Monday, August 24, 2020

How Cashless Society Would Affect Day-to-Day Life:

Here’s How a Cashless Society Would Affect Day to Day Life

 Daisy Luther

Have you ever thought about the ramifications of a cashless society? I’m talking about the real, first-person effects, not some ephemeral conspiracy theory or possible biblical prophecy. This is bad news for a lot of reasons, not the least of which are the ways it would affect day-to-day life.
Here’s my definition of a cashless society, so we’re all singing from the same songbook:
Cash would no longer be legal tender, therefore you could not make purchases with it, pay bills with it, or spend it in any way.  You would not be able to deposit cash into your bank account so you wouldn’t be able to accept cash for an exchange of goods or services.
Therefore, cash would be nothing more than a worthless piece of paper. (I know, I know. Debt-based currency is a totally different article though.)
We’re heading this way. Jose recently wrote that Venezuela is rapidly becoming cashlessand here in the United States a concerning early sign is that there is a “change shortage”which is causing many stores to give you your change on a store loyalty card or invite you to donate that change to some cause.
Think of all the times that cash is an appropriate gift. I’ve always given money, like stuffing a child’s birthday card with a $20 bill or giving a new graduate some cash to put toward college expenses.  When I got married, we received quite a bit of money from various loved ones. My dad always gave my daughters some spending money of their own each time we visited and they were surprised and delighted every single time.
However, in a cashless society, there are two problems with this.
First of all, the recipient would not be able to use the cash. He or she would not be able to spend or deposit it.
Secondly, if a monetary gift is given, it would have to be done with a check or electronic transfer. This means that the government (and the Tax Man) would know precisely how much money any person is given. That might not be a big deal for the 7-year-old who got $20 from grandpa, but what about the graduate who raked in a couple thousand in gifts from family members to celebrate his or her accomplishments? At what point will the government have their hands out for “their fair share?”
A lot of folks are really struggling right now with the COVID shutdowns. Jobs have been lost, hours have been cut, and financial problems abound. One of the ways that these people are making ends meet is with side gigs. Folks are cutting grass, cleaning houses, driving for Uber, delivering food, babysitting – they’re coming up with all sorts of ways to make some extra money. A huge percentage of these people are being paid in cash.

There is an alarming amount of power in access.

So, we can see this isn’t an ideal situation for any of us.
But even these things are relatively minor in comparison to the potential for abuse against citizens in a cashless society. If every single dime you bring in is tracked and recorded, you will have no financial privacy, and you’ll also be at far more risk. Many of us keep some cash savings around the house for emergencies. Even if there is a bank holiday, we’ll be okay because we have the money sitting around to take care of any incidentals while we are unable to access our banked money.
But what happens when things are cashless? All that money we’ve stashed away over the years would have to go into the coffers and we’d lose a certain amount of control.
It’s all well and good when times are okay, but what happens when there’s a Cyprus-style event and the government decides a bail-in is in order? If you don’t recall, back in 2013, billions of dollars were seized from depositors to protect the small country’s banking system. This was done to make good on an $11.6 billion dollar debt owed to creditors outside the country.
Not only that, but think about the outrageous phenomenon of civil asset forfeiture. If you aren’t familiar with it, that means that an entity can seize your property or money even when you have not been convicted of a crime. Civil asset forfeiture provides billions of dollars to the US Government and local police departments every single year. Imagine how much easier that would be if your wealth was all in one place.
And let me take it just one step further before I take off the tinfoil – think about how many websites, YouTube channels, and social media accounts have been purged and demonetized over the past few years. Is it that much of a stretch of the imagination that this could be taken a step further? That perhaps unpopular opinions could be fined and money immediately be withdrawn from the accounts of those who dissent with the status quo?

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