Brickbats

Brickbat: Cashless Society

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Starting in 2020, the Greek government will require all residents to spend at least 30 percent of their income electronically. Officials say the move is aimed at fighting tax evasion. Those who fail to meet the requirement will be fined 22 percent of the difference between what they purchase electronically and what they are supposed to spend.

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  1. Never leave your buddy’s money behind.

  2. Pbbbt….. 30%?

    They should do it like we do here in the states…. most of us spend 130% of our income!

  3. Central banks are grasping at straws now. Presumably individuals will respond by finding new ways to hide income.

    1. Maybe I spend 30% of my income buying gold.

  4. If they’re going to require you to spend 30% of your income electronically, how will they know? If I’m getting half my income in under-the-table cash, they don’t even know what my income is and calculating 30% of an unknown quantity is not simple math. It seems to me this is going to only affect people who have their paychecks direct deposited, use debit cards and can easily be tracked – like gun control laws, it’s only the law-abiding who will follow the law and the criminals will continue to flout it.

    1. Exactly. Their “solution” just circles right back to the problem.

    2. It sounds like a huge win for the banks that process the electronic transactions (and take a tiny cut of each one). Or does the government process them itself? Unlikely. Anyway, if you fail to use electronic spending, you will be fined (0.30 * 0.22) or 6.6% of your reported income. Not trivial, but not overwhelming as these things go, especially if you have other income that isn’t reported. If you do some electronic spending but not the required amount, the fine will be less.

  5. If people are hiding income how will the government calculate the 30%?

    1. It’s at the state’s discretion, but then the market will respond to create means to escape the system. The more force the state exerts, the more people will be pushed to hide income in new and creative ways.

  6. And how are they going to track how much one has purchased in cash (leaving aside for the moment the basic disregard for individual choice this diktat entails)?

    The problem the government has with cash is that it is difficult to track.

  7. Didn’t the EU bail them out?

    This, this is why the UK wants out!

  8. “Some estimates put Greece’s black market at 20- to 25% of GDP, as more people have stopped reporting their income to avoid paying taxes that, in some cases, have risen to 70% of an individual’s gross income.”

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/print_gr.html

  9. Cash = liberty

  10. 30% of income, or 30% of purchasing? Because the two aren’t necessarily the same.

  11. Making repressive laws like this is what causes revolt.

    People evade taxes when they are too high and the money is being spent badly.

    That is common, get over it. Do not take away cash, too many people will not survive without it. We will continue to use a medium of exchange that is no government certified. Cash is a medium of trade it’s not actual wealth, itself, it merely represents value.

  12. So saving for retirement is now illegal in Greeklandia?

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