By Steve Nicklas
The federal government wants to tell you what to drive and how to cook and who will clean your dishes. Now, the latest potential overreach would impact how and what you spend.
None of this makes practical sense. But it could affect real-life cents – and that’s the most disturbing part.
The greatest dictate yet revolves around a digital currency being explored by the Biden administration. The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) would be a digital version of the U.S. dollar, controlled by the federal government.
However, the digital currency idea has hit a snag. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation last week to ban CBDC in the state of Florida. It is another pre-emptive move by DeSantis with broad implications. He is alerting other governors to act accordingly.
Biden initiated (by yet another executive order) a study of a digital currency last year. “And I don’t think they would have done that if they don’t intend on implementing this,” DeSantis said.
The biggest flaw of the idea is the loss of privacy. Purchases could be monitored and even blocked by the federal government. An example would be buying a firearm, if gun-control activists are in power.
For the few advantages, like some cheaper transactions, the pitfalls are enormous. It’s like comparing the Rayonier wood chip pile to an ant hill. It could be yet another government initiative gone awry, following similar actions by China (communist) and Europe (socialist).
The digital currency could become an infringement on your rights. Restricting the sale of gasoline-powered automobiles in favor of electric alternatives is another. Limiting the availability of gas stoves (used by most restaurants, by the way) or dishwashers that use too much water (by their metrics) are further attempts at control of our lives.
The digital currency concept has roots back to the Obama administration. Obama officials felt they could not accurately track sales at restaurants, for instance, especially tips left for waiters and bartenders. The digital currency, in full force, would alleviate this issue.
DeSantis believes there is an underlying motive. “I think they want to crowd out and eliminate other types of digital assets like cryptocurrency because they can’t control that,” DeSantis said. “So they don’t like that.
“Once they then have the ability to run a central bank digital currency, they’re going to be able to have the window into what you’re doing with the money,” DeSantis said, “and have the ability to control where that money is going.”
After all, Florida touts itself as the freedom state, promoting independence and liberty. Sounds comfortably constitutional, doesn’t it? The digital currency would interrupt our pursuit of happiness. “I think that anyone with their eyes open could see the dangers that this type of an arrangement would mean for Americans,” DeSantis said. “We’d like to be able to conduct business without having the federal government know every single transaction that we’re making in real time.”
(Steve Nicklas is the managing partner of Nicklas Wealth Management in Fernandina Beach. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns regularly appear in weekly newspapers in Northeast Florida and in Southeast Georgia, and on his website at www.SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has published a book, “All About Money,” of his favorite columns from the past 20 years. The book is available on Amazon. He has also done financial reports for area radio stations and for National Public Radio in Jacksonville. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 904-753-0236.)
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.