Feed The Machine
I found myself paying for something with cash the other day. This was odd because I realized at the time I seldom do this anymore. I had accidentally pushed the 'cash back' option on a previous purchase and the self check-out machine spit out a $20 bill to me. At my next stop, I thought I might as well use the money and actually got change back, which again was a first in the last 3 months. When you use debit, you never get change back. It felt funny in my pocket.
This is the way it starts. The slow transformation into a different society. The telephone did it back in the 1890s as did the electric light, the transistor and scores of other inventions. They have changed the way we think and the way we interact.
This was also brought home with the response I give to the homeless when they ask me for spare change. "I only use debit.", I respond. I don't have cash or change on me anymore. Hence, the chasm widens between the haves and the have nots. Those that can't ride the wave, drown in the ocean.
More and more, hard currency is becoming the economic engine of the poor and disenfranchised. Those that can't afford the bank account, or those that can't accept change get left further and further behind. Is this a good thing? Can't say at this point, but it is changing things.
The last footnote that I observed in this pending revolution? The picture above of the new parking meters in downtown Phoenix. They accept Debit Cards and Credit Cards. Which is probably not a good thing, since this cash strapped state / city will probably be increasing the parking fee to $5 a hour. It is sort of hard to carry around that much change in your pocket.