The Economic Collapse Blog
Monday, August 30, 2010
Are we witnessing the slow but certain death of cash in this generation? Is a truly cashless society on the horizon? Legislation currently pending in the Mexican legislature would ban a vast array of large cash transactions, but the truth is that Mexico is far from alone in trying to restrict cash. All over the world, governments are either placing stringent reporting requirements on large cash transactions or they are banning them altogether. We are being told that such measures are needed to battle illegal drug traffic, to catch tax evaders and to fight the war on terror. But are we rapidly getting to the point where we will have no financial privacy left whatsoever? Should we just accept that we have entered a time when the government will watch, track and trace all financial transactions? Is it inevitable that at some point in the near future ALL transactions will go through the banking system in one form or another (check, credit card, debit card, etc.)?
The truth is that we now live at a time when people who use large amounts of cash are looked upon with suspicion. In fact, authorities in many countries are taught that anyone involved in a large expenditure of cash is trying to hide something and is probably a criminal.
And yes, a lot of criminals do use cash, but millions upon millions of normal, law-abiding citizens simply prefer to use cash as well. Should we take the freedom to use cash away from the rest of us just because a small minority abuses it?
Unfortunately, the freedom to use cash is being slowly stripped away from us in an increasingly large number of countries.
In fact, as countries like Mexico "tighten the noose" around big-ticket cash purchases, our freedom to use cash is going to erode rather rapidly.
The following is a summary of some of the very tight restrictions being placed on large cash transactions around the globe right now....
In Mexico, a bill before the legislature would completely ban the purchase of real estate in cash. In addition, the new law would ban anyone from spending more than MXN 100,000 (about $7,700) in cash on vehicles, boats, airplanes and luxury goods.
$7,700 is not a very high limit, and this legislation has some real teeth to it. Anyone violating this law would face up to 15 years in prison.