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48

Many countries adopt some variant of solution (3): Putting restrictions to the usage of wealth in political situations. This solution is used in many western states, but is of course a violation of free speech and the possibility to exercise political influence at will. The assumption "of course this is a violation of free speech" is not universally ...


45

It's mainly because there will always be people who do not have credit cards and still uses cash, for example, 96% in Sweden in the article that you cited. 4% is still a relatively huge number. This article by BBC addresses Sweden, noting that not everyone welcomes the move: Like the Netherlands and its Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden is among the front-...


43

I reject your basic hypothesis. You're conflating influence with votes. It is not common to buy votes. We have secret ballots specifically to make this hard and laws to make it illegal. That's not to say it doesn't happen but it is not encouraged in any democratic society. However, influencing voters is encouraged. This has been true since the dawn of ...


36

Wow, so my understanding was way out of date. Here's a history of taxation and gambling in the UK, which includes what I though was still the case; The first shops opened in 1961 but under the condition that a new levy was to be charged at 6.75% to bookmakers. Bookies passed this on to punters in the form of a 9% betting tax. The tax could either be paid ...


36

Bank notes have serial numbers. The mint keeps track of what's been issued, and also the quantity of notes that have been taken out of circulation and destroyed. Back accounts are another matter. In that case there's not very much "currency" involved, but instead "assets" and "liabilities". Liabilites are money owed to others: to a bank, each account is a ...


34

First of all, what does the credit rating of a country actually mean? The credit rating of a sovereign country is calculated by privately owned rating agencies using algorithms and formulas they invented themselves. Different rating agencies don't always agree on the rating of every country. These ratings are supposed to serve as a guideline for ...


33

There's many downsides and reasons. Some areas have no reliable electricity. You need electricity to run CC transactions. Some areas have no reliable telecom infrastructure. You need a telecom connection to the bank for CC reader to function even if you are blessed enough with 24x7 electricity. You need to have a bank you'd trust (preferably local). If you ...


25

This requirement is usually in place to combat money laundering and tax evasion. The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, an international organization, has a series of recommendations for countries to fight money laundering, including Recommendation 32—"Cash Couriers": Countries should have measures in place to detect the physical cross-...


24

Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin aren't actually that untraceable, because the transfer history of every wallet is public. When cryptocurrencies ever become economically relevant, you can expect law enforcement to put all those currently hyped big data analysis and machine learning technologies to use and data-mine the blockchains for ...


22

Yes, of course. Most European countries, especially Nordic ones, have high tax rates for high income, and it works perfectly. What are the repercussions of very high tax rates on high earners? Almost none. Although many get public tantrum on every tax increase and declare immediately going abroad, they generally stay and pay that taxes. Poor countries (...


22

These are considered cards issued by three party schemes, from europa.eu: Credit and debit cards issued by three party schemes (such as American Express and Diners Club), and business or corporate credit cards, where your employer is billed instead of you, are not covered by EU rules on payment services, and you can still be charged extra for using these ...


20

The most obvious politician's argument against funding research in pure mathematics is that it costs money and it isn't useful. I'm aware that there is a point of view that holds that the state should not fund research of any kind, but it is very alien to my milieu, so I won't presume to explain it. As I'm closer to mathematicians than to politicians, the ...


20

I wonder that people did not mention the most dangerous reason. If there is no cash and every transaction need an account, you can harass, threaten or even bankrupt political opponents. If every good must be bought with electronic money and the government forces the bank to lock the account, even friends and family cannot give you money. So you either must ...


18

The "divorce bill" effectively represents a one-time payment for the UK's existing liabilities (pensions, payments previously agreed but not yet paid) and a share of the structural costs involved in the withdrawal (e.g. the cost of moving UK based EU institutions elsewhere). Some of these costs may be cancelled against the value of the assets and credits ...


18

The explanation is somewhat simple. Regulation (EU) 2015/751 of 29 April 2015, which capped the interchange fees for four-party schemes like Visa and Mastercard, was according to a World Bank presentation, specifically designed to Put an end to the race between MasterCard and Visa for higher interchange fees (reverse competition) and Introduce ...


14

You as an individual can use paypal today, if you don't mind them taking their substantial percentage, subject to their judgment on disputes, and you don't mind giving them permission to raid your bank account when they see fit if a judgment goes against you. Hopefully, a government would replace that with a less expensive model... governments being known ...


13

There are primarily two reasons: competitiveness and corruption. Competitiveness You did hit the nail on the head - part of the reason is competitiveness. Public offices compete with private jobs for the same people. In order for public office to be an attractive prospect, the salary needs to be competitive with the kinds of jobs they would be able to ...


12

The main reason for a common currency was to remove the business risk which came from currency fluctuations. When a company in country A buys goods or services from a company in country B, they need to obtain some currency B to pay the bill. But what happens when the exchange rate between currency A and currency B suddenly changes and currency B is a lot ...


12

At most, the unexplained pay gap is between 4.8% and 7.1% The 77% figure is often criticized because it is a raw aggregate based on several assumptions. For example, women tend to work fewer hours, in lower paying professions, with less work experience. The 77% figure for median full-time woman, does not take any of those differences into account. A study ...


12

For example, I have $100 in the bank. I pay $50 to someone else, so the bank is supposed to take $50 away from me and add it to the other person's balance (or send it to their bank). How does the country that issued the currency ensure it actually happens like this? What prevents the bank from sending $50 away without subtracting it from my account (...


11

Formally, the Twenty Seventh Amendment stipulates that salary changes made by congress cannot take effect until after the next house elections. No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened. In other words, Representatives would be ...


11

Is there a more canonical source, (or perhaps a regularly updated online debt counter), for evaluating this number? He has to report financial information to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). That would be the most up to date source at the moment. The President has to report financial information each year. For example, here are Barack Obama's and ...


11

Presidents have to pay for various personal expenses incurred during their stay in the White House. Only meals for state functions that are prepared by White House chefs are paid for by the government. ... when his family and personal guests eat what's coming out of the kitchen, he'll have to foot the bill himself. Luckily for him, though, the government ...


10

The main reason is that the European Union (and before that the European Communities) was intended by its architects to bring about ever tighter integration, possibly all the way to a federal state. Seemingly technical measures like the customs union and common market were not only or mainly intended at boosting economic output but at fostering understanding ...


10

What's the most accurate account of the current President's monetary debts? Most people are unable to distinguish between his personal debt, or the debt of companies he controls. or if he is a borrower or a guarantor on the debt. Most small real estate developers put on a guaranty or becomes a co-borrower to their real estate projects. Most large real ...


10

There is Well, in one sense, there is a global currency. International agreements are often denominated in United States Dollars. It is not a mandated global currency but it is often used as a de facto one. The Euro is growing as an alternative. Advantages of a global currency Some have suggested a separate global currency that is not based on a ...


10

The history of the USA is not devoid of high income tax marginal rates. During both World Wars, during the Great Depression (and even before Roosevelt's New Deal, btw) and until Reagan's tax reform in the 1980's, the rate of inflation-ajusted top bracket of earners was well above 60%, culminating at 94% after the Individual Income Tax Act of 1944. Without ...


10

No incumbent fundraising The simplest method in the United States would be to bar people who are currently in office from running for office, forming campaign committees, and asking for donations to political committees. This would get around the free speech issue, as it is a restriction on employees rather than citizens. Also, we aren't restricting the ...


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