Here Comes the ‘Cashless Society’
A recent look at some headlines, all less than two months old, gives us a scary view as to what is coming:
- Bring On the Cashless Future - Bloomberg
- China buyers go virtually cashless - The Star
- Norway's Biggest Bank Calls For Country To Stop Using Cash - Int'l Business Times
- Cashless future underway as Canadian consumers have more credit, debit and app options than ever - CBC
- In Sweden, a Cash-Free Future Nears - NY Times
- Germany proposes new cash ban and capital controls as Europe rushes towards NIRP - Examiner
With the Western World and China in danger of going into deflation, major banks have already started to charge negative interest rates.
Denmark’s central bank was a pioneer when it first cut its deposit rate below zero in 2012, and the trend has now spread to the eurozone and Japan. The Danish deposit rate now stands at minus 0.65 per cent. - Financial Times
Sweden has followed suit. The USA is set to follow. Major Bankers are calling for an abolition of money. It may the only fix left, now that quantitative easing is failing. But no one is going to put their money in banks! Not if it means negative interest rates.
Don't worry. Governments will rise to the occasion and soon will be making cash illegal. People will be forced to put their money in banks or the market, thus rescuing the central governments and the central banks that are incestuously intertwined with them.
Beyond that, cash is probably the last arena of personal autonomy left. It can be spent anyway one pleases, with no one watching. It can be hidden from the government to avoid taxes. It can be used to engage in transactions of a semi-legal nature. It has power that the government cannot control; and that is why it has to go.
Of course, governments will not tell us the real reasons. Might provoke a reaction. We will be told it is for our own "good," however one defines that. It will be sold to us as a benefit. Millions of smartphone users are being seduced to take advantage of the convenience of Apple Pay; and indeed it is convenient, until you lose your smartphone.
When that day comes -- and we may be only one more "market correction" away -- the call will go out to have all disposable cash surrendered in exchange for bank accounts or money funds. A time period will be set up. Possibly two months, extended one or two times to make the bureaucrats appear merciful. Fluff stories will appear in the press to ease the process.
There will be stories about a seventy-year-old granny who marches in with a mattress containing $100,000 of her life earnings. She will smile, and tell the announcer, "I was always afraid of a fire; but now I feel safer." It will look so cute on the Five O’clock Action Report News.
Kids will turn in their piggy banks at school -- does anybody still use piggy banks anymore? -- for prepaid money cards. They won't be told the cards depreciate one or two percent a month, if they do not spend it immediately. Remember, that in all of these transactions, the central government/bank wins.
Side stories will inform us that mugging is down. Crime is finally being defeated. What won't be reported will be that hacking will shoot up. Bank fraud will skyrocket.
Poor people, often liberal voters, will be sold on increased personal safety. A cashless society means less crime in their neighborhoods. No cash puts muggers at a disadvantage. More importantly, they will be told that the rich can no longer hide their money and will be "forced to pay their fair share."
Conservatives will be told that no cash puts a damper on drug transactions, and social crimes, such as prostitution. Illegal aliens will not be able to get work. The media will be replete with tales of such wonder working miracles during the transition.
Be assured, however, that criminals, ever innovative, will find a way around problem. Escort Agencies now take credit cards. Muggers will soon concentrate on jewelry and smartphones, especially those with Apple Pay accounts.
Going cashless may ironically streamline drug smuggling since suitcases of money weigh too much.
In spite of that, we will be told that criminal enterprises will have been hurt badly. Their mountains of cash are irredeemable. Don't you believe it. Rather, there will be a spike in the price of Bitcoins during the conversion. Bitcoin's anonymity has already spawned major illicit franchises on the darknet. These will grow. Expect Craigslist to offer a plethora of conversion opportunities for college kids to make some spare ... well, credit by converting some cash. The more efficient drug dealers will suffer some loss as they have to farm out their stash to small operators for conversion; but the surviving dealers will end up leaner, meaner, and in fighting shape when the dust settles. Only the low-end relatively "honest" street pusher will suffer; but that street pusher was slated for an appointment with Five O'Clock News as a casualty of the drug wars, anyway. Drugs will now arrive, elegantly delivered via shipping agencies.
The real purpose of a cashless society will be total control: Absolute Total Control.
The real victims will be the public who will be forced to put all their wealth in a centralized system backed up by the good faith and credit of their respective governments. Their life savings will be eaten away yearly with negative rates. John Q. Public will be forced to subsidize bankrupt banks, or invest in an overpriced manipulated market.
People would be foolish to think they can waltz through the problem if they have gold. There is not enough gold on the planet to set up a serious competitive black market. Those who have gold will be forced to pay a severe markup premium for going off-grid. Eventually, even these will run out of gold; and bartering will soon prove tiresome.
The end result will be the loss of all autonomy. This will be the darkest of all tyrannies. From cradle to grave one will not only be tracked in location, but on purchases. Liberty will be non-existent
However, it will be sold to us as expedient simplicity itself, freeing us from crime: Fascism with a friendly face.
Perhaps the scariest consequence of all is that an individual can be "terminated" by a bureaucrat erasing his identity. Do not kid yourself, it will happen. Real "Mark of the Beast" stuff.
Rev 13:16-17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark ... Rev 13:16-17
I do not know if we are there yet; but if recent headlines are a clue, we may be very close.
Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is neither Jewish, Latin, nor Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.