Thursday, June 13, 2019

Why Cash is So Important

Massive protests have been occurring over the last few days in Hong Kong. Hundreds of thousands of residents have taken to the streets.

So far protesters have been successful in forcing lawmakers to postpone a debate on legislation that would allow extraditions to mainland China — a measure Hong Kong residents fear would subject them to China's Communist Party and its clampdown on anti-state activities.

The New York Times reports:
The legislation is being championed by Hong Kong’s current leader, Carrie Lam, a lifetime civil servant chosen two years ago by Beijing to head the territory. On Wednesday, she compared the protesters to spoiled children and vowed to keep fighting for the extradition law.

In standing firm, she is channeling the hard-line instincts of her boss, the Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, who has presided over a clampdown on civil society across China and essentially silenced all visible political dissent on the mainland.

Ms. Lam’s position illustrates how far the relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China has tilted toward Beijing in recent years. If she succeeds in riding out the protests and passing the extradition bill, Beijing would get an opening to bypass Hong Kong’s independent courts and extend its authority over residents and visitors in the semi-autonomous territory — potentially chipping away at Hong Kong’s unique position as a center of global finance...

Beijing has not been shy about its support for Ms. Lam’s plan, which would allow the government to extradite people to the mainland for the first time, with few safeguards. Many in Hong Kong worry that Communist officials will use it to seize political dissidents and others who run afoul of the party, for trial on bogus charges. A protest on Sunday drew as many as a million people, or one in seven residents of the territory.
This is certainly the kind of protest movement that can be cheered on by supporters of liberty.

Here is where the object lesson about cash comes in.

Governments would love to be able to eliminate cash so it can more easily track their citizens. Cash is extremely valuable in preventing the totalitarian state from such tracking.

Christy Choi reports from Hong Kong:
People are lining up to buy tickets instead of using their public transport cards, worried that their ride history will be used against them as evidence of their participation in the #NoToChinaExtradition protests today.
And Lizzy adds:

1 comment:

  1. Generally economists are intellectuals that without the sponsorship of the state or those who sponsor those who run the state would have to find something useful and productive to do in the market. As such their job is to find reasons to support the aims of the state.