by Lew Rockwell, Lew Rockwell:
Sometimes governments have you right where they want you.
In Brazil, the new left-wing president is now requiring the children of recipients of the Bolsa Familia welfare program to have been vaccinated.
Whether that requirement includes the Covid shots has not yet been made clear, but with the precedent established, this is a mere detail.
That’s a stark reminder that it’s terrible to be dependent on the state for pretty much anything. Because as time goes on, it is likely to make more and more intrusive demands on us in exchange for its aid.
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Just today my friend Mark Jeftovic cited this example in connection with the topic of central bank digital currencies (CBDC).
He was asking, in effect: if a government could use its policy of cash payments to certain groups to bring about behavioral changes in those groups, what is stopping the monetary authority from doing the same thing by means of CBDCs they control?
The architects of these schemes try to pretend that they are responding to a market demand, pointing to the success of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as evidence that people are interested in digital currencies.
What people are interested in, however, is not digital currencies as such, but monetary systems outside the control of central banks and national governments. So a CBDC is no answer to what such people seek.
As we’ve seen, a CBDC probably means the end of financial privacy.
But more than that, is it really so unthinkable that a system like this could be manipulated for political purposes, and indeed to punish dissidents?
Nobody before COVID would have expected Canada, as crazy as its regime is, to freeze the bank accounts of hundreds of people protesting the regime. But it happened.
Are there any safeguards against a digital currency issued by a country’s central bank being controlled in such a way that, say, the digital wallets of a whole class of dissidents could simply be turned off?
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that we’d better not give these regimes the benefit of the doubt, or assume that their various schemes won’t eventually be put to sinister purposes.