Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The War on Cash

Spent $1500 but says if it's good he will come back to buy more.
Is the government / big business trying to get rid of cash? I've come across a couple of articles in the last few days that mentioned the idea, and then this morning I came across this:
An outbreak of small pox, transmitted with a virus planted on bank notes, has swept across the United States – devastating its people, the country's infrastructure, and within just five days, causing the collapse of the US government. - Ben Skipper writing about a new video game on IBT
Sounds like the powers that be have enlisted the video game industry in their nefarious scheme to eliminate cash.

My kids don't carry cash, they use debit cards for everything. I use cash for most small stuff, stuff that is going to get consumed. Does the government / big business really need to know about the box of donuts I bought this morning? Also, I don't want to have to keep track of all my purchases, you know, save the receipts, mark them off against the monthly statement, which is what you are supposed to do, or at least that used to be what you were supposed to do.
    But does it do any good? After years of struggling to keep track of my expenses I find it is more likely that I would lose a receipt than the bank would post a bogus charge against my account. And how would you know if they did? You aren't going to have a receipt for a charge you didn't make, and if it's something ordinary, like gasoline or a cheeseburger, how sure are you going to be that you didn't make that charge?
    So maybe cards are the way to go. Cash is kind of a nuisance, especially change. I stopped in a 7-11 the other day and the penny tray by the cash register was overflowing. Admittedly it was a small tray so there was only about 25 cents in there, but still. Pennies are absolutely more trouble than they are worth. We could probably dispense with coins entirely. Okay, maybe we'd want to hang onto quarters. Four of those can still get you a cup of coffee. Some places. I think.
    Problem is that the black market runs on cash, and the way things are going, the black market is a sizable fraction of the economy. I read something the other day that said Americans spend more money on illicit drugs than they do on gasoline. I'm not sure if I believe that or not.
    If you are driving a car you are probably spending about $100 a month on gasoline. (1000 miles per month times $2 a gallon divided by 20 miles per gallon. YMMV) Somebody with a drug habit could be easily spending that much in a week, and if they are using hard drugs it could be that much a day. Add in the facts* that 
  • doing drugs can impair your judgement about all kinds of things, like whether you should buy another baggie, 
  • there are is a sizable contingent of people with money to spend and nothing better to do, and
  • Vincent Vega was buying dope for personal consumption at $1500 a whack back in 1994,
  • drug money saved banks in global crisis, 
and, yeah, maybe we are spending as much money on dope as we are on gas.

On the flip side, big business / government sound like they are trying to relieve us of this dilemma by simply getting rid of cash:
One of the problems for the powers-that-be is that the black market is not taxed. If they could eliminate cash then all financial transactions would perforce be done through the financial networks where they could be tracked and, more importantly, taxed. Now if drugs were to become legal, then there should be no problem with buying drugs with credit cards. But I suspect what will happen is that the shitheads-in-charge will
  1. eliminate cash,
  2. start taxing all drug transactions, but
  3. still prosecute anyone who has bought or sold illegal drugs. Anyone that is, that they feel like prosecuting.
We are headed straight for hell, and our fearless leaders are leading the charge.

*for some value of 'facts'.

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