How Governments and Banks Track Your Every Move

It sounds like a bad science fiction movie.

Somewhere, in the near future, all citizens will be stamped with unique 12-digit numbers.

The numbers, assigned by the government and major financial powers, are for the sole purpose of tracking the citizens like bar-coded products.

Throughout their lives, new information is entered into a universal database that hooks into these numbers – giving the ruling class new information that is used to judge each individual person’s merits.

If they like your numbers, they will give you money or status.

In other instances, they might use this information to deny people jobs or even housing.

Sound crazy?

Well, it’s happening right now.

In fact, 12 little digits affect nearly every aspect of your life.

Essentially the 12 digits are your Social Security number plus the three-digit credit score assigned to you by FICO.

Together, they’re a unique numeric picture of your entire life — a string of numbers that not only allows government agents, banks, hospitals and others to track you but that also allows them to make decisions that directly impact your finances.

Think about it for a moment and you’ll see what I mean.

For example, your Social Security number not only gives people in power an easy way to cross-reference all your personal information and activities; your Social Security number also predetermined that as much as 15.3% of your lifetime earnings would go directly to Washington to be redistributed as they see fit!

I’m not talking about regular Federal income taxes, which will undoubtedly suck up another 20% or 30% of your earnings…

Or all the additional taxes you are likely paying to various states and local governments on your earnings and real estate…

Or even the sales taxes being levied on your everyday purchases.

No, the reality is that before you even see ANY of your income … 12.4% of your first $128,400 in earnings has been earmarked for the Social Security program and another 2.9% of every dollar you earn goes toward our ailing Medicare system (plus an extra 0.9% for anyone earning more than $200,000).

What’s worse, I believe these rates — which have already risen more than SIXFOLD in eight decades — are inevitably going to continue going UP from here.

Obviously, your Social Security number is also what allows you to collect money back OUT of the system, too.

But as you have probably heard me say before, the program’s finances remain shaky and lawmakers are probably going to have to make changes on the benefit side, too.

This is why I continue to advocate using every possible technique for legally maximizing your own family’s Social Security benefits now and in the future.

Meanwhile, your FICO score — the three-digit credit measure issued by the company formerly known as Fair, Isaac and Company — continually changes based on how much money you spend, when you pay your bills, plus many of your other activities.

And while most Americans understand that their FICO score can affect their ability to borrow (and what interest rates they’ll pay), this three-digit code is also used by potential employers, landlords, and plenty of other places to indicate what kind of person you are or to make decisions that could alter your life in very meaningful ways.

Yet nobody outside FICO really knows EXACTLY how the numbers are determined!

FICO has issued general guidelines in the past saying your payment history counts for about 35% of your overall credit score… how much debt you have is another 30%… and various other factors make up the rest.

But if you only have one big loan, your number might be lower than if you have a few smaller loans from different financial institutions…

If you just recently borrowed money, your score might also be lower than if you borrowed the money a long time ago…

And if you tend to frequently shop for better interest rates on CDs or switch credit card companies, it’s almost certain that your score is lower than it would be otherwise.

This is why I firmly believe that blindly working toward a higher credit score – which is what many financial experts tell you to do – could end up ruining your life.

The bottom line?

We are ALREADY being tracked by strings of numbers and judged continually because of those numbers.

Without taking very extreme measures, there’s not much we can do about that aspect of modern life.

But what we CAN do is have the right MENTALITY about money in the first place.

That means saving and investing wisely so we won’t have to depend on our Social Security numbers OR some arbitrary credit score to live the way we want.

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive,

The Daily Reckoning