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Re: [Taler] Money with capabilities

From: Jacob Bachmeyer
Subject: Re: [Taler] Money with capabilities
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2021 17:01:08 -0500
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Özgür Kesim wrote:
Thus spake Jacob Bachmeyer (jcb62281@gmail.com):

This is basic microeconomics:  supply (of money in your
wallet) and demand (for money to make your desired
purchases) govern your perceived value of the money.
Money with limited demand (because it can only be spent on
some items) is less valuable to its holder and therefore
*more* likely to be spent frivolously.

Yes, even age restrictions:  minors (who already have less
understanding of the value of money, which is one of the
reasons we put limits on them in the first place) will be
more likely to spend larger amounts more readily, thus
driving inflation in items purchasable by minors.  There
Is No Free Lunch Here.

I don't see how the effect of moving existing, ID-based age
verification for goods and services into the tokens in GNU
Taler would change the purchasing habbits of minors.

It does not change anything; this is an existing problem, mostly mitigated by minors typically having very little money in the first place.

To give us a sense of the magnitude of the first outcome:

According to the European buero of statistics in 2020 we had
46,486,453 minors (age bucket 8 to 17) in 28 European
countries.  That is more then 10% of the total population of
447,319,916 (numbers from https://bit.ly/32iWEyV).  Those
(alongside with parents/guards and merchants) would benefit
from anonymous age verification.

My position is that the benefit of the first outcome is real
and substantial, while the other is possible (technically)
but hypothetical (requires sufficient political consent).

But maybe I'm too Europe-centric here?

Since when have oppressive regimes cared about consent of any sort?

There was once a well-understood principle that making tools that help oppressive regimes is bad. Where has that gone?

-- Jacob

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