George Orwell once wrote “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
Not exactly a cheery thought, and one I don’t agree with.
While the forces pushing for centralization of power have been prevailing for decades, they haven’t won a total victory yet. Technologies that empower the individual and that tend toward decentralization—including the Internet, encryption, 3D printing, and cryptocurrencies—offer a powerful ray of hope, reasons to be optimistic about the future.
So the tug of war between the collectivists and the rest of us continues.
One thing that would tip the scales heavily in favor of the collectivists would be victory in the War on Cash. Their goal is to eliminate the use of hand-to-hand currency, so that governments can document, control, and tax everything.
It’s exactly like what Ron Paul said: “The cashless society is the IRS’s dream: total knowledge of, and control over, the finances of every single American.”
One way they are waging the War on Cash is to lower the threshold at which reporting a cash transaction is mandatory or at which paying in cash is simply illegal. In just the last few years…
- Italy made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal;
- Switzerland has proposed banning cash payments in excess of 100,000 francs;
- Russia banned cash transactions over $10,000;
- Spain banned cash transactions over €2,500;
- Mexico made cash payments of more than 200,000 pesos illegal;
- Uruguay banned cash transactions over $5,000; and
- France made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal, down from the previous limit of €3,000.
I recently spoke about this with Dr. Joe Salerno, an Austrian economist with the Mises Institute. Joe is the best chronicler of the global War on Cash and is here to offer an Austrian rebuttal to the economic nonsense peddled by advocates of this war.
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