Perspectives: Whose money is it anyway?

OPINION – If you were unable to access your money, would you have a backup plan to keep yourself solvent?

This may seem like a strange question, but there are a number of timely reasons that a person might want to consider having a backup plan for this situation.

For instance, recent proposals by the government of Cyprus to confiscate a portion of personal funds from the savings accounts of Cypriots caused a predictable reaction. People made a run on the banks and ATMs to get control of their money before it could be taken.

Having actual physical control of their money was a better option than leaving it to be plundered by pirates in 3 piece suits.

The president of Cyprus is accused of alerting his cronies so they could get their money out of harm’s way before it was taken. Italian media is reporting that 4.5 billion Euros left the island nation in the week prior to the crisis.

If the government can simply reach into your bank account and help itself to a portion of your money in a time of need, that money isn’t safe. Likewise, when your money consists of electrons in a computer or a notation on a ledger sheet, it can be frozen, confiscated, or taxed by those who control the monetary system.

Electronic banking is highly convenient, but in a world where government is becoming entrenched in our finances, politicians consider private bank accounts community property.

Even if you were able to empty your bank account and keep your cash where you can get to it, there are some drawbacks.

Large amounts of cash tempt the common private sector thieves looking to make an easy score as well as public sector thieves in state uniforms using asset forfeiture laws to seize currency with no evidence of wrongdoing. There is also the problem of the hidden tax of inflation that is steadily shrinking the purchasing power of every dollar we have saved.

It wasn’t always like this. But few Americans understand just how far we have strayed from the concept of sound money and real freedom.

Jeffery Tucker recently wrote, “Imagine a time when the government knew nothing about the money in your bank. It cared nothing about how much you made, where you made it, and what you did with it. You could take your earnings in gold, silver, paper, or anything else, and never filed a sheet with the government. This was the world of a mere 100 years ago in the United States.”

Few people would be foolish enough to argue that we’re better off as a nation or as individuals thanks to the income tax and the government’s legal tender monopoly of the past 100 years.

We’re deeper in debt and less free than we’ve ever been as a nation.

When we shake our heads and go, “tsk tsk” at those poor suckers in Cyprus, few Americans realize that we’re just one strong financial setback from being in their shoes. We could easily be in the shoes of the Greeks, or the Spaniards, or anyone else in Europe who has experienced the latest financial meltdown.

Like most other nations that have had their rude awakening, a majority of Americans will refuse to believe it could happen here right up until the moment that it is happening.

So what can we do in the meantime, to ensure that we’re not fleeced or inflated out of our life savings?

A top priority as individuals should be to eliminate as much debt as possible from our lives. In a credit-based economy, this runs counter to conventional wisdom, but it gives us greater freedom to act than those who are chained to their debts.

Another good idea is to have a minimum of six months worth of living expenses saved up. This can include cash, food storage, fuel, and the means of producing our own food through gardening and livestock.

Tangible commodities are another way to store value without leaving it at risk of being taxed away from us. This list of 100 things that vanish first in emergencies has a number of great items that would work well for barter.

People who think ahead and consider such possibilities are likely to incur some ridicule from those who do not. But one thing is for certain; those who do prepare won’t be making a run on the banks.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • Dan March 25, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Exactly why I no longer have a bank account! Prepayed visa from walmart works great.

  • Irene Peters March 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Have recent laws made it possible for Homeland Security to come into your home and take your food and water storage items because they can call it hoarding?

  • robert kelly March 25, 2013 at 10:21 am

    @Irene Peters Can you provide a link to these recent laws that allow this?

    • robert kelly March 25, 2013 at 10:23 am

      @Irene My mistake it seems that you are asking a question rather then stating a fact!

  • Atheist March 25, 2013 at 11:20 am

    That 10% tithing that churches take from you isn’t yours either unless you view the church taking it from you as robbery.

    • capitalist March 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Tithing isn’t taken from me or stolen either. I freely give it to the church unlike taxes that are forcible taken from me at the point of a gun. The church as never and will never take my money by force only the government does that.

  • Roy J March 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Looking forward sometimes involves looking backwards. Consider how the Bolsheviks out-generalled the Russian people from 1914 on. The NKVD pulled up in the night, or in unexpected places, or even the middle of a crowded street in daylight and simply arrested citizens. Then they trumped up some charges, which was easy to do under article 58 of the Russian Criminal Code, (for supposedly political offenders) and shipped the accused off to Gulag. Or shot them. Or maybe the citizen died during the interrogation (resisting interrogation!!). In any case, the NKVD could collect the carefully stored valuables, firearms(!), edibles(!!), gold/silver/cash(!!!) the next day, and arrest family members or friends they had missed, and put them under the same article 58. Help from your neighbors? Believe it or not, neighbors who liked your apartment might have even turned you in just to take it for themselves! Or if an NKVD agent wanted to get next to your wife…well here’s ten years in the Kolyma and that was the end of you, a death sentence! For the Russian people during this time, it wasn’t a matter of hiding in some secret annex for four to six months. For those under the communist government of the U.S.S.R., it would have been a question of surviving in public (where could you go?) amongst every manner of citizen-thug, thief, and government informer who might turn you in for an old overcoat. Under Stalin, whole countries and peoples were uprooted and moved to Siberia, or wherever slave labor was needed for public works. For decades upon decades. For those of you who agree with Bryan Hyde, what I would like to know is how you intend to prepare against that sort of actively hostile government?

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