Business / The Wedge

End of piggy banks, tooth fairies, gumball machines?

By MAGGIE M, Editor, the wedge.LIVE

I read moments ago how Toronto and Ottawa are leading the charge toward a cashless society. As these technocrats careen toward launching these apps, one wonders if they have considered the carnage. I have no objection to technology; but, I am vehemently against eliminating choices.

The elimination of cash species means control of your income and savings by central sources–ones you will never meet. It means the elimination of freedom. These unseen persons or A.I. (not sure) cannot turn off a twenty dollar bill–but they can turn off a chip.

I like my loonies, toonies, nickles and dimes. I miss my pennies.

I want to be able to buy lemonade from a little girl running her first start-up. I want to buy that seashell-bird-thing from that couple holding a garage sale. I want to drop twenty bucks at the local farmer’s stand.

Imagine the scope of experiences that will disappear without cash–and businesses that will not survive the cost of adapting. Here are some endangered species:

  • laundromats
  • tooth fairies
  • birthday card money envelopes
  • wallets
  • lemonade stands
  • garage sales
  • roadside produce
  • car washes
  • bubble gum machines
  • parking meters
  • mom and pop shops
  • local restaurants
  • event vendors
  • numismatics
  • minting
  • cash machines
  • road tolls
  • piggy banks
  • that kid mowing your lawn
  • or shoveling your drive
  • second hand, consignment shops
  • tipping the concierges, valets, waiters
  • bank branches, human tellers
  • the poor with no bank account
  • cash for paycheque retail chains
  • food trucks
  • performers in the subway and on the sidewalks
  • linguistics we love: loony, toony, dollar, nickle, dime, quarter, cash
  • giving to the poor, homeless
  • more!

Some people do not even qualify for a bank account. How will they survive from day-to-day?

Will dollar stores increase their prices to absorb the shift and rebrand, “100 bitsorama,” or “cheap-chip-orama.”

Imagine the size of this ash heap. Can communities absorb the carnage?

Ponder this article from the Irish Examiner from every vantage point. And the latest story from Canada.

Hacking is at unprecedented levels right now. A few months ago, Equifax–yes that unaccountable, private corporation that rates your value with a number–had 150 million records hacked. That includes all private data: address, phone number, all account numbers, SIN numbers, drivers license, all financial reports.

I will no longer tap, or ever pay with my phone, and certainly never forget my passwords, lest the technocrats assume I am softening to their will. There are billions to be made by these innovators–and those that know how to break their encryption. Leave me in the dark ages of cash–coins and bills–please. I will drive my car with my two hands to get to those shops too. I may lose friends writing this; but, that’s the price of holding on to my cash.

I owe a beautiful friend $50 for a used vacuum cleaner and I will pay her cash today.