When cash goes, there also goes your last vestige of privacy.
Thanks to Brian for alerting me to the following article, and for the sagacity of his comment: "The author writes about this subject as if it's funny. He says nothing about the privacy implications of paying with debit cards and credit cards. At least a few in the comment section seem aware of the dangers."
New York Times: Cash Might Be King, but They Don’t Care
Speaking of "bottlenecks at the register":
The other day in the supermarket, a woman ahead of me in the lineup -- a well-groomed, attractive senior, with a cultured, intelligent look about her -- was unable to place her purchases onto the empty counter because a young woman accompanying the shopper ahead of her was leaning on it, blocking the way, oblivious to the lineup behind her. The purchase itself was being delayed by some sort of snafu at the card machine.
I watched, certain the woman in front of me would ask the younger woman to move, but she didn't, although she eventually began to show a tiny bit of irritation. At last, the card problem being finally solved, the two women carried away their purchases, and only then did the woman ahead of me shake her head, just a tiny bit, in irritation, as she was finally able to begin unloading her cart.
I remarked to her, "Some people live in a world of their own", but still she was silent, though she did send a slightly wry smile my way and nodded almost imperceptibly. I continued, "I would have spoken up, though perhaps I'm not as patient as you." Again she smiled and continued unloading her cart.
But then I thought, that woman wasn't patient at all; she was compliant. It's not that she couldn't speak -- she spoke quite clearly to the cashier about her purchases -- it's that she's one of the polite and decent people who, however unwittingly, are making it possible for scoundrels to get away with precisely the sort of thing the credit card companies are doing.
It was almost as if she were embarrassed at having been seen to be annoyed. Such overly-civilized people dread making a scene, so they simply comply.
As I pulled my grocery cart home, I recalled another exceedingly pertinent incident from a week earlier. I was in a long line at the drug store which suddenly became much shorter as people began stepping aside. Guess who those folks were. They were the ones who'd brought only their credit cards. "We're taking only cash," called out the clerk, "the lines are down".
I stepped proudly forward.
Yes, I'm a persistent cash user because, like the guy in the article, I like my privacy. I find also that, contrary to the statement in the NYT article, I get through the line much faster than people who use cards, because there's often some sort of wrinkle with the machines, or with people mispunching buttons, having trouble remembering their password, or cards being rejected and others being hauled out and tried.
It's an illusion that cards are quicker and many people suffer from that illusion because the media and the card companies, through repetition and touted authority, have successfully impressed it upon them. In fact, the demise of cash is not a fact at all unless the media can convince everyone that it is.
"People have to eat", so let's get them where the need is greatest -- completely unembarrassed that this is the lowest form of exploitation. I say people should learn how to cook and take lunches to work, if only in protest against the take-out shops' acceptance of bribes to do the card sharks' dirty work.
But I guess we have to assume that grocery stores are next.
Loblaws is already in trouble with their admission to having participated for a decade in a price-fixing scheme against the most basic food of all - bread. And what are they offering to prove their remorse? A card worth a measly $25. for which you must provide to Loblaws - guess what? - your personal information. No thanks, Loblaws.
It's merely a scheme to ward off class-action suits.
Was the Toronto Star aware of that when it came up with the brilliant idea that everybody should sign up for the Loblaws card and then donate it to charity? Or is it just another sneaky way to take advantage of the generosity of the average Canadian and build a data-base at the same time.
One can't help wondering if the Star is either trying to protect income from Loblaws advertising or attempting to woo more of it.
Let's face it: if generosity were the sole aim, Loblaws could directly donate to the foodbanks all of the money it stole from its customers. Not to mention that it seems somebody should be going to jail for this crime!
Well, I have to eat too. so as long as Loblaws takes my cash I will shop there because they're within walking distance. But I'll buy my favourite bread only when it's on sale as a twofer. The rest of the time I can find other ways to get grains into my diet. I can also do without some other things while grabbing all the weekend loss-leaders my bundle buggy can handle.
If bad comes to worse, then, by riding on the local transit, I can work through all the No-Frills and Food Basics stores until they too stop taking cash. Then after that -- because I'm old, and have the best weapon of all -- I can choose on which of their doorsteps to lie down and die from exposure, holding tightly to my last bit of cash as a testimony.
I'm no polar bear, but I do have lovely whiter-than-white hair and I'm fairly cuddly.
I've arranged for cremation, but I'm thinking now that I should buy a plot just so that I can put a huge tombstone on it that says something like, "Here lies CASH". Those who miss the point still won't bother to get shovels and dig because ... well, you know ... even if there were cash buried there, it wouldn't be worth the trouble.
By the way, if you keep your cash in one of the big banks, like the TD, for example, maybe you ought to consider your local credit union instead. I recently decided to close my TD account after months of trying to get them to fix the online edit buttons in the personal information section.
I figured they were having trouble recovering from a hack job, but they wouldn't admit it to me, and kept offering to provide me with a new password. But I don't let other people choose my passwords, nor should you. Besides, TD has been hacked before and they don't want to talk about that either.
Here are some other things you should read if you're a Big Bank customer:
TD insider says bank doesn't want you to know it's outsourcing work overseas
The response from the bank representative was a prime example of "begging the question" - a grammatical term that most people, including the most highly educated, get irritatingly wrong. In other words he says something quite irrelevant to the charges made in order to seem to be answering the question. So what if the off-shore employees are only temporary - we don't know who they are and THEY HAVE OUR INFORMATION.
And it's not just India. There's another perhaps more questionable overseas place that has now been admitted to by TD, and that is Israel -- the biggest indication that TD was indeed having trouble recovering from a hack and "just couldn’t resist the security talent available" there.
Equifax hacked. The banks provide your credit card and loan info to Equifax.
Compromised bank cards lead to few answers from Canadian banks
Why? For reasons of "privacy". If that doesn't send you into gales of sardonic laughter, nothing will.
I'm thinking that the card sharks could get end-of-days Christians on board with an all-out ban on "filthy lucre" now that the terrible fear that RFID chips might be "the mark of the beast" has been theologically allayed. Passing the donation plate around will go a bit slower, but hey, God already knows your personal information, so no sweat there.
By the way, having already spoken of Israel, some cash mishuga has begun there as well. It looks as if rabbinical disgust at the NIS 50 bill is a first, tenuous step toward going cashless. Sephardic Rabbi Benzion Mutzafi says he folds note face down in pocket to avoid seeing visage of 'apostate' Saul Tchernichovsky
Note the use of the term "Sephardic" to indicate the social status (or lack thereof) of the Rabbi doing the deed. That's like saying "Negro Pastor". It seems that some Jews can be "antisemitic".
Addendum: added Dec. 29: From Dissident Voice:
Runaway Train Towards Full Digitization of Money and Labor
I asked around – there will be no more cash automats in this mall – and this pattern is repeated over and over throughout Switzerland and throughout western Europe.
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