Article – Austrians Need Constitutional Right to Pay in Cash

Austrians should have the constitutional right to use cash to protect their privacy, Deputy Economy Minister Harald Mahrer said, as the European Union considers curbing the use of banknotes and coins.

“We don’t want someone to be able to track digitally what we buy, eat and drink, what books we read and what movies we watch,” Mahrer said on Austrian public radio station Oe1. “We will fight everywhere against rules” including caps on cash purchases, he said.

Signs of the times. It’s bloody convenient to just swipe a card or bump your cellphone to pay for something. And there is a degree of safety that comes from not risking carrying around large amounts of cash. But…safety and convenience aren’t compelling reasons to sacrifice privacy.

‘Cashless society’ is a society where people who you don’t even know have access to knowing what you bought, how much of it, when you bought it, where you bought it, and how much you spent on it. It isn’t hard to imagine that in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’ your several thousand dollar purchase from will be flagged. Heck, the .gov already drops in onfolks who buy too many guns at once.

cashpaymentThe Austrians have the right idea. Although the right to privacy shouldn’t need to be enumerated somewhere, the encroachments upon it may make it necessary. And I’d rather have an enumeration of the obvious than not have it at all.

In the meantime, cash is always the best way to buy your survival goodies. If not cash, then those prepaid debit cards work well as long as you exercise good security measures and destroy them immediately after use.

Keep watching the news…you’ll see more and more folks in ties and pantsuits standing in front of microphones urging that ‘something’ be done to create ‘common sense’ legislation to restrict large cash purchases … all in the name of fighting terrorism. Ironic, since heavyhanded government intrusion like this is the sorta thing that makes rebels out of citizens to begin with.

10 thoughts on “Article – Austrians Need Constitutional Right to Pay in Cash

  1. ALL purchases made with debit or credit cards is recorded and filed. A couple years ago I received a letter informing me of a class action suit against an ARCO station that was overcharging ATM fees. The check was small and of no real significant value. The real value was ALL of the purchase amounts,and dates had been recorded for years. Mr Snowden was not lying to anybody. Use cash for critical purchases! It doesn’t take that long to go to the bank.

  2. Amen.

    I’m rather impressed that anyone in Europe even noticed the concept of privacy.
    If you can’t sell “cashless” in Eurostan, there isn’t a hope in hell of getting it passed over here.

    • Much like pushing “adult entertainment” (porn) providers out of business by making it hard for banks to do business with them, I think you’ll see anti-cash initiatives being coerced onto the private sector.

      Federal Express used to have signs all over their drop off offices that said they did not take cash. Is it a stretch to imagine that other private businesses wont do the same if ‘asks’ them to?

      There may be a time when we go back to bartering, not because the economy collapsed but because our expectations of privacy did.

    • *sarcasm mode on*

      Uh nope. Not at all. Move along. Nothing to see.

      Ooo! Dancing with the Stars is on! Look! Look!

      *sarcasm mode off*

      I’ve read more and more about how much little actual physical bills and coins are part of our “money supply”. Makes me think that if John Q Public goes to withdraw all their savings (I remember the long lines during the S&L scandal in the 80s) that at some point some people are going to leave the institutions empty handed.

      Look to Greece during the recent banking holidays. People limited to percentages of their holdings for withdrawls. We are told to put our money in banks to keep it safe, yet the entities out there can withhold it (Greece) or even reduce it (Cyprus) and you can basically do nothing but wave your little plastic card angrily and stomp around.

      What could POSSIBLY go wrong in a cashless world?

  3. On the topic of prepaid debit cards, does anyone know if there are any that don’t nickle and dime you to death any more?

    I remember in the nineties receiving prepaid cards as a gift, and no fees where charged back then.

    A couple of years back, when I went to Europe, I looked into getting one so I wouldn’t need to worry about my credit card while overseas, and all the ones I could find charged more fees than I was willing to deal with…

  4. Concur all. For many, it’s just one more reason to stack gold & silver.
    Perfect value.
    Perfectly trustworthy.
    Perfectly invisible.

  5. I have been ‘not playing their game’ for over a decade now. I am seeing more business’ with signs that read, ‘help us and pay with cash’. Now I go to small stores and very seldom go to a national chain stores, so it stands to reason that I would see this more than your average consumer. The question is why? Are they avoiding transaction fees or avoiding the tax gestapo? Both would be my guess.

    I haven’t wrote a check or paid with a CC in a store since…can’t remember.

    I do have one card that does my online stuff, can’t seem to break that habit. Any suggestions?

    • It’s a tough one. I’ve noted that online retailers especially, are more & more reluctant to take money orders or certified checks. The best you can do for a retailer like Midway USA, is buy an anonymous debit card from Wally World (use an alias) and make your puchases. But those debit cards are a rip-off.

      • SD3, thought about that route too. I hate fees. The stuff still has to ship to your address, so do I really gain anonymity? It’s not like I’m buying anything illegal, I just don’t want to let the overlords know that I’m trying to corner the market on beans and rice 🙂

Comments are closed.