In For A Penny
The first Lincoln penny was struck on August 7 in 1909. Lately, people have been suggesting we get rid of the penny, since it actually costs more to make it than it's worth. People leaves pennies (and nickels, dimes, even quarters) near the cash register because they're worth so little. And they won't bend down to pick one up.
At the other end, though, there is the creeping worry that we're getting rid of money altogether. The biggest denomination available in the U.S. is the $100. Used to be considerably higher. Some are suggesting it go down to the $20. This is, I've heard, both to stop counterfeiting and make illegal activity like drug trafficking harder. It also makes losing money, or being robbed, harder (in some ways--easier in other ways).
But if we get rid of money, and make everything in our economy based on electronic transfers, that means that nothing we do can escape the notice of governmental bodies. Good, they might say--you can't cheat. But what about little things? Playing poker. Leaving a tip. Babysitting. A yard sale. Lending or receiving a few bucks from a friend. Spending an evening in a motel where you want to be alone.
American citizens are required to report their income, that I understand. But we're not required to report our lives.