News & Analysis
Canada Introduces Plastic Cash – Say, How About Trying a Little Gold and Silver?
Canada Introduces New Plastic Currency ... Canada may be permanently swapping paper for plastic, providing its recently-released polymer $100 note is well-received. The brand new bill was put into circulation starting Nov. 14, with $50 and $20 bills scheduled for 2012 and $10 and $5 bills slotted to come out in 2013. Polymer currencies, first developed in the 1980s in Australia, have helped countries cut back on counterfeit bills. Australia introduced polymer cash in 1988. A transparent maple leaf and a clear portion on the left side of the bill with holographs that change color in the light are designed to foil counterfeiters attempting to create fake notes. – ABC News
Dominant Social Theme: Cash evolves like everything else. Eventually we'll get rid of it. In the meantime we'll make it look as much like a credit card as possible.
Free-Market Analysis: Used to be that money was at least in part gold and silver, circulating as gold and silver or as bank notes that represented gold and silver.
At the height of the free-banking monetary experiment in the US, both before and after the Civil War, money circulated freely and paper money connected to gold and silver backing was printed locally by banks, restaurants, hotels and other places where gold and silver could be stored.
Much such circulating paper money was only good locally, where the merchant had a good and known reputation. Interest rates fluctuated widely region-to-region. This meant if one area was in a slump, you could go somewhere else to find a job. It wasn't so hard. People in the US went west to find work when the East turned inhospitable.
But in the grip of an icy power elite, the world continues to converge. Globalism is key and every part of the international scene is to be "interlinked." If there is a depression in Japan, Mexico shall feel it and Canada and the US, too.
How this makes things better is not easy for us to comprehend. The idea of the 21st century is that government, and government printing presses, shall finally triumph over messy private markets.
To this end, Canada, like Austria before it, is introducing plastic currency. We can't help but believe this is a kind of metaphorical statement. The powers-that-be hate cash, just as they hate gold and silver (when it is in the hands of anybody else) and will do anything to eradicate it as much as they can.
The polymer series costs 19 cents per unit to produce, almost twice the 10 cents needed to make paper bills. But they are more cost-effective in the long run, said Bank of Canada spokesperson Julie Girard. They are recyclable and last two and a half times longer than the older cotton-based model, she said.
The U.S. has tried to cut costs by replacing its dollar bills with $1 coins, but the American public has resisted giving up its greenbacks. The idea of U.S. dollars replaced with plastic bills has not been proposed.
The reason that people refuse to give up cash – despite the moves of governments around the world to make cash less utile – is that cash provides a haven from government relentlessness when it comes to ever rising taxes and privacy invasions.
Rightly or wrongly – from a government point of view – people still seek shelter from overwrought government demands and the utilization of cash may be seen as a kind of protest within this context.
The government counterattack has been to try to limit the amount of cash available to people and to push private enterprise into proposing electronic solutions that will not only do away with cash but with any kind of physical transaction.
And within this context, the movement to plastic money is part of a larger trend. It is in fact a dominant social theme of sorts – that money is what government decides it is.
The bureaucracy is generally more comfortable with non-cash transactions and one could make the argument that the closer cash resembles something else – credit cards, say, the more comfortable governments will be.
Credit cards are a kind of government money anyway, infinitely trackable and subject to whatever strictures government places on them.
The final goal is to move to a fully electronic currency, apparently, where no transaction is made that government – and its controller (dynastic Money Power) – cannot easily discern.
Ironically, there are problems with Canadian plastic money – it is easily ripped once the plastic coating is nicked or scratched for one thing. And the nicking is all-too-easily accomplished.
The Canadian government justifies the plastic cash – as Austria also justifies it – by claiming it defeats counterfeiting. But there used to be circulating money – specie actually – that did roughly the same thing.
Conclusion: Gold and silver used to circulate in coin and was not that easy to counterfeit. Today, private variants of gold and silver can circulate in digital form. We would suggest that such private-market solutions are infinitely superior to one-size-fits-all public monopoly money.