I, like many, have been perplexed over the past few years at the left's constant barrage of "No ATM Fees" and why it seems to be an issue that won't go away. Every few years it seems to return to the front burner when it comes to Democrats and the left presumably fighting for the little guy.
Sure, for consumers who use digital payment for most everything, it seems like a great "populist" idea. Who wants to pay fees every time he pulls his own money out of his own account? Really, who has time to go to the bank to get cash? Furthermore, who needs cash, period? That is why I thought of this as a political issue and why the Democrats used it as a way of getting votes.
I, like most capitalists, realize that there is a cost of doing business and that banks must be able to assess some fees for the use of an ATM card. But it wasn't until Sweden announced this week that they were going "cashless" that I started adding up the cost of such an action.
At first look, going cashless seems to be a progression to ultimate freedom. There will be no need to get cash from the bank. When you get paid, the money is immediately deposited into your account. There is no need to enter checks and balance your checkbook. And there will no longer be a need for the coin jar sitting in the corner, slowly filling up to allow for buying something frivolous every year. We can just sit around downloading ABBA and have the funds digitally removed from our accounts without even getting out of our beanbags.
This all sounds great -- why would anyone object to such a natural progression? Maybe the problem arose when Gen. Petraeus disclosed that the CIA has the ability to monitor us through our TV, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Or maybe it is the recent article in Wired that says that by September 2013, the NSA will have complete and total access to all things digital. Or maybe it's the fact that the Fed has been so devaluing the dollar that if (more likely when)the dollar collapses, the Fed will have us deposit all of our cash into an account and issue us a card with everything we own and move the decimal point over a couple of digits.
But most importantly, the problem with going cashless is the total loss of liberty required. A cashless society gives the government absolute access into our lives, without anywhere to hide; indeed, it grants government total control of our finances and way of life.
Until recently, all this seemed far-fetched and conspiratorial. But I contend that the only thing stopping this from taking place is the ATM fee. Because once that is removed, there will be no reason to stop everyone from going as calm as Hindu cows when it comes to giving the government total control of our lives.