Cashless hurts hard those who live on tips

Blanca Limon cleaned 11 rooms during a recent shift as a housekeeper at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square — emptying trash cans, making beds, cleaning bathrooms in one of the most expensive cities in the world — and earned exactly $3 in tips.

She’d never seen it like this. While her tips had been drifting downward for years, they seemed to nearly disappear during the pandemic. Gone were the days of when she could count on tips of $1 to $3 in nearly every room she cleaned earlier in her 27 years as a housekeeper.

“No one makes that anymore,” Limon, 55, said. “It’s hard when you don’t get tips because right now I could use extra money.”

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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