This is an issue that seems troublesome. Frequently, using cash to pay for material goods and services is not allowed in deference to the ease of credit card payment, smartphone gimmickry and more generally by the desire of the banking industry to ‘manage your income’ for you. Further, the increasing percentage of online purchases makes cash less necessary for daily living.
Regular readers know that mariner is an advocate of personal privacy – not only because he wants privacy but more importantly, that without control of his personal information he will cease to be the decision maker in his daily life. Data tech corporations receive billions of dollars by selling personal information to entities who want to manipulate individuals in a manner that increases profits rather than taking a genuine interest in the wellbeing, independence and prerogatives of an individual. Even the political conflicts that produce destructive false information and fake news and unmanaged data will bring down a civilization. Mariner agrees with George Soros and many others that Mark Zuckerberg should be removed as CEO of Facebook.
Not being allowed to pay by cash, however, has larger social ramifications. Axios.com posted an item that exposed the difficulty of small rural towns where small banks are closing, leaving citizens without a way to manage their finances but also limiting the borrowing of funds to manage agricultural cycles. In principle, there is no cash to be had. The result is that big bank corporations now have a say in whether a local farmer can obtain an operating loan. Indirectly, this means a big bank can manage agricultural practices.
The largest social ramification is the economic abandonment of the poor and low labor classes of US society. Credit is not only a matter of opportunity, where one lives can shut off any form of cash equity. One’s credit is based on neighborhood as much as personal responsibility. Donald is pursuing changes to the Community Reinvestment Act that will modify the reasons why banks are required to invest in poor environments.
A poor person, with just a few dollars in their pocket, will have no way to purchase goods because they will not have a credit card.
Typically, capitalism works fine when there are resources to leverage. Alas, the US is running out of resources which has led to the oligarchic scavenging of 90 percent of its population. Switching to cashless economics will hurt a large percentage of citizens who have no choice but to deal in cash.
There was an example on TV that showed a father wanting to buy his children ice cream but the establishment would only accept credit cards.
I am reminded of two things. One is a twenty year old movie with Michael Douglas which I personally enjoy called,”Falling Down”. Douglas plays a regular American citizen who snaps under society’s thumb. He encounters a character who has been refused banking services and is picketing said bank because he “is not economically viable.”
The other item of interest is a controversy here in Maryland. Our Republican governor, in order to endear himself to the citizenry, has decided we need cashless tolls. This requires anyone who uses a toll thoroughfare to purchase and maintain an electronic EZpass. If you are poor and have no credit card, you are forced to frequent the EZpass office at least once a month if not more to pay your bill forward. The working poor are penalized for being poor.