One of the “Oh Boy!” things we have to look forward to as preppers and survivalists is the coming cashless future we will all inevitably be forced to endure. In some aspects this can be a good thing, but in reality it means that we will no longer have individual sovereignty over our own finances. We won’t be able to spend as we wish without somebody else keeping track of our spending habits.
Current statistics indicate that approximately 60% of monetary transactions in 2010 were made by plastic of one sort or another, with cash and checks, or paper transactions dropping to just 40% of all transactions. The lure of the convenience plastic provides makes using it too easy. Whether you use a debit or a credit card, it is still an electronic transaction, or a paperless deal. Why will the loss of paper, both cash and check variety be such a blow to our society? In simple terms it means we will have given our freedom to choose over to a nameless computerized system of wealth redistribution. We will no longer be the proud owner of a pile of money, but merely the manager of our own bank account that uses electronic credits to transfer a payment to somebody instead of paying them with our money.
Credits will be still valued in dollar amounts, but we won’t have any dollars to use. And that’s where we will get burned in the future.
Many of us are storing up gold and silver in both coins and bullion as a hedge against the future collapse of the U.S. dollar even though that collapse has already begun. But in the future, where all transactions will be required to be conducted electronically, how do you expect to use this commodity to pay your bills? You won’t be able to drive up to a gas station and fill your car up with $15.00 a gallon gas and expect to pay the attendant with a gold coin. He won’t be able to accept it, at least not legally.
You may think I’m kidding and that there will always be money, and you’re right, there will always be money, just not the type we’re accustomed to using. As the ease and convenience of plastic catches on, more and more people use their cards, and as more and more people use plastic, the cost of processing these transactions continues to decline, in turn making plastic more desirable by retailers and others collecting payments for services or products.
Already we see a growing number of businesses refusing to accept cash for transactions, such as many cab companies and restaurants. Try buying something online with a bundle of cash or a check. And yes, checks are accepted for some online transactions, but that is only because those checks are processed as electronic transactions. Many stores will give you your check back with your receipt for the same reason. Social Security recipients get paid through either a government issued EBM or direct deposit into their bank account. Welfare recipients and the unemployed receive their benefits through EBM cards as well. Checks are becoming less and less necessary with the increase of electronic payment technology.
Cash is becoming risky to carry with the rise in violent crimes. As it becomes scarce, people that do still carry large sums of cash become walking targets, and the same goes for businesses. The huge sums of cash traded by the drug cartels lead government officials to agree that getting rid of cash would be of great benefit in fighting crime. It only makes sense to see the trend towards cashless that we are seeing today.
What this means for us, meaning preppers and survivalists, is that we need to be able to sail through life without the need to accumulate cash for our transactions, and that will cause no end of problems down the road. The government wants your money, and they will collect it in one way or another as taxes and fees. But if you don’t have a bank account, how will you pay your taxes?
That’s a question you’ll have to answer in the future. But for now, be aware of the fact that things will be radically different in the future, and unfortunately, most people prepare today for the future under the false assumption that things will carry on as usual, no matter what happens. This will not be the case. We are approaching the crossroads even today, and the decisions we make while developing our preparedness plans cannot be undone after the fact. That’s why careful research and consideration of the facts are so important as you do develop your long range plans.
Plan now to accommodate a future where barter will be the main source of transactional business in the future between like minded people. Cash is always good to have on hand, but it won’t always be useful. You can by a brick of 22LR’s for a few dollars today, but what about when there are no more 22LR’s on the market? If a man has one spare brick, but no food, how much gold will it take to get that brick from him? Suppose you had a 2 ½ pound can of coffee? Wouldn’t that make the deal sweeter than a few silver rounds?
Think of some things with a long shelf life that will become hard to get in the coming times. How much work can you get done around the homestead in exchange for a case of instant coffee? Have you ever thought of stocking up on simple hand tools such as saws, knives or axes to use as barter goods for other things you may need?
And then there are many useful skills that have become forgotten in today’s hurry up world of technology that you could use as a barter tool as well. After all, how many glaziers do you know?
The point here is that things are changing. The world is becoming a different place right before our very eyes. The things people told me would never happen when I was a kid have become reality, and that reality makes me very nervous for our future. Learn today to be prepared for those coming times when all will be different. Learn the fine art of barter, and learn how to weave that skill seamlessly into your lifestyle. The day when you may need those skills may not be so very far away as we want it to be.