The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell sounds the cash warning. Politicians, he writes;
hate tax havens since the option of a fiscal refuge makes confiscatory taxation impractical.
They hate the underground economy because that means hard-to-tax economic activity.
And they hate cash because it gives consumers an anonymous payment mechanism.
Dr. Mitchell explores “the animosity to cash. … It’s basically because a cashless society is an easier-to-tax society.”
Dan concludes with a warning from Scott Shay, chairman of Signature Bank, about “the totalitarian temptations that would exist in a cash-free world.”
In 2010, Visa and MasterCard, bowed to government pressure — not even federal or state law — and banned all online-betting payments from their systems. This made it virtually impossible for these gambling sites to continue operating regardless of their jurisdiction or legality. It is not too far-fetched to wonder if the day might come when the health records of an overweight individual would lead to a situation in which they find that any sugary drink purchase they make through a credit or debit card is declined. …You might think then that the person can always pay cash and remain outside the purview of these technologies. This may be the case for the moment, but we are well on the road to becoming a cashless society. …there is…a sinister risk…a cashless society would certainly give governments unprecedented access to information and power over citizens.
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