The Importance of Alternative Currencies

751px-American_CashThere has been a growing movement among the powers that be to get us ready for a cashless society. It has started off with opinion pieces, like one by apostate and Keynesian sociopath Ken Rogoff. They want to see all cash eliminated or hampered with fees. It infuriates them so much that they cant monitor cash transactions and cant steal our money to pay for their failed stimulus programs, bailouts, and inflationing. They also say it would be easy to impose taxes to pay for whatever programs if the government could simply have direct access to your account. How this obviously communist proposal can get mainstream coverage is astounding. The banks are already effectively part of the government, now they want to basically hand over complete control. Why not outright nationalize the entire banking industry and make it a government monopoly? Thats effectively what these terrorists and tyrants are advocating. Now, the Financial Times has come out with a piece arguing for banning the “barbarous relic”, as Keynes referred to gold.

There are actually already a few countries in Europe that are already basically cashless. In fact, its so inconvenient to use cash in Denmark and Sweden, that when a friend visited the United States, he was frustrated by the need to use cash, and especially coins. Most of that change in those countries comes from their tech obsession and a natural, organic transition. It was less government dictate than what is being proposed in Europe and the United States. It still is troubling, and should be. Thankfully, they now have bitcoin to help reassert control and maintain their electronic payment system. Altho, one wonders what they would do if the electrical grid shut down for an extended period of time. Cash would suddenly become very valuable.

But what can we do to fight this? They will try their damnedest to get it implemented, but many will resist. And how might we also help to weaken and pare down government? For starters, using cash is one of the easiest ways. It is quite possible that one day cash will be valued at a stronger amount than electronic money. Indeed, if things were proper, a paper dollar should be worth about 10 times that of an electronic dollar. Already, gas stations place a preference for cash, but that is mostly because of credit card fees. Thus, having cash on hand in your physical possession is an advantage in many ways.

Mercury dimes

Mercury dimes

Another great choice is precious metals. Silver is cheaper and more practical for most people, but gold is also important. Previously, I wrote about the importance of silver and how to pick what to buy. Silver and gold are much stronger than cash, and much more stable in the long term, while they may face manipulation and influence on the price in dollars. Silver and gold have historical value and familiarity that even today, despite Mark Dice videos, people desire. They are far more durable than cash, making them superior in a Shit Hits The Fan type situation.

Bitcoin, of course, is a growing alternative currency that combines the pros of precious metals and electronic currency. It has a few obvious cons (it cant be used if the electricity or network goes out), but is a great option. It is not centrally controlled and has a potentially stable value. It has taken a hit in recent days (mainly because the dollar has gained value, and the fork crisis), but remains strong and able. It has wide acceptance in the libertarian community in New Hampshire, AND local businesses. A good number of them accept bitcoin, altho most dont retain their accounts in bitcoin due to its volatility.

Bitcoin_logo.svgBarter is a more difficult, but useful option. One might trade a batch of cookies for a car trip to the grocery store. No currency of any kind is involved, but most importantly, goods and services are being traded directly. This cant always be the solution, but it does help.

When you use these alternative currencies, even cash, you reduce the value of the dollar, albeit only in a small way. By doing this, you make it more difficult for the government to pay for things. Every bit of inflation makes their enforcement more expensive. Of course, they have the ability to just make more currency for whatever their needs are, but there will come a point when people begin to question this, and it is no longer sustainable. Using alternative currencies brings us closer to that day. Using alternative currencies is a revolutionary act. It may one day be illegal.

The other big reason is that most of this cannot be monitored in any easy way. Stores do have cameras, which is important to remember, but they eventually get deleted, and are harder to track. Bitcoin also has some potential for identifying, if you have an address publicly connected to your identity, but its not as bad as with electronic money, and is more or less voluntary when you release your identity.

Together, these reasons for using alternative currencies restore power to us. It will be harder for the government to control us, to steal our wealth thru taxes and inflation, to continue its barbaric ways. While one individual wont have much effect, the sum efforts of many will. And it does not really cost you anything to use alternative currencies. There may be a slight inconvenience, but if that is the price to pay for a step towards freedom, then I think its worth it. Which means, its important to incentivize the use of alternatives and encourage them. While I did not post it, I did intend to accept silver at a price of $18/oz for my vending at PorcFest. This would lose me potential profit, but encourages people to spend silver. Silver then was at spot price $15 and was only purchasable for $16-$16.50. If I sold the silver I earned, I would be at a loss, which is why I wanted to incentivize its use. People are more likely to hold onto it if its accepted at spot or near spot. Ideologically, its a price to pay for furthering my goal.

I encourage everyone to withdraw from the electronic dollar, and the paper dollar (or limit dollar usage to paper). It does not have to be all at once. To start, limit your bank accounts to $500 or so, only what you need to use electronically. Hold the rest in cash, metals, and bitcoin. There are obvious concerns about security, and that is worthy of a blog post itself. I like to hide my things somewhat in plain sight. It could be as easy as throwing some money in an old pair of shoes, stuffing newspaper behind it, and tossing the shoes in a closet. No one would suspect a thing. (Note: I dont do this myself, but its an idea) The biggest way to avoid theft is to not tell anyone and make your house look ordinary or messy, not like its storing silver coins and straps of cash. Most thefts are by people who know that stuff is there, or think there might be stuff there. A safe may be strong, but its also visible. That pair of shoes might not have a lock on it, but no one expects valuables to be there. You may be eager to talk to friends or family about your silver and your cash savings, but I urge you to resist that. Its not worth it. Occasionally, I do talk to friends about my silver, but they are usually more financially secure and I dodge the question of where it is stored, or mislead. Thats the best you can do.

Bit by bit, you can convert more of your wealth and transactioning to alternatives. And be sure to readily accept alternatives to encourage their use. It is important to keep the accounts denominated in alternatives. If you just use bitcoin, and it gets converted back, it partially defeats the goal. Start with one transaction a week or so, and work your way towards it. Every little bit helps get us to our goal of limited or nonexistent government.

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Alternative Currencies

  1. Pingback: Marijuana as a currency | Jewish Libertarians

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