Wolf Richter writes
In Denmark, a new law was proposed that would allow shops to refuse cash payments. Officially, it’s to reduce the “administrative and financial burdens” of handling cash. Since it’s up to the shop to decide, the law sounds innocuous. But it would be another step to making money a purely electronic entity that can be seamlessly tracked anywhere. It would also be another step in granting the central bank the absolute power to inflict confiscatory monetary policies on any entity or person with money in the bank.
Lars Feld argues in the Frankfurter Allgemeine with a nod to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s famous quote, “Money is coined freedom.” Feld put it this way: “Cash is coined freedom.”
Feld also criticized those who argue for a similar law in Germany for having “apparently neglected the constitutional aspects of this proposal.” Not that they couldn’t be ruled away by the courts, but for now, the constitution – and not only in Germany – would still be a roadblock.
And there was another problem: Cash enables individual citizens to “escape the reach of the state” when their intentions are not legitimate, including moonlighting, which has the illegal dimension of tax evasion, he said. “But moonlighting is often for those affected the only chance to earn a livelihood at all.”
So deprive them even of that?
Cash is one of the few ways to escape for a tiny moment the powerful octopus arms of our seamless, borderless surveillance society. And it is one of the last, if feeble, checks on the absolute power of central banks. And it represents an aspect of “freedom,” as Feld put it. Hence the by now overt war on cash. Cash simply must cease to exist.