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Government Plan Would Transform Israel Into The World’s First Cashless Society

Israeli CoinsWill Israel be the first cashless society on the entire planet?  A committee chaired by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff has come up with a three phase plan to “all but do away with cash transactions in Israel”.  Individuals and businesses would still be permitted to conduct cash transactions in small amounts (at least initially), but the eventual goal is to force Israeli citizens to conduct as much business as possible using electronic forms of payment.  In fact, it has been reported that Israeli officials believe that “cash is bad” because it fuels the underground economy and allows people to avoid paying taxes.  It is hoped that requiring most transactions to be conducted in cash will reduce crime and help balance the national budget.  And once 98 or 99 percent of all transactions are cashless, it will not be difficult for the Israeli government (or any other government) to go the rest of the way and ban cash transactions altogether.  But is a cashless society actually desirable?  This is a question that people all over the world will have to start asking as governments increasingly restrict the use of cash.

Back in September, it was announced that the Israeli government had formed a committee to “examine ways to eliminate cash from the Israeli economy”

The government on Tuesday authorized establishment of a committee that will examine ways to eliminate cash from the Israeli economy – the better to prevent citizens from cheating on their taxes. The committee will be chaired by Harel Locker, director of the Prime Minister’s Office.

This committee had the full backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and some of the goals of the committee included finding ways to increase tax revenue and prevent money laundering

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office declared that “around the world, it is recognized that cash is a key element of the illegal economy and money laundering. It allows a wide gap between reported and actual incomes, with the corresponding effect on tax revenues.” By eliminating cash, the PMO said, “it will be possible to expand the tax base, and prevent money laundering.” The committee will study the issue from all its perspectives and make recommendations, the PMO said.

The committee has had quite a few months to examine these issues, and now they have come back with their recommendations.  Just this week we learned that a three phase plan is being proposed…

A special committee headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Harel Locker, has recommended a three-phase plan to all but do away with cash transactions in Israel.

The motivation for examining a cash-less economy is combatting money laundering and other tax-evasion tactics, thereby maximizing potential tax collection and greatly expanding the tax base. This is important considering the enormous strain put on Israel’s national budget by the army, healthcare system and other public services.

The committee estimated that the black market represents over 20 percent of Israel’s GDP, and cash is the facilitating factor. Cash enables tax evasion, money laundering and even financing terrorism.

So what do the specifics of the plan look like?

Well, there will be very strict limits on the use of cash for individuals and businesses, any violations will be considered criminal offenses, and all Israeli banks will be required to issue debit cards to all account holders

What the committee would like to see happen, pending government approval, is greater restriction on the use of cash, limiting the use of checks as a means of payment and exchange for cash, and promotion of the use of electronic (and therefore verifiable) means of payment.

The following guidelines were set out by the committee for the short-term:

  • Limit business transactions done in cash or by check to NIS 7,500 ($2,150) immediately, and reduce that further to NIS 5,000 ($1,433) one year from the date of legislation;
  • Limit private transactions done in cash or by check to NIS 15,000 ($4,300);
  • Any violation of these limits would be a criminal offense warranting a stiff fine.

In conjunction with these new restrictions, Israeli banks would be required to provide all account holders with debit cards to further promote electronic payments.

But of course this move toward a cashless society is not just happening in Israel.

In Sweden, it is estimated that just 3 percent of all transactions involve cash at this point.  In fact, according to an article in the Washington Post, some Swedish banks do not handle cash at all anymore…

In most Swedish cities, public buses don’t accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether.

“There are towns where it isn’t at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash,” complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden’s National Pensioners’ Organization.

And the U.S. is starting to move in that direction as well.

According to a study conducted by MasterCard, approximately 80 percent of all consumer transactions in the United States are now cashless.

But isn’t there a downside to all of this?

Just about everything that we do in life involves money.  So yes, a government can track electronic payments to make sure taxes are being paid and money laundering is not happening, but it would also enable a government to do so much more.

If a government can track all of your transactions, it will essentially be able to monitor everywhere you go and pretty much keep track of virtually everything that you do.

If you doubt this, just try to live without any money some time.

You won’t get very far without putting some gas in your vehicle.

And without being able to buy food, you will get hungry pretty quickly.

Are you starting to understand?

This is why governments love the idea of moving toward a cashless society.  It would give them an immensely powerful surveillance tool.

So let us hope that this does not happen in Israel or anywhere else in the world either.

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  • Albertde

    With no cash, how would the CIA, M16, etc. pay their informers, finance illegal transactions, make money off drugs?

    • hon788

      BIT COIN

  • Undecider

    Will they be giving the “terrorists” credit cards to launch missiles at Israel? And how will these terrorists get back into Israel to spend this digital money?

  • Vortex

    The cashless society is just another
    reason in a long line of reasons why the human race should and will
    become extinct.

    Stupid, dumbed-down knuckle dragging, low IQ morons the world over that are incapable on any level of understanding the implications and actions of allowing a few thousand sociopathic oligarchs to impose a cashless society upon man.

    If you thought you were a imprisoned tax slave sheep to the crony system we live in now, you ain’t seen jack squat.

    You wait until they roll this crap out worldwide. You’ll never own a thing again nor will you be able to move freely without permission form big brother, ever, and you will never ever ever feel the warmth of anything resembling freedom or liberty again.

    You will literally be nothing more than a taxing unit slave to the state from cradle to grave. A piece of ******* property.

    • Sam

      Frightening yet eye opening. I pray those at the head of these sinister plans are exposed. Not many realize the tyrranical dangers of those in powerful positions.

    • 3%

      Libberty? Freedoms? How much will teh governement gibsme 4 dat?

  • Guest

    As long as there is at least one currency available in cash, there is always an escape. If only to keep the cash at home.

    • Vortex

      You don’t get it, there is no escape from a cashless society. Once they have it in place your life will have ceased to exist in any form that your previously knew.

      You’ll never again be able to even wipe your a** without permission.

      It took no time at all for a typical koolaid drinker to prove my human extinction hypothesis correct.

      Man has proven time and time again he
      is far too stupid and apathetic for any longevity of the human species to survive.

    • Seen2013

      The Cashless Paperless Society objective is pretty plain here:
      1. When it’s finished being developed, there will be no paper currency or records. Both will be digitized that requires an editing programs to adjust for deposits and updates to your digital record including dossier.
      Dossier is your record with the government, and it’s threat assessment of you to the government’s establishment.
      In a manner of speaking, you can be erased takes on whole new meaning.

      2. The main aspect is establishing the world currency without making it rather obvious. The greenback presently known as the US Dollar gives some clues. The currency will compete with other currencies that are readily exchangeable like the broad definition of SDR being a basket of currencies. Reduce cash transactions by price and capital controls, and people will have limited choice. When cash currencies implode, the solution like others have thus already been established and possibly popular

      • 3%

        EMP.

        • Joel

          Life sucks. If you are already broke and computer illiterate, you may as well kill yourself and your family, because nothing is simple or real anymore.

  • Sandbagger

    I recall in the 1970′s a book came out saying the new UPC coding was the prelude to a cashless society.

    They were right.

    It took 40 years, but here we are.

    We made a huge step in the 1980′s with the introduction of ATM’s and Debit cards.

    These days, if you carry around large sums of cash and wish to use it to pay for something, people look like they want to call the cops.

    You can’t even go to the bank and withdrawl YOUR OWN CASH if you want more than (what is it now?? 8-10K?), without notifying the gov.

    We’re on the path to a ONE WORLD CURRENCY; ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT and a ONE WORLD RELIGION.

    Scoff if you will, but it won’t change the course we’re all on.

    • ChristCrusader

      Cops have discovered thousands of $$ of legal cash on people before, confiscated it as terror or drug money, yet let the person go. Not enough to charge them, but enough to seize and keep the dough!

  • Yahno

    ahhh, the biblical mark of the beast to buy and sell cannot exist without a cashless society…just more proof that God exists.

    • BradenLynch

      BINGO!

      The sad thing is that ID theft and convenience will entice people and then the mandates will come.

      Know this, if you accept a mark on your hand or your head for this then your eternal damnation is assured.

  • Oldphartbsa

    With the move to ‘cashless’ what would be the fees assessed by the banking institutions for each transaction?
    Also, once the government has control via ‘cashless’ economy, what stops them from terminating your account?

    • Gary

      Or from stealing your assets?

  • DJohn1

    Look forward to seeing how the illegal activities manage to get around the cashless society.
    You don’t see them trying to procecute the illegals for income not declared on their non-existent tax forms. Technically these illegal people existing here do not exist on government books. Neither do a lot of illegal occupations making big bucks to support drug habits paying income taxes. They simply don’t pay.
    Or how about the government itself and the multiple agencies? Do they get a pass on the cashless society?
    Or about the many ways Congress gets out of paying things. A lot of the laws in this country specifically exempt our Congress.
    Like inside information on the stock exchange that would put the rest of us in jail for a very long time.
    They may go after small potatoes like you or me but the fact is there are a lot of people exempt from the laws of our country. Some of it of course is legitimate needs of our agencies within the government.
    How are you going to pay the people being bribed? I do not see a cashless society as long as we have as many crooks behaving badly and getting paid for it in our country.

  • Gary

    Going cashless would make the politicians and judges have to get creative about receiving their bribes and money under the table.

    • Oh yeah

      Easy, they just entirely cut off anyone who exposes anything, and their families. Think there will ever be another Snowden if you knew that you and your family were damned to starve to death if you open your mouth?

  • JellyGrape

    Sorry to burst you all’s bubble, but Asian cities, particularly in East Asia, and South-East-Asia, have been doing this for some years now. Israel does not have the infrastructure of a cashless payments system. In Asia, one example is transportation system. Cars are fitted with devices that when driving past a toll gate/gentry, it automatically deducts payment. On buses, people tap special concession cards to pay for bus fares when boarding and alighting. Cash is still taken but in places like Singapore for buses, they will phase it out. In Singapore you cannot pay for carparks using cash. You need to top up your special card which slots into the device on your car. I could go on and on. In the big cities in China, they should also be very advanced. In Japan and South-Korea, even more advanced. So much so that it’s part and parcel of everyday life. In Israel? Well back in 2010 taking the public buses around, there is no cashless payments infrastructure. Everyone in Israel pays for transport by coins. This article is misleading and warrants my very lengthy response.

    • Shevi

      I live in Israel and now we all use a card for the buses and trains. They told us last year that someday we not be able to use cash on the buses, You can get a temp card that has no picture on it for 5 shekels. Many tourist now do this. The only cash used is at the shuk and in under the table jobs .

      • JellyGrape

        So Israel has started using concession cards then. Back in 2010 it wasn’t used. Not bad to catch up. I guess in order for Israel to be a modern city-state, they need to have these improvements. Eventually the whole world will be under a cashless system in my opinion. But, for sure Israel isn’t the first to do so, stated in my above earlier post. Cheers!

        PS. The buses I took were the shirut, small buses in Tel Aviv. And big buses in Jerusalem. With the new light-rail in Jerusalem recently, yes concession tap on cards with credit in them are used now that I recall reading about it online. Israel will be moving on fast to become as modernised as some Asian cities. I believe there is a Jerusalem train route being built. Furthermore, when the New Silk Road is completed, it will have passenger and freight routes all the way from China to Ashdod and Eliat. :)

    • jaxon64

      Sorry, but everything you described is not that advanced–in fact some form of each thing you mentioned has been in use here in the States for years and years….
      “Fastpass” is a toll payment that is purchased on line in the form of a sticker which is placed on your windshield–each month you use your debit account or get an auto-renew set up and it gets debited from your account. You simply drive through the Fastpass lanes and their cameras read the sticker in the window–easy as can be.
      Carparks or parking garages?..most inner city parking garages no longer have attendants or booths…you simply roll up to the blockade arm, insert your card and take a ticket…when you leave you re-insert the ticket in the opposite side of the machine and it charges your debit by how long you parked–same as in airports now ( which also costs quite a few jobs).
      I think what makes the Israeli situation different is both the outlawing of cash transactions and the state/bank joining to control and monitor the purchasing habits and methoids of the populace….MUCH different than flash passes for the bus or Metro Cards.

      • jaxon64

        PS: I’d also like to mention that about 2/3rds of the checkout lines in our grocery stores are “no cash” self-checkout lines.
        You simply use the scanner for each item in your basket, then scan your Store “Bonus” Card–swipe your debit card and you’re done–no cash, no cashier ( again, no employee)..and a simple transition to set-up a “food account” where that Bonus Card with the store name on it has the ability to direct draft the funds from your government account–no debit, no banks and they can limit your food limits and spending allowances…..easy as can be.( and scary as can be)

  • NowAlive

    Ultimately, cash is just a means of fast barter. This will just force everyone to barter with something else when they don’t feel like paying digitally.

  • http://www.rense.com EagleAmerica

    Sound more of the biblical plan, making money go
    cashless via he beast system(Revelation 13) microchips, money cards, etc.

  • Sign of an Open Eye

    Also, remember what happened in Cyprus?
    When banks go down, your life savings will be easily collected because you’ll have all of your money on your bank account and you cannot withdraw any cash.

  • 3%

    “In fact, it has been reported that Israeli officials believe that “cash is bad” because it fuels the underground economy and allows people to avoid paying taxes.”

    *Fallout Narrative Voice* Statism. Statism never Changes.

  • whydrivers

    This talk about moving into a cashless world sounds very ominous indeed. Is this not but one step behind a scenario in Revelation, where no one can buy or sell without the “mark”? Kind of chilling.

  • Tom

    Another method of repression which becomes possible in a cashless society is in the imposition of negative interest rates. The theory would be that the more painful it is to keep money in the bank the more Americans would be forced to spend. Larry Summers has already published a high-profile academic paper on this topic so be sure it is under consideration.