If The Banker’s Cartel And Silicon Valley Are Pushing Cashless Stores We Should Avoid Them

This story is part of CNET’s ongoing Follow the Money series, which looks at how digital cash is changing the way we save, shop and work.

When Philadelphia City Councilman Bill Greenlee heard that a coffee shop and a salad restaurant right near City Hall didn’t accept cash, he thought it sounded unfair.

“I can get my coffee and muffin, but the person behind me who has the monetary unit of the United States of America, that’s been accepted here in Philadelphia since Ben Franklin, can’t?” he said in an interview. “It just seemed wrong.”

So last October, Greenlee (who uses both card and cash) co-sponsored a bill requiring businesses to accept cash. In March, Mayor Jim Kenney signed it into law.

Cashless stores and events are just starting to crop up in the retail landscape with much hoopla — consider the splashy launches of Amazon Go stores —  but they’re already running into hurdles from legislators in cities and states around the country. These governments are concerned that what some see as technological innovation could actually widen societal gaps between those who have access to financial services and those who don’t.

This work could ensure we don’t end up with a future in which there are stores that lower-income people just can’t use. But this legislation may also prevent new cashless experiments from ever taking hold and help cash stay king for a long time.


Cash’s demise at the hands of cards, e-commerce and mobile payments has been heralded for decades as a faster and more secure way to pay for stuff. After all, you can’t lose a digital wallet the same way you can lose a real one. Yet cash is still the most frequently used form of payments (representing 30% of all transactions), particularly for smaller transactions (where it’s 55%), according to the Federal Reserve.

While you might opt to pay for a bottle of water with card instead of cash, there’s still a swath of the population that doesn’t have that choice. Roughly 8.4 million households in the US were considered “unbanked” in 2017, according to the FDIC. That means no one in those households had access to a checking or savings account.

Check out Boggart Blog and The Daily Stirrer’s omnibus page on the Cashless Society

Mind The Gap – Rich And Poor Drift Further Apart

mind the gap between rich and poor

Mind the gap, a phrase familiar to anyone who has used the London Underground system, a warning to passengers to take care else they might lip into the space between the platform’s edge and the carriage floor.

It isn’t that gap we are warning against however but the widening gap in the supposedly civilised nations between the wealth and lifestyles of rich and poor. For all the fine words of consensus politicians, all the talk of a fair society and redistribution of wealth, all the manipulated statistics that are supposed to tell us how well we are doing, but never match up to the reality of most people’s experience, as ever the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

And Ed Miliband’s “squeezed middle” are feeling more like a tube of toothpaste in the home of a dysfunctional family.

But is everything as it seems. There is evidence that the gap between those who actually have the balance of formal education and practical experience needed to operate effectively and live well and the disconnected elitists of the political, academic and corporate world is widening rapidly.

from The Guardian:

I want to know what’s to stop this revolution from turning into a violent, destructive mess. Steele is characteristically optimistic. “I have struggled with this question. What I see happening is an end to national dictat and the emergence of bottom-up clarity, diversity, integrity, and sustainability. Individual towns across the USA are now nullifying federal and state regulations – for example gag laws on animal cruelty, blanket permissions for fracking. Those such as my colleague Parag Khanna that speak to a new era of city-states are correct in my view. Top down power has failed in a most spectacular manner, and bottom-up consensus power is emergent. ‘Not in my neighborhood’ is beginning to trump ‘Because I say so.’ The one unlimited resource we have on the planet is the human brain – the current strategy of 1% capitalism is failing because it is killing the Golden Goose at multiple levels. Unfortunately, the gap between those with money and power and those who actually know what they are talking about has grown catastrophic. The rich are surrounded by sycophants and pretenders whose continued employment demands that they not question the premises. As Larry Summers lectured Elizabeth Warren, ‘insiders do not criticize insiders.’”

Read the full article: “The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1% – ex CIA spy” in The Guardian

Conversely Niall Ferguson writing in American cybermag Liberty Blitzkrieg warns that the controlling hierarchies are not going to let go that easily:

from The American Interest

Networks are not planned by a single authority; they are the main source of innovation but are relatively fragile. Hierarchies exist primarily because of economies of scale and scope, beginning with the imperative of self-defense. To that end, but for other reasons too, hierarchies seek to exploit the positive externalities of networks. States need networks, for no political hierarchy, no matter how powerful, can plan all the clever things that networks spontaneously generate. But if the hierarchy comes to control the networks so much as to compromise their benign self-organizing capacities, then innovation is bound to wane.

Read full article Networks and Hierarchies on The American Interest Website

While Nafeez Ahmed for The Guradian has no doubt that a return to a system of city states loosely connected in a trading empire such as the Hellenic civilisations of Ancient Greece and Phoenicia or the medieval North European Hanseatic League, Ferguson questions whether networks will ultimately prove able to topple corporate and political hierarchies which currently hold a monopoly on economic and military power.

Clearly the growing gap between rich and poor suggests not, however a closer look at how fragile the global economic model really is and how desperate the elite and their useful idiots, the politically correct left are to suppress dissent and dilute democracy shows that not only is decentralization of power, and the return of regulatory authority to communities of a manageable size necessary, the longer the elite can resist it, the more bloody and painful the transition will be when it comes.

Its unlikely but I hope I’m around long enough to see the outcome


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Poverty Amazes Researchers

No week would be complete without news about an expensive research project discovering something so blindingly obvious only an academic could possibly think it worth researching.

It nice to see for a change a press release that uses the word “researchers” instead of trying to gain a veneer of mystery by saying “scientists” when describing the kind of people who make a very nice living for themselves by blagging research grants that pay them for doing nothing slowly.

The people who describe projects like why some people prefer milk chocolate and some plain or studying the effects on chavs of reading Shakespeare usually work in fields like cognitive behavioural science of evolutionary psychology.

Our first pointless research story for this week concerns researchers studying the effects of the recession on working class communities. The most stunning revelation they offer us is that as the crisis deepens poor people are eating less often.

Boggart Blog has a so far untested theory about why this might be so. We think it is happening because poor people can’t afford enough food to have three meals a day, seven days a week.

This is pure speculation at the moment, so far we have gathered no evidence to support it. Even so we think we are onto something. Our next step is to blag £££s a few million from well meaning but terminally naïve managers of QUANGOs, buy bread, soup, porridge oats, bacon, potatoes etc. and offer these items to poor people to discover if they will eat more frequently or if the credit crunch has triggered some evolutionary impulse to eat less and evolve into pygmies over a few hundred generations.

More humour every day at Boggart Blog

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