Cashless Society and the End of Freedom

Cashless Society and the End of Freedom

In the 1970’s, a group of researchers was
assigned a simple task. Imagine you work for the KGB and you need
to create a perfect surveillance system without creeping people out. And this is what they came up with. [1]
They predicted a widespread adoption of debit cards would be the best surveillance system
within the constraint of not being obtrusive. And they were right. With a debit card, you are not thinking about
surveillance. It’s been sold to you as a convenient payment
method. And yet it maintains a detailed record of
your purchases with a precise location and time. [2] This data can be sold and marketed by your provider, retailers, and payment processors,
or be collected by a three-letter government agency just in case they need to look at what
your shopping reveals about your personality – you know, for national security purposes. [3] The surveillance capability introduced by debit cards diminishes the anonymity of cash
payments. This makes it easier for the government to
collect taxes and eliminate black markets that heavily rely on cash precisely for its
untraceability. [4] But the success of such surveillance is only viable when anonymous options are no longer
available. We will soon approach that reality as we are
being transformed into a cashless society. An average pack of cigarettes in Australia
costs about $40 AU. That’s due to Australia’s heavy tax on
tobacco products, which is the highest in the world. But such high taxes incentivized unintended
behavior. [5] Australia struggles with a huge black market for smuggling cigarettes and there is a crime epidemic of stealing products from tobacco warehouses. The result is a massive tax avoidance and
organized crime which the Australian government decided to deal with by cracking down on cash. It is now illegal to “make or accept a payment
or series of connected payments in cash in excess of” $10,000 AU. Some are floating proposals to do away with
the Australia’s two highest denominations – $100 and $50 bills. [10] The goal is to squeeze the juice out
of the black market and starve out their businesses. [6] Limiting cash payments and banning high-value bank notes is becoming a global trend. In France the cap on cash transactions is
only 1,000 euros and in Italy it’s at €2,999.99. [7] The European Central Bank has recently
stopped issuing €500-notes, although they will remain accepted as a legal tender indefinitely. To put it in perspective, this little European
project of replacing 500-euro banknotes is actually going to require covering 300 billion
euros in circulation and it will cost 600 million euros. [8] In some countries, the war on cash gets much worse . India’s Prime Minister Modi banned the use
of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes basically overnight, giving Indians 50-day grace period to return
their notes. 1,000 rupees may sound like much, but it only
amounts to roughly $14. [9] This was a catastrophic blow to the Indian economy and poor working people that relied
on cash to receive wages and pay rents. The country’s economic growth slowed down
by 17% and Indian cities suffered from a massive exodus of up to 60% of migrant workers who
fled the cities because there was not enough cash in circulation to replace the two highest
denominations. [11] [12] Poor working people suffered the most from Modi’s plan, but his support was rock-solid,
because he framed it as a strike against the corrupt elites in India. [12] In fact, in all cases of eliminating
high-value notes or posing caps on cash transactions, black markets and crime is always quoted as
the main reason. However, a recent study conducted in the UK
focusing on money laundering and terrorist financing revealed that regulated banks and
accounting firms were the two biggest facilitators of illegal transfers and funding. Although cash ranked the third, banks were
almost twice as likely to be involved in money laundering than cash. [13] So as Elaine Ou from Bloomberg said: if illegal transactions are the reasoning “for banning
cash, then it only makes sense to ban banks and accounting firms first”. It seems that living in a cashless society
would be convenient for many, but an ordeal for others. Homeless people, charity workers, small retailers,
cab drivers or casual workers getting paid in cash would suffer the most in a world with
no physical currency. But there is a country closer to being a cashless
society than any other country in the world, and it’s proving everyone wrong. Sweden. In Sweden, no high street bank in big cities
handles cash anymore with 85% of the population banking online. [14] Even paying for a coffee or a bus transfer
requires mobile or card payment. Cash is so uncommon in Sweden, that even homeless
people carry credit card readers that are supplied to them by charity organizations. Donating to a church or splitting a restaurant
check among friends that used to be a domain of cash is now a matter of using inter-person
payment apps. [15] Going cashless is certainly going to have its benefits. Payments will be fast and convenient. Theft will be basically non-existent. And tax collection will be easier and fairer. In the US, people without a bank account spend 5 to 9 minutes longer to get cash than average Americans. [16] Theft of cash alone cost businesses $40
billion a year, which is more than credit card fraud, refund fraud, Internet fraud and
bad checks combined. [17] Credit card fraud results in $16 billion in losses affecting 15.4 million Americans although
this number is rapidly increasing year by year. [18] Tax evasion is a huge problem in the United States. The IRS estimates an average tax gap between
2008 and 2010 to be $458 billion. This is the amount of tax revenue the IRS
expected to be collected but was not even reported. How much of this revenue is black market or
financing illegal activities is unclear. But much of the tax evasion happens in plain
sight. [19] Recent investigations show that in total $2.6 trillion in profits is held offshore by the
US Fortune 500 companies. [20] This is achieved by abusing loopholes
in foreign countries. Four jurisdictions – Bermuda, Ireland, Luxemburg
and the Netherlands – account for 63% of all profits from American multinational companies. [21] Between 2008 and 2015, Apple earned $305 billion in revenue and paid only 5.8% in foreign tax
and returned nothing in the US taxes. They were able to do this not by hiding their
earnings in cash, but by shifting their profits through three Irish subsidiaries that are
structured so that they are not “residents” of neither Ireland nor the US because, for
tax purposes, they are under foreign control. [20] Living in a cashless society will represent a major change in economic dynamics. People will no longer have custody of their
money. All that will be left for them is a mere claim
that a number on their account balance belongs to them. But this claim only means as much as it can
be enforced. [13] During the Greece debt-crisis in 2015, banks imposed a nationwide limit on cash withdrawals
to 60 euros a day, essentially preventing people from accessing their savings in the
name of protecting national economy. The capital controls that also prohibited
foreign transfers were only fully lifted three years later. [21] Cashless society will grant banks and card companies unaccountable and unchecked control
over people’s finances. There will be no choice but to accept their
service on their terms. The affects will spill over into social and
political realms, as payment providers already ban their customers for speech or political
positions. The existence of cash made it difficult for
central banks to enforce monetary policies. During the Eurozone crisis, the European Central
Bank resorted to charging negative interest rates on savings and deposits in order to
discourage saving and boost spending. [27] The strategy of quantitative easing didn’t bring the desired results. When people started to lose interest on their
live savings, it only incentivized them to spend less and save even more. People who wanted to avoid being charged for
their savings could simply store their savings as cash in a safe. In a cashless society, this scenario would
not be an option and central banks would always have an ultimate say over people’s funds. [22] [13] [23] [24] [25] Making all transactions electronically creates troves of data that can be used to track individual
purchases or even macro-engineer economic behavior of an entire nation. [2] Data is one of the most sought-after commodities
in the world and digital payments allow companies to track real identities and build profiles
of shopping habits. For regular people, this will mean they will
no longer be allowed to buy drugs, visit a pub, or buy a book anonymously. Gradually, we are being nudged into a cashless
society. [26] Banks are making it more inconvenient
to use cash by closing down their branches or limiting cash withdrawals at counters and
ATMs. [28] In 2017, Visa ran a campaign where it
wanted to reward $10,000 to 50 US-based businesses who go completely cashless. [29] The resistance to cashless society is not all that futile. Germany is the leader of stubbornly holding
on to cash. 80% of point-of-sale transactions are made
in cash, and an average German carries over 100 euros in their wallet. [30] [31] Big supermarket chains only began
introducing card payments in 2015 and tens of thousands of restaurants and shops are
still cash-only. Most Germans view cash as a means of freedom
from government control and a way of preserving privacy and anonymity which they are refusing
to give up.


100 thoughts on “Cashless Society and the End of Freedom”

  • I guess you all heard what happened with Apple employees that were listening to private Siri recordings right? More than 1000 recordings every night. They were even listening to people having sex for Christ sake. I guess they had a lot of fun and plenty of Coke and pop corn to spend the nights while they were eavesdropping other people's business.

  • Jerry Jefferson says:

    THe dollar is loosing its value as we speak due to inflation and the more they print it. Thats why people are buying up gold

  • Kevin Michael Easter's Multiplex says:

    There is nothing wrong with surveillance if you are doing nothing wrong. I don't care who knows what I buy or where because I know I am not doing anything criminal or unethical. Only wrongdoers need to fear this.

  • Its Australia fault that the fighting happens simple solution lower the taxes typical idiot government. What if the credit system is down from power outage, how will people buy and sell?

  • This people do the same corruption even every1 ve been RFIDchip or Bitcoin < n they no guarantee the data or credit inside the chip can not b manipulate ! By their system admin to favour their own crony gang n off the chip if that dis obedient person who don't play according to their games of ruless !, with5G is possible ! Dude

  • My time will be over before this is completely implemented in the US. I am one of the lucky ones that grew up in a free America!

  • The machine wants to control its slaves i mean people in every kind of way and they want people to act like factory chickens brainwashed controlled and submissive

  • The Fed note is their god, read it on their paper! It’s a manipulation tool! You don’t make money, they do and charge you for using it, called taxes.

  • Seriously?? With bitcoin and all this new technologies the market will be way more free and won't be controlled by the Central Banks

  • End of what freedom?. Freedom to slave for the government and be told what to think, what to wear, who you can vote for, and much more?.

  • Gabriel De Winters says:

    It’s not yet an offence to pay AU$ 10,000 or more in cash in Australia. But they are talking about it, that’s for sure. But than again how would they know?

  • So giving the government more power and the people less, everything is a known quantity. The government is no longer the servant of the people or partner but out right overlord. With no ability to rebel or resist that amounts to much when the government has also all the guns. This sounds like a recipe for tryanny, Empire not representative forms of government where the people are governed with consent but instead they are ruled with fear of fines and prison and then death if they do not obey because now everything is a known quantity.

  • The way to stop tax evasion is by not taxing the hell out of people so they don't feel gov is abusing their authority and stealing their money. Bad policy always creates corruption and incentives for criminals. The Prohibition on alcohol in 1920s America gave rise to the Mob.

  • Anthony Calleja says:

    I wouldn’t accept going cash less may as be in a communise country.. all so u can be controlled by the government..

  • Sweden also has the mark of the BEAST (a small micro chip embedded to the Right or Left hand). The Mark of the BEASTwill prevent you to get to heaven. Do not accept the chip!

  • And that's why I support crypto currency. Keeping my money out the hands of banks. Facebooks Libra coin is the biggest threat to our freedom!

  • I believe that there is no way for the people to do anything.You just can't react.The government is finaly making the decision.Unfortunately…!!!

  • Beats by 7 The God says:

    It makes no sense to have a society with no money or "capital" yet still maintain capitalist institutions such as banks which will still own the means of production and distribution. It also isn't wise to take away all the money yet leave capitalist values in place such as individualism, self-interest, greed, materialism, and competition which are all ingredients for the corrupt society we live in today. Eliminating cash while leaving certain capitalist institutions in place (banks, corporations, the state etc) will only lead to an even more dystopian and repressive future than Orwell's 1984. Humanity will never be truly free until outdated capitalist values and institutions cease to exist. You can take away the money but if capitalist values and institutions persist people will be even less free than they already are and the people at the bottom of society(poor, homeless, working class etc) will be adversely affected the most with no financial recourse because there's no money to buy your way out of a problem.

    The only way I see a cashless society potentially working is if humans and their value systems evolve beyond the obsolete limits of capitalism or its various offshoots disguised as "socialism" or at least described that way by people who have no clue what socialism actually means.

  • The convenience of a bank account is too good to argue that debit cards were designed to track people’s transactions. That being said, the States have a loooooongg way to go before they can do away with cash

  • The Bible is true: and nobody can buy or sell if they don't have the brand, or rather, under the control of the beast

  • I'll B watching U says:

    I lived thru several hurricanes where there is no electricity and you can only buy things with cash. Cash will always be king.

  • With a cashless society, one would have nothing to lose but the chains on their wrists by the Bank and the Government they purchased!

    If the big business tech-ies want to start a revolution against them, they just started one.

  • Tax collection will be easier and fairer?! Should theft be easier? How do you make theft more fair? Taxation is theft. Government is slavery.

  • Christos Karsanidis says:

    The only inevitable thing is human greed. There's another dystopian scenario that will come before this one and that's climate change. Entropy loves greed.

  • I mean the science fiction community has already speculated on this as a cash free system would just breed non government supported currencies. The great north road by peter F Hamilton has a cashless system and the average citizen or subject in Europe has a secondary account which is hidden by the fact that there is just so gosh darn many of us to track that even A.i would struggle with it. hidden in plain site type mentality.

  • Cash is unnecessary, if it comes down to the government trying to take advantage of us, we have the power to go back to primitive methods of payment or use untraceable types currency (i.e. bitcoin) we are going cashless, but it is necessary to keep evolving as humans. Does this sound like the mark of the devil? Yes. But so was cash in its beginning. What I mean is that cash was a new way to trade. And thus making it harder to buy or sell without it. History is just repeating. We are scared but we shouldn't be. We will find a way to steer ourselves into a new direction if needed. Stay blessed people!!!?

  • it's not the money it's the power to control your ass and they know where you are so they can eliminate you so go ahead shop at another Walmart that camera you look at when you walking in it's called face recognition same thing that you going to get at the DMV when you get your new ID or boarding an airplane track your ass right down to the millimeter where you stand don't worry pretty soon there's going to be too many people in the United States are going to have to be getting rid of a lot of people so go pick your rope out and the tree that you're going to throw it around or maybe the guillotine whichever you prefer . the rich have money they don't need money they need control and after all slavery never went away I just got a new name it's called birth certificate or maybe it's a number of a man or a woman every single one of us the Devil Inside if it wasn't so we would still be in the Garden of Eden

  • The more society advances the tighter the leash gets around freedom.

    If we reach Cashless Society within the next 100 years the government would want to watch your every move more so they don't consider you a threat. One wrong move and it's good bye (this is just an example) dream job you always wanted because your transaction points to you being a potential criminal.

    Really sucks if they brand you a criminal if you just buy a lot of custom gun parts to put together and put on a shelf for display.

  • Very surprised you didn't mention cryptocurrency, specifically bitcoin. You understand everything about the macro trends, but missed this vital component, as it is where all of this will eventually end up. When there is negative interest rates, and no option to take the money out in cash due to a cashless society, the alternative option is to put the money into Door #2, cryptocurrency. It allows you to still have this cash component, as it is today, but with the added benefit of borderless, and digital, and not run by any specific person or entity. If you are not aware of this, I urge you to investigate and do some research and come to your own conclusion. Great video otherwise

  • This will happen in the next 50 years. The sad part is that it will happen so gradually that people won't even realize it.

  • Debasish Raltepaul says:

    Indian P.M Narendra Modi's decision on banning denomination of 500 and 1000 Rs. backfired, about 99.36% of cash came back to the system. It was done at the cost of more than 100's lives, economic slowdown and a GDP drop of 2% which is huge considering India is a developing country. It was actually the Bank Managers who gained from this decision allowing big businessman to convert their banned denomination into the new denomination of 2000 Rs. It is bank that need to be banned.

  • It's interesting that "Cash" is also a virtual currency. It represents a promise of backing. Silver , Gold and Platinum occasionally Copper. Has intrinsic value and not much else..

  • Rubbish. 99% of the worlds billions make it through unaccounted money through black money, in currency. If you're scared of money surveillance, then you're doing the wrong thing.
    The Indian example is INCORRECT. The government changed Old Notes and changed it with new currency, because of Counterfeit Currency Produced in countries like Pakistan, which is the terrorist capital of the world.

  • There is no way that the ubers of the world will ever allow a change from the system that has made them into the sociopaths they are today.

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