Cashless: The Coming War on Tax-Evasion and Decentralized Money
BY CRIS SHERIDAN
There are two major trends taking place that are shaping up as a recipe for disaster. On the one hand, we have massively indebted governments around the world desperate for tax revenues and, on the other, steadily growing multi-trillion underground economies whose main goal is to avoid paying them.
According to a study done earlier last year, the amount of uncollected tax revenues in the US is estimated around a whopping 500 billion dollars, with the total size nearing 8 percent of America’s GDP.1
Although comprising a much smaller percentage of our overall economy than other nations like Greece (25 percent), Italy (27 percent), or Thailand (70 percent)2, the underground or shadow economy of the U.S., due to its massive size, is larger than “the official output of all but the upper crust of nations across the globe…bigger than the GDP of Turkey or Austria.”3
How long will the government allow this to last?
When times are good and the economy vibrant, there is less incentive to crack down on tax-evasion; but now, unemployment is at all-time highs, income and property taxes have fallen dramatically, and the government is supporting an increasingly large and record number of people through a wide range of benefits.
Desperate times call for desperate measures