More poverty and inequality: the dark side of Cashless Society

Social injustice, stagnation after the financial crisis, inadequate responses to climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic: shortcomings of the contemporary world are not difficult to see. On top of this, there is a growth in inequality, which is going up for more than 70% of the world’s population, raising the risk of division and impeding the development of societies and economies. There are several – obvious and implicit – reasons for this, and non-cash payments are also contributing to it.

Technological impediment

It may appear paradoxical: after all, we are told at every corner that a world without cash will be easier to navigate, taxes will be paid, and the money saved will be reinvested in the development of society and shared prosperity.

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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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