(NaturalNews) A 2011 law in Louisiana that flew in well below the radar when it was enacted actually criminalizes the use of cash. This is part of what appears to be a growing trend in America as governments seek to track your personal finances.
As reported by the web site TechDirt in October 2011, an original version of the Louisiana measure did not ban cash transactions for second-hand goods at first. However, a final version of the legislation did institute such a ban.
Mike Masnick, writing for TechDirt, noted that when he read the initial story posted at the KLFY news site, a local TV station, he thought such a notion was “crazy.” He said the original version only required that anyone selling second-hand goods make a detailed recording of any cash transactions. However, it was amended “somewhere along the way” to ban cash transactions of second-hand goods.
Retailers complained about the law, stating it would reduce sales.
It’s all for “law enforcement” purposes
“We’re gonna lose a lot of business,” Danny Guidry, owner of the Pioneer Trading Post in Lafayette, told KLFY. Guidry deals in buying and selling unique second-hand items.
“We don’t want this cash transaction to be taken away from us. It’s an everyday transaction,” Guidry said. “I think everyone in this business once they find out about it. They’re [sic] will definitely be a lot of uproar.”
A co-sponsor of the measure, state Rep. Rickey Hardy, passed the bill off as a law enforcement necessity. He said it would be useful in targeting criminals who steal anything from copper tubing to TVs and then sell them for a quick dollar. A paper trail would make it more useful for cops to track down the thief.
“It’s a mechanism to be used so the police department has something to go on and have a lead,” he said.
The final version of the measure banned the use of “legal tender” in purchases of second-hand goods, and Masnick wondered if that was even permissible, given that U.S. currency clearly states it is “legal tender for all debts, public and private.”
“While businesses may have the right to refuse cash, can a government outlaw the use of cash?” he wrote. “That seems pretty extreme.”
As noted in March by the Mises Institute, a libertarian economic think tank, the push to ban cash so governments can track financial transactions is going global and is being pushed as an anti-terrorism measure.
“It was just a matter of time before Western governments used the trumped up ‘War on Terror’ as an excuse to drastically ratchet up the very real war on the use of cash and personal privacy that they are waging against their own citizens,” said the institute’s Joseph T. Salerno.
Citing a report from Reuters, Salerno noted that France was one of the first Western nations to officially announce the monitoring of cash transactions as official policy, “taking advantage of public anxiety in the wake of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.”
Global cash-tracking trend
“It seems the terrorists involved partially financed these attacks by cash, as well as by consumer loans and the sale of counterfeit goods. What a shockeroo!” Salerno said, mocking the pretense behind the policy shift.
“The terrorists used CASH to purchase some of the stuff they needed–no doubt these murderers were also shod and clothed and used cell phones, cars, and public sidewalks during the planning and execution of their mayhem” he continued. “Why not restrict their use? A naked, barefoot terrorist without communications is surely less effective than a fully clothed and equipped one.”
Beginning in September, French citizens will be prohibited from making cash payments of more than 1,000 euros; this reduces the current restriction of 3,000 euros.
Way back in 2010, The Economic Collapse Blog reported on the global trend to ban cash, noting that a “cashless society” could be on the horizon.
In the U.S., federal law requires banks to report cash withdrawals over $10,000 to the government.
Written by J. D. Heyes
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