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Published on Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (http://gata.org)

Ralph Nader: Corporate coercion and the drive to eliminate buying with cash

By cpowell
Created 2018-01-12 14:36

By Ralph Nader
Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"Sorry, we’re not taking cash or checks," said the clerk at the Fed Ex counter over a decade ago to an intern. "Only credit cards."

Since then the relentless intensification of coercive commercialism has been moving toward a cashless economy, when all consumers are incarcerated within a prison of corporate payment systems from your credit/debit cards to your mobile phone and very soon facial recognition.

"Terrific!," say those consumers for whom convenience and velocity of transactions are irresistible.

"This is nuts!," say a shrinking number of free-thinking consumers who are unwilling to be dragooned down the road to corporate captivity and coercion. These people treasure their privacy. They understand that it’s none of any conglomerate's business -- whether Visa, Facebook, Amazon, or Google -- what, where, when, and how consumers purchase goods and services. Or where and when they travel, receive health care, or the most intimate relationships they maintain. Not to mention consumers' personal information can be sent to or hacked around the globe.

Cash-consumers are not alone in their opposition to a cashless economy. When they are in a cab and ask the driver how he prefers to be paid, the answer is nearly unanimous. "Cash, cash, cash," reply the cab drivers in cities around the country. They get paid immediately and without having to have a company deduct a commission.

Back some 25 years ago, Consumers Union considered backing consumer groups to sign up Main Street, USA, merchants who agreed to discount their wares if people paid in cash. For the same reason -- merchants get to keep all the money on sales made with cash or check. Unfortunately, the idea never materialized. It is, however, still a good idea. Today payments systems are much more comprehensively coercive. ...

... For the remainder of the commentary:

https://blog.nader.org/2018/01/03/corporate-coercion-and-the-drive-to-el... [1]


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