The Abolition of Cash


Introduction:
Cash is being removed from circulation in other countries, and North America may not be far behind.  Paper money is the vehicle that allows nominally free people to transact their personal daily business in relative anonymity.  Governments don't like this, because every time a dollar changes hands, the government wants to tax it, or at least see where it's going.  Currency is being taken out of circulation in other countries already, under the guise of fighting crime.  Eventually, credit cards (or the equivalent) will be the only money, and ultimately you will be expected to have the RFID chip of a credit card embedded in your hand or your forehead.  Without it, you will not be able to buy or sell anything.  That's where all this is headed.

America's poorly-educated young people probably don't see the elimination of cash as a serious problem, because they rely on debit cards and cell phones already, and have greatly excessive confidence in computer systems and have been taught to have complete faith in the all-powerful government.




Cashless Society Alert:  Visa Will Be Giving Up To $500,000 To Restaurants That Go '100% Cashless'.  The food industry is still one of the last bastions where cash is used very heavily, and so it makes sense that Visa would want to target that segment.  Of course the more people that use cards to pay for meals, the more money that Visa will make.  When I go to restaurants, I almost always use cash, and I know a lot of other people that very much prefer to use cash in those situations as well.  But if Visa has their way, soon all of us will be forced to use some form of digital payment instead.

Visa Begins Bribing Merchants To Stop Taking Cash.  The war on cash is escalating.  A big driver isn't central banks who want to be able to inflict negative interest rates on savers, or Treasuries who see cash transactions as hiding revenues from their tax collectors, but the payment networks that want to kill cash (and checks!) as competitors to their oh so terrific (and fee-gouging) credit and debit cards. [...] In the meantime, those of you who like cash should not just make a point of paying in cash, but also tell the employees and in particularly, anyone who appears to be a manager that they will lose your business if they stop taking cash.  Vocal customers may be the best way to head off Visa's profiteering.

In Cashless Sweden, Even God Now Takes Collection Via an App.  In the most cashless society on the planet, even God now accepts digital payments.  A growing number of Swedish parishes have started taking donations via mobile apps.  Uppsala's 13th-century cathedral also accepts credit cards.  The churches' drive to keep up with the times is the latest sign of Sweden's rapid shift to a world without notes and coins.  Most of the country's bank branches have stopped handling cash; some shops and museums now only accept plastic; and even Stockholm's homeless have started accepting cards as payment for their magazine.  Go to a flea market, and the seller is more likely to ask to be paid via Sweden's popular Swish app than with cash.

Arizona Bill to Restore Sound Money Awaits Governor's Signature.  Arizona advocates of sound money landed a solid body blow to fiat currency on May 10 when the state Senate voted 16-13 to end the taxation on income derived from the purchase and sale of gold and silver.  The bill — HB 2014 — would further bolster the strength of sound money in Arizona by encouraging the use of specie as currency.  Although it seems self-evident, the condition of the U.S. economy, as (mis)managed by the Federal Reserve, makes it necessary to point out that it is financially unjust to tax the profit "derived from the exchange of one kind of legal tender for another kind of legal tender."  If a person goes to the bank and exchanges a twenty-dollar bill for two tens, there's no tax on that transaction.  Likewise, there should not be — and in Arizona soon won't be — a tax on the exchange of paper currency for specie — coins containing precious metals.

Cashless tolling at Rockaway bridges.  Starting Sunday [4/30/2017], the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge in Queens will no longer accept cash or metal tokens at toll booths.  Instead, cashless tolling will be in place, through sensors suspended over the highway.

The end of cash?  Canadian retailers, consumers shifting to cards, apps.  Shoppers looking for the cash register to pay for their purchases at Vancouver's Kit and Ace active apparel stores in Gastown and Kitsilano will find a complete absence of banknotes.  The Vancouver-based brand — founded in 2014 by family members of Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson — is one of the most notable cases of retailers abandoning bills and coins, which some observers have heralded as "the beginning of the end" for cash transactions in Canadian society.  In September, payment technology company Moneris said in a report that cash will make up only 10 percent of the money spent in Canada by 2030, with credit or debit card payments and mobile solutions like Apple Pay making up the vast majority of day-to-day transactions.

Cash is passé. But digital money makes you easier to track.  Our transactions are increasingly digital (and thus easily tracked), and in places like China many companies are adopting biometrics (like fingerprints or eye scans) to verify who we are (see "10 Breakthrough Technologies:  Paying with Your Face").  In India, the government has taken biometric data from 1.1 billion people.  But these developments alone don't give us a good answer to the question of what we should do with good old-fashioned paper currency.  The demand for cash has dwindled in the legal, tax-compliant economy, but the underground economy uses it as much as ever.  Incredibly, given that 95 percent of Americans report that they've never held a $100 bill (the rest say they hold one occasionally), there are 34 $100 bills floating around for every man, woman, and child in the country.

Bank of America opens its 3rd employee free branch.  An alarming trend is emerging throughout society; companies are ditching humans and replacing them with automation.  We mostly hear about these situations in tech and supply chain companies and even fast food restaurants, but now we see this come to fruition in banking as well.  Banks already operate with little to no physical cash on hand, making the elimination of the bank teller that much easier.  Armed guards will be replaced as biometric eye scanning software contracts become the next big thing in banking security.  The loss of these jobs alone will result in hundreds of thousands without work in the next ten years.

EU Seeks Cash Limits in Push for Orwellian "Cashless Society".  As the establishment's global push for an Orwellian "cashless society" kicks into high gear, the European Union is pursuing a plan to impose limits on cash transactions as the next phase in the war on cash.  The goal, according to the unelected EU bureaucrats behind the plot, is to fight "anonymity" in economic transactions — or, said another way, to crush privacy and give authorities the power to monitor every exchange.  Amid a United Nations-led effort to sideline cash and privacy around the world, the EU's anti-cash move follows similar schemes by a number of national governments within and beyond the EU in recent years.  However, as the effort picks up steam, critics are lambasting the controversial agenda from all angles, highlighting the dangers of the plan and the huge threat it poses to privacy, freedom, and real human rights.

Washington is behind India's brutal experiment of abolishing most cash.  In early November, without warning, the Indian government declared the two largest denomination bills invalid, abolishing over 80 percent of circulating cash by value.  Amidst all the commotion and outrage this caused, nobody seems to have taken note of the decisive role that Washington played in this.  That is surprising, as Washington's role has been disguised only very superficially.

Greece bans cash:  Tax-allowance possible only through payments via plastic money.  Greece is banning the use of cash the soft way.  As of 1.1.2017, taxpayers will be granted tax-allowance and tax deduction only when they have made payments via credit or debit cards.  The new guidelines refer to employees, pensioners, farmers but also unemployed.

India's Currency Ban Hits Real-Estate Market.  [Scroll down]  Prateek Patel, the cousin of the developer, complained that he hasn't sold an apartment since early November, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shocked the country by announcing an unprecedented currency overhaul.  Mr. Modi's move took aim at the heart of India's black-market economy by taking out of circulation existing 500- and 1,000-rupee bills in an effort to reduce corruption, counterfeiting and tax fraud.  Much of the country's real-estate transactions, particularly land and home sales, have been conducted on a largely cash basis to avoid taxes.  With many buyers now on the sidelines, sales have evaporated and huge price discounts are expected when the market gets its bearings back.

Globalist War on Cash Accelerates.  As part of the globalist establishment's on[-]going push to create a totalitarian "cashless society" where every transaction can be tracked and controlled, Indian authorities last week suddenly demonetized the two largest denomination bills in circulation.  In Sweden, where government already tracks and monitors almost everything, central bankers are plotting the creation of a "digital currency" that could be completely controlled — along with those who use it — by authorities.  And in Australia, establishment-minded mega-banks are plotting with politicians to force everyone into a United Nations-backed "cashless society" where banks and government have total control over the population.  In each case, different excuses have been used.  But taken together, it is obvious that something major is going on, worldwide.  Liberty and privacy are literally at stake.

These Countries Have Nearly "Eliminated Cash From Circulation".  The cashless society is catching up to all of us.  Most of Europe has shifted that way, and now India is forcing the issue.  In the United States, people are being acclimated to it, and may soon find that no other option is practical in the highly-digitized online world.  Once that takes hold, the banksters, bureaucrats and hackers will have total information on all your transactions, purchasing behavior, profiles about consumers, political and social background history and even predictive behavior, allowing them to control the population with ease.  If/when a major crisis hits, nothing will work if the grid goes down; nothing will take place that isn't strictly authorized — apart from a barter and precious metals exchange system that will be marginalized to the pre-digital ghetto.

The Abolition of Money.  Some people believe that money is the root of all evil.  At least to the government of India it is the root of all corruption and tax evasion and consequently it is doing everything in his power to withdraw cash from circulation.  "On Nov. 8, the Indian government announced an immediate ban on two major bills that account for the vast majority of all currency in circulation.  Indians would have until the end of the year to change those notes for other bills, including newly minted ones" reported the New York Times.  All that will be left is small change.  Ramesh Thakur a professor at the Australian National University explained in the Japan Times what the new policy was supposed to do and why it won't work.

Cash is for Criminals — Taxing Cash Withdrawals from ATMs.  We are entering a very dark phase in this battle to retain our liberty.  A proposal now being whispered behind the curtain in Europe is to impose a tax on withdrawing your own money from an ATM.  The banks support this measure as a whole because they see this as preventing bank runs.  Nobody will look at the direction we are headed.  I am deeply concerned that these type of proposals will send the West in a real revolution not much different from that of Russia in 1917.  The divide between left and right is getting much deeper and the left is hell bent on stripping those who produce of their liberty and assets.

Indians Angry As ATMs Run Dry After Cash Ban.  The blowback from the world's latest strike in the war on cash is unraveling fast in India.  This week's decision by PM Modi to ban some high-denomination banknotes (on the premise of fighting corruption) has left "chaos everywhere" according to one official who accused the prmeier of wreaking havoc on the poorest Indians.  As Reuters reports, nearly half of India's 202,000 ATMs were shut on Friday [11/11/2016] and those that operated quickly ran out of the new notes as scores of people descended upon them.

Cashless Society:  India Bans Currency Notes Sparking Chaos At Banks.  The government in India has recently made a move to ban large currency notes, continuing the push towards a cashless society, an effort that the country has been working on for decades.  500 and 1,000 rupee notes were banned throughout the country, which may seem like large currency notes, but they exchange for just a few American dollars, and represent 85% of the cash transactions in the country.  The ban sparked a run on the banks in India this week, with customers forming massive lines at banks attempting to get cash notes out while they still could.  Banks then shut down on Wednesday [11/9/2016], and limits were imposed on ATM withdrawals.

Washington's Endgame:  First Your Guns, Then Your Cash?  Ken Rogoff, economics professor at Harvard (and previously an economist at the IMF and at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System), wants to take that liberty away.  He has a new book out on the wickedness of cash, calling out the usual suspects — tax evaders and other criminals — to justify doing something about it. [...] His solution is to eliminate all denominations of currency above ten dollars.  This sounds suspiciously like the argument for taking away firearms from law-abiding citizens to keep criminals from using guns.  It makes no sense unless your ultimate goal is to disarm the population — or, in this case, take one more step to tracing, taxing, and then controlling the spending habits of law-abiding citizens.  The plan is quite devious.  It is probably backed by credit card companies.

The War On Cash:  Your Money Or Your Life.  What is this war on cash?  In this episode of On Target, John W. Whitehead discusses the government's concerted campaign to do away with large bills such as $20s, $50s, $100s and shift consumers towards a digital mode of commerce — one that can easily be monitored, tracked, tabulated, mined for data, hacked, hijacked and confiscated when convenient.  [Video clip]

The Sinister Side of a Cashless Society.  Some on the left are proposing the elimination of currency bills larger than $10.  This may seem like an insignificant matter, but if adopted, the proposal would be a giant step in the direction of totalitarianism.  By forcing Americans to use an electronic means of payment, government would gain the power to monitor and manipulate every aspect of one's finances.  Washington would know what you buy, where and when you buy it, where you travel and eat, and whom you associate with.  Granting government this kind of power is madness unless you're one of the political elite.  They seem to be lining up in favor of a cashless society.

The Shift To A Cashless Society Is Snowballing.  Love it or hate it, cash is playing an increasingly less important role in society.  In some ways this is great news for consumers.  The rise of mobile and electronic payments means faster, convenient, and more efficient purchases in most instances.  New technologies are being built and improved to facilitate these transactions, and improving security is also a priority for many payment providers.  However, as Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins explains, there is also a darker side in the shift to a cashless society.  Governments and central banks have a different rationale behind the elimination of cash transactions, and as a result, the so-called "war on cash" is on.

The War Against Cash, Part III.  Although it doesn't get nearly as much attention as it warrants, one of the greatest threats to liberty and prosperity is the potential curtailment and elimination of cash.  As I've previously noted, there are two reasons why statists don't like cash and instead would prefer all of us to use digital money. [...] In general, they don't talk about taxing our savings with government-imposed negative interest rates.  Instead, they make it seem like their goal is to fight crime.

German Banks Told To Start Hoarding Cash.  German newspaper Der Spiegel reported yesterday [3/3/2016] that the Bavarian Banking Association has recommended that its member banks start stockpiling physical cash.  Europe, of course, has been battling with negative interest rates for quite some time.  What this means is that commercial banks are being charged interest for holding wholesale deposits at the European Central Bank.  In order to generate artificial economic growth, the ECB wants banks to make as many loans as possible, no matter how stupid or idiotic.  They believe that economic growth is simply a function of loans.  The more money that's loaned out, the more the economy will grow.  This is the sort of theory that works really well in an economic textbook.  But it doesn't work so well in a history textbook.

Sweden Begins 5 Year Countdown Until It Eliminates Cash.  How much louder can the "ban cash" calls get?  Recall it was just last year when we catalogued the growing cacophony of crazies for whom banning physical currency is the only way to ensure that depositors can't simply reassert their economic autonomy under a low or zero rate regime. [...] Now, the excuse given for banning big bills is that it combats crime.  And maybe it does.  But in the end the rationale is simple:  if there are no more physical banknotes, people have no economic autonomy.

$500 bill
Suggestions for [the next] Presidency: Issue $500 Bills.  When I graduated high school, in 1969, a $20 bill had about as much value as a $100 bill today.  Inflation has taken a toll.  In 1969, $500 and $1,000 bills were still in reasonably common circulation.  They had been issued up until 1945.  With the turn toward ever increasing government snooping and tracking of financial transactions, the bills were taken out of circulation with an executive order by President Richard Nixon.  It is long past due to bring the $500 bill back into common use.  The European Union issues 500 Euro bills.  Cash is useful for preserving privacy and transportation of value to those who wish to avoid the electronic trail that follows digital transactions everywhere.  All it took to remove the bills from circulation was a simple executive order.  That is all it would take to bring them back.  But more should be done.  The insane tracking of every one's financial transactions should be scaled back.  The forfeiture laws that allow legal theft of property need to be revised or repealed.


Chase Bank Decides ATM Withdrawals Over $1000 Are Shady.  Not kidding.  Regular Americans must be stopped from taking out $1001 at a cash machine because it's probably shady, but Iran getting $150B is just fine.  The new ATM rule, f[o]r the moment, applies to non-Chase account holders.  Give it a little while and I bet it'll apply to Chase accounts sooner than later.

Call Cease-Fire in the War on Cash.  Last summer, London buses stopped accepting money.  To pay your fare, you now have to wave either a prepaid Transport for London Oyster card or a contactless payment bank card at a receiver.  For some, not having to dig out a handful of coins is a welcome relief.  For others, though, the disappearance of cash represents a dangerous threat to our liberty.

Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash.  Just a week ago, the infamous Willem Buiter, along with Ken Rogoff, voiced their support for a restriction (or ban altogether) on the use of cash (something that was already been implemented in Louisiana in 2011 for used goods).  Today, as Mises' Jo Salerno reports, the war has acquired a powerful new ally in Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., which has enacted a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets; bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and disallows the storage of "any cash or coins" in safe deposit boxes.

Paying Cash for that Latte? It May Land You on FBI's Terrorist List.  Really?  Yes, crazy as it sounds, in our post-9/11 snitch/spy/surveillance society, if you "always pay cash," you may be marked as a potential terrorist.  That's according to an FBI flyer that appears to be aimed at proprietors and employees of Internet cafés.

Digital Totalitarianism — The Conspiracy to Abolish Cash.  For many years figures on the political fringe, especially on the right, have claimed that the government and its corporate owners want to transform us into a cashless society.  Their warnings about the conspiracy against paper money fell on deaf ears, primarily because the digitalization of financial transactions seemed more like the result of organic business trends than the manifestation of some sinister conspiracy.  Now, however, those who want to do away with liquid currency are stepping out of the shadows.

The Political War on Cash.  These are strange monetary times, with negative interest rates and central bankers deemed to be masters of the universe.  So maybe we shouldn't be surprised that politicians and central bankers are now waging a war on cash.  That's right, policy makers in Europe and the U.S. want to make it harder for the hoi polloi to hold actual currency.  Mario Draghi fired the latest salvo on Monday [2/15/2016] when he said the European Central Bank would like to ban €500 notes.

Establishment Pushing "Cashless Society" to Control Humanity.  Proponents of the government-enforced move away from physical currency cite a wide array of potential real and imagined benefits.  Among them: possible reductions in armed robbery, tax evasion, black-market commerce, the cost of printing and securing physical cash, and more.  Critics, though, are warning of the dangerous and Orwellian schemes that could be unleashed in a world where out-of-control governments can monitor literally every purchase, transaction, and bit of economic activity.  In light of the recently exposed NSA snooping scandal, the possibilities for abuse and total surveillance are more than hypothetical, obviously.

Cash is the currency of freedom.  Former Treasury secretary Larry Summers wants to get rid of the $100 bill.  But I think he has it exactly backward.  I think we need to restore the $500 and $1000 bills.  And the reason is that people like Larry Summers have done a horrible job.  Summers wrote recently in The Washington Post that the $100 bill needs to go.  The reason, he says, is that it's a favorite of criminals, along with the 500 euro note, which is likely to be discontinued.

A Quiet Revolution In Money:  The long-predicted "cashless society" has quietly arrived, or nearly so; currency, coins and checks are receding as ways of doing everyday business; we've become Plastic Nation.  In the tangled history of American money — from tobacco receipts to gold and silver coins to paper money and checks — this is a seismic shift.  Time to pay attention.

Cashless Society "Inevitable;" a Boost to Globalist Taxers?  Money won't be around anymore in just a few years, according to trend watchers.  And the same globalist taxers that are already trying to confiscate your hard-earned money can't wait for the cashless era to begin.

The hazards of a cashless society are very clear to those who will observe.
Man charged $23,148,855,308,184,500 for one pack of cigarettes.  A New Hampshire man says he swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged over 23 quadrillion dollars.

The Editor says...
First of all, how is a pre-paid debit card capable of incurring a 23 quadrillion dollar charge?  And secondly, if the customer had been charged $23 instead of $23 quadrillion, what are the chances that he could have recovered his money?

Glitch hits Visa users with more than $23 quadrillion charge.  A technical snafu left some Visa prepaid cardholders stunned and horrified Monday [7/13/2009] to see a $23,148,855,308,184,500 charge on their statements.  That's about 2,007 times the size of the national debt.


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Updated July 20, 2017.

©2017 by Andrew K. Dart