The move towards eliminating cash is picking up pace. Around the world, governments and central banks are trying to move away from physically printing money and have the entire financial system run on digital platforms.
Check out the chart below to see the decline of cash:
Going cashless sounds like a good idea. It’s modern, it’s more efficient, and it’s convenient. But moving towards a completely cashless future is the wrong way to go.
Cash can not be tracked. It provides an essential layer of privacy for citizens from the prying eyes of their government. Any digital purchase can be hacked. Do some criminals use cash to hide crimes? Of course. But many law-abiding citizens use cash to exercise their right to privacy. Eliminating cash gives the government even more power – which is the last thing we need.
Another problem with eliminating cash is that it makes the entire financial system vulnerable to either massive hacking or a complete shutdown. With our entire economy and all money on computers, it could be brought down in an instant. Cash provides an essential safety-valve and a buffer in the case of a terrible crisis. We should not lightly set that aside.
Finally, eliminating cash makes it easier for governments and central bankers to impose negative interest rates. This means your savings in the bank would lose value, instead of gaining interest. Governments and bankers are considering using negative interest rates as a tool of control and social engineering, forcing people to spend their money while it still has value.
With cash you would be in control. You could pull your money out of the bank and avoid negative interest rates. Without cash, your money would be stuck and the government would have carte blanche to damage the value of your money with reckless experiments. It would be a loss of your financial freedom and sovereignty, and a disturbing sign of government overriding your personal preferences and choices.
Cash has flaws, but the control it gives to individuals, the privacy, and the freedom it brings are far more important. Not every innovation is positive, and sometimes low-tech is high-value. That’s why we should keep using cash.
Photo – 401(K) 2012