Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cashless society

There have been stories on the tech sites about how there will be a cashless society in the near future. And how wonderful it will be...

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, that the United States should follow Modi’s lead in phasing out currency and moving toward a digital economy, because it would have “benefits that outweigh the cost.” Speaking of the inequity and corruption that is becoming an issue in the United States and all over the world, he said: “I believe very strongly that countries like the United States could and should move to a digital currency so that you would have the ability to trace this kind of corruption. There are important issues of privacy, cybersecurity, but it would certainly have big advantages.”

And a few civil rights/privacy sites worry that this will let the Gov't etc know everything you buy. Well, duh, if you use a credit card, the big corporations already know that. In the USA, I often bought my weekly groceries with my credit card, for example. Also clothing etc. by catalog.

what could go wrong? maybe someone could steal your credit card number or even steal your identity and get a lot of information about you, including how they could divert/steal your money and pension. But never mind. Such things could never happen in the USA, Right? Tell me about it. And this is one reason that a lot of folks won't get hysterical when some "illegal" alien with a fake SSN gets deported. But the victim of this "victimless" crime hasn't been noted by the MSM ...

and when it comes to a "casheless" society, I won't even get into the "mark of the beast" conspiracy theories. After all, cards can be stolen or faked, and already there are well known ways to fake out fingerprint and iris scanners: so the next step is an implanted chip, similar to those you put in your pedegree dogs so they aren't stolen.

But anyway, what could happen if countries outlaw cash? In reality, not in theory I mean.

Well, India just outlawed large bills and large amounts of cash.  Al J reports on how that is working (not): the rich got around it okay, but the poor suffered:

The country's finance ministry's recently published Economic Survey 2016-17 admits that the demonetisation caused short-term damage in the form of "job losses, decline in farm incomes [and] social disruption, especially in cash-intensive sectors". 

the idea was to stop corruption etc. When you held saving in cash, it couldn't be taxed or traced by the government.

 but of course, the rich managed to hide their money in plain sight: either by paying employees or suppliers "in advance" in cash to get rid of their stash, lending it to friends who would give it back to you drip by drip, or just by putting them into legal bank accounts in small amounts... lots of scams going on.

But it is the poor who are affected the most. Read the whole thing.

rumor of this type of government shennaigans is why preppers say you need to invest in gold

Our Jewish neighbors did this in the 1950's, because that is how they bribed their way out of Europe in the 1940's

And in India, traditionally women collect jewelry which belongs to them in case of trouble in days before banks it was their only source of wealth. Quora article reply says women own 11 percent of the world's gold, and goes on to sardonically tell you what could be done with all that money. article also notes sarcastically:

It may come as little surprise to those who understand the "fear trade" and the "love trade" in gold, as Frank Holmes of US Global Investors likes to say.
Last week the Economic Times reported that the Indian public hold 20,000 tonnes of the yellow metal in jewelry, coins and gold bars. It was unclear from the media report what was the source of the "20,000-tonnes" comment, but Arun Jaitley, the Indian Finance Minister, reportedly stated the figure after noting that the Indian government does not have data on gold held by the general public.

Ah, but is Gold now effectively illegal in India? This article is ZeroHedge, a right wing biased site, but it essentially sounds correct to me, knowing how things work in the third world:

In a recent notification, government has made it clear that any ownership of jewelry above 500 grams of gold per married woman will be put under the microscopic scrutiny of tax authorities.
Steep taxes and penalties will be imposed on those who cannot prove the source of their gold.
In India’s Orwellian new-speak this means that because bullion has not been explicitly mentioned, its ownership will be deemed to be illegal. Courts will do what Modi wants. Huge bribes will have to be paid.
good news for the crooks in other words.
... The secondary consequence of this will be a steep increase in unreported crimes, for people will be afraid of going to the police after a theft, fearing that the tax authorities will then ask questions. At the same time, the gold market has mostly gone underground, and apparently the volume of gold buying has gone up.

 of course, hoarding golds means it could be stolen, so better to invest it in heaven than hoard it, as one sardonic Jewish carpenter reminded his listeners.

On the other hand; remember:

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