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.