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Anti-Cash Fanaticism in Scandinavia

Summary:
First they came for the inmates' cash. . . . Apparently, the prevarications and base tactics of anti-cash fanatics know no bounds.  In an announcement in May that garnered very little mainstream press coverage, the Danish government stated its intention to ban cash from its largest prisons. The ostensible reason, according to Justice Minister Soeren Pape Poulsen, is that "there is a risk that people in criminal circles exploit their friends' incarceration to hide money." Forcing inmates to pay for purchases electronically will make it  "easier to follow the money flow in and out." So let's get this straight. The Danish government actually believes that it is more likely that inmates' unincarcerated cronies will show up en masse and hand over wads of krone to stash in a

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  • Anti-Cash Fanaticism in Scandinavia

First they came for the inmates' cash. . . . 

Apparently, the prevarications and base tactics of anti-cash fanatics know no bounds.  In an announcement in May that garnered very little mainstream press coverage, the Danish government stated its intention to ban cash from its largest prisons. The ostensible reason, according to Justice Minister Soeren Pape Poulsen, is that "there is a risk that people in criminal circles exploit their friends' incarceration to hide money." Forcing inmates to pay for purchases electronically will make it  "easier to follow the money flow in and out." So let's get this straight. The Danish government actually believes that it is more likely that inmates' unincarcerated cronies will show up en masse and hand over wads of krone to stash in a government prison than that the inmates will figure out a way to use the electronic payments devices to contact and scheme with these cronies to commit more crimes. Of course government officials do not believe this nonsense. The real point of the measure is to reinforce the link between cash and criminality in the public mind so that citizens are more amenable when the day comes that their own cash is seized by government.

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Joseph T. Salerno
Joseph T. Salerno is an Austrian School economist in the United States. He is a professor at Pace University, an editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and Academic Vice President of the Mises Institute. Salerno specializes in monetary theory and policy, comparative economics, and the history of economic thought. Dr. Salerno received his Ph.D. in economics from Rutgers University. His most recent publication is Money: Sound and Unsound.

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