For years, most of us have heard about an impending threat to do away with our monetary system as we know it. Yet, perhaps because it sounds like end-time, apocalyptical doom and gloom stuff, it is easy to ignore.
Well, continue to ignore it – but at your own peril, because it might be implemented a lot sooner than any of us think.
Up until now, our monetary system has been overseen by governmental authorities which print paper currencies and determine its value. This money, called fiat currency, is not backed by any commodity, such as gold.
Its advantages include giving economic players greater control over the economy, as well as being easy and cheap to produce, and convenient to use.
But, in recent days, the monetary system has been misused and mishandled in such a seemingly deliberate way that it’s almost as if it it’s been orchestrated cleverly to facilitate the establishment of a new system.
For example, despite warnings by many experienced and savvy economists, the U.S. government chose to print too much money and gave massive handouts, factors which definitely contributed to high inflation and the current dismal economy.
According to Business Insider, “fiat money is currency that’s backed by the public’s faith in the government or central bank that issued [it], but it has no intrinsic value, unlike commodity currency which is linked to the price of a commodity. Instead, fiat money derives its value from the trust people place in the government that issues it.”
Simultaneously, you might have noticed that there seems to be a push to no longer trust the present monetary system, which was one of the major reasons for the birth of cryptocurrency – a currency not based on a fiat monetary system. Crypto is not issued, controlled or backed by any government or bank.
However, cryptocurrency has had its share of problems, the latest being the total collapse of the FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange, which has caused many investors to lose millions.
If fiat money and cryptocurrency are problematic, what’s the solution? Introducing Central Banking Digital Currency, known as CBDC – the digital form of fiat currency.
Rather than printing money, a central bank would issue electric coins that are guaranteed and backed by the government. You’d be furnished with a digital wallet or bank account and directly interact with the central bank. Sounds great, right? But wait, there’s more!
What exactly is that “direct interaction”? The CBDC will be able to create a reliable profile of each individual based on their spending and saving habits. In other words, pretty much all of your transactions will be observed, noted and assessed. Then you will receive recommendations based upon your individual habits.
While that might sound helpful, it’s also a major invasion of one’s financial privacy.
How long does anyone think it will take before personal monetary choices are evaluated as good or bad? And what will the consequences be if you are deemed to be making purchases seen as undesirable by your government?
In other words, central banks will take money out of people’s accounts to conduct monetary policy. The truth is, CBDCs are government’s attempt to protect its privileged position and to exert more control over people’s money.
All one needs to do is to take a look at the credit system China imposed upon its citizens – a system of rewards and punishments that accord with “moral ranking” by the Chinese Communist Party. Individual behavior can be monitored to determine who shares the government’s values and who doesn’t.
And what determines a bad score? Anything from purchasing too many frivolities to being accused of sharing misinformation.
What happens to those who violate the terms? They can be banned from traveling, purchasing property or getting a loan.
In China, “Once you’re in a low category, it makes it difficult. Such a system could further divide society, creating classes of people depending on their social credit.”
So much of this is reminiscent of the COVID-19 green pass, which, if you think about it, was also based on a social credit system. If you complied with the government directive of being vaccinated, you were able to take part fully in all that society offers – going to restaurants, traveling, being permitted into events and so on.
Those who refused the vaccine were relegated to eating at home or remaining homebound entirely. Here, in Israel, the government considered requiring the unvaccinated to identify themselves by wearing a colored bracelet just to obtain mall access – a plan quickly struck down due to public outcry.
There is no doubt that the CBDC will be presented as a much more effective way to safeguard your money. It will be touted as being in your best interest, and a way to make life less complicated. Of course, that’s how it has to be portrayed in order to convince people to leave a system they’ve used all their lives.
Journal.org warns that “few likely paid much attention when, on March 9, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the government to begin developing a Central Bank Digital Currency to be issued by the Federal Reserve, alongside a framework to regulate private cryptocurrencies.”
On Sept. 16, the Biden administration “released a framework outlining the regulation of digital assets including cryptocurrency and other items of value that exist only in digital form,” a framework which suggests the creation of a CBDC, according to Jim Probasco, writing for Investopedia.
Journal.org wrote in March that CBDCs have the potential to become an unprecedented totalitarian nightmare.
Again, we have only to compare it to what already exists in China: Jay-walking, speeding or other infractions land citizens heavy fines – fines which can be deducted automatically by the centralized bank account.
Who will stop the government from deducting whatever else it wants from your account? Because, in effect, it’s a “joint account,” where access is available to your governmental benefactor. The options would be endless in terms of what could be moved from one account to another.
And if the system is linked to desired standards and values, including many you don’t share, what happens to your financial outlook?
Doesn’t this smack of programmed behavior or forcing a desired outcome? After all, being able to access your money is paramount. Controlling each person will be made simple.
We’ve already had a foreshadowing of this, when PayPal recently threatened to fine users who, by their standards, were guilty of spreading misinformation – a totally subjective parameter. They would only have to seize the funds accessible to them in your personal PayPal account.
Or, what about the freezing of 280 personal bank accounts in Canada, during the Ottawa Freedom Convoy trucker protest in February?
The bottom line is that the CBDC has the frightening potential to curtail financial freedom, with the added bonus of making sure everyone is fully compliant with whatever we are being told to do. If you don’t, losing access to your own money might be the consequence.
In short, the new slogan could be, “My Money, if I Only Follow Your Demands!”
Part II – CBDC Coming to Israel
A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.