Friday, March 28, 2014

Planting the Seeds for a Cashless Society...

...where everything can be tracked.

This appeared in yesterday's WSJ:
Want to Reduce Crime? Get Rid of Cash

Why has crime fallen sharply in the U.S. since the 1990s? One factor might be a decline in the use of cash, say the authors of a new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
As electronic forms of payment have gained popularity, the proportion of financial transactions involving cash has declined — a trend that has coincidentally overlapped with what is known as the great American crime decline. Furthermore, criminologists and economists have long linked cash with certain kinds of street crimes, noting that dollar bills are easy to hide and reuse.
“Cash is critical in stimulating street crime because of its liquidity and anonymity. This role in street crimes has long been speculated — but the puzzle has not been solved,” Erdal Tekin, an economist at Georgia State University and one of the paper’s authors, said in an interview.
From the NBER paper referenced:
 It has been long recognized that cash plays a critical role in fueling street crime due to its liquidity and transactional anonymity...Interestingly, the significant drop in crime in the United States over several decades has coincided with a period of steady decline in the proportion of financial transactions involving cash. In that sense, our findings serve as a fresh contribution to the important debate surrounding the factors underpinning the great American crime decline.


  1. Want to Reduce Crime? Get Rid of Government.

  2. Just like the correlation between shark attacks and ice cream consumption.

    Even if this were the case I like my cash and gold.

  3. At 1132 anon: exactly what I was thinking. I don't claim to say if a cashless society is better. But articles like this are a mockery of anyone with even a semblance of an analytic mindset.

    Why has fallen sharply in the U.S. since the ? One factor might be a , say the authors of a new paper published by the .

  4. Guess they never heard of credit card fraud.

    Besides, violent crime is largely committed by people who are within a particular age rage. A bubble in the US population has moved through or almost entirely moved through that age range. That is likely responsible for the great bulk of the drop in crime.

  5. If every exhange was tracked how would the banks hide all the money laundering... I forgot, they don't have too.

  6. How about all the cameras that have been placed out there?

  7. You will never get rid of crime, it will change as the climate changes, all getting rid of cash will do is put a data based tacking system so the government knows or some one knows every thing that a person has purchased and keep a track on the whole community

  8. Keeping lots of criminals locked up also has something to do with the drop in crime rates.

  9. The cashless society. Yes that's the ticket. The ticket to slavery. When ALL money has got to be in a bank, which IS a cashless society, the bankers can then impose negative interest rates. You have no where else to go with your 'money' !!! THE HOLY GRAIL OF BANKING! They can then access and skim off everything produced. God help us when this occurs. Burn those credit cards!!!