The Editorial Board of the New York Times tells its readers this morning:
Few Europeans use the 500-euro note, and most Americans rarely encounter the $100 bill. Yet hundreds of millions of these notes are in circulation around the world, where they are often used by drug cartels, corrupt politicians, terrorists and tax cheats to evade law enforcement. That’s why officials in Europe and elsewhere are proposing to end the printing of high-denomination bills.Of course, NYT fails to discuss the true evil here: The growing ability of government to track transactions of every citizen and how eliminating the $100 bill advances that ability.
Getting rid of big bills will make it harder for criminals to do business and make it easier for law enforcement to detect illicit activity....
Critics who oppose such changes say the big bills make it easier for people to keep their savings in cash, especially in countries with negative interest rates. Some people also prefer not to conduct transactions electronically because they fear security breaches. But these are relatively minor burdens compared with the potential benefits of reducing criminal activity and tax evasion...
There are now so many ways to pay for things, and eliminating big bills should create few problems.
Physical currency is about privacy and freedom. Alternatives to currency, be it checking accounts, debit cards or bitcoin, leave a trail. Aside from the question of why the US government should have a "war" on drugs in the first place, currency does much more than provide a means of exchange for drug dealers, it provides a check on oppressive government.
I consider the war on cash one of the most dangerous advances toward oppressive government. A government-inspired advance toward a cashless society should be near top of every freedom lovers list of things that should be aggressively opposed.