• Dave McGuire

Dangers of a Cashless Society

The Clarksvillian

It’s become a standard at nearly every gas station in my area, to request exact change for purchases. The coronavirus crisis has apparently sparked this nationwide coin shortage that has left retailers pleading for exact change.

It didn’t take too long for the conspiracy theories to begin the rounds in both the virtual and real worlds. I first began hearing comments and receiving emails about the change shortage issue conspiracies several weeks ago. I just placed them to the side and grinned. Can they really be true? After spending some time, it did not take long to view the situation because of three reasons. However, learning about our coin shortage didn’t lessen the reality of the push towards a cashless society.

Three primary reasons most affecting the current coin shortage:

1. Disruptions in mint operations have been a recent issue.

2. Many banks closed their lobbies for several months and only allowed customers to make appointments for essential banking activities. Converting coins to paper money for their customers is far from a top priority at banks.

3. Many of the coin cashing machines in grocery stores were shut down for a period because of customer health concerns.

Like all good conspiracy theories, opportunities for mental exercises are plentiful. When you’re staring at the entry of this conspiracy, and deciding whether to enter the rabbit hole, how can you not be intrigued by the essential work variable? Walmart and Amazon workers are essential, yet the US Mint employees are not essential? The US Mint has returned to production although the workforce has been reduced to only 10% of their pre-coronavirus production. The Mint’s production is a central currency and vital to American life. What better way to implement controls than through a cashless society?

As a baseline purpose relative to government - a cashless society removes any opportunity to hide money. It becomes a situation of everything being documented with digital currency. There would be zero cash, and I mean zero, available in a cashless society. That does not imply a preferred option of mostly debit card usage. It flatly means everything must be recorded and registered for exact taxation.

If we are looking at all transactions being recorded, doesn’t that eliminate side jobs? Yes. And the impact falls directly on housing contractors, lawn care, auto mechanics and nearly every exchange associated with negotiating to reduce pricing. There will no longer be any advantages or benefits to saving cash in a non-saving world. It looks like those kids shoveling your snow or cutting your grass may be out of luck, huh? The impact is not just for the above-board workers of the world. The cashless society will inevitably become a morality policing branch of the new government. How about the organized crime activities of the underworld, drug dealers, gambling, stolen merchandise sales and/or prostitution? A cashless economy will equally punish all levels of society.

When currency is only electronic, it will be ruled by those who manage the computer programs. And those persons will be based at the banks – or potentially “the” bank.

What if the intention isn’t about necessity purchases? What about gifts? Ready for this bit of unwelcome news? There will no longer be cash gifts permitted without taxation. No to the birthday card money, extra tips for excellent service, or cash for your family during the holidays. You may no longer slide your buddy or girlfriend/boyfriend a few dollars to get by until payday. How about emergency savings? It’s going to be a difficult evacuation for those people in hurricane zones or wildfire regions. At least those insurance claims during the disasters won’t be as difficult to justify. If that’s any consolation to the tightening grip of the process? The banks will essentially maintain direct control over your lifestyle and ability to be spontaneous. Canada is already discussing the possibility and, unfortunately, it excludes buying for other people without prior notice.

Yes, your lifestyle becomes traceable. As individuals, whether we realize it, we are creatures of habit. One of the opening concerns from these discussions will link back to banks selling your shopping data to businesses for advertising. Psst... That horse left the barn years ago. Your online activity has been traced for years while they target marketing and advertising. The concerns quickly shift to the mingling of your banking and personal data? When your health records blend with your bank accounts, does that fast food purchase get approved? Would sugary products be approved for purchase if you were diabetic? Or is the incentive coming from a different direction? Will banks relay purchase reports back to health insurance providers, which results in adjustments to your policy rates based on lifestyle? Alcohol service would be a very slippery slope. Restaurants and bars will surely not want to fight insurance companies after a drunk driving accident ties the business to a defendant’s alcohol use. What if you are attempting a purchase in a community far from your home? The bank does not have any record of your travel plans and will need to delay approval until they can verify the purchase. You get my point, right?

The next step must lead to a social credit system if the cashless society is not the pre-planned building block. This type of credit system is quietly being built in the US by Big Tech’s heavy hitters in Silicon Valley. China has already rolled out their own highly oppressive and frighteningly controlling version of the social credit system.

For now, let’s just try our best to get the excess coins from those hefty jars into the retail shops.