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Feb 08 2016

The War On Cash

If you’re like me, 98% of your transactions take place in cash. Why? Because it’s anonymous.

But our Security State Governments think that’s a flaw, not a feature, and if they had their way they’d track every pack of gum by forcing you to use electronic transfers that expose you both to surveillance and to identity theft.

In Germany cash is still the preferred medium of exchange, as much due to cultural reasons as anything else, but it does mean that 79% of all transactions can’t be monitored.

So they want to change that by making it illegal to make purchases over 5,000 Euros except electronically. This is not very popular.

German plan to impose limit on cash transactions met with fierce resistance
by Philip Oltermann, The Guardian
Monday 8 February 2016 08.23 EST

Proposals to ban cash payments of more than €5,000 (£3,860) to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism were revealed by the German finance ministry last week. They face opposition from a broad alliance of political parties as well as the country’s bestselling newspaper.

The Bild published an open letter on Monday entitled “hands off our cash”, which, in keeping with the analogue theme, it encourages readers to sign, cut out and post to the finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble.

Political groups ranging from the Green party to the liberal Free Democrats to rightwing Alternative für Deutschland have condemned the proposed measures, which also include a ban on €500 notes, as an attack on data protection and privacy.

“Cash allows us to remain anonymous during day-to-day transactions. In a constitutional democracy, that is a freedom that has to be defended,” tweeted the Green MP Konstantin von Notz

The head of Germany’s central bank, Jens Weidmann, has distanced himself from the government’s proposals, telling Bild: “It would be fatal if citizens got the impression that cash is being gradually taken away from them.”

Whether a limit on cash transactions would be an effective weapon in the fight against the illegal market remains open to debate. The economist Friedrich Schneider of Linz University told Die Zeit newspaper that even a ban on cash transactions would reduce illegal labour by only 2-3%.

The reason bans like this are so utterly ineffective is that any agreed on commodity can be used as a medium of exchange. It doesn’t even have to be real, like BitCoin or Frozen Orange Juice Futures. The reason they’re not is the same as why many people like plastic or cell phone payments, convenience.

Sometimes a trifling inconvenience is a small price to pay for freedom.

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