Sweden is almost cashless. Meaning: their system of making payments, purchases and paying bills is all done electronically now. Money changing hands is almost ‘not done’ there at all anymore and, further, there are some things money simply cannot buy in Sweden. Literally. You have to use a card or something ‘electronic’ to make those transactions.
Of course, Sweden hasn’t erased all real money as yet. They don’t figure to be truly cashless for another decade or so. But, by then….well, all your transactions in Sweden will be electronic. Read: monitored.
We’re headed in the same direction.
Cashless societies don’t have bank robberies. And that is a good thing. Right? Well, I suppose it is good thing for the bank. That much is true. But going ‘cashless’ is also good for the bank in other ways. They get to rob, now. The banks charge transaction fees and we transact all day long. Visa takes a cut of between 2.5 and 5% of any purchase they handle. So banks get to rob Bonnie and Clyde now and they get to ‘charge’ all the consumers just a little extra. What is not to like?
‘Course, they also get to track you. And what can you do about that – not spend?
“But, who in their right minds wants to track me?”
I’m with you on that one. Tracking me is like counting sheep. But, the key phrase in that question is ‘in their right minds’. There may be plenty of folks not-so-much in their right mind that want to track you or me. Seems identity theft and a few other self-serving things might come up for them. I dunno. Call me crazy.
Still, I am not so worried. I am confused, though. But not so worried. You see, they already track me. They know my spending patterns and, if I should deviate from the norm, they cancel my card. Been there. Done that.
But I don’t do anything wrong. So, how can I suffer? How could all of my personal information in the hands of the wrong people do me any harm? Wouldn’t the government ensure my safety and confidentiality? (from everyone but them, I guess). I think so. Eventually. Someday. Maybe.
And do I have to fear my own government?
And that is where the confusion starts for me. You see, I do fear them. It is the main reason I pay my taxes. I fear the consequences if I don’t. I drive the speed limit even when I am in a hurry because, well, I fear the consequences if I get caught. I have to admit that fearing the government is pretty much in-bred in me. Have you seen what a taser or tear gas can do when you don’t do as they say?
When they yell at you for no reason to ‘get on the ground! Get on the ground now!’ Try standing up straight instead and yelling God is Great!
Listen up: if you are olive-to-dark skinned? Black hair? Don’t try that stunt. Just get on the ground. Really. And forget that God is great for a few minutes. Trust me on this.
But let’s leave that kind of sick paranoia aside for a minute. So what if Big Bad Brother has more ways to bully me with the universal application of transaction monitoring? I mean, it is not like I am safe from them now, am I? They got CCTV, too. So what if it gets a bit worse? Waddya gonna do?
I don’t know. Honestly. But I will tell you this: I use cash a lot more now. It seems like a tiny and silly way to rebel but I am using cash for no other reason than to retain the option.
And doing so keeps my whereabouts vague. Ya never know….?
It used to be that I ‘Visa’d’ my way everywhere. Now? I use it only for gasoline and airline tickets.
I have to keep Visa for that. I may have to make a run for it someday.