3x03: Massive Quantities of Potatoes

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which apparently it is Coventry’s turn in the barrel, and:

Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!

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News music: [http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/Robbero/59218](Long Live Blind Joe by Robbero), used with attribution.

You can’t get the Smallpox vaccine because we genocided Smallpox… with the vaccine. Your generation gets to be the last one vaccinated. Also Rinderpest. Polio and Guinea worm disease might also go away soon.

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Very interested in digital currency I can see a number of advantages and disadvantages. My daughter tends to carry very little cash for emergencies.

Advantages of Digital

  • Can be difficult or impossible to steal as could require a fingerprint, PIN or other authentication to use.

  • No need to worry about loose change: if an item costs say £4.99 and you pay cash most people don’t want to carry the spare penny

  • I can pay my energy bills with my phone so don’t need to travel to pay them.

Disadvantages of Digital

  • More difficult to set a spending limit. I may have £20 in my pocket to go to the pub. I know when it’s spent, with a card or other digital means easier to lose track.

  • Traceability: I may not want anyone to know what I spend (some) money on. This may not be an issue if the system is designed correctly but I personally don’t trust any bank or government to implement this adequately.

  • Individual payments: I want to give my kids pocket money, pay for a homeless person to buy a meal, tip a particularly good server in a restaurant. Much harder with electronic transfers.

  • Leverage: Banks often have more debts than assets. They lend people money they have not got. Provided they have sufficient reserves to cover cash demands the system works but would fall over if everyone demanded there savings back in cash. Those borrowing pay interest and this generates profits. A government backed digital currency reduce the requirement for people to put savings in banks. This makes credit harder to get. On one hand this may lead to lower inflation but makes it near impossible to buy your first house.

I just paused the Podcast to say, the dots then the follow up scaring injection is the BCG it is for Tuberculosis.

The vacine for smallpox was to milk cows. Milk maids caught cowpox, which made them immune to smallpox. This led to the vacine.

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Another issue with fiat currency is that the people running that fiat currency has some say-so as to what you may buy. For instance, if your fiat currency is provided by Coca Cola, they could deny you funds if you eat at Taco Bell or KFC (both of which are owned by PepsiCo), or they could charge you a premium for buying a Mountain Dew.

Or they could try to drive policy. Look at what Bank of America and Citi did. The 2nd Amendment or the Constitution says that Americans can purchase guns, and the Supreme Court has backed this up with multiple rulings. However, Citi and BofA started putting multiple restrictions on loaning money to gun manufacturers, or that sell guns with more stringent restrictions than the law allows.

This could be extended to any number of personal activities, including voting for the wrong party, or are a churchgoer, or in a broader sense, similar to the Chinese social credit score. If you don’t toe the line, we will not let you have your money.

It is a bit scary to me.

Look back at how long it took Apple Pay and Google Pay to take hold in the USA - mostly it was because of liability laws. Until those laws changed there was a lot of risk involved with Tap & Pay (for the stores and banks). Countries that adopt digital fiat currency are going to be those that have liability laws to promote it rather than discourage it.

I like the idea that the government, through the central bank, controls how much total money is in circulation - but they do not control my wallet. I have no problem with the digital aspect since I primarily use my phone or cards to pay for things and then shift money around through my bank’s web app.

But I still like having my money in a bank that offers other financial services, like credit cards, investments, mortgages, etc. I don’t expect the government to go into those businesses.

If we need a no-frills bank with a mandate to offer basic services to anyone and everyone everywhere across the country we could hand that off to the post office (other countries do). Especially at a time when they are trying to justify their existence.

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.