THE CASH SOCIETY: PRIVATE BILL PAYMENTS
First of a Series of “Cash Society” Articles
BY GRANT HALL
DIGITS OR DOLLARS?
Fear mongers and the unknowing tout the eventual loss of all financial privacy and power currently enjoyed by the free people. Rumors of a “Cashless Society” abound and projected dates loom in the near future, you’re told. Why, you’ll have no use for greenbacks-weak or strong-by the year 2010 or thereabouts. A single card will contain your entire life’s history, your available cash on hand, assets, liabilities-the works-all rolled into one digital bank of all banks and controlled by a single computer with perpetual shifts of nerds controlling what you buy, sell, spend-and even consider. Thought Police? And who believed the world would become as George Orwell’s 1984 fiction novel predicted-total control over the population.
Believe not a word of this media gossip.
MONEY PRIVACY FOR FREEDOM
Fast forward yourself into the here and now and live in real time. You can and should be exercising your freedom by taking full control.
Since money is a central point for the continuation of human existence and necessary for buying and selling goods and services, a good place to start to re-gain your privacy and freedom is to take control over your money and eliminate the path to your source of funds. When the paper trail to your money is broken, identity thieves, agencies, “you know who”-no one will be able to freeze or seize your bread and meat funds-your grocery and rent money.
This article will focus on creating a private bill payment system that totally eliminates the possibility of your becoming a bank account seizure statistic.
Investment funds and other property are a separate matter and may be the focus of a future privacy article.
CASH AND MONEY ORDERS
The foundation of any privacy plan should be the utilization of non-traceable, negotiable instruments for ordinary bill payments. Cash and money orders are entirely private and should be used to preserve the location of your source of funds-the bank, safe deposit box, mattress or whatever location is used to store your money-the credits you receive in currency form in return for your work.
What kinds of bills are ordinary? Certainly, day to day living expenses should be paid with cash and non-traceable money orders to eliminate the possibility of snoopy knowing the locale of your cash. Privacy advocates and others frequently make large purchases with currency or money orders. This practice is more common outside the United States. My Chinese friend explains it is common for homes to be purchased with currency in China. So, you see, privacy-invasive bank accounts-especially those held under your name and Social Security number are really not necessary.
It is entirely possible to keep all money under your control while having no links to you as an individual.
Useful websites on the subject are: www.24-7PrivateVaults.com and www.PrivacyCrisis.com
MONEYGRAM AND WESTERN UNION
On occasion, the immediate and electronic payment of bills is a benefit and two companies offering this service are MoneyGram and Western Union. Both will accept cash for the transaction and as soon as your bill is paid electronically, you have documentation of the transaction.
Today, banks in the U.S.A. will not sell cashier’s checks to anyone unless they have an account at the bank issuing the check. So, unless you want someone to be able to trace the origination of the funds, cashier’s checks compromise your bill payment privacy plan.
Money orders are denominated in amounts up to $1,000.00 and will serve as the equivalent of a cashier’s check.
WIRE TRANSFERS AND AUTOMATIC CLEARING HOUSE (ACH)
Serious privacy advocates do not utilize bank wires for routine bill payments. Nor do they use the somewhat slower, but equally reliable and convenient Automatic Clearing House (ACH) for paying regular bills.
Many companies such as Health Insurance Companies and Health Clubs offer customers the option of paying premiums and dues via ACH transfer. Not only does this “convenience” reveal your bank account information, your insurance carrier and gym become resources for those who may invade your privacy.
Both bank wires and ACH have their uses, but not for routine bill payment purposes when privacy is a concern.
PERSONAL CHECKS AND DEBIT CARDS
Checking accounts and debit cards held in an individual’s name are a bad idea if privacy is a concern. Paying bills with either is a terrible idea-unless you don’t mind having your money source-the bank from which the funds are drawn, become known to any number of people, institutions and agencies.
Using credit cards for normal living expenses may be convenient, but allows for information on your credit lines to be known to those vendors who you pay by credit card. Personal credit cards-those issued in your name should be used sparingly and when they offer a substantial benefit. Buying groceries and gas don’t qualify-if you want bill payment privacy, that is.
ALTERNATE NAME AND GIFT DEBIT CARDS
Those who subscribe to the “cash society” system for bill paying will sometimes have to use a credit card. Online purchases often require the use of a credit or debit card.
Gift cards and certain debit cards sold through check cashing stores, convenience stores and supermarkets do not require one’s identification and these are valuable resources for the privacy seeker who desires anonymity as bill payments are made.
The downside of these cards is that they generally have limits from $100 to $500 per card. So, expensive purchases are not possible.
COMPANY NAME DEBIT CARDS
These debit cards are included as they are sometimes necessary for normal bill payments. Automobile rental companies usually require the driver of a rental car to provide a credit or debit card as a security measure for renting the car.
The most careful privacy advocates use debit cards with a company name only on the card and provide documentation of their signing power on the account tied to the card.
Private bill payment options are covered in detail in Privacy Crisis.
Orwell, George, 1984, Signet Classics, 1950
Hall, Grant, Privacy Crisis: Identity Theft Prevention Plan and Guide to Anonymous Living, James Clark King, LLC (available as an eBook at: www.PrivacyCrisis.com)
Copyright, James Clark King, LLC, August 29, 2008