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The Ripple Effects of a Cashless Society | Richard Wright | TEDxPeachtree

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With countries like Sweden and Denmark moving closer to becoming cashless societies, Richard Wright unveils results of a study on the unexpected consequences when less coin and currency is being used for daily purchases. Richard Wright is Professor and Chair of the Criminal Justice and Criminology Department in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and former Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Bibliographies [Criminology] and the British Journal of Sociology. He has been studying active urban street criminals — residential burglars, armed robbers, carjackers, and drug dealers — for over a quarter century. He is the author or co-author of seven books and many scholarly articles and book chapters, including Armed Robbers in Action and Burglars on the Job, which won the 1994-95 Outstanding Scholarship in Crime and Delinquency Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. He also is co-editor of the Sage Handbook of Fieldwork. Richard has written widely for the popular press. He has appeared on numerous nationally broadcast TV news programs in the US and Great Britain, and he has been interviewed twice on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
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Text Comments (1077)
E.C. Alexander (4 days ago)
So, the big criminal (digital) is going to get rid of the small criminal ( fiat money) eventually, and then proceed to rob everybody with impunity.
Leertese Beirge (10 days ago)
So in my mind if you have only mobile payments, i would think mobile phone thefts would skyrocket. Criminals adapt.
John the Werewolf (25 days ago)
A cashless society isn't all credit cards and digital bank transfers. He forgot about the growing use of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, tezos, litecoin, etc). I can transfer a large amount of money to anywhere in the world almost instantly through a blockchain and no bank controls it as it's entirely peer-to-peer with a massive shared ledger.
Chantell Champange (1 month ago)
Control no it cost money to handle all of cash transactions
Brutally Honest (1 month ago)
I actually can't believe I'm spending my time listening to this. Brainwash. Brainwash.
Brutally Honest (1 month ago)
Straight totalitarian
Brutally Honest (1 month ago)
Congress can't mandate state laws?
Kove Sveta (1 month ago)
Greed is the fuel not cash. Ha ha ha... the source is deeper than this thing called cash Look at how many tech crimes are committed? Wars around the world are caused by greed not street thugs
sundiii99OWS (1 month ago)
When we end wage slavery we’ll be cashless and banks won’t exist, because then there would be equal wealth. The wage is slavery and the cause of world poverty. It’s unequal wealth that is the only reason we’re not cashless now.
Barry Campion (2 months ago)
Now watch out for internet fraud
Barry Campion (2 months ago)
Instead of taking your money they will kidnapp you and make you use your card,cash is king
Barry Campion (2 months ago)
Biblical prophecy Mark of the beast system No privacy
George R (2 months ago)
Everyone should buy bitcoin
hank fontaine (2 months ago)
The Beast with eyes in the front & back of his head ,cashless is for control ,to keep a eye on everyone ,wink wink
Jochen Seiler (2 months ago)
A 12 year old can come up with a better analysis.
Lion 1 (2 months ago)
If that happens (cashless society) people would go back to the beginning and start all over and trade their possessions.
Geoff Pace (2 months ago)
A totally cashless society? One EMP from a foreign and/or terrorist source targeted over the center of the USA and we are all cooked ! And that is not only for our cashless society at that point but EVERY aspect of society.PERIOD !
Josh Calkins (2 months ago)
I will also unfortunately I heard it from inside her this is the point of making everything cashless for the day that happens and you don’t get along with the Luminarias are your bosses are your owners they can and will turn off your chip well also unfortunately I heard it from insider this is the point of making everything cashless for the day that happens and you don’t get along with illuminati or your bosses or your owners they can and will turn off your chip ! You will not have access to 1/2 of a penny he will go from having a house a car a family and food to having nothing another words nobody will be able to reserve voices nobody will be able to protest you will be terrified or afraid of even speaking against the authorities even to your closest neighbors or family members ! You will have to love your captors ! And you will ! How many of you will accidentally and a bun the wrong list like you stepped on his blue suede shoes or your child looked at his child funny and anything you ever worked for will disappear !, A famous man Aaron Russo I think he might’ve been a comedian became friends with David Rockefeller and you can watch the video on YouTube where he tells you that’s Rockefellers intent for are you and your family ! Also I would definitely consider this the Mark of the beast they’re going to create a situation where you will love having a cashless society and you will beg for the chip because you need food and power that bad ! (You were without these amenities will long time) Jesus says “anybody taking the Mark of the beast they no longer have any part with me “ and we believe that the wild beast is the United Nations so at the same time they will probably be initiating you into the one world government probably after the enormous economic collapse that should be here any day now Or should I say I will double my supplies in the year 2021 Because of agenda 21 and they just came out with agenda 2030 so I know that they’re both supposed to be dates ! The other awakened ones also agree it should probably take place between those dates ! And just remember whatever happens know it happened on purpose ! But the main goal goodbye America goodbye constitution goodbye bill of rights your own government is plotting this is every breath !
Josh Calkins (2 months ago)
Once everything becomes cashless you will pay taxes on everything you buy off craigslist or offer up they will also know exactly where you are and what you bought ! What your hobbies are what your building or working on ! Also the only way to make a living will be to work for the man or the illuminati ! Nobody will be able to make any side money without paying full taxes ! If you need to give your neighbor or your friend some money they will have to declare it as income and pay taxes on it from there on out if they don’t implement that immediately they will eventually ! This program is about increasing taxes. More surveillance control ! I haven’t finish the video but this guy is saying it will prevent or stop crime he’s a liar and a crypto agent the drug dealers will adapt so will the criminals ! Right off the bat they can trade silver and gold ! And the thieves may become more violent and how to confront you to get your pin number or take you to the ATM Or simply blackmail you for silver and gold
Aaron Sanders (2 months ago)
I don't think we will ever go completely cashless...even if most places choose to not accept the cash, I imagine we will be going to the bank to digitize our paper money. Give them a $20 and you will get a non reloadable one time use $20 universal prepaid card issued directly by the bank. Imagine how much money gets gobbled up once we have $1, $5, $10, etc cards laying around everywhere with small amounts of money left. Pan handlers will be asking people for their "spent cards" to try and add a pile of them into a new card. Imagine a hobo will come into the stores and banks with like 32 cards with $0.05 on each of them, and they leave with a new prepaid card with $1.50. Any bank issuing the cards would make a fortune in unused funds and the Federal govt. would of course get a nice chunk of that someway or another. A cashless society will greatly change the dynamics but people will always find a way to circumvent systems. Its what generations upon generations of evolution has taught us.
MrDaledark (2 months ago)
Count on one hand how many times you have been robbed of your cash on the street. Count on your other hand how many times you have had to get a new credit card because your account was compromised. Now tell me what you think.
Eclipse Gaming (2 months ago)
What is the digital dollar backed by? Nothing
didi48316 (2 months ago)
He is right about one thing. Crime moved from the street to the pc
didi48316 (2 months ago)
Take away cash and we will make our own way of paying without identifying ourselves. Bitcoins is an example of this
Wayfaring Flo (2 months ago)
BS propoganda.
Sharon Erigonia (2 months ago)
Undocumented workers are paid the regular way in most cases these days. Lol. They have fake identities and are paid via direct deposit. Criminals are just gonna switch to crypto currency. Quite a few already have. Going cashless isn’t that amazing of an idea.
Matthew Weaver (2 months ago)
How much did they pay you to do this? Lol what are those movie clips?! Moron no one speaks like that in a real context sounds like a movie script
steven grimes (2 months ago)
Cashless is everywhere, ! I "ve noticed the kids that work the local stores cannot at all ,count , give them a handful of change and it takes them forever to count it and yup, get the total wrong !
Frank Frank (2 months ago)
Society will never become cashless because the politicians need to take their bribes in cash. Also man landlords do not want transactions in forms that can be traced thats why my landlord demands cash payments not credit cards or checks. The increase in the use of debit cards and credit cards is what is fueling bit coins and barter.. But he is right crime is changing, no more street muggings but white collar crime, people cheating you on your credit cards, embezzlement and so forth.
Shane Thomas (2 months ago)
There is a stark difference. ...those guys are all white. Where I come from, they blow cash because tomorrow isn't promised. They could be murdered by another criminal or a terrorist in a police uniform at any time. They saying is "we don't expect to make it to 21."
Honey Pie (2 months ago)
Con game. Keep ur cash. And ur guns.
Jonathan Whitfield (2 months ago)
Revelation Chapter 13:15-18 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.
gerry morgan (2 months ago)
No cash will see the end of what little privacy we already have, and an expansion of the control vector. Early graves will be the norm for hard working folk ,with no chance of privacy the state will have complete oversight..
Wolf Thorn (2 months ago)
problem with cashless.... once the power goes out. EMP for example.... you are screwed.
Maryjane Green (2 months ago)
Guess we need to learn to barter where we can. It's us against them.
Sergei (2 months ago)
I like that
mstrailertrash058 (2 months ago)
We don't want dullards like this running our society and our world. We'd be giving up a lot of freedoms just so he could catch his petty criminals. It would take away ANY informal sector economy, not just the criminal segment. More importantly it would force everybody into the banking system - lobbyists for which are probably the greatest force behind the push for going cashless. There is already a trend toward negative interest rates and carelessness would make us all a captive clientele for the banks who could then, with negative interest rates, extract untold amounts of money from us in a perpetual stick up.
Elizabeth Burke (2 months ago)
PSA: Watch the ENTIRE video before commenting. Thanks.
PureMagma (2 months ago)
This is the worst TED talk ever. Wells Fargo stole my child's entire savings (by closing her account) when she had never taken a dollar out of it. Banks are the biggest monsters of all and this man is their shill!
Jasmin Flower (2 months ago)
People should have the right to use cash or cards, end of story.
Loving Goddess (2 months ago)
I recommend stop using money. Period. You can create a 100% moneyless sustainable lifestyle. FreeHouseShare dot com.
tim jones (2 months ago)
If they get rid of cash then banksters will have full control of your money. Government will be able to take whatever they want. Crime is bad because there is no punishment!!
Minister of Yahushua Ha-mashiach, marita (2 months ago)
Mark of the beast talk. Mat 6:24 - No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Michelle Vargas (2 months ago)
Who’s the bigger criminal? Bankers? Federal Reserve? IMF? Or some street thug robbing people?
Patrick Glynn (2 months ago)
"Crime" is defined by a corrupt government system. That system took my children and forced me to pay 90% of my income to child support with no means to support myself. I have never committed a real crime in my life. In Sept I made a total of $10 on an online sale. The government "found me" and took $2.50. Without cash savings I would be homeless today.
Jeff Halsch (2 months ago)
Ebt = less crime hahahahah dude your blind af! Ebt = more crime cause ppl pay there dealers with ebt but only get 10 to 50 cents on the dollar worth of drugs so they need to go boost more or rob more to break even just to break even on there habit what a joke
Jeff Halsch (2 months ago)
Real criminals are not going to sit in your office and talk about how it is. These “street offenders” are not professional criminals in any way they are most likely snitches and sneak thieves.
Ja Pr (2 months ago)
oh yeah coz criminals have never been known to start up a FRONT business in order to LAUNDER the money.
Ashley Steel (2 months ago)
Humans are creative and crime will always change with how the world changes. But the idea that we tried to address poverty by increasing the conditions for people is BS. We have not done that even close to effectively and we know absolutely that while there are always some who will commit crimes regardless of their economic situation (like the corruption of multinational corporations or rich politicians giving bailouts or banks while families lose their homes and their entire life savings, or greedy cyber criminals who lack empathy for others) addressing economic conditions and removing stigma from being poor regular decreases crime. In The Nordic countries where 60% of their citizens live in public subsidized housing, and where taxes are high but life outcomes are also high, we have less crime and happier people. Even the prison system where criminals are treated with decency and humanity, they have much lower recidivism as well. I think maybe he means well but he's perpetuated many of the false stereotypes in this segment that lead to more prejudice, less social programs, and higher crime regardless of cash. Poverty is a gigantic factor in street crime. And the truth is that drug addiction is very prevalent in other communities but the lower income communities are targeted and do not have the resources to fight convictions like wealthier communities (if those communities ever get charged in the first place- since you are many times more likely to be charged for the same crime if you're poor or a person of color). I get that this is about cash vs cards, but what about the real issue of not just electronic cash but "credit". Most Americans have huge unsecured debts in order to maintain a middle class lifestyle despite the fact that they aren't actually middle class. Honestly we are in the middle of allowing unfettered capitalism and the buying of our politicians to force onto us a new generation of poverty stricken, gigantic debt bearing, unsustainable poor. And where will that leave society. At least cash means we have the money in hand, but most Americans use credit cards to survive or keep up. Compared to even the 1980's since the Reagan era and tax cuts and trickle down myth, debt has skyrocketed. If you are worried about street crime, truly, then we need to genuinely get at the economic and social struggles of Americans in higher risk communities and soon to be high risk communities. The perpetuation of myths of most poor people being criminals or drug addicted and that being the reason for their poverty, we should be looking at diseases of despair in the United States that are starting to attack more white communities so people are finally paying attention. We are coming apart at the seams, and the systems in place are unsustainable. Stop perpetuating the myths that we already tried I fix society by increasing conditions and that it didn't work. That's just bs. And cash vs electronic currency is not any of the real issues here. Cash vs credit perhaps, but the roots of desperation that lead good people to crime must be effectively addressed for real. We absolutely know this works as it has and does in more compassionate capitalism or democratic socialism type societies.
Neil Proctor (2 months ago)
Our money system is a crime!
PraetorGames (2 months ago)
Street crime doesn't need cash to exist. Something else will take its place. Just another infringement of noncriminals rights.
wirebeam (2 months ago)
It wont matter cashless or not. The us government doesnt require legal presence in the US to open a bank account, there are no tracing of transactions under 10k on a regular basis. Drug traffickers and and pimps will just move to bitcoin or some crypto currency. Sure there may better traceability of what someone has for assets but we dont have the resources to enforce anything. Every year the government loses 300+ billion to under reporting on tax returns but not much of that is ever recovered. Not enough manpower or desire by politicians to essentially hook themselves
Randy White (2 months ago)
Welcome to hunger games
Biffcheese Spinoccoli (2 months ago)
Those “street criminal” audio clips. 🤣😂🤣🙄 Actors reading badly.
MrJihadkoplo (2 months ago)
i love cash because no one should interupted with my hardwork result, nor legal or ilegal, its privacy that i will defend with my own hand
SirEdwardeight (2 months ago)
2019: the protesters in Hong Kong use loose change to access the subway, to avoid being identified by the not-so-friendly Chinese authorities. Cash brings a lot of problems, but also a lot of liberty.
K TH (2 months ago)
Hmmm... The banks in Denmark (where I live) has started to introduce negative interest rates... Yeah, they own our asses once cash has been phased out...
Rifle Joe (2 months ago)
I didn’t know ralphie may was a street offender 5:24 Rip
Zoe Craft (2 months ago)
Worst ted talk I've ever heard. Basically just complete propaganda. The government wants a cashless society so they have complete control. On the argument on tax evasion- Large corporations have always found ways to avoid tax or pay less tax so a cash ban will only effect the little guys who don't have the same access to clever accounting or overseas trusts.
nzkiwi9 (2 months ago)
In a cashless society, What happens to privacy? What happens to liberty? What happens to your ability to live independent of the banking industry? What happens to the ability to freely travel? A cashless America in direct opposition to the Constitution. You can choose to be cashless but you must not be obliged to do so.
Stamp and Scrap (2 months ago)
Isn't there a quote, about giving up freedom for security but getting neither. Plus the Hunger games was supposed to be fiction, the 1 percent saw it as a road plan for a future they hope for. The elite say no there a no climate change, if so, why are so many of the elite investing in space travel?
mark andrew (2 months ago)
I believe the Bible and according to prophecy that's exactly what will happen worldwide, so sooner or later expect to be told without this mark of the beast you cannot buy or sale, this will affect the entire world.
Gods Squad (2 months ago)
Was that Francis Chan at 1.50 seconds holding all that cash?
Joe's Random castings (2 months ago)
He just wants to give government all the power to regulate everything we do in our lives. Then nobody would be free.
Sergio Aguirre (2 months ago)
Its like a bad psa trainwreck complete with scipted ghetto hood slang written by people from the suburbs. Cash is king among FREE people. Central planners want digital currency to make it easy to control you and freeze your wealth at will. No thanks. Ill keep my cash, gold and silver....plastic is useless among free people trying to keep the gov out of their pockets
Justin Milet (2 months ago)
klass warfare the haves, the have nots, and the have not payed for. start getting out to your local neiborhood ask your local charities, ask to volunteer go help your local homeless, this is going to get worse before we can make it better.
Mad T scientist (2 months ago)
The USA started the drug problem sadly enough
Northern Pride (2 months ago)
Instead we get literary 20-30 spam calls a day. Crime is still there except your grama may starve to death cuz she got scammed. Not to mention that this guy is probably a bank, totalitarian government sell out.
Amando Agustin (2 months ago)
What about the " HIGH CRIME " commited by people in high places? It will be a lot more easy for them to rob every one.
Mike Rolla (2 months ago)
Cash is one of our last freedoms and the government is after it also.
Bob Ski (2 months ago)
A pick pocket used to take money from you physically. Now they have a card reader and just walk past you
Bob Ski (2 months ago)
Tell me about the vast amount of electronic cash that disappeared in the 2008 crash! Electronic doesn’t reduce crime it focuses crime to those who have control
Bob Ski (2 months ago)
Cashless society = control!
GewaltSam (2 months ago)
Isn't it naive to think that all those criminals doing trafficking and such, especially if organized, wouldn't find another way to exchange goods if forced to?
United Drone (2 months ago)
Sorry buddy but you are not even close on this one. But thanks for trying.
Rachel Byrne (2 months ago)
I think the title should be, Let’s brainwash the sheep. Summary :only criminals use cash. Pretty sure China is touting that line. Anyway it’s all in the grand plan. Awake people you know what I’m am talking about.
Chad Lord (2 months ago)
even that ridiculous voice acting and their scripts reek of propaganda
mike losinger (2 months ago)
Cashless society helps the biggest criminal organization of all...governments.
Ross Marks (2 months ago)
"Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.
mstrailertrash058 (2 months ago)
Who said that?
CJM Isaiah 9:6-7 (2 months ago)
Except I’m more afraid of corrupt government than “street crime.”
Brian Kearn (2 months ago)
I always carry cash, usually enough for dinner and drinks. No one that I don't know needs to know what do !Ive never been robbed of it. I've had thousands of extra charges on my credit card every year, and unauthorized debits on my bank card every month. I have to fight to get it back. Every month!
Sergei (2 months ago)
Totally Agree
Hindsight (2 months ago)
Street thieves don't want the cash in your wallet normally they are stealing big ticket items like jewelry, phones, expensive shoes, or handbags. The cash is often just the cherry on top. While cashless is convient its hardly going to stop muggings/Street robberies and criminals are already making huge advancements in card skimming technology. That $100 in your wallet is nothing compared to what they can steal if they get your credit card information.
Hindsight (2 months ago)
I can't wait for my bank to ban me from my own funds because of my opinions.
Tiffany Huggins (2 months ago)
How are people thinking this is a good idea?? It's scary is what it is. People can't actually be this blind and trusting can they??
kamgod (2 months ago)
Not on my dime
Matt U SezHe (2 months ago)
EBT is the Dealers best friend. Pay fifty cents for a dollar.
stephen lester (2 months ago)
Sounds like the golden age of cyber criminals where violence is not necessary to steal everything.
FU Thats Why (2 months ago)
Coulombic Distortion (2 months ago)
I never thought of crime as a resource, philosophically that is very interesting argument.
Urban Indoor (2 months ago)
As a business owner I prefer cash transactions, I might have a transaction fee if i go over what my business account has for monthly transactions when depositing cash of any amount, debit and credit are different the bank/credit/debit terminal companies all take a percentage off each transaction and then there is also a deposit fee on top as well.
Poor Redneck World (2 months ago)
The day my country goes cashless is the day I quit working. I become a leach.
Poor Redneck World (2 months ago)
Lady Haven't you got a credit card?? Sir CANT YOU DO YOUR JOB AND MIND YOUR IWN DAMN BUSINESS?!?!?
Protomaker Black Sprint Original 3D Printer (2 months ago)
declining Cash for the POOR increasing Cash off-shore for the rich
John Hancock (2 months ago)
So because junkies can't control themselves I have to let a corrupt government track every last transaction?
Amy Sicilia (2 months ago)
Rubbish, propaganda
Jimmy McGreedy (2 months ago)
It will let them control you entirely And government will rob us or just turn you off
Larry Dunn (2 months ago)
Remove cash, barter becomes then money off the streets.
Andrew Henley (2 months ago)
Larry Dunn And in no time at all, a certain item of value will become the new currency in order to simplify trading, effectively replacing paper cash as the universally accepted form of payment. In Venezuela with cash being so devalued to the point of being worthless, it is gold rings (like wedding bands) that are universally accepted as payment for goods and services. When the government can’t be trusted, the citizens will develop their own economy.
theshelterband4u2 (2 months ago)
Also, if it becomes all digital then the banks owns all the money. Power goes out... back to barter and trading. If it doesn't come back (electricity) then, there will be issues. Hungry people want food. And they will get it anyway they can, including canned food. They will break into houses and stores and (hurt you). May take a few days to a week but after that.
theshelterband4u2 (2 months ago)
If you have every been through a natural disaster, like a hurricanes which I had been in. When the power is out everywhere, the only currency left to buy food is CASH!!!!!! I own a lawn mower service. Poorer client pay by cash, on hand, wealthier people pay with PayPal. No one pays me with a debit or credit cards, my company is to small to pay for a card reader and still break even also, no one offers. My point is cash is important still.
Aaron David (2 months ago)
"beast system"
thadrunkinninja (2 months ago)
Cashless only benefits the banks