Zero Hedge: “Your cash is not wanted here,” a growing number of retailers and restaurants throughout the US and UK are telling customers. But are reasons being given by companies for the new “cashless” approach — speed, efficiency, and the safety of store employees — valid enough to require something as utterly and downright un-American as rejecting cash?
We think not, and unfortunately the trend of “cash not welcome here” establishments is growing, to the point that lawmakers are beginning to take note and could introduce legislation barring the practice, as Massachusetts has done already, and as the New Jersey State House could be set to do next. According to a Federal Reserve survey conducted in 2017 cited in The Wall Street Journal [Your Cash is No Good Here. Literally.] cash represented 30% of all transactions in America, with 55% of those being under $10.
Regardless of Americans’ longtime preference for plastic in most transactions, many of which take place online, research by the Federal Reserve found that cash is still king in terms of Americans’ daily lives and usage, and as the study concluded further, this remains true across all income levels:
“Not only is cash used frequently for small value and in-person purchases, it is also used by a wide array of consumers. The data on cash use by household income provides two main insights. First, consumers make—on average—14 cash transactions per month, regardless of household income. It is also noteworthy that cash was the most, or second most, used payment instrument regardless of household income, indicating that its value to consumers as a payment instrument was not limited to lower income households that may be less likely to have access to an account at a financial institution.”
But this reality is now pushing up against the new trend of the cashless restaurant, bar and retailer, and creating awkward and frustrating situations for consumers, as a new Wall Street Journal piece chronicles…
And as the WSJ report points out, consider that on every US bill the following words appear: “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” However, currently there’s no federal law stipulating that business have to accept cash when offered, though likely no body of lawmakers prior to the modern advent of payment by plastic could have ever envisioned such a dilemma as cash being banned by stores.
But this is getting noticed by local and state governments: “New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx recently proposed legislation that would prohibit retailers and restaurants from refusing cash, and city council members in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia have proposed similar legislation,” according to the WSJ. Councilman Torres said, “I refuse to patronize businesses that reject cash payments, even though I primarily use debit or credit.” He explained the practice is “discriminatory against the undocumented, people without bank accounts and credit cards, and those who wish to have their transactions be more private” — all of which can create an unnecessary and “humiliating situation.”
Increasingly, it creates situations where a patron simply can’t complete the transaction or make a purchase. This could most impact the young and lower income homes, which are limited in terms of local bank and checking/debit account access…
Though we are unlikely to ever reach a totally cashless society, the disturbing trend does bring up interesting questions of privacy and transacting “off the grid…” likely those advocating for a “no cash” future will be the same ones pushing for greater surveillance power of the state, as is quickly happening right now in places like China, where its Orwellian ‘Social Credit System’ seeks to abolish any and all private transactions altogether.
In spite of the various difficulties and challenges with an entirely cashless society, it is nevertheless headed that direction. This will make it increasingly easy for restrictions from buying and selling for those who fall afoul of legislation that penalizes those who refuse to comply with the predicted worship laws.
“In the last great conflict of the controversy with Satan those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law in obedience to earthly powers, they will be forbidden to buy or sell. It will finally be decreed that they shall be put to death.” Desire of Ages, page 121.