12.15.1. "What are the motivations for outlawing cash?" - (Note: This has not happened. Many of us see signs of it happening. Others are skeptical.) + Reasons for the Elimination of Cash: - War on Drugs....need I say more? - surface the underground economy, by withdrawing paper currency and forcing all monetary transaction into forms that can be easily monitored, regulated, and taxed. - tax avoidance, under the table economy (could also be motive for tamper-resistant cash registers, with spot checks to ensure compliance) + welfare, disability, pension, social security auto- deposits - fraud, double-dipping - reduce theft of welfare checks, disability payments, etc....a problem in some locales, and automatic deposit/cash card approaches are being evaluated. - general reduction in theft, pickpockets - reduction of paperwork: all transfers electronic (could be part of a "reinventing government" initiative) + illegal immigrants, welfare cheats, etc. Give everyone a National Identity Card (they'll call it something different. to make it more palatable, such as "Social Services Portable Inventory Unit" or "Health Rights Document"). - (Links to National Health Care Card, to Welfare Card, to other I.D. schemes designed to reduce fraud, track citizen-units, etc.) + rationing systems that depend on non-cash transactions (as explained elsewhere, market distortions from rationing systems generally require identification, correlation to person or group, etc.) - this rationing can included subsidized prices, denial of access (e.g., certain foods denied to certain people) 12.15.2. Lest this be considered paranoid ranting, let me point out that many actions have already been taken that limit the form of money (banking laws, money laundering, currency restrictions...even the outlawing of competing currencies itself) 12.15.3. Dangers of outlawing cash - Would freeze out all transactions, giving Big Brother unprecedented power (unless the non-cash forms were anonymous, a la Chaum and the systems we support) - Would allow complete traceability....like the cellular phones that got Simpson - 666, Heinlein, Shockwave Rider, etc. 12.15.4. Given that there is no requirement for identity to be associated with money, we should fight any system which proposed to link the two. 12.15.5. The value of paying cash - makes a transaction purely local, resolved on the spot - the alternative, a complicated accounting system involving other parties, etc., is much less attractive - too many transactions these days are no longer handled in cash, which increases costs and gets other parties involved where they shouldn't be involved. 12.15.6. "Will people accept the banning of cash?" - There was a time when I would've said Americans, at least, would've rejected such a thing. Too many memories of "Papieren, bitte. Macht schnell!" But I now think most Americans (and Europeans) are so used to producing documents for every transaction, and so used to using VISA cards and ATM cards at gas stations, supermarkets, and even at flea markets, that they'll willingly--even eagerly-- adopt such a system.
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