Jim Rickards, an economist and investment banker, has warned about the establishment of a social credit system powered by the issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to Rickards, this combination could be used to restrict the civil liberties of Americans by limiting their capabilities to travel and their reach on social media platforms.

Jim Rickards on a Hypothetical CBDC-Fueled Social Credit System: ‘Yes, It Can Happen Here’

Jim Rickards, an economist with more than 40 years of experience in investment banking, has warned about a hypothetical social credit system in the U.S. powered by a central bank digital currency (CBDC). In his latest article, Rickards explains that issuing a CBDC would allow the government to get the data needed to construct such a system.

Rickards stated that the information collected by monitoring transactions on a CBDC would facilitate “the creation of a social credit system that allows governments to punish those who engage in unapproved activity such as buying guns, donating money to the wrong political party, buying unapproved literature, etc.”

While recognizing this might sound paranoid to some, Rickards compares these measures to the ones taken by the federal government to stop the Covid pandemic, declaring:

Before the pandemic, you probably wouldn’t have thought that any of this was possible. But it all happened. When you think of it in that light, you begin to understand that some type of social credit system in the U.S. really isn’t that far-fetched.

A System Built for Control

In Rickards’ hypothetical system, implementing a CBDC would allow the government to control or block people’s movement to other cities or countries, limit their liberties by nullifying their opinions on social media, and even target them via intelligence agencies. Using the CBDC would be the only way of paying, and a social credit score would be the tool for limiting these actions.

According to his forecast, this might be done deceptively, establishing measures to pursue extremists and criminals first. On this, he declared:

It’ll all be made to sound very benign, even necessary, to support ‘our democracy’ against MAGA types, white supremacists, climate deniers and domestic terrorists.

Others have also risen to criticize and sound the alarm against the issuance of a CBDC in the U.S. In May, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law prohibiting the use of CBDCs in the state. Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has also been vocal against CBDCs “because they are instruments of control and oppression, and are certain to be abused.”

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