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In the 1970’s, US researchers sought to create a perfect surveillance system that wouldn’t inhibit people’s behavior. They predicted that the widespread adoption of debit cards would eventually become that surveillance system and they were right.

The surveillance capability introduced by debit cards diminishes the anonymity of cash payments, making it easier for the government to collect taxes and eliminate black markets that heavily rely on cash precisely for its untraceability.

Australia has the world’s highest cigarette tax, which has precipitated a massive black market, which the Australian government decided to deal with by cracking down on cash.

It’s now illegal to make or accept a payment or series of connected payments in cash in excess of AUD$10,000. Some lawmakers are floating proposals to do away with the Australia’s two highest denominations, $100 and $50 bills, with the stated goal being to squeeze the juice out of the black market for cigarettes.

The limiting of cash payments and the banning high-value bank notes is becoming a global trend. In France, cash transactions over €1,000 are prohibited. In Italy, it’s at €2,999. The European Central Bank has recently stopped issuing €500 notes. Replacing these €500 banknotes will require covering €300 billion euros in circulation and it will cost €600 million.

The war on cash is even more extreme in other countries. 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 sounds like a lot but the note’s value is only $14.

This was a catastrophic blow to the Indian economy and the country’s economic growth slowed down by 17%. Indian cities experienced 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.

Poor working people without bank accounts and credit suffered the most from Modi’s plan, but he framed the move as a strike against the corrupt elites in India.

Crime is always cited as the motive for the war on cash 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!

The country closest to being a cashless is Sweden. None of the major banks there handle cash anymore with 85% of the population banking online. Cash is so uncommon in Sweden, that even homeless people carry credit card readers that are supplied to them by charity organizations.

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. Big supermarket chains there 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 refuse to give up.

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

Alexandra Bruce

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7 comments

  • A hundred years ago Henry Ford said “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” Now that folks are starting to see the incredible corruption we have been subjected to the CRIMINAL BANKSTERS are in a bit of a fix to tie up loose ends before they get strung up.

  • As we began to see the push to a cashless society, I keep a portion of income in cash to use in multiple places, and encourage others to do the same. I don’t give our grandkids gift cards, I give cash to keep the pleasure and freedom of cash for the next generation.

    Additionally, crime is out of control in my city, suburb etc. I’ve wondered if this is a mechanism to encourage citizens to forgo cash for something “safer”.

  • There’s a hundred ways that they can track you, without GPS. BTW, their GPS system is NOT the same as ours – old tech.

    They track you by:

    your credit cards
    your loyalty club (you know, the club you join at your favorite stores who sign you in to get credit on your club)
    your car’s hidden GPS
    the unique brainwave that you omit to the ethers
    your buying habits (do you hit the Starbucks on your way out of town? they know that)
    by your cellphone
    by your email account
    what’sapp (facebOOk owned)

    It goes on and on.

    To say that there is a good guy who mines his site, emails, aggregates, etc for data to learn about his customers, their demographics, their identity info, etc, is like saying your neighbor Satan is a good guy because he watches your house for you.

    What google and facebook do, so does your favorite small businesses with their web stores unless they specifically commit to privacy policies with which you’ve reviewed and agree. But even then, their sites can easily be hacked for your info.

    Tune yourself to a higher vibration when you can. It truly is the only answer for now. And just keep your eyes open and aware.

  • The irony of the germans valueing thier cash and freedom.. your welcome. If that bit
    of history is even true.. the only thing you can real be sure of is they hate us for our
    freedoms…… lol lol lol

  • A card can be tracked.
    Big brother wants to know how you spend your money
    Then they will tell you are doing it wrong.
    Sounds like socialism to me.
    How about gold instead?
    LOL

  • My god, I was wrong. It won’t take years to ween us off the dollar. We have begun to ween ourselves off the credit cards with the goal of just going cash with the exception of Bill’s which comes directly out of our checking. Now that I think of it when we took out a 10k personal loan on the house in Tucson to put on house in Carlsbad we had to write a statement on that money. We are now squirling away 1k a month to cash purchase a new car. I now wonder how that’s going to play out.

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