash from customers. Cash will no longer be legal tender in Denmark in that case. Dipping one toe into the cashless water. If the proposal does not generate too big a stink, further steps will follow until cash is history. As smaller governments proceed, larger ones will hop on as quickly as they may. They have much to gain.

Imagine for a moment: Money is only electrons controlled by approved banks and shuffled only on the Internet. (The FCC, FTC and FEC are presently engaged in taking Federal control of the Internet.). Your bank is part of a Federally regulated and government licensed cartel; without cash, you cannot spend a dime but with approval and help of your bank. Nor can your bank operate without approval from government. Not only will your financial life become an open book; you won’t be able to turn pages on your own. Any government with an NSA and that uses the IRS against its political opposition will love all of that! You may not, though.

Some of the conspiracy theorist crowd is calling these events a “War on Cash.” That is likely correct, though of course we don’t know. We do remember the nutcase that pointed out: “Hey, I may be nuts, but I’m not stupid!” Government isn’t stupid either … well, not when it comes to getting what it wants. You may decide for yourself what that actually is.

Recall Black Tuesday, when the stock market crashed, starting the Great Depression. Banks collapsed, wiping out savings. Our parents had squirreled away some cash that kept them and some neighbors fed until things restarted. Of course, ‘this time is different’ comes in here. It always does. Otherwise, politicians would be unable to continue repeating their tired scams.

But we recommend that as the marvels and convenience of the cashless society are trumpeted ever louder, you devote some thought to these non-trumpeted aspects. Your friends as well. It might do some good …

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
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7 Responses to Money, Money, Money … And Stuff They Haven’t Told You

  1. The other day at the grocery store as I waited in line to check out (the do-it-yourself kiosks were down), I added up my purchases which came to $6.35. When the checker told me my total I was prepared and handed her a ten, a single and two quarters. This confused her. She looked at me as though I were a cretin and said, “It’s only $6.35.” And she began to hand back the single and change to me. I suggested that she just enter the amount I had tendered into her register which she did while shaking her head at my stupidity and shrugging her shoulders. I think she was surprised that the machine told her that she owed me a five dollar bill, as the fifteen cents rolled out of the little change machine, designed for cashiers who find making change with coins too challenging. Perhaps that we have “educated” people so poorly in basic math computation and who are only marginally functional even with the use of computerized assistance that is the real reason and impetus behind going cashless. Just a thought.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      That’s an interesting and scary thought! Government has been degrading education while hiking control for a long time; your vision fits that trend.

      While that is optimum for government, it seems deleterious for individuals and highly questionable for the future of the species. Perhaps at some point, a revolution of some sort will break down government before it can impose stasis ,,,

  2. The cashless society is terrifying, but I can see how it is a dream for governments. Identity theft has sky rocketed and the authorities are indifferent to a level which is downright fishy. Sort it out yourself – what? against professional gangsters? A “computer error” and the bank will tell you blind – no, there is nothing there – YOU prove it. Without paper records, something else that bureaucracies are trying to eliminate, you have no proof. In a cashless society the govt or whoever is running the place, holds everyones purse strings. You have money if they say you have. I anticipate a lot of government critics living nameless on the street. Hope you have a large mattress.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      I suppose that cash will not be legal tender after some deadline, first thing. Then holding gold will be outlawed as it was in our part of the Great Depression. Bitcoin will be shut down as soon as they can decide how to do it. And a black market will rise up, maybe based on some version of barter. Perhaps some entrepreneurs will provide private money if that is still possible after tey dispose of Bitcoin. Maybe some other country will encorage a competing currency …(We can bank in Singapore, these days … if they let us.)

      • Anything that governments push hard rouses suspicion. Cyprus showed they have no compunction in stealing our money and as you have pointed out in other blogs, they are crafty, giving no warning and timing over Bank Holidays. Barter is good but usually won’t go so far as paying rent or taxes. Local currencies are even better, as they prevent most of the money drains out of local economies. The govt seems to want everyone and everything on centralised computer records under their control. Looks like slavery via technology. And as you say, as people try to avoid their controls, they just pass legislation against the escape routes. Government oppression is coming very close to home.

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