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by
Helen Smith

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September 4, 2012 - 11:15 am

So I went to the nail salon today and watched as the manicurists tried to fix a broken credit card machine. It wouldn’t take anyone’s credit card and not one woman there except me had cash to pay. Some wrote checks and other’s weren’t sure what to do if they couldn’t get the machine up and running again. What surprised me is that people don’t even carrry 12 bucks plus a tip to get their nails done or for other “emergencies.”  ( I know, a broken nail or chipped polish is not really an emergency, but for some, it is).

This incident got me thinking about what Dave Voda, author of Inflation-Proof Your Portfolio: How to Protect Your Money from the Coming Government Hyperinflation said as far as protecting your privacy and assets:  that it is better to use cash as no one has a record of what you buy. I guess most people don’t care about privacy or think that in some situations, cash can still be necessary.

There are a number of issues that will result from a cashless society. For example, should the government and others be tracking what you buy? And if cash is no longer used, what will drug dealers and others who work “off the books” do?   Maybe having to use credit cards or debit cards will help keep people from being able to cheat on their taxes.  But it is probably not hard to come up with other forms of cheating.

Cash becoming obsolete? What do you think? Good, bad or neutral?

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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