US coin shortage as another step to cashless society

Back in the summer, you probably noticed signs in stores asking you to pay with exact change because of a national coin shortage. The Federal Reserve even formed a Coin Task Force to address the problem.

But it's December, and those signs are still posted despite efforts to get more coins rolling through the economy.

For those of us who need nickels, quarters, dimes and dollars rattling around in our pockets, professor Jay Zagorsky of Boston University’s Questrom School of Business says the shortage underscores the broader implications of the move toward a cashless society.

Many people have stopped using physical currency during the pandemic because of concerns that cash and coins could spread germs and even the coronavirus, he says.

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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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