Despite the title of this article, I hate cash. The convenience of being able to carry a card in my wallet to access my funds is something I nearly grew up with. Cash was still a significant part of my life in my teen years, but debit cards were firmly in place by the time I truly began my working career. One of the more irritating parts of my month is the fact that I have one service that I pay for that will only accept cash for payment, so I end up having to make a special trip to the ATM to cover the cost of it. Cash is not my favorite way of paying for things.
Unfortunately, we may be entering a period of time where relying on digital currency might not be the best way to protect ourselves from monetary problems. With the current political climate leaning very hard toward more authoritarian control over the people, we’re starting to see new initiatives by those in power trying exert control over everything from our ability to defend ourselves with firearms to direct control over where and how we can spend the money we work so hard to earn.
What sparked this particular article was the news that online payment services such as PayPal are beginning to work with certain groups in an attempt to block service to particular groups of people who have been labeled “extremist” or “dangerous”. At first glance this seems perfectly reasonable; we don’t want dangerous groups having the ability to spread their influence any further than necessary. The problem arises when we consider who is in control of these kinds of policies and who is defining what is considered “dangerous”.
These days, the mainstream segments of our media and government have labeled anyone who has a more conservative point of view as extremists out to bring about the downfall of America. If you’re reading this article or the rest of my blog and agree with even a significant portion of it, you fall on that list. There is no tolerance for different ideas anymore because the process of compromise slows down the process too much for impatient progressives who yearn for a utopian society. They never learn from history that human beings wouldn’t know what to do with utopia even if they somehow got it. It wouldn’t last long.
At any rate, one of the cruel ironies of life is that most of the time a convenience typically comes with a dependence on whatever the source of that convenience is. The credit and debit system has made our lives incredibly convenient, but it comes at the cost of putting our trust in the various banks involved in the process to not do evil things. In this case, it is a huge financial system that has aligned itself with the government in order to exert the most amount of power and influence it can in the world. This is great for them, but not so much for we little people who just want to be able to live our lives the way we want. When your money is in the hands of the bank, what is to stop them from taking it from you?
Knowing this, what can one do? Well, the first thing is to just be aware that there are things going on that might affect your ability to spend money in the future. I can’t provide any sort of financial advice, since I’m not an expert, but the various sources I’ve been reading are all warning of a potential collapse of our financial markets anyway, so perhaps investing in something a bit more real might make sense. Gold is the knee-jerk suggestion by most, but it may be more realistic to invest in things that people will find valuable in a world where just surviving is the goal. That may be overly pessimistic, but it’s reasonable to at least consider.
Forgive my little tangent, but these days it’s difficult to not see things going down a very dark road. At the very least, putting ourselves into a position where others can’t necessarily exert specific control of our money seems a reasonable course of action in any situation. While I hate the idea of carrying cash, it’s starting to make more sense to start shifting my assets away from digital to more real valuables. Who knows when we might find ourselves in a situation where the phantom currency that resides in our bank is no longer ours to control?
What do you think about digital currency? Is it likely that you might lose control of your finances in the near future? What services do you use today that rely on transfer of funds by government aligned institutions? It might seem paranoid to worry about such things, but when it comes to your ability to pay for the things you need to live, being concerned about such things isn’t really unreasonable. Take a look at your own finances and how you store your treasures and decide for yourself if the convenience is worth the risk.
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