Jarred Dillian published a piece on economic freedom at Mauldin Economics.
There have been some startling developments in the past few months. Like, did you hear the talk about getting rid of $100 bills?
It’s not just C-notes. 500EUR notes in Europe, 1,000CHF notes in Switzerland—everywhere people are talking about getting rid of large-denomination bills, because… some people use them to evade taxes or to commit crimes. You don’t pay your drug dealer with a credit card. So the thought is, get rid of the large-denomination bills and crime goes away.
This is scary. Part of economic freedom is the ability to transact anonymously. Take the extreme example where cash is eliminated altogether. Everything goes on a credit or debit card. Your whole purchasing history is stored on the Internet. Well, if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide, right?
Part of freedom (including economic freedom) is the ability to do bad things. Do you want to eliminate the option for people to do bad things, or do you want to give people the choice to do the right thing? All morality is meaningless if people are given no choice of whether to behave or misbehave. This is a deep philosophical issue.
Again, some people think a perfect world is a world without crime, but that’s not true. A perfect world is where people have the ability to commit crimes, but don’t.
But this talk about large-denomination bills is really gaining momentum, and honestly, I think it is at least half responsible for the run up in gold prices over the last couple of months.
There is quite a bit more to it, as well. The whole article is thought provoking.