CHA-CHING - 08.30.2021
August 30, 2021
Good Monday morning. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to Rupp's Notes/FBI Special Agent Hartman Series posts.
Many of you are looking at my title and going – Cha-Ching??? For us old-timers, it was the equivalent of the "Show me the money" dialog repeatedly shouted in the 1996 Jerry Maquire movie.
I fondly remember the sound "Cha-Ching" at the open-front grocery store/butcher shop at the corner of Huntley Drive (my parent's street) and Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, where I was brought up. The sound was the notification to the owner that the cash register drawer had opened. All the transactions back then were in cash. Well, there was an exception for some of the regulars where a notebook notation was made that listed their purchases to be paid in cash at the end of the month.
In 1974, the National Cash Register Company changed its name to NCR Corporation. The name change was needed because it had morphed into an electronics/software company. And the traditional cash register and the sound "cha-ching" soon disappeared.
It now appears that "cash" is going the same place as "cha-ching," and "Show me the money" will no longer be physically possible. During the pandemic, I noticed many businesses had signs on the entrance door indicating that they did not accept cash. My research suggests that they soon will be able to remove their signs as "Cash Will Soon be Obsolete." At least that is the heading to a BROOKINGS INSTITUTE article that goes on to say, "it (cash) will be replaced by Federal Reserve-backed digital currency."
Here are some other excerpts from the August 25th BROOKINGS article by Eswar Prasad – . . .a digital dollar would give everyone, including the poor, access to a digital payment system and a portal for basic banking services. Each individual or household could have a fee-free, noninterest-bearing account with the Federal Reserve, linked to a cellphone app for making payments. . . A digital dollar would also hinder illegal activities that rely on anonymous cash transactions, such as drug dealing, money laundering, and terrorism financing. . . A digital dollar could threaten what remains of anonymity and privacy in commercial transactions – a reminder that adopting a digital dollar is not just an economic but also a social decision."
This was an interesting article for me as I was writing about this subject in the SKYWARD story. I had always envisioned using a digital currency controlled by the master computer in the Bowman Colony on the moon. I also noted a T.S. Eliot quote that applies to my comments below - "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
Back to SKYWARD and the San Francisco clique's meeting on the development of the Bowman Colony at the French Laundry –
Norm commented, "Isn't it ironic that we are using my family's wealth that was initially amassed finding and developing fossil fuels to get away from Earth and colonize space. Fossil fuels are probably the greatest reason we are doing what we are doing. Human's use of oil and coal are the things that have most devastated Earth."
"True," said Jeff. "But, I don't think we should knock your family for how they got rich. They had no idea what impact oil would have on the world. Oil was an essential part of the advancement and modernization of society. I suspect that without it, society would still be in the dark ages. No pun intended. It was a cheap source of heat and power that could easily be transported. And was used to make things like shoes, soaps, toothpaste, and clothing. It was inexpensive and easy to produce. It's just that we overused it, and our families had no idea what impact it would have on the world."
"Without oil, American never would have become a world power," said Norm.
Chris added, "It's like the apple in the Garden of Eden. It allowed for the expansion of knowledge, but then its temptation precipitated the fall of man and sin."
"Holy crap, Chris. Where did you come up with that?"
Chris looked down and then over to Norm. "I have no idea. It just popped into my head."
"That's right, you ended up with the assignment from Mom about the impact of the bible on society."
"Yeah. Mom agreed that some of the bible stories related concepts that could be applied to any society. But, she always reminded us not to look too much into the rearview mirror, as it will slow down your driving forward."
"Man, it's getting deep in here," Gavin said. "Let's get back to the Colony."
"Agreed," said Norm. "Now as respects financing the project. Chris and I will fund the finding, education, and training of potential colonists and the physical development of the colony. Elon and Jeff, you guys are already into developing rockets and space vehicles. And, if I read you guys right, are willing to absorb the cost to getting colonists and supplies to the Moon."
Jeff looked over at Elon and commented. "We have. But, to help cover our costs, you need to include the things we talked about. A small hotel to house wealthy space tourists, and that your colonists will help us find and process minerals that we can transport back to Earth."
"Sounds like a plan," replied Norm. And, Elon, you're going to provide us with some boring machines?"
"Yes. My guys are already making design changes to the ones we are using here on Earth. The moonie machines will be more robotic and use lighter metals to reduce their weight and be more dust resistant."
Jeff commented to the Twins. "This really isn't a business venture for you two. At least from what I can tell. You're going to pay a lot of people salaries and develop and construct space capsules and structures on the moon. I don't see any income stream for you guys to cover the costs."
Norm looked over to his brother then responded. "Your observations are correct. This is not a business venture. My brother and I and our wives look at it as our moving costs. We actually plan to spend the rest of our lives in space. The Moon first, then onto Mars. I suspect that's as far as we will get, but hopefully, our children will continue the adventure."
Curious expressions came across the faces of the clique. Gavin said, "It's funny how you miss the point of what you are doing. I'm intrigued by this project. And totally believe in it. But I never really thought it through. Yes, the whole purpose of it is to colonize space. But, I forgot some or all of us may actually be going into space."
"You will each have to make a decision of whether you want to join my brother and me in space or just continue your support from here on Earth. Or, it's even possible you will decide to go back and forth. But you have a couple of years to make that decision. It will take us that long to get the first people up there. And, that's on a fast-track," said Chris. "Now, Gavin, that brings me to you. Can we get some of the assistance I asked for from Washington?"
"That's a definite yes. They are already supporting Elon and Jeff's spacecraft projects with government contracts."
"How about our colonization piece?"
"As I mentioned earlier, you can thank China for helping us get our government interested in our project. Their Forth Great Territory Initiative has reached the point where they are going to establish a military base on the Moon. They believe this will significantly expand their prestige and create economic problems for the United States. And they are right."
Chris interrupted. "Mom agrees with you on that. She calls him the easy trillion here, the easy trillion there, president. And, his concept of spending those trillions is misplaced. Basic economics 101 tells you that spending on true infrastructure creates productive assets that provide jobs and a financial return. Over time it reduces taxes. There is no such thing as social infrastructure. He made that up. He's been expanding welfare that has created a huge fiscal deficit that must be paid down by increasing taxes."
"That sounds like mom."
I'm over 1300 words, so it's time to stop. More on the French Laundry meetup and the digital dollar in September. That's this Wednesday. Another 2021 month has passed.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
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Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp