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  • Writer's pictureMark Walbank

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Updated: Oct 5, 2021 is a grassroots movement fighting for the simple right of Australians to pay and be paid in cash wherever they go in this country. The website and the movement is run by Jason Bryce.

There are excellent, well-researched, compelling and thought-provoking stories on Jason's website. Jason is the main contributor, with some assistance from Sheridan. is passionate about cash, and for excellent reasons. It has excellent content. I warmly recommend all of those who care about democracy, privacy, and the unreliability of the card payment system, to visit the website. Recently this was even acknowledged by our Treasurer.

Here are the links to some of the stories I find most interesting.

'Covid is not killing cash.' This is an article about the absolute non-sense and fake news that the enemies of cash are spreading, even using COVID-19 to spread lies that ATM usage is somehow more contagious than tapping and pay waving. The Delta variant is completely airborne and has nothing to do with ATM or cash usage.

According to Jason, there were more ATM transactions in April 2021 than in March 2021, which shows that ATM transactions are trending upwards, which we can confirm to be true even from the figures that our ATM deployment business was generating before the new rounds of lockdowns were introduced.

The botched up vaccine rollout, the refusal of the Federal Government to built purpose-built quarantine facilities, the irresponsible and damaging decisions that the NSW premier Gladys Berejeklian took, which puts the whole country risking 'living with COVID' and the possibility of interminable lockdowns that affect the livelihoods of millions of people in Australia, will only continue to diminish our trust in governments. This will translate into diminished trust in the banks since the governments and the banks are in a symbiotic relationship that has dramatically increased the wealth gap in Australia. As a result, many people will never be able to enter the property market. Diminished trust in banks translates into less usage of their loans, credit cards and other products. If we have a prolonged recession or even depression due to COVID, many people will reconsider their lazy tapping and pay waving paying habits. They simply will have to worry about every cent in this precarious economy.

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The Germans, who have developed one of the world's most innovative and dynamic economies of the world, are entirely repulsed by contactless payments, which you can read from the report above. Germans are financially very averse to debt, which is very easy to rack up with reckless use of credit cards. Germans call debt 'schuld'. That same word in German also means 'guilt', which indicates how the Germans historically view debt.

Unlike Australia's household debt which is at a record high of $121,194 per person in 2021, Germany household debt is only US$ 59,570.Germans find it easy to budget and pay with cash, so it's no surprise that their household debt per person is less than half of Australia's. It seems very rational and sensible behaviour to me. Is really the get-as-in-much-debt-as-you-can bonanza in Australia going to last forever? I don't think so.

Lowe, the RBA chairman, has said to expect interest rate rises in 2024. It will be interesting when the interest rates finally rise how many Australians will afford their houses, cars, personal loans, credit cards, etc. The jazz swinging time of easy credit will end, and people will have to adopt the German approach to get themselves out of financial calamity. If you look at an RBA chart published this year, you can easily see that Australia's household debt closely follows the house price inflation (differently said the rise in house properties). This is directly related to the academic paper I share below on class in the 21st century Sydney, the capital of the NSW, arrogantly called the 'head office' of the Australian economy by the current NSW Treasurer.

If I am reading the chart above correctly, it says that Australians have debt that is almost twice their income. So, it is definitely not a good situation to be in a higher-interest scenario.

As you can see from this chart, business investment has nosedived this year in Australia.

Many of us are literally starving, struggling to pay our rents and mortgages during this awful COVID crisis. We have been left to fend for ourselves; the banks of Australia are hugely profitable, primarily because of the number of new house mortgages that the mortgagees won't be able to afford in two years or so when the interest rates go up, and also because of the senseless tapping and waving of those plastic credit cards. Here just look at this chart. No signs of struggle there. Net profits are reaching up to $10 billion collectively for this year. Look at the figures for 2020, where the whole country was locked down for months. The banks report record profits. So, in the end, the governments and the whole financial regulatory infrastructure only care about making the banks even richer.

I don't want to alarm you, but the world is at a tipping point on so many levels. The continuous technology disruptions could end up destroying the world. Social media is literally making us mentally ill. We are harassed, bullied and intimated while somehow feel compelled to share our most intimate details with strangers on our computer or smartphone screen; see this article, and this, and this on that particular topic. Actually, there are hundreds of scientific papers written on the evils of social media. Do you actually know which person or organisations in the world knows your most private data and are prepared to use it against you? I don't, and I try to reduce my digital footprint as much as I can. For that reason, I pay in cash whenever I can.

Without the internet and social media, we won't be having those massive online scams Jason Bryce investigated. So, I try to reduce my digital footprint as much as I can. For that reason, I pay in cash whenever I can.

The surveillance society is not a joke. If you sleep walk about this, you might wake up in a dictatorship. We are under surveillance literally everywhere we go. There are so many scholarly books now written about them. I will just mention three of them.

From the blurb on Amazon about SuperVision: 'We live in a surveillance society. Anyone who uses a credit card, cell phone, or even search engines to navigate the Web is being monitored and assessed—and often in ways that are imperceptible to us. The first general introduction to the growing field of surveillance studies, SuperVision uses examples drawn from everyday technologies to show how surveillance is used, who is using it, and how it affects our world...Even if you avoid using credit cards and stay off Facebook, they show, going to work or school inevitably embeds you in surveillance relationships.'

We collectively have to fight this surveillance society. Some simple steps with which we can start is refusing to pay with cards, use private search engines like DuckDuckGo or Firefox Focus, and getting off social media altogether.

Do you want to live in a world where you buy all your products from 50 global corporations? Support small businesses and support cash. It's old; it has existed in various forms for millennia; you can smell it, touch it and store it later as a reserve of value. Also, when you hand out a cash note, you actually have that real sense of parting with something precious. So, it makes you think harder about buying things that you don't really need or want.

Here, you can read an article about how successive Australian governments created a system for the ultra-rich. This paper nicely dovetails the data from the RBA above. You can download the paper by clicking on the arrow below. This is connected with the household debt in Australia.

Class in the 21st century 1
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Criminals have long moved on from using cash for their activities. Jason's article exposes the world of online scams. Close to $900 million of money was lost from 440,000 victims last year. Read his blog post here. So much about 'cash being used by organised crime.' This is just a cheap scapegoat for unthinking people, at best, or people with seriously malicious intent, at worst. Organised crime is a sophisticated illegal business. So, they move to where the real opportunities for big scams are. Which is the world of not-so-regulated digital/card/online/cryptocurrency payments.

Have you seen the TV show Startup? It's a show about a gang of smart people who create a digital currency called GenCon. The whole digital currency is one big scam. It is very instructive. This might be fiction, but it's fiction assembled from the reality of the enormous ambitions of fintech startups.

Another true cautionary story is 'Retailers must accepts cash or lose business'. Jason has investigated the 22-day outage of Tyro's 'connectivity issues'. For the damage these connectivity issues inflict on ordinary merchants, head to Support Jason's campaign to legalise cash purchases up to $10,000 by clicking the button below. By supporting the petition, you are supporting 6 million Australians who want cash to stay a viable payment option for the foreseeable future.

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