People Not Amused by EU Efforts to “De-Cash” their Lives

But the IMF has suggestions on how to win the War on Cash.

By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

In January 2017 the European Commission announced it was exploring the option of imposing upper limits on cash payments, with a view to implementing cross-regional measures as soon as 2018. To give the proposal a veneer of respectability and accountability the Commission launched a public consultation on the issue. Now, the answers are in, but they are not what the Commission was expecting.

A staggering 95% of the respondents said they were opposed to a cash ceiling at EU level. Even more emphatic was the answer to the following question:

“How would the introduction of restrictions on payments in cash at EU level benefit you, or your business or your organisation (multiple replies are possible)?”

In the curious absence of an explicit “not at all” option, 99.18% chose to respond with “no answer.” In other words, less than 1% of the more than 30,000 people consulted could think of a single benefit of the EU unleashing cross-regional cash limits.

Granted, 37% of respondents were from Germany and 19% from Austria (56% in total), two countries that have a die-hard love for physical lucre. Even among millennials in Germany, two-thirds say they prefer paying in cash to electronic means, a much higher level than in almost any other advanced economy with the exception of Japan. Another 35% of the survey respondents were from France, a country that is not quite so enamored with cash and whose government has already imposed a maximum cash limit of €1,000.

By its very nature the survey almost certainly attracted a disproportionate number of arch-defenders of physical cash. As such, the responses it elicited are unlikely to be a perfect representation of how all Europeans would feel about the EU’s plans to introduce maximum cash limits. Nonetheless, the sheer strength of opposition should (but probably won’t) give the apparatchiks in Brussels pause for thought.

Respondents cited a number of objections to EU-wide cash restrictions, chief among them the convenience of using cash and the limited impact the measure would probably have on achieving its “stated” objectives of curbing terrorism, tax evasion, and money laundering. Of course, there are many other reasons to worry about living in a cashless (or “less cash”) society that were not offered as an option in the survey, including the vastly increased power it would give to political and monetary authorities as well as the near-impossibility of ever escaping from the clutches of the banking system or central banks’ monetary experiments.

The biggest cited concern for respondents was the threat the cash restrictions would pose to privacy and personal anonymity. A total of 87% of respondents viewed paying with cash as an essential personal freedom. The European Commission would beg to differ. In the small print accompanying the draft legislation it launched in January, it pointed out that privacy and anonymity do not constitute “fundamental” human rights.

Be that as it may, many Europeans still clearly have a soft spot for physical money. If the EU authorities push too hard, too fast in their war on cash, they could provoke a popular backlash. In Germany, trust in Europe’s financial institutions is already at a historic low, with only one in three Germans saying they have confidence in the ECB. The longer QE lasts, the more the number shrinks.

Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann has already warned that it would be “disastrous” if people started to believe cash would be abolished — an oblique reference to the risk of negative interest rates and the escalating war on cash triggering a run on cash. The IMF has also waded into the debate with a working paper full of sage advice for governments keen on “de-cashing” – as the IMF calls this procedure – their economies against the will of their citizenry (emphasis added):

The private-sector-led de-cashing seems preferable to the public-sector-led decashing. The former seems almost entirely benign (e.g., more use of mobile phones to pay for coffee), but still needs policy adaptation. The latter seems more questionable, and people may have valid objections to it. De-cashing of either kind leaves both individuals and states more vulnerable to disruptions, ranging from power outages to hacks to cyberwarfare. In any case, the tempting attempts to impose de-cashing by a decree should be avoided, given the popular personal attachment to cash.

A targeted outreach program is needed to alleviate suspicions related to de-cashing; in particular, that by de-cashing the authorities are trying to control all aspects of peoples’ lives, including their use of money, or push personal savings into banks.

It basically involves making it easier and cheaper for people to use electronic payment methods while subtly turning the screw on those who would prefer to continue using cash (for perfectly valid reasons, as the IMF itself admits), presumably by making it more difficult and expensive to do so. In many places it’s already happening.

But a surprisingly large number of people still appear to have a strong sense of attachment to physical money, particularly in Europe’s most important economy, Germany. And if the survey is any indication, they have little interest in changing those habits. By Don Quijones.

“You could sell ten flats in a day” to Chinese on real estate excursions. Read…  Fueled by Global Investors, Home Prices Go Nuts in Barcelona

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  64 comments for “People Not Amused by EU Efforts to “De-Cash” their Lives

  1. Suzie Alcatrez says:

    Germans have a cultural memory if the hyperinflation of the 1920’s.

    Plus, once everyone uses Visa/MasterCard, how high will their fees climb from the current 3%-5%?

    • Jack says:

      “Plus, once everyone uses Visa/MasterCard, how high will their fees climb from the current 3%-5%?” Visa and/or MasterCard wouldn’t be behind this push would they?

      • SD says:

        For the record 2/3’s of all US cash held outside the country is held in 100 dollar bills….I went to my ATM on Monday and as I took out 500$ cash the only options I received were 20 notes or 50 notes…..If you got Ben Franklin’s under the mattress I would consider trading them in…

        • Not So Free says:

          Any time I cash a check, I ask for nothing bigger than 20s.
          A lot of places refuse to accept 50s or 100s. And that’s even if the total bill is over $100.

      • madras says:

        And, hackers can shut down all commerce instantly and indefinitely in a cashless society. Talk about a nightmare scenario.

    • Gershon says:

      Right. That would explain why they’ve given “Mutti” Merkel multiple terms.

    • Stan D. says:

      This could be the biggest debt handoff in history…….All the debt is denominated in fiat…Just switch your cash holding to PM’s and you magically unload 9 years of QE, HFT, and golden parachute debt on to the suckers that created the fiat in the first place (central bank.) Seriously, the EU and US could just literally hand the bill BACK to their .gov….Then we can start asking them to show us just where all the money went…..

  2. Alois Steiger says:

    In Switzerland, there is an upper cash limit of SFr 100,000. If you want to buy an expensive watch, the watch dealer is expected to carry out a “due diligence” (whatever that means). Also, banks limit cash withdrawals to SFr 100,000. This upper limit has been set by the government and banks’ compliance departments are making sure the rule is adhered to. There are already discussions ongoing to reduce the upper limit of cash transactions to SFr 15,000. On 24th February 2017, Fritz Zurbruegg, a member of the Board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), however, stated that “reports of the demise of cash have been greatly exaggerated” (referring to Mark Twain’s famous quote). Still, I wonder why a member of the directorate has to discuss this issue. Whether cash will be abolished or not is not within the authority of the SNB but of the Swiss Parliament and probably would be subjected to a referendum. Also, a lot of SFr 1,000 banknotes are stashed in bank safes that are not subjected to any regulations. Here, the Swiss government already has issued a statement (“Bericht über Schliessfächer und deren Missbrauchsrisiken für Geldwäscherei und Terrorismusfinanzierung”, 14th Dec. 2015) stating that the issue of bank safes and non-bank safes is under observation (“Das Eidgenössische Finanzdepartement EFD wird jedoch die Entwicklung verfolgen und wenn nötig zusätzliche Massnahmen prüfen.”) As you can see, even in Switzerland, the government is working slowly but steadily towards a restriction of cash traffic.

    • Petunia says:

      The Swiss shot themselves in the foot when they caved in to pressure from the US to out American account holders. Now all those deposits are probably all gone. They should have had some backbone, what was the US going to do, nuke them. Now they are repressing their own people to get liquidity, really dumb.

      • nick kelly says:

        When a few hundred thousand Jewish holders of accounts and storage lockers failed to turn up after WWII. the Swiss banks just kept the money, gold etc.
        The push by their relatives was the first crack in the secrecy law.

        ‘World Jewish Congress lawsuit against Swiss banks was launched to retrieve deposits made into Swiss banks by victims of Nazi persecution during and prior to World War II. Initiated in 1995 as WJC negotiations with both the Swiss government and its banks over burdensome proof-of-ownership requirements for accounts, strong support from United States politicians and leaked documents from a bank guard pressured a settlement in 1998 in a U.S. court for multiple classes of people affected by government and banking practices. As of 2015, $1.28 billion USD has been disbursed for 457,100 claimants.’


        • dr. odyssey says:

          Here is a different take on what wikipedia states.

          In his book ” Between the Alps and a Hard Place” Professor Angelo Codevilla documents how the anti-Swiss campaign offered no evidence for its shocking claims but still managed to shake down two of the largest banks of a friendly power for $1.25 billion. The campaign set a terrible precedent, whereby a powerful domestic interest group—and major donor to the Clinton-Gore administration—harnessed the power of the U.S. government to grossly distort history and secure a financial windfall. In the process, the larger interests of the United States were subverted for the sake of a favorite domestic constituency of the ruling party.

          Between the Alps and a Hard Place is both thrilling World War II history and an exposé of the shameful selling of historical truth and American foreign policy for political gain.

        • Anon says:

          dr. O. After WWII, the Swiss were notorious for asking for such documents as the death certificates of the deposit holders. As they should have known, the Nazis never issued death certificates for the people they gassed or shot at the extermination camps.

      • nick kelly says:

        The Guardian Files on Swiss HSBC
        Story 2015

        ‘HSBC’s Swiss bank concealed large sums of money for people facing allegations of serious wrongdoing, including drug-running, corruption and money laundering, leaked files reveal.

        Despite being legally obliged since 1998 to make special checks on high-risk customers, the bank provided accounts for clients implicated in six notorious scandals in Africa, including Kenya’s biggest corruption case, blood diamond trading and several corrupt military sales.

        HSBC also held assets for bankers accused of looting funds from former Soviet states, while alleged crimes by other account holders include bribery at Malta’s state oil company, cocaine smuggling from the Dominican Republic and the doping of professional cyclists in Spain. ‘

        Confronted with the Guardian’s evidence HSBC admitted that when it bought the Swiss bank it did not properly enforce undertakings to vet accounts it contained.

        The four chapters of detail are on the Guardians site.

        • d says:

          I will put this here so it comes up in the conversation trail

          DR O:

          This is not really good without a rejoinder that the book is “Alternative Anti Jewish fiction”

          Anon has made the point that the Swiss did everything possible to keep the Holocaust victims monies, and only started to settle for as little as possible, when the US lawsuits started keeping them out of the US market, they wanted into.

          Switzerland has a lot going for it.

          This does not change the fact that they were complicit in the Holocaust, way over their heads. Just like the Vatican.

      • Maximus Minimus says:

        Very few countries brave the pressure from the US, and those are big countries with independent foreign policy, and that means they are already sanctioned by the US one way or another. If other countries supported the Swiss, they would not have caved. Now, the US government can do this to others, one-by-one.

        • nick kelly says:

          I’m not a total fan of all US law, but it is a leader in allowing victims of stolen assets to recover them.

          In some European jurisdictions, if someone buys an art object in good faith, i.e., they did not BELIEVE it was stolen, they now have clear title. (You can imagine how many buyers admit they suspected theft.)

          Not so in the US. If the rightful owner can prove theft, they can obtain title.
          Notice the word ‘rightful’?
          If something of yours is stolen, do you think it is still rightfully yours or does it now belong to the buyer?

          US law, ( whether it knows it) is largely inherited English law. In the English speaking world, possession may be nine points of the law, but is not THE law.

          Possession of stolen property is different than in some European countries. Not only does the property not belong to the buyer, he may be charged with a crime himself.

          In addition to the accounts the Swiss banks seized, there was an enormous of art looted by the Nazis, especially Goering. that ended up everywhere but mainly in the US where it was ‘sold on’ after the war to the only country with any money.

          I would say it is to the credit of the US that it took the lead in allowing the estates or children of the victims ( not all Jewish, the Nazis were reasonably non-discriminatory in this regard) to
          file suits to reclaim the works. The US no doubt did some leaning on some havens, but US museums took major hits in the reclaiming.

          Why should other countries support jurisdictions that harbor the proceeds of theft and genocide?

      • Petunia says:

        My original comment wasn’t meant to address the lost assets of war survivors. I was referring to the IRS tax dodgers that the Swiss outed. They not only lost American accounts but others as well from breaking their secrecy laws. In doing so, they actually facilitated the movement of large sums of money to banks that are not so picky about who they do business with in bad places in the world.

        • Drew says:

          A lot of comments here about Swiss not giving it back, but how about some credit to the Swiss for creating the option to get it back at all.

          Without Switzerland the Jews, and others (Nazi’s were Socialist after all – German businessmen were targets too), they would have had no place to deposit their money in the first place and Hitler would have confiscated it directly, spent it on munitions and the money would have been lost altogether for forever.

          While Switzerland may have been overzealous in holding on to the money from decedents / survivors, if it was yours and you did survive yourself you could easily get it back. And a certain amount of resistance would seem prudent as there would have been a good chance you did die, and if you showed up later asking for your money and they said, “we gave it to your ‘cousin’ just last week…”

        • d says:

          “While Switzerland may have been overzealous in holding on to the money from decedents / survivors, if it was yours and you did survive yourself you could easily get it back.”

          The swiss made it as hard as possible for any survivors or their descendants to obtain anything and still do.

          Their favorite trick was to demand original copies of Documents they new the NASDP goons confiscated.

          Many Holocaust survivors, died in povert, with large amounts of money in Swiss Banks the Swiss simply would not hand over As they could avoid doing so.

          The Swiss banks were complicit in the Holocaust, Over their head’s.

          Stop trying to put a halo on the devil, unless of course you are one of the devils Racist Bigoted minions..

  3. joanrn says:

    The financial geniuses think we are okay with paying money to access the money we have already worked for? Are they that desperate? Sounds like the old coal miner days, when the mining companies would pay in store credits and company housing. How did that work out? My dad used to sing to us, “I owe my soul to the company store, I load 16 tons what do I get……” as his way of teaching us to be careful with credit. It’s a choice now, but when its required bartering will return big time. Those guys/gals who are welders, plumbers, electricians, heavy equipment operators, auto mechanics, and farmers, will be king again.

    • joanrn says:

      sorry i didn’t give credit for the song, 16 tons, sang by Tennessee Ernie Ford, written by Merle Travis..

      • nick kelly says:

        In an addition of Pawn Stars, Rick is offered tokens used to pay miners that were only good at ‘the company store’
        As I recall his opinion was that was exploitation and I’m sure we agree on that.
        No doubt this was before everyone had cars, and mines are often remote with small company- owned towns and not much competition allowed.
        I believe and hope that these tokens are now illegal.

  4. Old Engineer says:

    Historian Barbara Tuchman defined folly(in regard to the actions of governments) as policy contrary to self interest. The attempt to do away with cash certainly qualifies. Attempts to do away with cash will only force the cash economy “underground” where it won’t be able to be tracked or taxed. Whether people use boxes of detergent, baggies of drugs, or more logically the currency of other countries a substitute will arise. A very large percentage of the U.S. dollars in circulation are being used in other countries right now as an alternative currency.
    In addition a significant portion of the population can’t get bank accounts, credit cards, or debit cards because of poor credit ratings, interactions with the law (one only need to be accused and exonerated not convicted), and other government sanctions.
    But it will be a good excuse to establish a large Currency Enforcement Agency to enforce the laws against currency and increase the cash confiscations and prevent even more people from participating in a non-cash economy. And I’m sure they will be as successful at eliminating cash as the DEA has been at eliminating drugs.

    • JungleJim says:

      Expect to see barter become common. Lots of things can be bartered including goods, labor, and knowledge. It will be the heyday of the swap meet. For years the IRS has tried to collect taxes off swaps and been totally frustrated. Going forward, unrecorded transactions will be the Molotov cocktails and Sten guns of the Resistance. (LOL)

      So come my friends and strike a blow against the bureaucrats.

      It all starts off with someone asking someone else, “what would you take for this….?”

      • Old Farmer says:

        In 2008 and following, barter-based labor exchanges were set up in Spain and Greece. They seemed to work pretty well, at least during a period of crisis.

        Among my farming friends there is a fair amount of informal barter. I barter olive oil for things that I don’t produce myself: wine, bread, cheese, avocados, strawberries, veterinary care.

  5. Bookdoc says:

    I will admit that this is why I keep reserves of gold and silver.
    I have concerns about “cashless” meaning your earnings are bank controlled. Same concern I have with the idea of self driving cars. Do we really want the government to know where every one of us is going and how we are spending our money? I, for one, find this quite horrifying.

  6. Gershon says:

    How can the oligarchy steal your money and control your life unless they have total visibility into your assets and revenue sources?

  7. Raymond C. Rogers says:

    A rational person (albeit somewhat naive) might say that the credit card companies and the banks will give up on the war on cash. The CC ccompanies and the banks are just estimating the size of the obstacle they have to overcome.

  8. unit472 says:

    Just shows that, at the end of the day, gold and silver coins will always be money while currency and bank deposits may not.

    • Suzie Alcatrez says:

      Until gold and silver coins are also outlawed.

      • unit472 says:

        Governments have tried that but those old coins keep turning up. People hide them away from the eyes of the state.

  9. TCG says:

    It’s funny that they think it’s more palatable to do away with cash by private companies than by any government action. I’d rather have neither, thanks and they could both be equally terrible, just in different ways. There isn’t always much difference between corporate and government interests in many areas these days, anyway.

    Aside from barter, I assume many (younger) people will turn to crypto-currencies as a way to work around the limits–just like a lot of Chinese and others have already seemed to do to avoid currency export controls there. It seems crazy, speculative and rash with the insane volatility to move value with them, but when people get desperate they may start to take desperate measures.

    • Petunia says:

      Crypto currencies are not popular because people are desperate. Millennials view them no differently than fiat, which they think are backed by nothing as well. These young people are not as stupid as most of the older folks think. They have lived through this financial crisis as the silent minority.

  10. GSH says:

    No surprise Brussels wants a cashless society. There used to be and probably still is a significant amount of “Schwarzarbeit” (moonlighting) going on in Austria and Germany. Saves the purchaser the VAT and the provider the need to declare income. All cash under the table. It is probably even worse in the Mediterranean countries.

  11. Jim Graham says:

    “”In the small print accompanying the draft legislation it launched in January, it pointed out that privacy and anonymity do not constitute “fundamental” human rights.””

    Sounds like Nazi Germany and totalitarian governments attitudes.

    Seems that they are acting counter to the even the United Nations approach to human rights… – UN Declaration of Human Rights – Read >>>>

    CASH is King. US paper is GREEN until one morning it is BLUE and GREEN is usable only to be traded for the new BLUE world currency. The installed tracking chips come at no extra charge.

    Tho many of US will be holding silver and gold coins as a medium of trade. I know I do….

    BTW – The reason I use a card instead of cash to pay with is simple.. IF I get a “pay in cash discount” I pay in cash. If NOT, I use my PayPal Business Debit card. Every month it pays back 1 and 1/2% of every “signature” purchase – ie, use it as a credit card, NOT AS A DEBIT. It also gives back the same percentage on any bill I pay with it.

    I DO NOT use my bank issued Visa card – they don’t give anything back.

  12. Mike Earussi says:

    Why stop at just controlling our money? I’m just waiting for the next iPhone fad where they implant it directly into your brain, with a back door for the government of course. That way they can control you directly and not have to worry about your money.

    • Hiho says:

      You could call it iBrain and make apple buyers pay 200€ for the extra. They surely would.

  13. David Rohn says:

    The funniest part of this whole neo feudal bankster power grab is the pretense that the elimination of cash is being done to curtail money laundering Are we supposed to just forget that HSBC was caught laundering for the Sinaloa Cartel, that they got away with a little fine because Eric Holder then US Atty General said that to break them up or jail their managers would be too damaging to the economy. Anybody want to pretend they re not laundering anymore? Anybody want to pretend they re the only mega bank laundering drug money?
    The banks are the money launderers…and they want your money too.

    • madras says:

      The fact that the Obama administration paid Iran $400 million in cash for the release of five American prisoners shows that, yes, using cash is still the preferred method of payment used by criminal cartels.

  14. Hiho says:

    Cashless society: welcome to the era of negative interest rates and, bail—ins. Really convenient for the banks to plunder us. Or for the gov to block your money if you do not behave well,… or 50% VAT.

    • Sheelagh Hanly says:

      Surprised nobody mentioned the chip in the wrist, which has been mentioned in recent times. If this catches on we will all become the currency and whatever the controllers want they can include in the chip!

  15. Bauz222 says:

    Well I’m an Austrian at a German music festival at the moment which is completely cashless…

    My friends think it’s so convenient and i am pretty much horrified.

  16. Cynic says:

    The EU represents Freedom and Democracy, Peace and Prosperity!

    You are ruled by the best people, selected by the best!

    This is your real Fundamental Right: to be part of the Project!

    You will always be consulted, so that we can work out how best to manipulate you, in your own best interests!

    Privacy is a bourgeois convention, and not fundamental!

    Deviation is probably Criminal!

    My God, my God……….

  17. walter map says:

    This isn’t creeping totalitarianism. It’s more like a march.

    Having long since achieved their goal to subjugate national governments, the banking cartel now seeks to establish fine control over the general population, preferably with its willing acceptance.

    It’s not your money. It’s their money. They’re just letting you use it, so long as you do what you’re told.

    • Cynic says:

      Unfortunately, the dumb plugged-in kids, ignorant of the really quite recent history of their own lands, and the inherent malice of mankind, are walking straight into it: so easy, so hassle-free……

    • Maximus Minimus says:

      Willing acceptance would be more like wilful or natural ignorance.

  18. Old Farmer says:

    One of the assumptions underlying a cashless economy is that the internet will never fail. While the internet appears to be pretty robust, one can imagine various scenarios of failure. What then? Chaos!

    A friend was a child in Germany at the end of WWII, when there was not yet a national currency, and hence, a cashless society. He says that much commerce was conducted using eggs as a medium of exchange. (USDA definition of a ‘fresh egg’ is less than 45 days since being packed.)

  19. R Davis says:

    And when the electronic means of delivery of the means of exchange crashes – what then ?
    The populations of the 28 member nations of the EU will

    a) sit calmly & wait for the system to be reinstated
    1 day
    2 day’s
    3 day’s
    4 day’s
    5 day’s
    How long does it take for a person to starve to death ?
    What a wonderful opportunity for any terrorist mind set to bring it’s target country to it’s knees.

    • R Davis says:

      No guns
      No bombs
      No poison gas
      No troops
      1 individual situated anywhere in the world with computer access could cripple the EU banking system …….
      What if the elements of the British government decided that enough was enough & called in MI5 / MI6 – & gave the order – “sic em Rex.”
      How well would Germany receive that presentation.

  20. PrototypeGirl1 says:

    The cashless society is IMO a horrific idea, combine that with forced digitalised health care, and we all become slaves. I already have problems with my bank allowing me to make certain purchases, silver, ammo, cryptocurrency, They also have blocked donations I have tried to make to anti pedophile rescue groups. How hard will it be for them to control us with all medical records or lack of at their finger tips. We are in an age of body monitoring with one little gadget they can tell everything that is going on in and around our bodies. It’s ignorant to give so much power to those who have already proven to be cheating scum.

  21. JB says:

    I have issues with naming this meme “war on cash” . It seems that any proposed misdirection is labeled a “war” and the IMF is joining the chorus. Who benefits ? Banks like a cashless society . They can use its features to prevent bank runs and keep your deposit on their books as long as possible to charge you admin fees on your account. In a zirp environment the banks don’t make much money on lending money out. They have replaced those lost revenues with fees. Governments, faced with massive deficits, are using the cashless model to collect on unreported taxable transactions and deter capital flights. I always question why this has suddenly become an issue .

    • Michael Gorback says:

      War on Drugs: Drugs won.

      War on Poverty: Poverty won.

      War on Cash: Place your bets.

      In the Port of Houston it’s well known that commercial sailors wait until they reach port in the US to get paid. They demand payment in freshly printed cash. The money is brought in by armored cars with guards carrying black rifles.

    • Not So Free says:

      Countries are flat broke, actually they are worse than that.
      It’s not just unreported taxables. They can make up any excuse they want to seize your assets.
      It’s like the old saying: If there aren’t enough criminals to punish, just make more things illegal.

    • JMiller says:


      A cashless society would not prevent bank runs. Bank runs can happen just as well by having large numbers of depositors take money out of a bank electronically by transferring it to another financial institution like to another bank, a credit union, a mutual fund company, a brokerage, an insurance company, to a Treasury Direct account etc… In fact most money is moved in and out of the banks electronically. And of course people will still be able go to the bank and close their account and receive a cashier’s check.

      Only capital controls, such as preventing people from closing accounts and limiting the amount one can withdrawal from their account, can stop bank runs.

  22. mushy says:

    Remember Rule 1

    If they want it – then we don’t.

  23. Ambrose Bierce says:

    I am sure they use cash in the EU to dodge sales tax and to buy services under the table. The underground economy in the US is getting bigger every year. In an age of monetary accommodation you have to wonder what’s the purpose of collecting taxes? Just print the money you need to run the government and inflate away the debt with negative interest rates.

    • d says:

      “I am sure they use cash in the EU to dodge sales tax and to buy services under the table. The underground economy in the US is getting bigger every year. In an age of monetary accommodation you have to wonder what’s the purpose of collecting taxes? Just print the money you need to run the government and inflate away the debt with negative interest rates.”

      I think you need to study the Wiemar Republics economy saga this will help you understand the German aversion to money printing and a cash less society.

      Then study china since it started to use paper money. Every one of it civil wars since then “there were many many of them” had is base in excessive money printing.

      Negative interest rates only harm savers, who do not run large ammount son credit. something else you fail to comprehend.

      Take away cash and there will be more barter and use of other things.

      Sales taxes and cashless society’s a only bite the law abiding little people, you seem happy with this.

      • Ambrose Bierce says:

        So repeal all taxes, fund all government spending through monetary means, and pay for that spending by increasing the supply of money and inflating away the costs, (or in the case of crypto currency put a use charge or seignorage) and then do away with cash. No taxes, no cash, government spending conducted through monetary (not fiscal) means, and we never need a budget again.

        • d says:

          You dont understand the core of fiat currency.

          People must use it to pay taxes.

          No taxes, no need to use the states worthless, continually debased fiat.

          Money is a store of wealth, it is useless when it continually devalues, by any means. Although the gold price is radically manipulated up, this is the tenable argument of gold bugs.

        • Ambrose Bierce says:

          Money is NOT a store of wealth, which argues for a digital currency designed for transactions only (which implies a gold standard, a place you park your wealth when you are not using it) all tax systems are inherently unfair, the system now is to penalize savers, and that is a TAX as well, which forces money into unproductive investments, such as stock certificates.

        • d says:

          That Money is ,or is not a modern store of wealth, for a large segment of the population, is an open argument.

          What is not an open argument, is that you can not simply print, and keep on printing fiat endlessly, which you seem to think is the answer.

          Gold at current buying prices is also not a store of wealth. it is a overvalued commodity waiting to implode and it will.

          What the current price does ,is allow miners to exploit labour in low wage countries and operate 5 gram per ton mines at around $900.00 per ton cost at market, when the standard used to be 30 grams plus, per ton mines.

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