The Gold Telegraph
MAR 28, 2018
In this day and age, it’s a small, beautiful, important moment of rebellion when a cash transaction takes place. Fiat currency, for all its obvious shortcomings, does allow you to engage in commerce without divulging your name, age, address, zip code, personal preferences, etc. etc.
Perhaps we will all have Cambridge Analytica to thank, in retrospect, for the dawning societal realization that we routinely provide enormous amounts of highly personalized data, for free, to corporations and the government with nearly every electronic action we take. A cashless society is one in which there is no easy opting out of the surveillance state.
Retailers analyze every aspect of consumer behavior, demographics, and choices. Signs proclaiming, “We do not accept cash,” are not unusual. Smartphones are being used to pay for everyday items at food stands and cab rides. The day is near when retailers know more about you than your family and friends.
Banks and the government are gaining full control over our banking activities. The more information we hand over, the more of our freedom they can control and erode. Information is power, and the government has always been the epitome of power.
Retailers are encouraging us to move toward a cashless society with reward points and by conveniently saving our banking information. Some economists muse about banning physical currency entirely.
Without cash, we no longer own our own money. We give custody of it to our bank. What happens if the banks refuse to hand over our claim to our own funds? It’s an easy next step for the bank to deprive us of or seize our own money if we act in ways it doesn’t approve, like a bank run.
In addition, banks survive and thrive on interest income. Payments made with cash would deprive banks of their business. That would account for the constant invitation to quality for just one more credit card. The banks aren’t being charitable. They are after your information and money. To discourage the use of physical money, currency might be taxed in the future.
Is paying for a hot dog with cash our last remnant of freedom? If government and banks have their say, it may become illegal to do so. Only then will we realize that physical money is the very essence of freedom. And exactly what we have given up when we make the choice to give up cash.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: The Slow Extraction of Freedom: The Liberty Crisis by Virginia Fidler at The Gold Telegraph on 3/28/18