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Archive for the ‘Democratic Money’ Category

Cashless society: How much would the United States save by ditching paper money? – Slate Magazine

For the sixth year in a row, pennies and nickels cost more to produce in 2011 than they were worth. While the depreciation of the cent and the increased cost of producing coins is an old story, the U.S. Mint did reach a new milestone last year: For the first time in history, both the five-cent and one-cent denominations cost double their value to produce. This gap resulted in more than $116 million—roughly 11.6 billion pennies—in negative seigniorage. That’s enough change to fill Shamu’s tank at Sea World twice over.

Defenders of loose change might say this is nothing more than a trivial editorial gimmick, meaningless both in a larger economic context and relative to the $488.8 million in positive seigniorage the U.S. Mint earned on other types of coins. Of course, they would be right. But the costs associated with coins and paper money extend far beyond the Mint. It takes money to pay for armored transport and to hire cashiers to balance cash drawers. There are also opportunity costs for consumers in taking trips to the ATM or waiting in line while someone makes change at the grocery store, not to mention the price of all the change you’ve lost in your couch.

Those are just the tangible costs of cash. We also must pay for the social ills caused by a physical currency system: underground criminal economies, tax evasion, environmental damage, counterfeiting. Banks lost $35 million worth of “loot” (the official FBI terminology) during 5,628 bank robberies in 2010, and that does not include insurance costs, medical expenses for 18 injured victims, and the immeasurable value of lost human life. And that’s chump change compared to Uncle Sam’s tax gap over the past decade, which has been estimated at $3 trillion. More than one half that gap is attributable to underreporting of business income and much of that stems from unreported or underreported cash—that great little cash-only Italian place down the block might not be paying its taxes in full.


How would it affect the economy if we ditched coins and bills altogether?

via Cashless society: How much would the United States save by ditching paper money? – Slate Magazine.

via Cashless society: How much would the United States save by ditching paper money? – Slate Magazine.

Is National Currency Obsolete? – Chris Poindexter – Townhall Finance

There are some things government leaves to the free market and some things it reserves for itself.  One of the functions the government decided to keep for itself is issuing currency. Truthfully, the government keeping control of our currency is not all bad.  There was a time when different entities in this country issued a variety of currencies.  It was economic chaos.  The federal government stepping in to issue a central medium of exchange solved a lot of problems for a growing nation at the time. Today we’re in a situation where government has kind of bungled the currency thing.  Not just the U.S. government, most of them, actually.  The tragic part is the free market is just itching for a chance to help and there’s no reason government and private industry can’t cooperate for the benefit of both.

via Is National Currency Obsolete? – Chris Poindexter – Townhall Finance.

Reputation.com CEO: Your Personal Information Is The New Oil

Your personal information — what sites you browse, what stuff you buy and what you do in your spare time — is black gold, version 2.0.So says Michael Fertik, CEO of Reputation.com, an online reputation manager, who calls users online data the “new oil.”Multibillion dollar industries, from search engines to social networking, have been built on the aggregation of personal data, information the World Economic Forum likens to a “new type of raw material … on par with capital and labor.” Companies are monetizing users’ clicks, status updates and emails — so how about a cut for the users themselves?According to Fertik, individuals should be able to charge companies to collect and use data about their online activity, which most sites currently acquire for free, then use to serve up targeted ads and other personalized content.Though details on the technical specifics and feasibility such a plan are still quite slim, Fertik, an online-privacy proponent, suggests that the future could see the creation of digital personal data vaults that companies would have to pay to access. Users would, theoretically, be able to control who uses their personal information, and could also be compensated for allowing businesses to tap into their data.“Imagine an even better world in which we provide for you a data privacy vault and you put all the data into that vault. Every time someone wants to get access to it they pay you for it,” said Fertik. “You actually get to benefit from the fact that your data is the new oil and you get paid for the mining of your data. That’s an easily achievable world from a technical perspective, it just requires true grit.”The WEF has outlined a similar mechanism by which individuals could be compensated by companies that use their data, deemed the “new economic ‘asset class.’”

via Reputation.com CEO: Your Personal Information Is The New Oil.

Feds go after wacky Liberty Dollars- MSN Money

Its perfectly fine to issue private currency in the United States, and that currency can be bartered, exchanged or used as payment in transactions. Entire communities have experimented with private currency, and several businesses in Detroit began accepting new Detroit Cheers bills instead of official money in 2009.But when your private currency starts to resemble real money, federal prosecutors get very interested. And when your currency looks and feels like a real coin and says “Twenty Dollars” and “$20” on it, thats when the feds take action.The maker of silver Liberty Dollars, Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted last month for making and selling the private currency in the form of notes and coins, The Associated Press reports. And now the government wants to seize his stash of five tons of the silver dollars and precious metals, estimated at $7 million.The question now is whether the maker of the Liberty Dollars tried to pass off the medallions as U.S. currency. The Constitution says that only Congress has the power to coin U.S. money and that only the U.S. Mint can mint and issue legal coins.Van NotHaus medallions had the words “Liberty,” “Dollars” and “Trust in God” on them and showed such images as the Statue of Libertys head and a flaming torch. They were advertised as “legal” and “constitutional,” according to the U.S. Mint. People called the U.S. Mint asking whether the money was real, prompting the Mint to issue warnings that the dollars were privately produced.Van NotHaus has claimed repeatedly that he never tried to pass the dollars off as real currency. He says he wanted to give local communities a transactional network based on an alternative, private currency. The medallions were reportedly made at a private mint in Idaho.Private currencies are fine, but Liberty Dollars skirted too closely to the edge of legality.

via Feds go after wacky Liberty Dollars- MSN Money.

A Really Big Idea

Here’s the first video in the New Moneeey Animation Series … “A Really Big Idea” … Enjoy … John Ince

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