Money and Human Rights
I wrote yesterday about the startling reality of the looming end of our cash based society; my article focused on my favourite subject - the banks - and their branch closure programme and removal of ATMs. I forgot to mention that the banks deny 2/5 of the world's population banking facilities.
In late 2016 the Indian government withdrew 86% of banknotes then in circulation - reducing the power of cheats and the black market is admirable but this action also wiped out much of the wealth of the poorest.
In early 2017 Venezuela followed with a similar measure. I wonder how that turned out?
This centralised power means that we have no real control over our assets, our money, our "wealth". Prior to the introduction of property rights in the 17th century, warring tribes and all powerful monarchs could seize our belongings at will - so living meagrely and largely anonymously was a prudent way forward.
in 1689 in the Second Treatise on Civil Government John Locke said this:
"everyman has a property in his person; this nobody has a right to but himself. The labor of his body and the work of his hand, we may say, are properly his"
Though this put in place change - rewarding those hard workers and innovators - often immigrants, the centralised system refused to fully support this ideal.
• in 2008 Argentina "nationalised" $30B in private pensions
• in 2013 Cyprus seized up to 40% of its citizens money from bank accounts
• in Syrian refugees had their wealth confiscated by border guards
• in 2016 Venezuela had 720% inflation and the bolivar lost 90% of its value
It is not difficult to imagine the reaction of people who lose control over, or indeed their wealth altogether.
But what happens when the opposite happens?
1. People work harder - to make a better life
2. Innovation speeds up - look how much money app inventors are making
3. The best and brightest are attracted - people will move to where they believe the best opportunities lie
There are a few disadvantages; income inequality can be higher and the risk of boom/bust cycles is greater.
Can digital currency help?
Digital or cryptocurrency remains known only to and can be accessed only by the owner; the decentralised nature of it means no bank can interfere with controlling supply. And - if you own a smart phone you can use, hold, trade and spend crypto currency, anywhere in the world.
No need for a bank!
It is still early days in this bloodless revolution BUT momentum is gathering pace. What has happened in Venezuela could happen anywhere in the world - even in the UK.
Learn about it - the whole story, starting with Blockchain and why all this came into being in 2008. Then talk to an independent. Start now.