- Emphasis mine:
- Why Government Hates Cash
by Joseph T. Salerno, https://mises.org/
In April it was announced that Greece was imposing a surcharge for all cash withdrawals from bank accounts to deter citizens from clearing out their accounts. So now the Greeks will have to pay one euro per 1,000 euros that they withdraw, which is one-tenth of a percent. It doesn’t seem very big, but the principle at work is extremely big because what they’re in effect doing is breaking the exchange rate between a unit of bank deposits and a unit of currency.
Why would they do this? Why would they want to do this? Well, it’s one of the anti-cash policies that mainstream economists have vigorously been promoting.
THE PROBLEM IS INTERNATIONAL
The war on cash in Sweden has gone probably the furthest and Scandinavian governments in general are notable for their opposition to cash. In Swedish cities, tickets for public buses no longer can be purchased for cash; they must be purchased in advance by a cell phone or text message — in other words, via bank accounts.
The deputy governor of the Swedish Central Bank gloated, before his retirement a few years back, that cash will survive “like the crocodile,” even though it may be forced to see its habitat gradually cut back.
The analogy is apt since three of the four major Swedish banks combined have more than two-thirds of their offices no longer accepting or paying out cash. These three banks want to phase out the manual handling of cash at their offices at a very rapid pace and have been doing that since 2012.
In France, opponents of cash tried to pass a law in 2012 which would restrict the use of cash from a maximum of 3,000 euros per exchange to 1,000. The law failed, but then there was the attack on Charlie Hebdo and on a Jewish supermarket, so immediately the state used this as a reason for getting the 1,000 maximum limit. They got their maximum limit. Why? Well, proponents claim that these attacks were partially financed by cash.
The terrorists used cash to purchase some of the stuff they needed. No doubt, these murderers also wore shoes and clothing and used cell phones and cars during the planning and execution of their mayhem. Why not ban these things? A naked barefoot terrorist without communications is surely less effective than the fully clothed and equipped one.
Now the reason given by our rulers for suppressing cash is to keep society safe from terrorists, tax evaders, money launderers, drug cartels, and other villains real or imagined. The actual aim of the ﬂood of laws restricting or even prohibiting the use of cash is to force the public to make payments through the financial system. This enables governments to expand their ability to spy on and keep track of their citizens’ most private financial dealings, in order to milk their citizens of every last dollar of tax payments that they claim are due.
Other reasons for suppressing cash are (1) to prop up the unstable fractional reserve banking system, which is in a state of collapse all over the world, and (2) to give central banks the power to impose negative nominal interest rates. That is, to make you spend money by subtracting money from your bank account for every day you leave it in the bank account and don’t spend it.