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Home Topics in Depth Economics The Global War on Cash

  • Gracchus (1257 posts)
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    The Global War on Cash

    Naked Capitalism has a very good article on the global war on cash, taking a historical perspective on the issue. A good excerpt from the article:

    Why are users of physical cash being targeted in this way by governments and banks? The simple answer is to dissuade us from using cash and to encourage us to use as little of it as is possible or to create a perception that if we do use cash, we’re behaving like some outmoded throwbacks and the kids will look on us as — horror of horrors — in danger of becoming obsolete.

    But there’s a more complex question behind that rather obvious response. Are powerful actors like governments and banks suspecting that they may not be the most influential determiners of technology and that payment systems users have a great deal of bargaining power too?

    Consumer behaviour has always been thought of as an essential element of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” that creates markets. They are, after all, 50% of the supply and demand equation. But I have never liked that reductionist argument which forms the basis of neoliberalism’s central tenet that we’re all mere rational actors registering purchasing votes with our dollars. Yes, we can either buy or not buy, use or not use. But we are more than just that. We can sabotage, regulate, protest and demand. We can also practice a pattern of usage that is completely at odds with that which has been determined by those who “supply” what they think we have, or should have, “demanded”.

    I would suggest that it is this fear of consumers which is prompting those who want to supply alternatives to the services we use (like cash) to consider the district possibility that, as Lambert would put it, the dogs won’t eat their new dog food. Or we won’t eat all of it, all the time.

    For the full article see: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/12/the-global-war-on-cash-lessons-from-history.html

    The Crone, snot, eridani and 2 othersarendt, Doremus Jessup like this

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