War on Cash

What is it

You used to always have your money in your own hands, bills and coins in your wallet, or it was kept in an old sock or under a mattress. Then when you paid with it, your name wasn't on the bill. The money can change hands anonymously. But as soon as the money goes through a bank, you see from whom to whom it is paid. That you need to know to which account something goes sounds logical, but that names are always visible is not. After all, you don't receive cash in your name with the name of the person from whom you received it. In the light of recent privacy legislation, it's pretty crazy that your bank will 'out' you.

For all the constitutional civil rights we have, the ability to pay is an essential component. Because people have fundamental freedom of speech, assembly, to associate, of religion, etc. But what does that have to do with money? Well, sometimes you incur expenses. Maybe you need a leaflet or a website, you need to travel somewhere, you want to pay salaries, have lunch while expressing your opinion, holding meetings or practicing a religion.

So exercising your fundamental rights without money is difficult. But suddenly a bank starts interfering. Because the government stipulates that banks are obliged to know who their customer is (KYC, know your customer). Why do you want to disturb a few thousand euros in cash, why do you suddenly take your money out of the bank? Why do you transfer money to that country? Suddenly you are guilty without charge.

In short:

  • You have constitutional rights
  • You need money to exercise them
  • State gains power to cut off funding

So what on earth could go wrong? A lot! It is simply undemocratic to move toward a cashless society. Governments simply do not have the right to dictate to citizens how they pay. And it's also a very unpleasant weapon in the hands of politicians who don't have the best interests of marginalized groups at heart.


What it can mean for a sex worker

The issues surrounding banks, money laundering laws and cash affect sex workers significantly. Is the War on Cash a conspiracy theory or is it conscious European policy to hinder cash? You can say for yourself. Either way, things have not become any easier for sex workers (and business owners, and sometimes clients too, who are unable to use their PIN cards in more and more places) in recent years.


What can you do

Still, continue to use cash as much as possible. It's legal tender (though unfortunately a store may also choose to accept it).


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