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John Yelland: The hazards of a cashless society


My wife and I recently took our son to the movies. As we walked through the door, I noticed a prominently displayed sign. It said they no longer accept cash as a form of payment.

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The screaming, hot-blooded, American eagle in my heart balked at being told what I could and couldn’t do.

Can’t pay with cash?? Ya know what — I’m just gonna cash even harder!

But this made me reflect. First, I bought our tickets online, and second, I intended to buy concessions with my debit card. I was ahead of the cashless curve without even realizing it. A cashless America is already here, and we’re letting it happen.

Why did this sign bother me so much though? Was it just my you-can’t-tell-me-what-to-do instinct, or was there something deeper that made me uncomfortable?

In France, it’s illegal to make and accept cash payments larger than €1,000, and in Italy it’s €2,000. This is a global, decades-old trend.

In 2016, India Prime Minister Modi announced that bank notes of ₹500 and ₹1,000 would be removed. Citizens were given 50 days to deposit these bills. One thousand Indian rupees sounds like a lot, but it’s not. It’s about $14 US dollars.

Modi’s justification? Fighting corruption, black markets, and crime.

However, a recent UK-based study found it was actually banks and accounting firms that are the leading facilitators of illegal transfers and funding. The study found that banks are almost twice as likely to be involved in money laundering than cash transactions. 

Given this risk assessment, we should ban banks before cash.

In a cashless society, you don’t have custody of your own money. Wells Fargo or Goldman Sachs does. You can claim that number on your account balance belongs to you, but ultimately your claim only means as much as it can be enforced.

And make no mistake, you are powerless against the likes of J.P. Morgan.

Read this column in its entirety at the Daily Caller.

John Yelland is the director of communications for the Libertas Institute, a liberty-focused think tank based in Utah.



  1. Stop using banks. The government will have total control as they can decide what you can eat how you can live where you can travel and what you’re aloud to buy. Loosing freedom every day because of a few power hungry rich people with a new idea to control us. Get ready for the day of reckoning.

  2. “ The screaming, hot-blooded, American eagle in my heart balked at being told what I could and couldn’t do.”

    You aren’t being told what to do. It’s a free country. If the theatre will only take cash, don’t go or find another theatre that does. Cash disappears from cash drawers at a concession stand and it takes trips to the bank daily for deposits which costs money to handle.

    • A cashless society is an (even more) unfree society. The very idea is repugnant to the concepts of privacy and liberty.
      Those evil Orwellians, both in and out of government, who are trying to eliminate cash transactions are essentially telling you that you can ONLY conduct any financial transaction through the intermediation of one of the giant, corrupt, ‘too big to fail’ Wall Street banks, each of which take their cut (typically 3%, sometimes more) from EVERY credit card or debit card transaction. Further, without cash, there is no such thing as financial privacy of any sort, as EVERY purchase or transaction you make is recorded, and can be and will be tracked by the government. And what happens when the government (inevitably) decides which transactions and purchases are no longer “acceptable”? Welcome, Big Brother.
      I ONLY accept cash in my own (small) business, and make no apologies for it. Those who walk away in a huff because I can’t and won’t make their stupid idiot-phone transaction can kiss my derriere.

  3. Cashless business discriminates against folks who do not have bank accounts nor credit cards.

      • Agree, hell hath frozen…
        However, it is interesting that Maureen’s first thought was “DISCRIMINATION!!!!”

        • Because I was discriminated against when this past February I tried buy admission to the Maui Ocean Center who takes no cash. My initial thought is why would a business owner cut part of their income options? I refuse cashless businesses and tell them they are discriminating.

    • Once again you have a wonderfully conservative point of view here! Cash drives the power hungry crazy simply because they cannot control it. You and I can perform a transaction for cash and there is no way for any entity to monitor it. ANY other type of payment, such as check, card, or transfer, leaves a paper trail that can be checked on in the future. You can always stash away cash/gold/silver and it will be worth something in the future. Remember: gold, especially, has never, in human history, become worthless. And even today, ‘big brother’ can get access to all bank and purchase/sales information online. No way to hide it. There might still be ‘burner phones’ but there are no such things as ‘burner cards’.

      • “You can always stash away cash/gold/silver and it will be worth something in the future”.
        Well, I guess a Federal Reserve Note has some intrinsic value. It is about the same size as a piece of toilet paper.

        • Don’t forget that, today, Confederate money is worth a lot. lol And, if nothing else, that type of paper burns very hot.

  4. It prevents bank runs, preventing you from having complete access to your money. When people are denied access to their money they start overturning vehicles and setting them on fire and such. For some strange reason they think the money will soon become worthless. Like the price of a loaf of bread doubling in a week.

  5. A cashless society is an enslaved society, no question. If you don’t believe that is true, try to cash a check written on a Wells Fargo bank account to you. Wells Fargo told me I had to pay a fee to cash a check written on THEIR BANK. Banks are taking money on every transaction they are involved with.

    • Banks are inherently parasitical and predatory entities, but have become much more so in both regards in recent years. As pretty much every other establishment institution has become as well.

  6. Just imagine how wonderful the world will be without cash.
    If I post too many critical comments, my ability to add a few extra crickets to my mealworm burger will be frozen, and I will not be able to charge up my electric scooter for three days because my methane output exceeded an arbitrary threshold.
    The only people who think a cashless society is a good thing are the people who look at the Chinese social credit system with anticipation.

  7. Credit Unions are following. Notice all the mergers and name changes? You see lots of “Global” and “One” in the names. It’s coming and there’s not much you can do. You can buy lots of gold or silver but where do you keep it?

    • Howdy Jim. I keep it buried on my land. In the Apolitic Future it will be a challenge to spend or trade it. Perhaps a Prepped Pyramid of Needs is in order. 1. Protection, 2. Food, 3. Heat—Clothing, Sleeping Bag, Fuel.. 4 Guardian Dog— German Shepard—Handels the cold well, Safe Breed, but still dangerous.. 5. Tools—Several chainsaws and lots of chains, bar oil, and mix oil..axes, and splitting mauls.. The people who own the Money said it will happen. Remember it is Their Money. We have seen them change it quickly as The Gold Standard was dropped in the early 70’s. As silver was dropped from coins in 64. As Inflation, and plastic are the Norm of today.. It is a lot Easier Prepping now, than when you have to compete with millions of desperate people. MAGA

  8. Many may dislike the concept of transition to digital currency but it’s an antiquated system and try as you might you can’t envision sawbucks still being used a century from now.

    It’s coming, and the key element is that the transition needs to be handled by a highly competent administrative team as opposed to the one we have now.

    • Trouser, I look forward to gold and silver coins being used as money again, and very soon, once the US dollar suffers its final ignominious end, and the corrupt and parasitical worldwide fiat currency system, crashes along with it.
      NOTHING is “inevitable”, except death. Particularly in the political sphere.
      And the current corrupt and predatory currency system is just an extension of the political sphere.

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