sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cash (still king?)


I may be one of the last people in American society who carries cash around in his wallet, refusing to use an ATM card to pay for the sundries of life. I'm not opposed to the use of an ATM, but it's too easy to use an ATM because it doesn't 'hurt' in the same way that tossing cash on the barrelhead does. Thus, it's not a hatred of electronic money so much as it is a habit. Possibly my parsimonious nature?

The French have taken it a step further, making cash transactions over 1000 Euros illegal (link).

I realize that I am hopelessly old fashioned, but part of me yearns for a currency indexed to precious metal reserves. A British Pound Sterling would be worth a pound of silver - and a dollar would buy you 1/1200 th of an ounce of gold. The youth of today can not recall when coins were silver or currency was backed by specie. It must seem to them as those days were linked to the demise of the dinosaur or gunfights at the OK Corral.

YET, could you be wiped out financially in a single day from a cyber-attack when your "digital money" vanished back into the anonymous electrons that made it. However since all of the banking is digital anyway, you'd be wiped out there even if you did have a few thousand in Federal Reserve Notes (backed by the full faith and credit of the US Federal Reserve...) in a shoebox under the junk in your closet.

However if the system completely breaks down, even your gold and silver aren't worth anymore than people think that they're worth and what they are willing to barter for... Guns and ammunition on the other hand always have that useful base value, don't they? (stand and deliver) The more screwed up the world is, the more value that is transferred to an M-4 or an AK-47 with spare magazines, ammunition and web gear. It's not subject to cyber attacks and there is more comfort in them that one would find in even a large pile of gold as the world went to hell.

So my argument has come full circle. Cash is not quite king, gold and silver have their place, but there are other options as well for storing value. Even though it's not politically correct. 
This article came out in 2013: "There have been 65,376,373 background checks completed for Americans purchasing firearms since February of 2009, the first full month of Barack Obama's presidency."
I may not be the only person in America who feels this way.

21 comments:

  1. LL:

    When the world goes to hell, then even AR-15's with grenade launchers will not replace what is needed to survive: youth, strength, mobility and brains.

    What is going to stop a band of brigands who want to take your weapons stash when society has completely broken down? Pointing a gun at a mob yields very short term comfort only.

    A young, angry mob will overwhelm you and your armory every time.

    When the system completely breaks down, survival will only be awarded to those who are not old, fat, slow, stupid, female (with exceptions granted to pulchritude) and otherwise immobile and therefore a mob-magnet.

    So keep your ATM card, cash is also good. Preparing for the end of days will not help those who feel the need to build fortresses, arm themselves to the teeth and stockpile supplies. Doing so only makes you a supplier of the mob. And once you are discovered, your days are most certainly numbered, regardless of what kind of defenses you throw together.

    It's inarguable.

    But I suppose you will field an argument anyway.

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    1. I don't argue with your logic. Maybe my sense is that being a hard target is better than being a soft, rich, flatulent target. Old(er) and cunning does not trump a hoard of thousands, but there is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes with being able to account well for yourself on your way out. Going like a Jew to the ovens has no appeal.

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    2. When the world goes nuts, and futuristic scenarios such as seen in "The Road Warrior" and the super disturbing "The Road" are a reality, there are certain places for old guys: those who can buy loyalty, and have a cadre of assassins at their beck and call. Not too many slots for those gigs, however.

      When the hoards are heading your way, you need to bug out, hit the road, and be mobile, not need much sleep, and have lots of energy. Even then, your wheels will be coveted, and every asshole out there with a shotgun or crossbow will be aiming to take it down. No real safety other than in numbers, and just exactly how to rise to the top of that mob is problematic other than for a ruthless, bull of the woods brawler. Tony Montana-types will not survive, as they will get their throats cut in their sleep. Or eat a bouncing Betty booby trap.

      Going out with guns blazing is probably not a bad solution to a real bad pickle for most old folk. That, and perhaps making your crib so inviting that the mob invades with a vengeance, overruns the place, and then you ensure that the whole compound turns into a very deep crater once your ordinance is lit up. That way you can take a thousand or so with you. Very gratifying, except the being dead part.

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    3. We're all going to die. It's just a matter of when and how.

      Having said that, my legions of doom will overwhelm the zombie hoards and you will have safe haven in Laguna Nigel...if you can make it here.

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    4. I'd just set the timers and Get Out of Dodge.

      Or remotely blow the place from a safe vantage point.

      Popcorn, anyone?

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  2. Ditto - in college (uh, when the DJIA had yet to break the 3,000 'ceiling') they said we would soon all be like Europe - using debit cards instead of cash. I suppose its easier, but I don't want all those merchants having access to the pile in the bank (oh, I guess it is a digital pile…a small digital pile).

    But my credit card (which I do use more than cash) has been hit twice, - the credit card company fixed it in less than a half an hour, and issued a new card (after I got somebody on the phone that was proficient in English). Imagine if my actual checking account was hit - would my bank be as helpful as the credit card bank which needs me to make future purchases?

    Who eats the cost of the thousands of dollars of goods and services illegally purchased with my credit card? Its spread over the customers of the stores that sold the goods without confirming the credit card user, and the credit card company. We all pay in higher prices and fees.

    The only people ever arrested for the credit card fraud, or "identity theft" cases are the individuals who steal it out of a purse or car, and leave a trail of surveillance video. Nobody evert took my card, they just used my number, either stolen from the internet (likely, and the most scary) or from a local vendor (unlikely, as local vendors do not store complete numbers).

    I use a specific card for internet purchases now, and a different one for gas, etc. etc. So I will limit the damage, and have a lead as to the means of the theft of my number - but nobody will pursue the digital thieves.

    Before the system collapses, stockpile trade goods - things nobody else will have - coffee, feminine products…I'm just thinking out loud...

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  3. Not me. I prefer my ATM to carrying cash... though I do carry about $20 in assorted bills and change just in case. What amazes me is the number of people who will hold up a line at the checkout counter by writing checks. Not even having them filled out except the amount. Those I consider dinosaurs or just stupid.

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    1. I don't write that many checks. The pool guy, the lawn guy, etc. all get monthly checks. If somebody is going to hack your identity, it usually happens at restaurants (they do it with skimmers) and I pay cash. I must confess that I use an ATM card once or twice a month these days, but still rely on cash for most of it. As I say, it hurts a bit more. Not so easy to spend.

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  4. Replies
    1. I would have thought you'd have transferred to the ATM lifestyle because you are very tech savvy.

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  5. ATM. That's a bank card? I have a couple of credit cars I only use if I don't have any money in my pocket. I seldom use them. Guess I'm not a "modern" guy.

    Wo

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    1. I'd have thought that they would still accept Confederate money in rural Alabama.

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    2. Accept it? They demand it.

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    3. I'll have to break out my bills with Jeff Davis' face or Andrew Stephens' face on them when I come to visit.

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  6. I avoid cards and banks like the plague, not always successfully. And you can't have too many guns, and bullets. That's what I think.

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  7. I sometimes get strange looks when I pull out cash to pay the bill. Many, many times the cashier has spun the little debit card terminal towards me for my use, only to be greeted with some 20's, 10's, and 5's.

    The young ones chuckle and tell me how much easier it is to use my card, while the old ones just smile at me.

    And I, too, have several different credit cards that I use for specific things. Card "A" only gets used for live purchases, card "B" only gets used on the Internet, card "C" is strictly for "home improvement" purchases, etc.

    One place I go to where I see transactions being done 90%+ in cash is the range I practice at. Most other places people just whip out the plastic.....

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  8. I'm the same way... and I'm 'investing' in lead and brass...

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It's virtual - it's a mirage - it's life