If you have seen any of Mark Dice’s YouTube videos over the last couple of years, asking the average American for their views and comprehension on the current ‘State of the Union,’ you might not expect a satisfying experience.

Choosing to take a Hershey’s chocolate bar over a 10 oz bar of silver, or failing to know what the D.C. in Washington D.C. stands for is disturbing to watch.

Maybe Americans, in their defense, are more focused on their own financial future over such trivial pursuits like national geographical knowledge. A new poll of Americans, done by Gallup, reveals what is in their crystal ball for the almighty dollar, at least the one you can hold in your hand.

A bird in the hand

The first question was fairly soft in terms, but direct in intent. ‘How likely do you think it is that in your lifetime the United States will be a cashless society, in which all purchases are made with credit cards, debit cards and other forms of electronic payment?’ 62% think that a cashless society is coming their lifetime, while 36% said they do not. Of these sides, 30% said it is very likely, while only 11% said it is very unlikely. What was interesting is the ability of the older generations to see this coming, not just the younger demographics.  58% of those 65-and-older see a cashless society coming, only 5% less than the 18-29 year-olds.

Cash on Hand, by Age

Maybe more telling is the amount of young people who do not walk around with cash at all. The typical young person in this survey carries less than $30 USD on them, on average, and most carry no cash at all. Those 65-and-older have more than twice that much on hand, while 30 and 40-year-olds carry the most.

Finally, ‘Are you someone who likes to have cash on you at all times when you are out of your home, or are you comfortable not having cash on you?’ Well over 50% of those 29-and-under were comfortable not having cash at all while less than one-third of those 65-or-older felt the same. 54% of all adults polled said they would feel more comfortable in general having cash on them at all times, so the majority still favor cash at this point.

Last month’s poll received by-phone responses from all 50 states, comprising over 1000 people over the age of 18. It is said to be over 95% accurate when accounting for margin of error. Among the other things Gallup has learned as of late is “real unemployment” is closer to twice that of the Labor Depts. stated national estimates. Also, over 50% of the citizenry do approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing.

The pivot of the greater global society towards electronic payments obviously favors those who hold Bitcoin, or any form of payment that can be performed on any form of smartphone. The downside of this is any computer hacker or mass surveillance system can monitor any and all transactions in an area or country. Is this adjustment based on convenience, technological advancement, or is this orchestrated to control an ever-larger populaces economics even easier? In any event, cash may not be king for much longer. Already, in countries like Sweden and Norway, cash is just about gone, and they won’t be the last to remove a wad of bills from your personal financial options menu.

When cash is gone, all transactions will be run through banks, government agencies, or digital currencies that may or may not have your personal privacy in mind. True wealth is having more, not fewer options at your disposal. Do you really want to live in a society where you can’t give someone $10 without a phone and metadata tracking the transaction, where your provider shares this information with who knows who?  Think about it before you say “Good riddance” to “The Greenback.”