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New York Times Takes Aim at Use Cash Movement

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Chaz Valenza       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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Anyway, most of the roadblocks to offering a cash discount have been created by Big Banking. For example, you're not allowed to put a surcharge on credit and debit card sales. Why? Because it's a law the credit card companies and banks lobbied for even though it's a prima fascia case of restraint of trade.

Next, Lieber rolls out the almighty expert. This time in the form of, oh so, business and supply side friendly University of Chicago philosophy graduate alumni and savvy plastic user Dave Hanson. Who also taught applied ethics at Gonzaga University. My, what impressive credentials as a news source!

Hanson says he's not cutting up his credit cards. No moral hazard here, an "ethics" teacher says it's okay to use credit cards, so it must be okay.

Again, the argument of credit cards non-use as a means of protest with a financial weight behind it is ignored by Lieber.

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Lieber seeks to reframe the issue as a "consumer" ethical dilemma.

Hanson states, "The marginal effect of my individual use of plastic simply won't impact the larger outcome."

And there you have it. No individual moral imperative, though that's not the question, because the system blows. The poor get poorer. You're off the hook.

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Subtext to Use Cash participants: You can't fight Big Banking. You can't deny them their 3.5% of everything you spend. You can't send a message by telling the credit card companies that their $7 Billion to get you to use an expensive payment system won't work.

Don't organize "Mr. and Ms. Consumer." You can't boycott, you're too small; you don't matter. You can't protest because those few dollars you deny Big Banking everyday are peanuts and nobody will join you.

Small businesses shouldn't bother to offer the money they would otherwise send to Big Banking, which will not loan them a dime, to the people who really matter to them: their customers.

No. Use Cash as a means to an end is hopeless, you stupid little "consumer."

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Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration (more...)

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