How liberty is eroded under the cover of providing ‘safety’

Cash is one of the alleged banes of society that has long been in the sights of statist control-freaks everywhere. The debate over cash has recently received fresh input from none other than that paradise of socialism, Sweden. As reported in ‘The Local’, „Robberies raise prospect of retail cash ban“.

In it we learn that Sweden has something called the ‘Work Environment Authority’, one of the countless bureaucracies that tend to spring up in the modern-day State and then perpetuate themselves by constantly inventing new regulations.

 

Per the report in ‘the Local’:

 

“The head of the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) has raised the prospect of a ban on cash in Sweden’s retail stores to help tackle the growing problem of robbery. The authority’s director-general Mikael Sjöberg refused to rule out the drastic measure in an interview on Wednesday. “You can’t rule anything out, it just depends on how risky the situation is. We have very extensive possibilities to explore,” Sjöberg told trade union publication Handelsnytt. The authority is set to conduct an inspection of 3,000 small stores across Sweden to chart opportunities aimed at improving the working environment. “It is not acceptable that people go to work in fear and concerned that they could be subject to a robbery, which does actually happen in this sector,” Mikael Sjöberg said. The Work Environment Authority has previously pushed through cash bans on buses in Sweden after a spate of hold-ups. Robberies against retailers accounted for 9 percent of all robbery cases reported in Sweden in 2007, according to statistics from the National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå). From just under 400 cases per annum in 1987, the number of cases had more than doubled by 2007 after a peak in 2005.“

 

We don’t want to give them any ideas, but one might naively ask, why not forbid cars on account of the prevalence of road accidents? A poster named Molly on the EeeUser-forum has put together a number of arguments forwarded by Swedish politicians and bureaucrats in the past in support of banning cash.

While we could not independently verify this list of statements, it certainly rings true, and in part mimics the spurious arguments heard elsewhere before (Molly’s own comments in italics):

 

Marie Löök, Policy Officer at the financial sector union of Sweden, has this to say:”It’s ‘Game Over’ for cash”! “2 out of 3 Swedish crowns are circulating in the ‘shadow economy’.” “Folks using cash usually have something to hide, you don’t pay prostitutes with a credit card.”

Carin Götblad, Police Commissioner of Stockholm County: “Cash is the lifeblood in the veins of criminality.”

Martine Syrjänen-Stålberg of the Swedish Work Environment Association: “A cashless society is a less criminal society.” “It will improve the tax morale.” (and this I find most insulting): “And wouldn’t cashless shopping be much better for senior citizens since they tend to loose their purses/wallets?”

Considering these arguments, which law-abiding citizen could possibly be against a cashless society? As they say: if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear … Amen!

 

We have news for Sweden’s bureaucrats: without the so-called ‘shadow economy’ you’d probably soon have no more economy, period. We’re not quite sure if politicians are generally aware of this, but most of the highly taxed welfare/warfare states have an enormous ‘gray’, or ‘shadow’ economy, i.e. a large part of economic activity takes place outside of the purview of the bureaucratic red tape and onerous taxation that marks ‘official’ business activity.

Without this shadow economy, the population’s living standards would suffer a large setback and incomes would shrink across the economy due to the inevitable knock-on effects. This means that if governments were in fact to succeed in strangling the gray economy, government revenues would likely collapse as well (income from consumption taxes like VAT and sales taxes would crater right away, and other types of tax revenue streams would follow as the economy weakened).

Furthermore, the assumption that citizens should not have a right to financial privacy (which cash helps to provide) just because there are criminals for whom cash happens to be useful too (we wonder why there is so much violent crime in the socialist paradise by the way?) is wrong a priori.

Note here that there is another important function that cash provides, besides financial privacy – it allows people to remove themselves from the banking system. After all, deposits held at banks are definitely not 100% reserved. The modern day fractionally reserved banks are basically de facto bankrupt all the time (this is to say, they could most definitely not back all depositor claims at short notice). While there are government guarantees on deposits nearly everywhere (a misguided policy that furthers unnecessary risk taking on the part of both depositors and banks), such guarantees can become worthless in case the government becomes insolvent too.

In addition, these guarantees are usually limited. Eliminating cash would remove people’s right to take physical possession of their property – the savings or cash holdings that the banks are supposed to warehouse for them. Fear not though – no government can really eliminate cash anyway, even though many would probably like to do so. The reason is that the shadow economy would then simply move toward using the cash issued by a foreign nation, or would move to a gold payment system.

Of course all these avenues could, and likely would, be declared illegal as well, but e.g. not even the death penalty was enough to enforce Diocletian’s price control edicts in the third century, so we can already state that this won’t work either. The main point remains though that statists everywhere are always eager to attempt to misuse a perceived threat to safety to further roll back individual liberty.

Such attempts by the bureaucratic nanny state to encroach upon the rights of allegedly free people should always be resisted – because it is exactly as Benjamin Franklin has famously said: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. “

 

 
 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

2 Responses to “Sweden discusses ‘cash ban’”

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • India: The World’s Fastest Growing Large Economy?
    Popular Narrative India has been the world’s favorite country for the last three years. It is believed to have superseded China as the world’s fastest growing large economy. India is expected to grow at 7.5%. Compare that to the mere 6.3% growth that China has “fallen” to.   India's quarterly annualized GDP growth rate since 2008, according to MOSPI (statistics ministry) - click to enlarge.   The IMF, the World Bank, and the international media have celebrated...
  • Don’t Blame Trump When the World Ends
    Alien Economics There was, indeed, a time when clear thinking and lucid communication via the written word were held in high regard. As far as we can tell, this wonderful epoch concluded in 1936. Everything since has been tortured with varying degrees of gobbledygook.   One should probably not be overly surprised that the abominable statist rag Time Magazine is fulsomely praising Keynes' nigh unreadable tome. We too suspect that this book has actually lowered the planet-wide IQ –...
  • What is the Best Time to Buy Stocks?
      Chasing Entry Points Something similar to the following has probably happened to you at some point: you want to buy a stock on a certain day and in order to time your entry, you start watching how it trades. Alas, the price rises and rises, and your patience begins to wear thin. Shouldn't a correction set in soon and provide you with a more favorable buying opportunity?   Apple-Spotting – a five minute intraday chart showing the action in AAPL on February 1, 2017 - an...
  • Incrementum Advisory Board Meeting, Q1 2017 and Some Additional Reflections
      Looming Currency and Liquidity Problems The quarterly meeting of the Incrementum Advisory Board was held on January 11, approximately one month ago. A download link to a PDF document containing the full transcript including charts an be found at the end of this post. As always, a broad range of topics was discussed; although some time has passed since the meeting, all these issues remain relevant. Our comments below are taking developments that have taken place since then into...
  • Gold and Silver Divergence – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Gold and Silver Divergence – Precious Metals Supply and Demand Last week, the prices of the metals went up, with the gold price rising every day and the silver price stalling out after rising 42 cents on Tuesday. The gold-silver ratio went up a bit this week, an unusual occurrence when prices are rising. Everyone knows that the price of silver is supposed to outperform — the way Pavlov’s Dogs know that food comes after the bell. Speculators usually make it...
  • Trump and the Draining of the Swamp
      Swamp Critters BALTIMORE – The Dow is back above the 20,000-point mark. Federal debt, as officially tallied, is up to nearly $20 trillion. The two go together, egging each other on. The Dow is up 20 times since 1980. So is the U.S. national debt. Debt feeds the stock market and the swamp. What’s not up so much is real output, as measured by GDP. It’s up only 6.4 times over the same period. Debt and asset prices have been rising three times as fast as GDP for 36 years! Best...
  • Making America Great Again – How to Judge Policy
      A Simple Formula MIAMI – How do we know if new programs will make the economy better... or worse? Here’s a simple formula:   W = rv (w-w – w-l)   That is, wealth is equal to the real value of win-win exchanges minus the loss from win-lose exchanges. Yes, dear reader, it’s as simple as that. Like a whittler working on a piece of wood, we’ve shaved so much off, there is nothing left of it... except the essential heartwood.   When devising a win-win,...
  • When Trumponomics Meets Abenomics
      Thirty Year Retread What will President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talk about when they meet later today? Will they gab about what fishing holes the big belly bass are biting at? Will they share insider secrets on what watering holes are serving up the stiffest drinks? [ed. note: when we edited this article for Acting Man, the meeting was already underway]   Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe, a dyed-in-the-wool Keynesian and militarist, meets America's...
  • Gold Sector Update – What Stance is Appropriate?
      The Technical Picture - a Comparison of Antecedents We wanted to post an update to our late December post on the gold sector for some time now (see “Gold – Ready to Spring Another Surprise?” for the details). Perhaps it was a good thing that some time has passed, as the current juncture seems particularly interesting. We received quite a few mails from friends and readers recently, expressing concern about the inability of gold stocks to lead, or even confirm strength in gold of...
  • The Great Wailing
      Regret and Suffering BALTIMORE – Victoribus spolia... So far, the most satisfying thing about the Trump win has been the howls and whines coming from the establishment. Each appointment – some good, some bad from our perspective – has brought forth such heavy lamentations.   Oh no! Alaric the Visigoth is here! Hide the women and children! And don't forget the vestal virgins, if you can find any...   You’d think Washington had been invaded by Goths, now...
  • Receive a One Percent Gift When Buying or Selling a Home
      How to Save Money When Buying or Make More When Selling a Home In your professional capacity and perhaps also in your private life, you may be closely involved with financial and commodity markets. Trading in stocks, bonds or futures is part of your daily routine.  Occasionally you probably have to deal with real estate as well though – if you e.g. want to purchase an apartment or a house, or if own a home you wish to sell.   The people who took this photograph probably want to...
  • Silver Futures Market Assistance – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Silver Is Pushed Up Again This week, the prices of the metals moved up on Monday. Then the gold price went sideways for the rest of the week, but the silver price jumped on Friday.   Taking off for real or not? Photo credit: NASA   Is this the rocket ship to $50? Will Trump’s stimulus plan push up the price of silver? Or just push silver speculators to push up the price, at their own expense, again? This will again be a brief Report this week, as we are busy...

Austrian Theory and Investment

Support Acting Man

Own physical gold and silver outside a bank

Archive

j9TJzzN

350x200

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com