“And the banks–hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created–are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) 2009
Could anyone actually miss that the United States is in a presidential election cycle? I don’t think so. As November draws closer, the election of a new president consumes more of the news and more our conscious awareness. People protest, and are concerned about how the next president, his/her ideas and power, will affect the course of history.
Yet, all the while, the true monopolistic power thrives behind the throne, unnoticed and un-protested. The banking industry acts as if it is but a humble service industry (financial services industry), while actually the master system of all American systems, political, educational, environmental, agricultural, health, and legal. It hopes you never peak behind the curtain to discover who really pulls the strings.
In 2009, I wrote about the Use-Cash Movement in the United States founded by small-business owner Chaz Valenza. However now, with “swiping” to pay for most everything, using cash shifts increasingly to an “old school” approach. What’s more, as we speak, banks are exploring ways to end cash use altogether. A May 2, 2016 Bloomberg article, Inside the Secret Meeting Where Wall Street Tested Digital Cash, reveals a new development in moving towards a cashless society. So why all the secrecy?
“On a recent Monday in April, more than 100 executives from some of the world’s largest financial institutions gathered for a private meeting at the Times Square office of Nasdaq Inc. They weren’t there to just talk about blockchain, the new technology some predict will transform finance, but to build and experiment with the software.”
The event, put on by a San Francisco company, Chain, is one of many start-up software companies determined to digitally transform the monetary system. Their spin? Cash transactions take precious time to process while digital transactions are instant. And in a world where credit access has conditioned the consumer mind to expect instant gratification, a digital monetary system appears to be a likely next step.
But…but….but… What about choice? What about the personal privacy cash provides? Fugetabout it! Just more old-school silliness, right?
I like to share the Barnum and Bailey Circus analogy: If you want popcorn while under the “big top” and it costs $15.00, you have no choice but to pay the price. The banking industry, also, has become the only game in town; those who own the gold make the rules and so rule the world, including, in my opinion, the President of the United States.
However the same voluminous intensity of emotions, protests and assertions over potential presidents is nowhere to be found. For some reason most people simply go along, are not paying attention, are too incredulous to do their own research, or only mention the sacrilege of a ruling monetary system in hushed tones. This may never change but just in case; here are some of personal benefits of keeping cash alive.
• Transaction privacy
• Personal choice
• No bank interest charges (overdraft, credit cards, loans, lines of credit, etc.)
• Possible 5% vendor discount upon request
• Fiscal responsibility that credit use has destroyed
• Ending the instant gratification mindset credit use has encouraged
• More time when you don’t have to work faster/longer to keep up with debt
Though using cash is just one small response to a behemoth debt-based and often predatory banking industry, the personal benefits alone, including greater peace of mind, make it worth the effort. Imagine: We no longer made purchases we don’t need, with money we do not have to impress people who do not really care about us.
If more people were willing to make a habit of using cash despite the convenience of digital transactions, we not only could strengthen our own money-management skills towards building real wealth, but also send a message to those who own the gold.
“Any system which gives so much power and so much discretion to a few men, (so) that mistakes – excusable or not – can have such far reaching effects, is a bad system. It is a bad system to believers in freedom just because it gives a few men such power without any effective check by the body politic – this is the key political argument against an independent central bank… To paraphrase Clemenceau: money is much too serious a matter to be left to the Central Bankers.” Milton Friedman, American Nobel-Prize-winning economist, 1912-2006