Not Cashless, but Less Cash

(Q) Is it still possible to live in a world where goods and services are exchanged for cash or is everything already dependent upon credit cards and the Internet? Among other bad ideas, can this one be reversed?

(A) There is still some time built into the old system, but not much. The world has been moving in the direction of a cashless culture for some time, monitoring public sentiment and weighing a variety of options. There is not enough support for any one system yet, and without worldwide agreement for such a momentous shift in how we hold and manage wealth, it is not likely to happen. Recent interest in alternative currencies such as Bitcoin are likely to propel the movement forward again, especially now that investment firms have created specialty sectors to handle these assets. Some firms are already trading in these currencies, closing the gap between old and new systems.

Credit cards are part of an old system and will not be around much longer. The first cards were issued over 70 years ago. Most people don’t want to carry more than one or two anymore, which limits how new vendors interest you in their product. As Internet apps and online payment methods gain in popularity, actual cash becomes less visible in the world, and so does its perceived value.

5G Internet technology will bring us one giant step closer to a cashless society because the Internet will be ubiquitous; it will be everywhere. You will not need to log-on or subscribe to a system as it will be on all the time, for better and worse, as we will see. 5G is not our economic enemy any more than the first credit cards were; the threat lies in our inability to live without the things made possible by 5G.

New systems will arrive on the heels of the present economic downturn event. Crises are always a harbinger of change; new solutions to old problems and vice-versa. You may be invited to participate in financial experiments with incremental changes. If so, the invitation will be attractive and difficult to turn down. What system might you agree to adopt if your interest rate was reduced to zero? Or your debt was wiped clean altogether? These scenarios are easier to imagine if we also consider worldwide debt. The U.S alone currently owes over $25 trillion dollars and it is unlikely that it will ever be able to repay it. A new or different system will need to replace the current one at some point in the near future

Participation in new economic/financial systems will not be a requirement. You will be able to opt out if you choose but doing so will also cancel the huge bonuses that your neighbors will be taking advantage of. It’s too soon to look at this in greater detail, but it’s not far off. As always, there will be “oases” and exceptions. There will be people, perhaps like you, who find a way to exist without or beyond this system. Placing yourself outside any system makes you an outsider. If this makes better sense to you it would be good to find out what your short and long-term needs are; experiment now to see if you can really do it later on.

Whatever you most value, place your attention there first. The other stuff, even the big stuff, is still stuff. It will work itself out regardless of your concern or worry. The new system will not eliminate greed, which trades in its own currency; or power, or the distribution of wealth. It is just another system. A new game.

All things considered, it is best to live a life where goals and gains are measured in creativity; where discovery follows curiosity as sure as each step follows the last. This is just a bookmark in time, and we are eternal beings.

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