Cash and Consequences

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One fine Saturday morning you go shopping and buy a TV, a PC, and other household appliances. Though the bill comes to around $13,000, you pay with cash, having had a recent influx of the green stuff. The next day, the police knock on your door. You immediately fear for your older relatives, thinking this may be bad news.

It is bad news. For you.

The police say they have a warrant to search your house, and proceed to ransack it. You ask why, and they tell you that your large cash purchase was “suspicious” of criminal activity.

They are not interested in your protests . . . until after they had done a lot of damage.

This didn’t happen to you — at least, I hope it didn’t. It happened to Jarl Syvertsen, a 59-year-old Norwegian man. In this case, it turned out that the police didn’t have a warrant at the time of the search. They’d lied. And Mr. Syvertsen notes that, had the police waited till Monday, when the banks were open, the whole issue could have been resolved with a phone call.

You see, Mr. Syvertsen had just received an advance on an inheritance. Quite above-board.

Economist Joseph Salerno relates this story to the “global war on cash,” undertaken to counter drug trafficking, which in turn has eroded civil liberties and privacy.

Some of my friends think that real Americans carry guns. If you want a truer and bluer (or greener) expression of your freedom and opposition to big government — and in general avoid spies in the NSA and elsewhere — there may be no better way than to pay cash.

But guns may be involved, later.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jul
    16
    12:11
    PM
    Paulina West

    From link: “In fact, for three of the four major Swedish banks combined, 530 of their 780 office no longer accept or pay out cash. In the case of the Nordea Bank, 200 of its 300 branches are now cashless, and three-quarters of Swedbank’s branches no longer handle cash. As Peter Borsos, a spokesman for Swedbank, freely admits, his bank is working “actively to reduce the [amount] of cash in society.” The reasons for this push toward a cashless society, of course, have nothing to do with pumping up earnings from bank card fees or, more important, freeing fractional-reserve banks from the constraints of bank runs. No, according to Borsos, the reasons are the environment, cost, and security: ”We ourselves emit 700 tons of carbon dioxide by cash transport. It costs society 11 billion per year. And cash helps robberies everywhere.” Hans Jacobson, head of Nordea Bank, argues similarly: “Our mission is to make people understand the point of cards, cards are more secure than cash.” ”

    Carbon dioxide is a harmless trace gas in the atmosphere. It can only be made harmful in the Global Circulation Models by casting water vapor as a feedback of the increased co2. It is simple to see that water vapor is the only important greenhouse gas if you think of the sudden drops of temp in the Sahara Desert at night to freezing; but where there is vegetation and cloud cover, warmth is retained at night because of water vapor and clouds.

    “Global avg” temps have remained flat for 17 years, while co2 has increased because of volcanic activity mainly, and some input from power production and transportation. None of the models predicted this and are worthless for projections or policy. Co2 tax in reality is a world tax that is levied for the UN (see Australia).

    I would begin to concern myself not with drug trafficking, but with the fact that the technology and political will is now in place with supercomputers and biochips to make it impossible to buy or sell anything without participation in this World Empire. This will not bring “world peace” because “unification” has always historically led to great bloodshed, and destroying our economies will not “save the planet.” Please take time to think about the times we are in, and think about life after this too once in a while. That is also common sense, while we work to preserve individual liberty for our children.

  2. Jul
    16
    7:27
    PM
    Pat

    What better way to make sure all tips are reported than to force us all to go cashless. I leave cash whenever I can, especially in hotels and small restaurants. Meanwhile fat cats get better tax treatment on income derived from ‘investments’ than the rest of us get from our own ‘investments’ derived from ‘wages’.

  3. Jul
    19
    10:49
    AM
    MoreFreedom

    To Pat

    Keep in mind that investments are made with income in which taxes are already paid. You too can save and invest and take advantage of lower tax rates on your income from investments as well.

    There’s a good case to be made that taxes on investments should be 0. It would lead to a lot more money being invested in businesses and jobs here in the USA because owners of capital will invest where ever the opportunities are. And government locales that tax less have an advantage in attracting the investment.

    In reality, there is no fair way to fund government, simply because the money is taken by force. Whatever is taxed, will result is less of that being produced. If government taxes income, people will arrange their affairs to minimize income. If government taxes land, land will become worth less. If government taxes investments, fewer will save and invest. If government taxes businesses, they’ll move to lower tax jurisdictions or lose out to companies that are already there, and possibly go out of business.

    This is why it’s important to limit government to resolving disputes and protecting us from criminals and foreign enemies, not to take from some, and give to others.

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