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Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Funny how life works. 

As I was driving into Hart (my nearest city, a 15 mile drive starting on dirt then to better roads, very little of which had been plowed of the 6”s of snow we got overnight) I heard on the news that a fella in Mi. got a ticket for violating a city ordinance. He had to pay a $158 ticket. His offence was that he went out and started his car and went back inside for 5 minutes letting his car warm up.

The Chief of police instead of apologizing for being over aggressive instead doubled down saying that they have 4 or 5 cars stolen each winter just because people left their cars running and unattended. Makes sense in an Orwellian way I guess but it got me thinking. By removing temptation do you remove crime? Is that true? Don’t the criminals get more creative?

In 2013 - 510,000 cars were stolen. I couldn’t find any stats on how many of them were left unattended with the motor running and unlocked. I do understand it is inviting for someone looking to steal a car if I’m smart I wouldn’t do it. But should we be punished for making a crime easier? For inviting a criminal to commit a crime? How far can we stretch that logic? What about “bait cars” used by police to lure criminals? Shouldn’t they be fined for promoting crime, for overloading our jails?

As I pulled up to the La Fiesta Restaurant in Hart where we hold our weekly 8am Cozy Conservative Breakfast the topic came up and we discussed it. On the way up to the counter to pay, I stopped by another table and they asked me about it also. I said that it was a city ordinance and we had no such law in Hart yet. They seemed to think however that it made sense because it would stop car thieves, then I had an epiphany.

I asked the one lady if she carried any cash in public. She said she did and I then asked her if she felt guilty because was tempting untold numbers of people into robbing her. I thought that there should be a fine for carrying cash. That would stop more than 4 or 5 robberies I’m sure. Think of the suffering etc. we could stop. That got that table thinking.

She saw my logic. Then getting back to life and it being funny how it worked, I got home and saw this article in the Guardian about cities going cash-less. Synchronicity.

This article by extrapolation points out that this is a rural vs urban type of thing. Its main point however pointed towards it being an economic class type of thing. In other words this is mainly taking place in cities and it pits those with a bank account against those who don’t. By forcing those with the least to pay the most to change.

But getting back to what I told my fellow breakfast diner, the article had this quote from someone interested in promoting a cashless society. “If you keep people trapped in a cash economy, you leave them to pay higher prices for everything, you leave them struggling to access credit, and more vulnerable to theft,”… Is this right? “Trapped, higher prices, more vulnerable to theft?

I thought that using a credit card added a charge to the cost of doing business. All the big banks with cards make money off of each transaction – that is why they do it. Wouldn’t that ultimately lead to a higher price for the consumer? Also as a side note if you follow Dave Ramsey at all you know that studies prove a person will spend 20% more using plastic than if they have to pay cash. But that is another blog about personal responsibility.

Trapped? The only time I feel trapped with cash is when I don’t have enough of it. With plastic I don’t feel that compunction as much about spending only what I have.

The other thing the quote claimed about using cash left us more vulnerable to theft?

That got me thinking. I’m of an age when we were taught to think critically. My first thought was what is the motive behind getting rid of the cash? We have been using cash for a long time and it works. Why Change? What’s the motive? I can think of several reasons and vulnerability to theft is the least of them. First, Banks make a small fee on every transaction when their card is used. Secondly Government will have an easier way of gathering all taxes owed. Together government and business can more easily keep track of spending habits, trends etc.

Other ideas of a more nefarious nature come to mind also. This will force out the freest of enterprises. This will sideline the street vendor or just the average guy who wants to make a trade with his neighbor and a little cash to make things even. The essence of “Free Trade” is trading after all, and money was invented to make up the difference in value in any trade. And as far as Jennifer and Tommy’s lemonade stand – forget about it.

The article alluded to people who would be hurt most being the street vendor, charities (Salvation Army Red Kettles come to mind). The article defined cash. “The beauty of cash is that it’s a direct and simple transaction between all kinds of different people, no matter how rich or poor,” explains financial writer Dominic Frisby. “If you begin to insist on cashlessness, it does put pressure on you to be banked and signed up to financial system, and many of the poorest are likely to remain outside of that system. So there is this real danger of exclusion.”

To this I simply say “cashlessness” equals “brainlessness”. Another step along the path to the creation of the “Perfect Consumer”.

Isn’t it about time that we simply realize that our prime purpose on earth as humans is to spend money, behave ourselves and die as soon as we get a disease and not prolong the misery as that will only strain the economy? After all aren’t we all after the Common Good? Don’t we want Social Justice?

If the government gets $158 for saving someone from getting their car stolen isn’t that justice because that helps deter crime? But what would happen if we simply outlawed driving we would save 1,250,000 deaths per year as recorded in 2013. But then what’s the motive for that other than saving peoples’ lives? Follow the money, nobody would make any. Auto insurance companies would be out of business, and most police departments would lose over 50% of their reason for being. Car companies would be closed workers would lose paychecks and the lack of consumption would hurt the Common Good.

Can’t you see the Justice in that?

I’m just saying. In the great scheme of things it seems like saving lives while much ballyhooed by politicians and people claiming to save lives doesn’t quite rate up there with making more money under the guise of saving just an occasional life.

Regards, Bob Carr
Live Dangerously, Tell the Truth

PS.  I like movies, you could say I'm addicted.  From time to time I'll give a shout out to one or two.

A good movie about living and getting lost in Virtual Reality - Her.  A Joaquin Phoenix you can hardly recognize.  Bear with it.

Also something we talked about at the restaurant, IMO a great political movie with great acting etc.  Spinning Boris.  This, though called a comedy is based upon a true story.

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