In this political climate finding points of unity is a little like panning for gold. While the rally cry isn’t “gold, gold, gold,” it could be “got cash?” Our eastern brethren have taken the step of officially keeping cash in play in their city. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed into law a bill introduced by City Councilman, William Greenlee, which bans the growing phenomenon of cashless stores. While the law does include a few carve-outs, the bill generally stands to defend consumers’ use of cash to complete transactions for basic food, goods and services. Modernization and technological trends are encouraging cashless transactions which no doubt offer certain benefits; cashless transactions tend toward greater efficiency of time and precision and dodge physical burdens of counting and securing the hard currency. However, both Democrats and Republicans can agree on the benefits of retaining cash as a medium of exchange. Some Americans living below the poverty line do not maintain bank accounts nor do they own credit cards. Some consumers select cash to self-regulate spending and to insure privacy. Other Americans are interested in maintaining the freedom to choose from an array of options for completing fiscal transactions; a practice consistent with a healthy free market system. And cash is unparalleled in reliability. Any hiccup in the grid doesn’t stop the exchange of goods and services when cash is available.
As a Pennsylvanian, it is a proud moment to stand with Philadelphia as the first official city in the US to defend use of hard currency. Pittsburgh should join Philadelphia and unite the state on this policy. Defending cash defends freedom and choice for all consumers always.