The Great Recession Blog
by David Haggith
Many people are warming up to the idea of digital currency in a cashless society due to coronavirus because going touch free is cleaner than cash. Many businesses are already moving to make digital currency the only form of transaction they will engage in so their customers and their employees feel safe.
In fact, cash has become so dirty that some businesses that remained open in limited ways under the coronavirus lockdown are already turning away customers who have only cash to tender. “Touch free” means virus-free.
Touch-free Cashless safety is being bought at the cost of liberty
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Humans, unless they are of the heroic mold — like the forefathers of the United States of America — will embrace almost anything to save themselves. Given a serious crisis, many will trade away freedoms that were once valued as priceless, though braver folk gave up their lives to attain such liberty for all.
We saw how easily that happened after 9/11 when then President George Bush turned the NSA into the world’s biggest black box to house acres of super computers to store all cell-phone calls and all data communications moving across the internet in the name of national security — literally the National Security Agency.
No one tried to stop him from spreading the NSA’s data collection web into every corner of the internet and telephony. Almost no one even blinked at the thought until Edward Snowden brought it back to light. (It was public knowledge long before Snowden spoke out). Even after Snowden, most do not care. The practice continues.
The FISA warrant system was supposed to protect citizens from government access to those harvested communications (and other data) without a warrant. We now know that warrant system was incapable of even protecting a future president from privacy intrusion.
Still, almost no one cares. The practice continues even with the person who was eavesdropped being the president in power who actually can do something to stop it … but hasn’t … other than just to rail against it by saying, “This should not happen to anyone in Amerika.”
So, do not fool yourself into thinking the masses will not trade away some more of their constitutional rights to privacy and security for a little restored safety from a plague-like virus. Already, citizens are ratting out their neighbors to law enforcement when they see people who dare to think they still have the constitutional right to peaceably and publicly assemble.
Nothing has divided and conquered like the coronavirus (or our global governments’ responses to it). People are now the enemy. All people. Stand back. Don’t touch, except maybe with a ten-foot pole, since that exceeds minimal social-distancing requirements.
Neighborhood linch mobs are already making sure neighborhoods are safe from the uninfected who cannot prove they are uninfected yet who are roaming around and gathering freely without masks, taking liberties that no decent member of society would do in today’s COVID world. You are infected until proven innocent.
Many seem willing to believe there is an invisible medical clause in the constitution that says certain constitutional human rights can be suspended during a public health crisis — such as your right to publicly assemble in order to protest a lockdown that doesn’t allow you to publicly assemble! Apparently, that was only meant as a fair-weather right.
Divided and conquered and turned against each other in fear in this fashion, government’s can hope you will not gather to learn what is happening or protest the plans they are forming for limited reunification. Content is being pulled off the web if it doesn’t agree with WHO or the CDC.
While the US government cannot do that, it has enlisted private corporations that own our major communications portals to do it on the basis that they can because they own the portal. They don’t seem to be resisting the oppressive power of government, as you’ll be able to see in a video at the end of this article.
(Hence, Bill Gates’ new plan to mandate implanted digital ID as proof of viral immunity before you can attend public gatherings … or is it just to use viral fear as a way of mandating implanted digital ID for everyone so that you, too, can operate under a Microsoft licensing agreement?)
These same people who are ratting out their neighbor’s picnic will demand digital currency so they don’t have to touch your dirty money either, or they will have nothing to do with you. Going “touch free” is already happening.
We are being taught by government authorities to never shake hands again. Even Trump, infamous for his power-grab handshake — has said it would be a good thing if that prevails beyond the immediate crisis.
People are the enemy. Not just some people — all people. Avoid contact. Divide and conquer.
MMT has arrived, digital currency is next
In my last Patron Post, I described how Modern Monetary Theory arrived on a helicopter to swoop in almost without discussion as the new established economic system of the United States. Coronavirus prepared a road for MMT’s immediate introduction and silent acceptance.
(MMT is where the government creates as much money as it needs to fund anything it wants to do by issuing debt, and the central banks funds all of it. “Helicopter money” is where that money is given to citizens everywhere like cash being thrown out of a helicopter over a city.)
The federal government started doling out limited guaranteed income (“stimulus checks”) as free money to people the government forced to stop working, while the Federal Reserve is creating that money for the government dole out of nothing but caverns of debt. Talk now is of increasing the amount from $1,200 of free money per taxpayer to $2,000.
MMT was immediately accepted because who is going to turn down free money?
Nancy Pelosi has, since, moved from this first step more solidly in the direction of helicopter money by saying that, because of the coronacrisis, it may be time to talk about establishing universal basic income (MMT on steroids) as part of our permanent economic system, and not just as emergency relief. (It didn’t take long to start sliding down that slippery slope.)
Let’s see what works, what is operational and what needs attention…Others have suggested a minimum income, a guaranteed income for people. Is that worthy of attention now? Perhaps so.
So, the coronacrisis primed the pump for making MMT the new US longterm fiscal/economic policy. Those plans are supposedly not big enough to save us all from the coronacrisis, so something much larger and more insidious is already in the works. That is a move to a central bank digital currency to turn us into a cashless society.
Central banks around the world are already at Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) or negative (NIRP), so more of that isn’t going to accomplish much. As pointed out in previous Patron Posts, members of the Fed have said they’re not interested in NIRP as a policy goal (though ZIRP is already pressuring some bonds into negative territory), but the Fed has already started down the MMT path with the greatest money creation in the history of the nation and in the history of global currencies.
Full steam ahead for Fed and country. That was easy, what comes next? I’ll show in my next Patron Post how central bank digital currency is already shaping up under the coronacrisis. (Those posts are available as a thank-you to patrons of this website who pledge, at least, $5 a month support.)
Right now, I want to show all readers how ready the public is to embrace going to digital currency as easily as it embraced without a thought or any public discussion (outside of congress) …
- Modern Monetary Theory,
- helicopter money for the masses,
- bailouts of massive corporations everywhere,
- government recordings of all phone calls,
- government storage of all emails and other internet traffic,
- global quarantine without any discussion of constitutional rights to assemble in public or freely practice religion.
It’s all happening so quickly. Most of those things rapidly evolved into permanent policy with little or no public discussion, much less any public outcry. The coronacrisis is virtually guaranteeing the worst is yet to come … this year. We’re going cashless.
Anecdotal evidence of how easily people will embrace digital ID and digital currency
The US has become a nation of snowflakes who have shown will readily sacrifice constitutionally free speech just to make nice and feel secure and unthreatened, yet then be all-out mean in attacking anyone who, in acting as if they had a right to free speech, caused offense in order to get that person fired for not following the be-nice code.
People will give up their constitutional right to privacy to feel more secure, too, and they are already doing it.
Cameron Karosis usually strives to protect his personal information. But a scary bout of COVID-19 that began last month with headaches and fevers, progressed to breathing problems and led to a hospital visit has now left him eager to disclose as much as possible to help halt the virus’ spread….
Karosis has already shared personal details with Massachusetts health investigators. And if he was asked to comply with a disease-tracking phone app that monitored his whereabouts but didn’t publicly reveal his name and Cambridge street address, he said he’d do that, too.
“I’m sick and I’m under a quarantine — hold me accountable for it,” the 27-year-old software salesman said.
As countries around the world edge toward ending lockdowns and restarting their economies and societies, citizens are being more closely monitored, in nations rich and poor, authoritarian and free.
New systems to track who is infected and who isn’t, and where they’ve been, have been created or extended in China, South Korea and Singapore. And a range of other surveillance systems – some utilizing GPS location data, some gathering medical data – have been debated or piloted in Israel, Germany, the U.K., Italy and elsewhere….
Trackable coronavirus apps, digital ID and digital cash go hand in hand. Digital cash is the last step, but its already primary in many nations.
In China, you look awkward and backward if you use cash. Even homeless people aren’t so backward as to touch old-fashion cash. See how prescient the following 2017 newscast was in saying the US would go cashless like China in 2020:
Freedom is usually lost incrementally. If people will so readily give up a little of their privacy to be tracked to keep the world safe from COVID-19, even when they’ve never known anyone who actually died from it, they will readily give up the privacy (and, more importantly, the autonomy) that comes with real cash over digital currency. They’ll trust that their governments won’t abuse the system … like they never abused FISA warrants.
Democratic governments are already occupying the surrendered ground:
In South Korea, investigators scan smartphone data to find within 10 minutes people who might have caught the coronavirus from someone they met. Israel has tapped its Shin Bet intelligence unit, usually focused on terrorism, to track down potential coronavirus patients through telecom data. One U.K. police force uses drones to monitor public areas, shaming residents who go out for a stroll.
The increments are happening so quickly now — because there has been so little resistance so far — that it looks more like a landslide of falling rights. Digital coronavirus tracking, digital ID and digital currency are all falling into place together … this year.
Here are more links to YouTube videos that show the plethora of nations that are already moving cashless if you want to check them out: (Even parts of Africa plan to rid themselves completely of paper currency or hard cash by 2022.)
“Touch free” and “cashless” are the new hot words in US retail, but the US is just playing catch-up to global commerce. Even Africa probably thinks the US is backward. With the push of coronavirus, this will be the year the US starts to seriously catch up.
As US society reopens with businesses ready for the new touch free world, get ready to re-enter a world where cash is dirty. You’re favorite restaurant may work like this when it reopens:
People demand touch-free digital shopping to feel protected from the coronavirus
Amazon Go stores, delivery drones and contactless terminals will play a big role for consumers. Burger King has started airing ads about making its drive-thrus contactless for both payments and pickups. Publix, the Florida-based grocery chain, this month said it completed its rollout of tap-to-pay registers at its more than 1,200 locations across the Southeast. And Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, late last month said it will provide no-contact pickup, delivery and in-store checkout.
There are many uncertainties about how the coronavirus will impact people’s health, their jobs and the economy, but some consumer trends have already become so obvious that they suggest a long-lasting shift in people’s behavior when the COVID-19 crisis finally departs. One of them is the move toward contactless transactions….
Now retailers that remain open are scrambling to respond to this new consumer need. When thousands of other merchants reopen following the pandemic, they will have to reevaluate how they operate their stores to coax shoppers back. Where backers once pitched contactless technologies for their convenience, retailers will give them new consideration for their health and safety benefits….
“This is a huge event in the world, people are going to change their behaviors and a lot of things that have struggled for adoption will get a new push….”
As the federal and state governments start to discuss what reopening the economy will look like, contactless technologies are going to be part of the equation, especially in busy places like transit systems and stadiums….
Last year, the payment industry widely believed these types of tap-to-pay transit terminals, which also accept Apple Pay and Google Pay in phones, would spark the move to contactless transactions in the US. It appears it will likely be the coronavirus instead.
“I can see consumer behaviors changing for sure from the situation we’re in,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, president of US issuers for Mastercard. “When those consumer behaviors change over several months, they tend to stick….”
“I think there will be an explosion of services and functionalities that will come out in the next few months…. Necessity is the mother of invention, and there’s a whole lot of necessity right now….”
“Contactless,” of course, means going to digital currency in some form. Cash is out, and “contactless” or “touch free” does not even include digital devices, like cards, that have to make contact with the card reader and/or that require you touch a keypad to enter a pin. So, it’s either your cell phone that only you touch or Bill Gate’s digital tattoo or a chip implant.
Think of how perfectly that digital ID, implanted or tattooed on your hand, will work for contactless entrance into sports stadiums as you use it to also prove you’re vaccinated. (And for those who are double amputees, on your forehead.)
The attendant enters your ticket purchase, and you wave your hand under the scanner to authorize the transaction. Order dinner at a restaurant afterward, and hold out your hand to be scanned by the waiter after the meal. Buy something at a flea market the next day, and hold out your hand to be scanned by someone’s phone app. Nobody has to touch any of that dirty cash.
The coronacrisis has shoved us headlong from the realm of mere convenience or curiosity or coolness to the perception of necessity among consumers for safety. That translates to retailers who want to make sure they get those consumers back by catering to their safety fears and who need to make sure they retain their employees, who also have safety concerns.
Touch-free only works digitally. Cash is trash in this brave new world. So, it will be awfully “helpful” to have the chip or nano-tattoo described in my last article designed so that it allows you to merely wave your hand past a scanner to approve a purchase like people in other countries can do.
People in some nations actually find it amusing that the US is so far behind them in implementing digital currency technology — not just in going cashless, but in going to digital implants. Countries like Sweden have already embraced chip implants in their hands in a move to go cashless. The process is as easy as getting a body piercing:
How far along to digital currency are we?
How extreme and strange are we willing to go in getting human beings chipped, and how quickly will we get there? As one example, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just said he wants all Israeli children chipped before they go back to school this fall:
Cyber experts slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his proposal to “microchip” children who return to schools and kindergartens as the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, Ynet reported on Friday.
“I spoke with our heads of technology in order to find measures Israel is good at, such as sensors. For instance, every person, every kid – I want it on kids first – would have a sensor that would sound an alarm when you get too close, like the ones on cars,” the prime minister said.
High-security states like Israel and the US love this stuff — at least at a governmental level.
The prime minister of Israel wants to have all the children in Israel microchipped by this fall so they beep if they get too close to each other! Maybe they should also beep if they back up so they don’t run over each other.
It’s amazing how fear (mass hysteria now that it has reached this level?) is able to make us take the first incremental step in turning our children into little cyborgs. What kind of parent are you if you don’t care about the children’s safety? Your child might not be allowed in school without a chip (if Israel anyway).
You might be frowned on as a bad parent for having unchipped children. If things like masks can become matters of intense social conformity to where people in the US now get in arguments over it at grocery stores, so can things like getting your children chipped.
That idea will rapidly progress to further enhancement. Once the children all beep like nice little robots when they get too close to each other, why not employ a more sophisticated chip that can track them at all times for their security — an identity chip, unique to each individual?
It could automatically take attendance as each child walks through the school doors and alert the school administration when a child leaves the school grounds during school hours to either keep the child from playing hooky or make her safer from being kidnapped. Of course, as soon as we think digitizing our children has made them safer, we’ll find there are people who hack our kids in order to stalk them.
The coronavirus is turning out to be all it took to get the masses and their leaders past their fear of being made into something like a robot so that digital ID combined with digital cash can go fully mainstream:
Visa and Mastercard are on the switch to tap-to-pay. Using less cash equals more Visa/Mastercard credit or debit transactions, so the coronavirus plays beautifully into their business plans now that cash is considered dirty! Contactless cards are already available and getting ready for shipment by banks.
With so many stores switching to touch free for cleanliness, cash will not even be accepted as some businesses like restaurants re-open, and society will likely largely go along with that for health safety. Those who hold out cash are already being sneered at as vulgar.
Cash won’t likely be terminated immediately. Instead, as more stores move to touch-free systems (the new retail buzzword), customers will become accustomed to being cashless days on end, and more and more stores will switch entirely to digital currency, giving those who prefer cash a lot fewer options.
Sterilizing money, as it turns out is not that easy. Here’s another video showing how wide and extreme the concern is over catching COVID-19 from cash:
The move to digital currency has gone viral; so, apparently, has the move toward digital people.
Going corona cashless is mainstream
Bloomberg now runs headlines like “Why Going Cashless Has Added Value in Pandemic Age.” The article covers all the argument used against cash that I’ve covered in my Patron Posts since they began. We don’t need to go back over all of the persuasion now coming out in public. The purpose of this article is to show us how the coronacrisis is clearing all the obstacles.
Gary Cohn, the former Director of the president’s National Economic Council, believes the coronacrisis is kicking cash in the butt:
For the past five weeks I have not touched a single coin or banknote, instead relying exclusively on electronic payment systems and credit cards that only I touch…. More and more brick-and-mortar stores have shifted to systems where you order ahead, pay on the phone, and pick up kerbside [sic.].
Some members of congress are backing the cashless push in a way that will make Bill Gates happy (or they are doing it because it makes Bill Gates happy):
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) fought very hard behind the scenes to include U.S. digital dollars in the 3rd economic stimulus package for coronavirus, and will continue the fight even though the concept did not make it into the “CARES Act.”
His bill, the “Banking For All Act” … would … “require member banks to maintain pass-through digital dollar wallets for certain persons and for other purposes.” Text of the bill is included in his press release … with the description of a “digital dollar” and a “digital dollar wallet.”
Ah, “the wallet PC” that Bill Gates promised more than twenty years ago. Now it is getting pushed into the coronacrisis salvation plan to take on the force of law.
And this is the guy that can make it happen:
The source, who spoke to me on background, characterized what were ‘intense negotiations’ during the last week over what would be part of the massive $2 Trillion stimulus package. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee and a key Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate, Senator Brown’s push for a digital dollar wallet will carry a lot of weight among his colleagues.
Here’s how it will work:
In the Senator’s plan, everyone would be allowed to set up a digital dollar wallet that would be called a ‘FedAccount,’ which would be a free bank account that can be used to receive money, make payments, and take out cash. FedAccounts would be available at local banks and Post Offices, and would have no account fees or minimum balance requirements. Account holders would receive debit cards, online account access, automatic bill-pay, mobile banking, and ATM access at Post Offices.
Maybe they’ll even slip a little helicopter MMT into those “free” accounts run by the Fed to make them more popular. I mean, why wouldn’t the government decide to do its stimulus checks through its own banker’s system, rather than mail all those cumbersome checks that a take so long to get to you. (See: “When Will I Get My Stimulus Check?“)
Your rights are fading fast
Your right to even speak about this or become informed about it is being rapidly eliminated by the new Nazi corporatocracy where the interests of major corporations and government are joined to control every aspect of your life, including truth. The overlords are protecting you at every turn now from fake news and wrong ideas:
Don’t be surprised if this website just vanishes someday. It will if people don’t stand up and fight this rapid erosion of their constitutional rights as fear overthrows facts.