America Takes A Step Closer To Becoming A Cashless Society

cashless
Piture: The Guardian

If you order a beer at a Flatstick pub in Seattle, Washington, don’t try to pay with $10 bill — you’ll walk away thirsty. It’s not that the US state of Washington has started charging Scandinavian prices for booze, but that Flatstick, a hot new mini-chain in the Pacific Northwest, does not accept cash. Neither does Bluestone Lane, an east coast coffee chain with locations in New York, Philly and D.C. Patrons there have to pay with plastic or an app called LevelUp.

Cashless commerce is popping up around the country, particularly in restaurants catering to a younger crowd, the kind of university brainwashed millenials who think its cool to make life easy for rip off merchants by relying on contactless cards or smart phone apps to pay. It seems millenials are more likely to leave home without any greenbacks, or even a wallet, and instead choose to live life with a smartphone and a few credit or debit cards attached. Or perhaps due to the abject failure of the education system these dorks haven’t mastered the basic arithmetic needed to use csh transactions.

Businesses who’ve gone cashless rave about the results. Flatstick owner Sam Largent told me plastic-only reduces error rates during times of complex accounting, such as calculating tips when shifts change. I’m not sure why customers should care about that but then in Europe your waiter is not likely to shoot you for tipping too little.

The value of cash transactions sank 7% from 2010 to 2015, according to The Nilson Report, while credit and debit card payments increased by nearly 50%. Meanwhile, ATMs, which had their 50th birthday last year, are disappearing around around the world, signaling the decline of the “cash run.”

Cash-free environments aren’t brand new. Political establishments have been pushing the idea of cashless lives for decades, the better to keeep tabs on the spending habits of individuals. Airlines went cashless a long time ago (for meals and other onboard purchases), and many other businesses are only taking automated payments (it gives them an excuse to fire another human being.) And with the meteoric rise of friend-to-friend payment apps like Venmo, Zelle and Splitwise, we’re no longer throwing $20 bills on the table after a meal (or handing over cash or checks to roommates for the gas bill).

But cash is a long away from dead, and as usual we find governments and mainstream media are deploying fake news to advance their agenda. The US Federal Reserve said in 2016 that 35% of U.S. transactions were still made in cash although 42% of UK transactions are still in cash. Numbers for other European countries, with the Scandinavian countries leading the race to dystopia while the nations of southern and eastern Europe cling to their banknotes.. And the amount of cash being used around the world continues to rise. Plus, there are still many of obstacles to going cashless.

For starters, the estimates suggest that around 7% of the populations of developed nations still do not use banking facilities. In other words, they live an all-cash life, so would be entirely shut out in a cashless society. Some also like the anonymity that comes with paying cash. Others use cash for budgeting reasons (when you’re out of cash, you stop spending – simples).

Still, on a global scale, eliminating cash offers some intriguing possibilities. Merely the elimination of large denomination banknotes, which the EU has done, makes life much harder for large-enterprise criminals, like drug dealers according to technocrats. OK, it’s far more conspicuous to carry around large piles of small bills, but wire transfers between banks in Switzerland and The Cayman Islands present no problems. And if you connect through a VPN the transaction is untraceable. People who claim that if all financial transactions were electronic, hiding crime would become much more difficult are takling bollocks. They either have little understanding of how the internet works (or how much of it is invisible to the World Wide Web,) or they are on the side of the big league criminals and corporate pirates.

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Sweden’s Rebels Against Cashless Society Push: “We Have No Weapon Fight Back…If Putin Invades”

cashless

This omnibus page is about documenting the global elite’s “War On Cash” (yes that is a bit over dramatic and click – baity, but we have to compete for attention,) which is not about making life better for the masses as we are told it is, but about enabling government agencies to increase their ability to extend surveillance of all our activities. One of the topic we have previously looked at several times is the rapid rise of Sweden’s cashless society, where a natuarally conformist mindset among the people has made them all too ready to accept  that cashless was the progressive, liberal way forward and cooperate with the authoritarian left wing  government’s demands for ever greater control over  people’s money and private lives. The myth that digital is safer. combined with the ‘ease-of-use’ narrative has left many stores no longer accepting cash at all  and even sparked anxiety among Swedish authorities  that:

“If this development with cash disappearing happens too fast, it can be difficult to maintain the infrastructure” for handling cash.

Last year, the amount of cash in circulation in Sweden dropped to the lowest level since 1990 and is more than 40 percent below its 2007 peak. The declines in 2016 and 2017 were the biggest on record.

But the pace at which cash is vanishing has authorities worried.

“One may get into a negative spiral which can threaten the cash infrastructure,” Mats Dillen, the head of the parliamentary review, said.

“It’s those types of issues we are looking more closely at.”

Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves has said Sweden should consider forcing banks to provide cash to customers. It seems that a few people at least are waking up to how easy it is for tech – savvy crooks to steal or scam money form inexpert users of online systems. Surprisingly it is the left that are showing most convern, The Guardian reports, a small but growing number of Swedes anxious about their country’s rush to embrace a cash-free society.

While many large western nations have that nagging doubt in the back of their mind that government may not be all-virtuous, naive, gullible, brainwashed  Swedes – until now – have not…

The Swedish government is a rather nice one, we have been lucky enough to have mostly nice ones for the past 100 years,” says Christian Engström, a former MEP for the Pirate Party and an early opponent of the cashless economy.

In other countries there is much more awareness that you cannot trust the government all the time. In Sweden it is hard to get people mobilised.

…but there are signs this might be changing. Following discussions by the country’s central bank, concerns about a cash-free society have emerged into the mainstream, says Björn Eriksson, 72, a former national police commissioner and the leader of a group called the Cash Rebellion, or Kontantupproret.

The Guardian report continues, “until now, Kontantupproret has been dismissed as the voice of the elderly and the technologically backward, Eriksson says.”

“When you have a fully digital system you have no weapon to defend yourself if someone turns it off,” he says.

“If Putin invades Gotland [Sweden’s largest island] it will be enough for him to turn off the payments system. No other country would even think about taking these sorts of risks, they would demand some sort of analogue system.”

In this sense, Sweden is far from its famous concept of lagom – “just the right amount” – but instead is “100% extreme”, Eriksson says, by investing so much faith in the banks.

“This is a political question. We are leaving these decisions to four major banks who form a monopoly in Sweden.”

The best case scenario is that we are not as secure as we think, Mattias Skarec, 29, a digital security consultant, says – the worst is that IT infrastructure is systemically vulnerable.

“We are lucky that the people who know how to hack into them are on the good side, for now,” he says. “But we don’t know how things will progress. It’s not that easy to attack devices today, but maybe it will become easier to do so in the future.”

The Pirate Party – which made its name in Sweden for its opposition to state and private sector surveillance – welcomes a higher political profile for these issues, according to The Guardian. Look at Ireland, Christian Engström says, where abortion is illegal. It is much easier for authorities to identify Irish women who have had an abortion if the state can track all digital financial transactions, he says. And while Sweden’s government might be relatively benign, a quick look at Europe suggests there is no guarantee how things might develop in the future.

“If you have control of the servers belonging to Visa or MasterCard, you have control of Sweden,” Engström says.

“In the meantime, we will have to keep giving our money to the banks, and hope they don’t go bankrupt – or bananas.”

Bananas indeed. And there you have our reasons for having always opposed the idea that cashless is the way forward. Like most ‘progressive’ ideas the policy is politically motivated and has the aim of curtailing individual freedom and extending government control. Consider this: a few years ago, with Quantitative Easing (QE) having failed to lift the western economies out of the doldrums following the 2008 crisis, bankers, politicians and economists seriously discussed the idea of levying a charge on savings and deposits held by banks for individuals.

The result, in those nations most at risk, was a rush to withdraw savings. It was after that exercise the push to go cashless intensified. Why? Simples: if the banks hold all your wealth in digital form, you can’t withdraw it and stash it under the floorboards, in the mattress or buy jewellery and valuables to protect your wealth.

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Unfortunately while the banks and technology giants have been ironing out problems with contactless payment technology (like its habit of doing your good deed for the day by paying for other people’s stuff), the crooks have been forging ahead with non-accidental ways to rip off your card. Thieves can easily steal key data from contactless credit and debit cards using equipment bought “easily and cheaply” online, consumers magazine Which? has warned UK consumers.

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Ending the Ownership of Money

It must be common knowledge by now that some of the world’s most economically powerful nations are insolvent due to the burden of sovereign debt. These economies are held together through by the faith of citizens and businesses in the currency. If that faith evaporates, the leading economies will crash as voters realise the only thing underwriting the economy is debt.

While lefties, tech – heads and science – heads might get upset, people who live in the real world should consider the implications of this for privacy (a human right) and self determination (another human right). Funny how those who screech loudest about human rights are only interested in the rights of minorities and terrorists,

Read more on how the withdrawal of cash will affect you in our Cashless Society omnibus page …

Ending the Ownership of Money

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Banning Cash Will Stop Terrorism (and end war, poverty, disease and bad smells)

gates pushing cashless society
 
If Bill Gates, the man who made ‘not fit for purpose’ acceptable quality for sale is in favour of a cashless society, you know it has to be good for government and big business and very bad for me and you
(Image source)

If bureaucrats understood how easily We The People saw through their schemes they’d …….. well they would not behave any differently because they are too stupid to change.

It was just a matter of time before the ever predictable Western governments used the trumped up “War on Terror” as an excuse to drastically ratchet up the very real war on the use of cash, and on the basic human right of personal privacy currently being waged against the citizens and taxpayers of the so – called democracies.

Quick to exploit public anxiety in the wake of attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket, France is on the way to being first to abolish free speech.

And the most overtly socialist government in the EU or Anglosphere is showing that it has much in common with those ‘progressive liberal’ regimes headed by Joe Stalin, Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot and every other socialist leader in its efforts to set up a system resembling the Big Brother regime of George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’. France’s socialist government is next planning to ban the use of cash. A series of measures that will be implemented from September 2015 will make french citizens lives more secure by enabling government bean counters to track every bus ride, every glass of wine or cup of coffee, newspaper or they pay for. (OK, I’m exaggerating a bit but that’s the direction the control freaks are moving in)

The other leading fascist regime in the free world is not far behind. Washington Propaganda no suggests that only 7 per cent of transactions in the USA involve cash and that the use of cash is now regarded a suspicious activity.

It seems the terrorists involved in the recent Paris attacks and elsewhere partially financed these attacks by paying cash for stuff. (They also used credit and debit cards and paid by cheque but forget that, it’s the cash transactions that are dangerous because control freak governments cannot track them.) Ahab the Arab went into a KFC and we don’t know what he bought because he paid cash, what a huge threat to democracy.

Yes, now we know the terrorists knew how to use cash, it’s clear they may have used CASH to purchase some of the stuff they needed to carry out their attacks.

And because there is no audit trail that the banning of cash and forcing people to use plastic would provide in future incidents, the authorities were not able to use their ‘minority report’ style software that predicts criminal behaviour to arrest these guys before they committed a crime and thus save lives. Paying cash for stuff you see, is a clear indicator that people are planning to commit crimes.

If you are not planning to do something wrong, you have nothing to fear.

No doubt the murderers who carry out terrorist attacks are also shod and clothed, use cell phones, broadband lines, cars, and public sidewalks during the planning and execution of their mayhem.

Why not ban the use of all? A naked , barefoot terrorist without transport communications is surely less effective than a fully clothed and equipped one.

Defend your personal liberty, pay in cash.

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Online Ads Screwing You? I Told You So.

In a post called Cashless Society a few days ago I explained how the pressure from government and banking corporations to push us all into doing our banking and most of our business online, thus creating a cashless society in which even the most trivial transaction (using a public toilet for example) leaves a digital audit trail so there is a complete record of everything you do.

In that article I warned of the lack of security in digital technologies, the amount of hogwash involved in things the the https socket which is supposed to provide complete security (and without giving details I described how cyber crooks (who are not interested in you specifically, only your money) would grab your account details and passwords before it reached the https encryption process) and described how the cashless society would leave you without cash as fraudsters emptied your accounts and maxed out your credit. Cashless Society, Cashless People

Now I get to say once again, I told you so: Yahoo admit online adverts spread malware

Sometime last year I wrote an article about a new breed of television that will not only report what you are watching to online databases but will be equipped with concealed cameras and microphones to spy on you in your home (They have their spied in your TV now).

Never trust technology, always check that you know exactly what it can do and who can control those functions. Machines are not evil, they are inanimate, it’s the people who sell them that are shits.

gates-evil
Picture: The Demon Gates; Source: angrywhitedude.com

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Elsewhere: [Boggart Blog]…[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [ Tumblr ] … [Ian at Minds ] … [ The Original Boggart Blog] … [ Authorsden blog ]