The world is getting richer or freer - probably both

An interesting little snippet in the FT:

The findings show that demand for cash continues to rise globally, despite t increase in electronic payment options, including mobile in recent years. Cash in circulation relative to GDP has increased to 9.6 per cent across all continents, up from 8.1 per cent in 2011.

The more general rise in the demand for money is evidence of the world getting richer. As with a restaurant which moves from serving 50 covers to 150, a restaurant which is going to need more plates. A larger economy needs more money to lubricate it - thus Milton Friedman's strictures on why the money supply must grow but moderately and in pace with GDP.

But cash relative to GDP is something different. That's an expansion in freedom. 

As we've pointed out before cash is untraceable and anonymous - that means that we can do things the prodnoses would prefer we didn't with it. Escaping the prods of the nosey is indeed a rise in freedom. Yes, there's also the possible loss of tax revenue in a grey economy to consider but then which do we think more important? Liberty or paying for diversity advisers?

Your answer might differ from the logically correct one there if you are a diversity adviser but it's pretty clear to the rest of us.