Twittering to Death
Posterity's Debt To Me
Coping with Deflation
My Immigrant Relative
The Eloquent Pogo
US HERE: Wrisley.com
February 18, 2017
Overdosing. A popular fad.
As publisher Bill Bonner points out
in a recent column, the world is overdosing on debt. The tab, he says,
is $200 trillion and an uptick in the interest rate of only 1 percent would
run the annual interest on world debt to $2 trillion. Even in this age
of debauched currency that's a helluva heavy tab to bear.
Debt, well managed, can be a good thing. But as our paternal grandmother was
fond of saying, "Too much of a good thing can lead to
trouble." For instance, a suppertime dollop of wine can be
beneficial but downing an entire bottle every evening can lead to big trouble.
Overdosing on debt almost always comes to a bad end. So does overdosing
on drugs. We're told that self-abuse with opioids is running out of
control in some areas in the U.S. and only recently we hear that carfentanil
overdosing is killing people in rapidly increasing numbers. The stuff is about
10,000 times more powerful than morphine and only a couple of grains can be
lethal. It's used to sedate large animals, like elephants.
Debt and drugs. . . a couple of millstones that hang heavy around too many
The N.Y. Sun's view of Nikki Haley
"A star is born
is our reaction to the first press briefing by President Trump’s new
ambassador at the United Nations. The ex-governor of South Carolina was
ridiculed by the Left when the president first sent her nomination up to the
Hill, owing to her alleged lack of foreign policy chops. She certainly rang
the wake up gong for that crowd this morning, after emerging from her first
meeting of the Security Council. Tough as nails but with a smile and a layer
of Southern charm." COMET
"She has the principles of a Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the grit of a John Bolton, and the star power of a Jeane Kirkpatrick, and in her first press briefing she certainly made her
point," concludes the editorial.
The anti-Israel crowd
will be upset, of course, and somebody will have something to say ab out the
Sun's Jewish ownership. Be that as it may South Carolina Haley
supporters will be pleased that at least one news outlet believes Donald
Trump's choice for U.N. Ambassador was a good one.
We got the
impression from a remark by President Trump at his chaotic news conference
Thursday that he really doesn't want to be pushed into a shooting war with
Russia. He mentioned the disastrous consequences of these two well armed
nations uncorking their nuclear weapons.
A comment by an
old-time newsman some years ago comes to mind. He said violence is
news - peace and contentment aren't.
So, you want to be a radio or
Read this aloud without rehearsing.
|| "Penelope Cholmondely raised her
azure eyes from the crabbed scenario. She meandered among the congeries
of her memoirs. There was the Kinetic Algernon, a choleric artificer of
icons and triptychs, who wanted to write a trilogy. For years she had
stifled her risibilities with dour moods. His asthma caused him to sough
like the zephyrs among the tamarack."
kidding, of course. The above is said to be from a 1920 s radio announcer
audition script but by the time we made our own sojourn into the whacky world
of radio in the mid 1940s would-be announcers (mostly male) needed only a
relatively pleasant voice, little or no regional accent, and an ability to
read aloud with as few mistakes ("fluffs") as
possible. Radio station owners did not particularly care if you had any
college experience and the concept of actually going to a specialized
announcing school was rarely heard.
Salary levels were not attractive, except among major stations and networks,
but there was fun to be had and there was a certain glamour to the work. And
no heavy lifting.
By the autumn of 1947 we found ourselves on the staff of a large CBS station
in Central New England earning $75.00 a week. That was pretty good money
and we could afford to get married the following year. Announcer
auditions in those days included reading aloud several commercials, a few
paragraphs of news copy, and often a portion of a classical music narrative
involving tricky Russian names.
21st century announcer standards are different. Dulcet tones are no
longer required. Word pronunciation seems to be loosely
supervised. Many stations used to provide large dictionaries on reading
stands near the studios for the convenience of announcers. That seems to
be no longer the case.
By the way, if you ever run into the name Penelope Cholmondely the last
name is pronounced "Chumley."
A philosophical comment
from Phrendly Phred.
did not cause the deep division in the country. It caused him. There are
A Timely Word from Pho very different Americas. I suspect that the half of the
country that voted for Trump, that voted with wild enthusiasm, that
roared at huge rallies, was not so much voting for Trump as
against the other America. It was just that they had never had a chance
before. The two countries have little in common and do not belong on the
same geography." FRED
can count on the curmudgeonly Fred Reed to say what he thinks. And
he thinks the USA is politically split right down the middle. The
political left vs. the political right.
right. But it shouldn't surprise anyone. The political left
vs. the political right. Add the mainstream news media whose bias
runs to the left and it's little wonder there's a distinct clash between
political viewpoints. Hidden in all the furor are the fundamental
differences between the two political extremes. Common sense
debates are overdue.
Rogers emerges now and then through podcast interviews with his forecasts
about economics and money. His latest prognostication is that CASH IS ON
THE WAY OUT.
It certainly seems like it. Big time economists have been calling for stopping
production of €500 and $100 notes. MIT's Kenneth
Rogoff speaks of also halting printing and distribution of $50 and $20
notes. India has already taken the plunge by invalidating some 86
percent of paper rupees and limiting the amount of remaining cash that can be
used for purchases. France has capped cash transactions, too.
What a relief it would be to the banking industry if it didn't have to
maintain all those ATMs. Armored truck businesses could sell off most of their
vehicles and fire employees in droves. Bank tellers would be in far less
demand when most of the world's transactions took place on computers.
Young people, particularly, are already tuned to the cashless concept.
Only yesterday we stood in a shop checkout line watching the young lady ahead
of us pay her $1.86 tab with a debit (or credit) card.
The Crane paper company in western Massachusetts would certainly be unhappy
with cashlessness. It manufactures the special paper used by the Bureau
of Engraving and Printing to print paper currency. Their objection would be on the same grounds
as that of the zinc industry which opposes the notion of dropping the one cent
coin from production. Billions of these nearly useless coins are minted each
year. They're made mostly of zinc, although they are coated with a thin
veneer of copper to maintain the appearance of the old pre-1982 U.S. cents.
Is Rogers right? Are we headed for "cashlessness"? Maybe. It
would certainly allow eager bureaucrats to more closely supervise our personal
For some reason Professor Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" comes to mind.
PRICE INFLATION UPDATE:
Big question: Is higher price
inflation on the way?
In 2016 the annualized price
inflation rate was 1.6 percent. Producer prices showed a
relatively sharp increase last month which promises to pass through to
The dollar is still losing
purchasing power, but not quite at the rate the Federal Reserve System
desires. Two percent is their goal.
NEW U.S. TREASURY SEC'Y.
ITEM: (AP) . . . Steven
Mnuchin was sworn in as the next treasury secretary on Monday night after the
U.S. Senate voted 53-47 to confirm him as treasury secretary. Mnuchin
was expected to be confirmed. His confirmation came in spite of strong
objections by Democrats that the former banker made much of his fortune by
foreclosing on struggling homeowners during the financial crisis.
signature to be affixed to our printed currency - Steven Mnuchin, replacing
that of Jack Lew. The AP dispatch points out in its 2nd sentence that
Mnuchin is said to have "made much of his fortune by foreclosing on
struggling homeowners during the financial crisis." Notice how
quickly the news service raises the picture of the evil landlord foreclosing
on the pitiful widow or other poor soul caught in a financial
raises an interesting question. Exactly what should a property owner do
if the occupants of his property cannot (or will not) pay whatever was agreed
to in the original contract? A free market conservative might say the
property owner has the right to reclaim the property, while the liberal is
likely to claim that foreclosure is unfair to occupants who have run into a
streak of bad luck.
law is generally on the side of the property owner following the ancient rule
"Pacta sunt servanda." (The contract must be served.)
Mr. Mnuchin apparently sounds both the 'm' and 'n' in his name. Min-oo'-chin.
IF THE LAW CAN'T HALT THE DEMAND FOR
DRUGS, WHAT CAN?
| "The U.S. government
made drugs illegal in 1914. The government deemed Americans too dumb to
educate themselves and their children about proper and improper drugs
and drug use, and too weak-willed to resist using them properly or
imprITEM: operly. Instead, it simply banned them.
"What do we read 103 years later?
In Louisville, we read that overdose
calls spiked recently. This is not unusual: “Nationwide, the spike
in opioid overdoses is blamed on heroin and fentanyl, a pain reliever
often given to cancer patients. Death rates from synthetic opioids,
including fentanyl, increased 72.2% from 2014 to 2015, the US Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention said.”
"In nearby Crawford County,
Indiana, we read “8
people facing drug charges in Crawford County“, again not unusual
for just about anywhere in this country." THE WAR ON DRUGS
| Here is retired
college professor Mike Rozeff at full throttle on the never-ending
battle society suffers in dealing with drug addiction. For more
than a century we have relied on thegovernment forces to lay down strict
laws against the offending substances and the result has been public
expenses running into the billions of dollars and an overloaded prison
system funning into millions of prisoners
When the subject
comes up we try to get a rise out of our younger descendants by saying
"When I was born alcohol was illegal but marijuana wasn.t."
(Marijuana was not, in fact, officially declared an unlawful substance
until 1937. In the meantime, the failed prohibition on alcohol was
abandoned in the early '30s. )
great and powerful government can't stop trafficking in
"unlawful" drugs what can be done to dampen the demand ?
ruminations on the subject will provide fodder for the continuing
debate. He invites email responses.
Got one of these?
Good. It's still legal tender.
This rare note still exists in
paper currency collections, and it still legally passes at face value -
although its collector value is greater than its face.
When India canceled the
value of its 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in late 2016 it declared them worthless
after December 31st. The U.S. has never canceled outdated notes,
although they are accepted by the Treasury department at face value. The
$1,000.00 note could be exchanged for 50 troy ounces of gold when it was
issued, Today you couldn't buy 1 ounce of gold with it. That
promise of redeemability in lawful money was long ago rescinded. Today
your bank would accept it as a deposit for only its face value.
The point arises
because of the rising "war on cash." There have been calls for
stopping the production of $100.00, possibly even $50.00 notes, but there is
yet no talk of canceling the legal tender status of nots already in
circulation. That hasn't been done in 225 years. It COULD happen,
but it;s highly unlikely. It would mark the end of the republic in its
currency mess in India continues to draw attention. In November Indian
Prime Minister Modi announced the sudden canceling of 500 and 1,000 rupee
notes , but gave holders until the end of December to deposit their paper
notes or exchange them for smaller denomination; If they didn't meet the deadline the
canceled notes would become worthless
This war on cash was intended to flush out tax evaders, hoarders, criminals
and what not. As far as the tax collector has been concerned the program
has been a bit of a flop.
India's tax department has nowhere near the personnel and resources to check
all the deposits and currency exchanges to find miscreants to haul in for
questioning. For example, if someone claiming to live on a modest income
stream shows up with a big bundle of paper rupees the transaction would be
flagged for review. But tax authorities complain they just don't have
the resources to do a thorough job. The tax department in India audits
only 1.5 percent of the 40 million tax returns submitted each year.
The War on Cash is experiencing some setbacks.
There is talk about no longer printing $100.00 Federal Reserve notes in the
U.S. Key point: There is NO suggestion that the legality of
existing $100.00 notes be canceled. This would be contrary to
standard for the dollar.
An argument favoring a debate on sound
by John Wrisley
What a mess civilization
would be in if there were no universal standards of measurement. Could there
be civilization in the first place?
We take for granted that 16 ounces constitute a pound and that 8
furlongs (5,280 feet) equal one mile. No one questions there are 2 pints in a
quart or 60 minutes in an hour. Weight, distance, time - there are precise
standards for measuring almost everything. Except money.
Strangely enough, people are willing to measure their economic
transactions with something that is based on no fixed standard at all!
The U.S. dollar.
The U.S. dollar once had a precise physical dimension. It was a
coin containing 371.25 grains of pure silver. Later it was also defined as
22.32 grains of gold. U.S. dollars now exist chiefly as digits in countless
computers and also as paper notes circulating in denominations from $1.00 to
$100.00. By definition the notes are IOUs, although they are generally
accepted in payment because the government has declared them legal tender.
(Some merchants refuse higher denominations of notes such as $50.00 and
$100.00. They are entirely within their rights.)
Circulating coins, the smallest fraction of the
money supply, are not IOUs. However, with the exception of the
five-cent piece they don't contain metal that is valued anywhere near their
face value. When the dollar was a silver coin the half-dollar, quarter-dollar,
and dime contained silver proportionate to their stated face value. That is, a
dime contained 1/10th the amount of pure silver as the dollar. The cent and
nickel were minted for change-making in small transactions and contained no
silver. Hence, their dimensions had nothing to do with those of the dime,
quarter-dollar, half-dollar, and dollar. Also, they did not have milled
edges as silver coins did to discourage scraping metal from the edges. (An
ancient practice called "clipping".)
Gold and silver coins emerged as useful money because they were
perceived as valuable and durable. They became widely accepted as media for
exchanges in the marketplace. The intrinsic value of money was about the
same value as the items exchanged. A bushel of corn, for example, might be
worth 30 grains of silver which, in turn, might trade for a pair of leather
sandals. The actual exchange was corn for sandals, but a small
silver coin containing 30 grains of silver became the conventional medium
to expedite that exchange.
The coin was also a store of value. The exchange of goods or
services didn't have to occur on the spot. Goods could be traded for
money and the money, a carrier of actual value, could be exchanged for
goods or services of like value at a later time.
Money was a standard of measure. The silver content was
guaranteed by a trusted authority whose mint struck coins of equal quality and
That was it in a nutshell; To be an
efficient measuring device money had to 1/ be widely accepted as a medium of
exchange, 2/ store value over time, and 3/ be a reliable standard of measure.
Modern currency has lost all but the first attribute.
HAWKS vs. DOVES
"President Trump has resisted efforts to get him to call Putin a
'thug' or a 'murderer.' Asked during his taped Super Bowl interview with
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly whether he respected Putin, Trump said that,
as a leader, yes.
"O’Reilly pressed, 'But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a
killer.' To which Trump replied, 'There are a lot of killers. We’ve
got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?'
"While his reply was
clumsy, Trump’s intent was commendable."
The nation is split right down the middle on this issue, too. The
hawks demand we should not be namby pamby with Vladimir Putin and warn
him of U.S. moral superiority. But others, such as President Trump
and commentator Pat Buchanan believe our own track record in destroying
human life is not unblemished. The WW2 raids on Cologne, Hamburg,
Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki are cited in which hundreds of
thusands of women and children were blasted and burned to death.
hawks rattle their sabers and demand a get-tough policy with Russia
while the peaceniks dread the prospect of another hot war. . .
particularly one between two major nations armed to the teeth with
Is it human nature to crave war? Or will peace break out one of
these days? .
Alfred Nobel, the late Swedish
munitions manufacturer, made a bundle at the business of war. He was
willing, however, to invest part of his fortune in a search for peace - -
although he doubted it would do much good.
"I intend to leave
after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I
am skeptical as to its result. The savants will write excellent
volumes. There will be laureates. But wars will continue just
the same until the force of circumstances render them impossible.
" ~Alfred Bernhard Nobel, 1890.
Free speech bashing at
Berkeley has faded from the news.
The "protest" set taxpayers back about
Artist Ben Garrison runs the popular Grrgraphics.com
obviously does not support political leftists in their destructive protests
against free speech. Nor do we.
We were taught early on that we-the-people had a right to peaceably
assemble and scream out heads off if we wanted to. But it did not
include the right to smash and burn public and private property. Nor did
it include mischief, such as hollering "Fire!" in a crowded
Our personal inclination is to avoid joining protest crowds even if we agree
with them. There is a tendency of crowds to turn into mobs.
"The university blamed "150 masked
agitators" for the unrest, saying they had come to campus to
disturb an otherwise peaceful protest.
"Two Berkeley College Republicans 'were
attacked while conducting an interview' on the campus on Thursday, UC
Berkeley also said in a prepared statement. The attackers, who were
not affiliated with the university, were taken into custody by UC
Berkeley police." ~CNN Report
the "right to protest" include the "right" to
destroy public property to the tune of $100,000? And what was it
that Milo Yiannopoulos was going to say on the UC Berkeley campus that
had to be banned?
Yiannopoulos is far too right-wing to suit leftists and they chose
to mount a destructive campus riot to muzzle him. Mainstream media
did a good job of covering the event but seemed oblivious to taxpayer
loss from the destruction of public property.
This suggests that the "right" to riot and smash public and
private property is granted by the U.S. Constitution. It
isn't. Peaceful protests are protected behavior. Smashing
and burning things are not. News reporters and commentators
should point that out.
UTAH EDGES TOWARD
It's a hard sell in an era that
accepts paper IOUs as "money".
"HB224 would authorize the
investment of public funds in specie legal tender held in a commercial
specie repository. Under existing code,
“specie legal tender” means gold or silver coin and bullion.
“Commercial specie repository” means an institution that holds or
receives deposits of specie legal tender that is located within the state.
Practically speaking, passage would give the state the option to hold
funds in gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve
notes." PRECIOUS METALS AS MONEY
The naysayers will be out in droves responding to this bill in the Utah
state legislature. They will denounce it as ignorantly old fashioned
and impossible to implement in "these modern times".
"Besides," they howl, "there's not enough gold on the
planet to fully back the paper currencies."
This is not true,
of course. Using the U.S. dollar as an example; Prior to the
election Franklin Roosevelt a dollar was defined as 1/20th of an ounce of
gold. He quickly reduced the value of the dollar to 1/35th of an
ounce of gold. It eventually sunk to 1/42nd of an ounce and lost its
tie to gold altogether in August of 1971. In order to back all the
dollars in circulation today the definition, in terms of gold, would have
to be about 1/3000th of an ounce of gold per dollar. (The market
price is presently about 1/1200th of a troy ounce per dollar.)
bewildering to think about in this age of near-money and debt-based
currency. However, the banking giants of the 19th and early 20th
century understood that the paper notes were exactly that....promises to
pay. That's what prompted J.P. Morgan to say "Gold is money.
line: The paper Federal Reserve note is evidence of the U.S. obligation
to the central bank, duly signed by the U.S. Treasurer and the Secretary
of the Treasury. Until late 1963 these notes were "Redeemable in
Lawful Money" but the promise was withdrawn about the time President
Kennedy was shot. Scholars have never been able to discover who gave
the order to withdraw the promise of redeemability.
might be helpful if a short course, say two or three hours, could be
introduced into the public middle schools describing the strange evolution
of our currency.
"Coin collectors are
being warned not get too caught up in Trumpmania and to be wary of buying
President Donald Trump souvenirs that are being touted as rare collectable
Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG), a nonprofit organization composed
of many of the top rare coin and paper money experts, issued a warning
saying that these souvenirs do not make for great investments in the
"A basic search on eBay or Amazon shows a variety of Trump coins for
sale, including some that are labeled as American Eagle coins -- the
official bullion coin of the U.S. Mint. The U.S. Mint confirmed to Kitco
that they have not minted any Donald Trump coins or metals." Kitco
Just because it's round and is called a "coin" in ads does not
mean it's a coin. The so-called Trump coins are merely souvenir
tokens or medallions. Case in point - the celebratory experience of
the city of Columbia, SC. In 1936 the city contracted with the U.S.
mint to issue a commemorative fifty-cent piece. It was a means of
helping to fund a Sesquicentennial of the founding of the city. It
was an official U.S. coin.
The mint's commemorative program got out of hand and was eventually
halted. When the city sought to issue a commemorative metal souvenir
for its Bicentennial Celebration in 1986 it had to settle for designing
and minting MEDALLIONS. We have some knowledge of the matter as we
were chairman of the Bicentennial Medallion Committee.
Most of these handsome medallions were minted of bronze and silver. Some
were gold. Although the general population called them
"coins" they had no connection with the U.S. Treasury whose mint
stamps out metal discs identified in law and literature as
The last U.S. president to have a coin to bear his likeness was
John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963. It is the fifty-cent
If a private mint issues a Trump commemorative medallion of silver and
gold, and its price is only moderately higher than the market price of the
metal, there's no particular disadvantage in owning them. But beware
the offers of junk that are already being circulated.
'CREDIT CARD FRAUD KEEPS RISING' reports the Wall St. Journal. Some 15.4
million U.S. consumers were victims of fraud in 2016, resulting in losses of
about $16 billion. We're at a loss to understand the argument of the
"cashless society" crowd that going all digital in our transactions
is safer than old-fashioned checks and hand-to-hand legal tender.
FEARS RETURN' says another report. Greece is in hock to its eye-balls and has no
plan to deal with it, aside from finding methods of postponing paying it off.
Also called "kicking the can down the road." The U.S. and other major
nations carry burdensome debt. Congress, by the way, faces the chore of raising the
official debt ceiling in April or May. If President Trump favors raising the
ceiling he will be denounced by fiscal conservatives. If he favors holding the
debt level where it is and cutting spending to balance the budget he will be
denounced by liberals. Moreover, if he should suggest in the next four years that the U.S.
consider restoring the money system mandated by the U.S. Constitution he will
be furiously denounced and run out of office.
conservatives are held — and hold themselves — to higher standards of
behavior. By contrast, Democrats and liberals are held — and hold
themselves — to less civilized standards of behavior," observes
Dr. Walter Williams.
'One of the most glaring examples of
how liberals are held to lower standards comes when we look at what they
control. The nation's most dangerous big cities in 2012 were Detroit,
Oakland, St. Louis, Memphis, Stockton, Birmingham, Baltimore, Cleveland,
Atlanta and Milwaukee. The most common characteristic of these cities is
that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably
liberal administrations.' Walter Williams
The ideological battle continues.
Can Media Destroy
Or, will he self-destruct?
| "Trump not only appears to
have no desire to yield to his enemies in politics and the media, he has
no choice, as he is now the personification of a surging Middle American
"Undeniably, there are
great numbers of Americans who agree with the libels the Times showered
on Trump and, by extension, his backers whom Hillary Clinton designated
'he racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic … deplorables.'
American "deplorables" rose up and put Donald J.Trump
into the White House. This was not what the mainstream media
wanted and they aim to unseat him by whatever means they can find.
that President Trump is not prone to mistakes and errors in judgment, as
we are reminded daily by the the N.Y. Times, Washington Post, NPR,
television networks, cable, et al. The subtext: The
American Deplorables made a terrible mistake electing Trump. He
doesn't have the political experience to do the job.
thing is certain. Trump's modus operandi is not "politics as
"At the World Economic Forum in
Davos Switzerland, Joseph Stiglitz the Nobel Prize-winning economist argued in
favor of phasing out currency and moving toward a digital economy.
"The view expressed by Stiglitz is
similar to that of former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff who has been
arguing for many years that there is an urgent need to
remove cash from the economy. It is held that cash provides
support to the shadow economy and permits tax evasion. Some estimates suggest
this could be up to $700 billion in the US.
"The Governor of the Bank of
England — Mark Carney — has expressed similar views in support
of the removal of cash.
"Yet another justification for its
removal is that in times of economic shocks, which push the economy into
recession, the run for cash exacerbates the downturn — i.e., it becomes
a factor contributing to economic instability by facilitating a cash-induced
savings surge rather than an increase in demand." ABOLISH
The push toward
cashlessness is strengthening. Big guns like Joseph Stiglitz, Ken Rogoff,
and Larry Summers are getting plenty of coverage in their quest to get rid of
big currency notes, and the ultimate goal is to get rid of hand-to-hand
currency entirely. This, they argue, would limit terrorists' ability to
raise cash and also undedr-cut drug trafficking and other criminal
debate drones on we aim to keep abreast of its twists and turns here on our
tiny corner of the Internet.
U.S. has slowly been moving toward becoming a cashless society ever since the
introduction of the first general purpose credit card in the 1950s. But,
as many businesses are discovering, it is only now possible to ditch [cash]
altogether." ~Christopher Mims, Wall St. Journal.
Mims tells of a cafe owner in Baltimore who had been robbed five times in
three months who decided to quit accepting cash altogether. To his
surprise business did not appreciably drop.
A salad chain with 66 locations across the nation has opted to go cashless
in 2017. The ease with which credit/debit cards can be employed to
make purchases, not to mention the convenience of mobile device apps, have
made the use of checks and hand-to-hand currency less necessary.
Don't be surprised to hear about a scientific study that blames paper
currency for the transmission of a variety of diseases. (Germs do
travel on currency, shopping cart handles, doorknobs, etc. It
pays to wash hands often.) Critics of cash welcome arguments like
this against paper currency.
But what of the hapless soul who happens not to hold a credit or debit
card, or even a bank account? Mr. Mims says some 7 percent of
Americans do not hold bank accounts. They are called the
More On Getting Rid of Cash
"Cash has the important feature of
offering anonymity to transactions. Such anonymity may be desired for
legitimate reason (e.g. protection of privacy). But, such anonymity can
also be misused for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes.
The possibility to conduct large cash payments facilitates money
laundering and terrorist financing activities because of the difficulty
to control cash payment transactions." On The Road to
| < "Tyler
Durden" at Zero Hedge is keeping an eye on the trend to
cashlessness. The proposals are spun in a way to suggest that
large cash transactions are usually done by evil-doers, those scoundrels
who work in the criminal underground.
Europe is moving more quickly toward eliminating large euro bills, but
some U.S. economist are saying the $100.00 bill ought not be printed any
more. Some even think the $50.00 note should be eliminated, too.
With more transactions handled via credit/debit cards authorities
believe they can put money laundering and other criminal activities to
There's not much popular concern for the tren d toward the cashless
society. Perhaps President Trump will tweet something on the
subject and draw media attention.
Egon von Greyerz
tosses cold water on our debt-based currency system.
(Caution: He makes a distinction between paper IOUs and sound money.)
"The coming unhappiness with Trump and
his team will not arise because of the actions they take. They will
clearly do everything in their might to make America great again. But
the probabilities are totally against them to achieve this goal. They
are taking over power at a time when debt has grown exponentially
since the 1970s. They are also assuming power of a country that has
not achieved a proper budget surplus for well over half a century.
Even worse, the US has not had a positive trade balance since the
early 1970s. So here we have a country that has been living above its
means for decades and has no real chance of changing this vicious
circle. Trade wars and import taxes are unlikely to improve
"The Federal debt is at $20 trillion
and has been growing at the rate of 9% per year for the last 40 odd
years. The forecast for the next four years is that the growth of the
debt will accelerate. Total US debt is over $70 trillion or over 3.5x
GDP. But that is just a fraction of the US liabilities. Unfunded
liabilities are over $200 trillion. Add to that the real gross
derivative position of US banks which probably at least $500 trillion."
Heading to zero; The pound, yen, euro and dollar.
President Trump is bold, brash and confident he has the answer to the
nation's economic stumbling blocks. Based on his scheme for
paying for wall-building between Mexico and the United States we
surmise he is not as well read on competitive free market economics as
he should be. An import tax on Mexican goods would be paid by
"Mexico will pay for the wall" asserts Trump. Not
so. States don't PAY taxes, they collect
Consider the avacado grower in Mexico who finds his produce taxed by a
new 20 percent tax upon export to the U.S. The tax is not
absorbed by some generous agency, it is passed along to the American
consumer - who will likely get along buying fewer avacados.
This, in turn, affects the income of the hapless producer.
Our early Colonial ancestors built walls to stave off attacks
from ticked-off Native Americans of the day. They soon
learned that trade was the more practical method of getting
along with neighbors.