Wouldn’t it be nice if nobody cheated the benefits system and everybody paid their fair share of tax, as prescribed by law. ‘To each according to their needs, from each according to their ability’ was always a laudable aim, but impossible to achieve while cash can be passed covertly and banks maintain what they call confidentiality but is actually secrecy. No doubt some of those fortunate enough to pay tax would argue that their relationship with the tax authorities is a private matter, but shouldn’t we all be accountable to each other for what we contribute to society, and for what we take out ?
We have the technology to eliminate the use of cash and require that all financial transactions should pass through the electronic banking system. There’s no reason why that system shouldn’t be transparent, so that we can all see what’s going on, and check who’s playing by the rules and who’s cheating their fellow citizens. In becoming accountable to each other we could also gain some important improvements in the way that we’re governed.
First, there would less scope for argument about how wealth is distributed and whether the gap between rich and poor is growing or decreasing, and we could easily make democratic decisions on what to do about that. Secondly, we could achieve a proper balance between public spending and taxation, a simple tax on transactions could be adjusted as required. This would eliminate the present fraud whereby government wills the ends but fails to provide its agents with the means to achieve them. Such duplicity leaves a gap between rhetoric and reality which central departments and local authorities are then required to conceal.
An economy which was cash free and transparent could underpin a society which was open, honest and fair, in as far as we frail human beings can ever manage that.