Tag: Cash

Introducing Kite & Key

 

Admit it: you’re a nerd. Admit it, Ricochet!

No worries — me too. And during my years as a think tank executive, that was always a frustration. People who casually followed politics would ask me how to get a quick understanding of a public policy issue and … I wouldn’t know where to send them.

TV and the major newspapers increasingly focus on the political dimensions of policy fights, without telling you anything meaningful about the substantive debates. But where was I going to steer people? To one of our white papers? To a book I knew they didn’t have the time to read? I got paid to be immersed in that stuff — and I loved it. But these people had lives to lead. They wanted to be responsible, informed citizens, but didn’t have endless free time to delve deep into policy research.

Dispatches from the War on Cash

 

kronerOnce upon a time, thieves gave you a choice: your money or your life. Not the government: it wants bothAs if it is not enough that the state knows absolutely everything you do electronically, it’s moving to make the last private vestige of our lives digital as well. “The war on cash is advancing on all fronts,” reports Zerohedge in “First they came for the pennies“. The consequences of going cashless are manifold and hard to overstate, especially in terms of loss of privacy and autonomy.

Sweden’s citizens have become willing guinea pigs in an experiment consisting of negative interest rates in a near cashless society. Even homeless vendors of street newspapers carry mobile card readers. The situation is similar in Denmark. In sub-Saharan Africa, going cashless is nearly a matter of survival, not convenience, as few have bank accounts, but nearly everyone has a mobile phone. (Side note: is this the solution to voter ID in the United State?) Western NGOs such as the Gates Foundation are working with governments, banks, and credit card companies to replace cash with mobile money platforms. India hopes to do the same.

Consequences include banks taking a cut of every transaction and keeping extensive, eternal records of who you are and what you do. Going cashless is likely the only strategy that allows central planners to continue Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP), since rational savers will take cash out of the banking system under such circumstances. It is nothing more than legal theft by the authorities. It seems the general public sees only the “convenience” of going cashless.

Whose Money?

 

BenBad ideas have a way of spreading. And “progressives” in America often turn to the Scandinavian countries for their cockeyed Utopian dreams and this one is a doozy – the Danes have put forward a proposal to allow brick and mortar retailers to refuse cash.

On the surface this sounds like a great convenience to the retailer. An all electronic system would help them cut costs and would certainly eliminate the threat of armed robbery, however much it increases the odds of cybercrime. But the real danger here is that it is the first step in achieving the dreams of Trond Andresen in creating the first cashless society.

Andresen is described in the press as being a “Norwegian academic” which is true to a point. He does make his living as a professor of electrical engineering but he’s more widely known as a communist activist.