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Buying the Lie: Cash is Dead September 2, 2010

Posted by scmla in Original Article.
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Buying the Lie: Cash is Dead
SoCal Martial Law Alerts
September 2, 2010

Get used to the idea: Cash is dead.

And if you don’t believe it, just ask such cashless giants as PayPal, MasterCard and Visa. At the very least, they are working overtime with slick propaganda to make us think so.

Currently on Maestro’s website (“Maestro” is the name of MasterCard’s UK-based debit card) is a slide show where you can see the following pithy slogans flash past:

DON’T SHOW ME THE MONEY.

LEAVE CASH ON THE SHELF.

MONEY WITHOUT THE HEADACHE.

BURGER & FRIES WITHOUT ALL THE POUNDS.

Billing their card as “The New Cash,” Maestro’s FAQ page explains that:

“Your Maestro card is linked to your bank account, and the amount of your purchases is deducted directly from that account.”

Just like a debit card. But with the subtle implication being that all digital dollars are “the new cash.” And you want to be trendy, don’t you?

According to Corvida Raven, a “SheGeek” who attended PayPal’s Innovate 09 developer conference:

“There was a very interesting theme that PayPal presented to attendees: cash is dead. Not really, but PayPal seems to think that cash is overrated and inefficient. At the end of the day, digital dollars should rule the world.”

Echoing this idea, Becta, a UK-based technology, news and analysis service, made the following predictions in a March 2010 report:

“Cash is expensive to handle and cheques are due to be phased out in the UK in 2018.”

“Not only are cheques due to be phased out, but cash is considered by some likely to follow soon after …. The latest developments in mobile technology could support a movement towards the cashless society.”

On a much tighter timeline, a 2007 article titled Cashless society by 2012 has Peter Ayliffe, CEO of VISA Europe, saying that:

“Paying for goods with notes and coins could be consigned to history within five years.”

From the information presented, you may have noticed that, up until now, there has been a much more overt push toward cashless technology in Europe than there has been here? That might be because there are a large number of Christians in America who get nervous whenever they hear about payment systems involving chips, numbers and fingerprints:

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” — Revelation 13:16 – 18, King James Bible

And since Christians believe that anyone who receives this mark / name / number is eternally doomed, there is ample motivation for Christian consumers to resist any payment technology that appears to be headed down the road in that direction.

The downside for us here is that, while the rest of the world enjoys and fully implements their cashless payment toys and applications, we still suffer under the illusion that it could never happen here. Indeed, most Americans still think we’re in a mild economic downturn from which we might actually recover.

While we were sleeping, PayPal put out the call for software developers to come up with a gaggle of nifty, sci-fi payment technologies:

Take especial note of the young man paying for his movie tickets with his right thumb. (And all you conspiracy theorists: Pay no attention to that capstone-less pyramid in the background — it’s a coinkydink!)

Notice, too, that the young man left his thumbprint behind on the glass after making his PayPal payment. When asked by World Net Daily about using fingerprints as a form of identification, privacy advocate, Katherine Albrecht, countered:

“Why would you pick something [for security purposes] that you leave everywhere?”

“We’re extremely opposed to it. Of all forms of security, fingerprints are perhaps the least secure.”

As proven by Japanese researcher, Tsutomu Matsumoto, fingerprints can easily be filched, faked and forged. So who in their right mind would ever use them?! Even security guru, Bruce Schneier, Chief Security Technology Officer for BT, conceded:

“The results are enough to scrap the systems completely, and to send the various fingerprint biometric companies packing.”

And get a load of Schneier’s other arguments against the use of biometrics as identification:

Biometrics are unique identifiers, but they are not secrets.” [emphasis added]

“Biometrics are lousy because they are so easy to forge: it’s easy to steal a biometric after the measurement is taken.”

“Once someone steals your biometric, it remains stolen for life; there’s no getting back to a secure situation.”

“Just as you should never use the same password on two different systems, the same encryption key should not be used for two different applications. If my fingerprint is used to start my car, unlock my medical records, and read my email, then it’s not hard to imagine some very bad situations arising.”

Telling it like it is, security expert and Senior Editor of CSO Online, Scott Berinato, explains the simple truth about why cash is king:

“An inconvenient truth for card issuers and merchants is that cash is a lot safer for consumers. It’s anonymous and secure; it’s impervious to power outages and network outages and clerical or computer errors which require hours on service calls to reconcile. Cash is also privacy-friendly, allowing the consumer to complete a transaction at its face value without paying the tax of ceding personal information and exposing oneself to the identity theft pandemic.”

And yet, despite the all the glaringly-obvious problems, the cashless control grid is coming at us like a freight train and biometrics are being aggressively touted as the answer to it all.

Considering the engineered economic collapse that we are currently enduring (which makes a great excuse to implement such an unpopular solution as the cashless society) and the precious few people who are even aware that a collapse is happening, it’s not unreasonable to foresee a near future in which Americans wake up to find their (fiat) dollar gone and a new digital financial system already clamped down around them.

Couple that with the government’s unconscionable emphasis on “domestic terrorism,” it’s also not unreasonable to imagine that Americans might one day be required to swear an oath of allegiance in order to participate in the new financial system.

Make no mistake: This is mark-of-the-beast territory. If cash dies, then digital tyranny will result.

Knowing what we know about the economy and the precarious times ahead, there’s really not much excuse to keep on bowing to banker usary. Chaz Valenza, founder and advocate for the Use Cash Movement, makes the argument that:

“Credit card use, rewards or no rewards, costs an average American family, paying with credit cards or not, between $427 to $600 per year. At $500 a year that’s $59 billion dollars in revenues to Big Banking.”

Valenza also argues persuasively for the efficacy of a credit-card boycott at the grassroots level:

“If a profit center’s annual revenue is $59 billion and their marketing budget is $7 billion, which it is, and it follows that overhead and variable costs are probably 50-60% of sales, it doesn’t take much to destroy their profits. Rough guess: less than $10 billion.”

In her essay, Powerful Reasons to Use Cash, alternative financial consultant, Susan Boskey, details some of the benefits to be reaped from daring to fight the predatory banking system by using cash:

“When we use cash we can:

  • Deprive the banks the opportunity to make money from charging us interest.
  • Deprive the banks from using our deposits.
  • Deprive the banks of service and overdraft charges.
  • Ask for 5% vendor discounts for paying with cash.
  • Send an effective message of dissent and dissatisfaction.
  • End the taboo about talking about our finances and network with others to gain new strategies.
  • Use it as an opportunity to get more educated about money and wealth.
  • Learn fiscal self-discipline.
  • Stop a fantasy-mindset about money.
  • Gain greater peace of mind.
  • Stop going into debt.
  • Pay as we go.
  • Learn to live within our means.”

Or, as Spychips author, Katherine Albrecht, likes to say:

“Cash: use it or lose it.”

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