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When going cashless puts lives at stake





With coronavirus cases on the rise yet again, I knew it was only a matter of time before the sign appeared on the door of my favorite coffee shop.

“PLEASE NO CASH PAYMENT AT THIS TIME. CREDIT CARD AND CONTACTLESS PAYMENT ONLY.”

None of the baristas want to handle wads of potentially contagious dollar bills that customers pull from their pockets, especially with some counties halting or reversing their reopening plans and officials from other counties openly worrying that California is starting to lose the battle against COVID-19.

Early on, in fact, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration advised retailers to install systems that let people pay from afar to minimize opportunities for the coronavirus to spread. And in response, cash wasn’t accepted when public golf courses reopened in the city of Los Angeles, nor when a smattering of businesses opened their doors again in Manhattan Beach and Pasadena.

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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.

The cashless society from an ethical point of view









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