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Embracing Cash: The case for Traditional Currency in an Electronic Age

By Bo Gill

In a world increasingly dominated by digital transactions, the almighty dollar bill still holds its ground as a reliable and essential form of currency. While the convenience of debit cards and electronic payments is undeniable, there are logical reasons to promote the use of cash. In this article, I will try to explain several advantages of cash transactions, the incentives for using physical currency, and the overlooked discrimination faced by cash users in today's society.

In the fall of 2022 me and my wife Emily decided to take a trip to Huntsville and see one of our favorite comedy acts. This event was in the Von Braun Center located in downtown Huntsville. We had already purchased our tickets, so that was no worry as we entered the venue.  But as we decided to grab a bite things changed. As I went to pay for the food me and my wife had ordered they told me that they would not accept cash and I can only use a debit/credit card to complete my transaction. I felt helpless because although I had a pocket full of money it was worthless in that venue. Thoughts of anger, and sadness for our culture roll through my mind, and after a few choice words with the cashier, a wonderful American patriot stranger gladly paid for our meals and I handed him the cash with a nice tip!! 

Call me “old school”but I like to use cash. It’s something that I can touch, feel, and have a sense of ownership and value. Are we as a society loosing our grip on cash? 

First, let’s discuss privacy and control. Cash transactions offer a level of privacy and autonomy unmatched by electronic payments. With cash, there's no digital footprint tracing your purchases, shielding your personal information from prying eyes and data collection algorithms. This anonymity empowers individuals to maintain control over their financial privacy, free from the surveillance often associated with digital transactions. 

For me financial discipline is the biggest reasons that I use cash. I can feel the money in my hands or my pocket, that in turn makes me physically connected to it and much more uncomfortable to part with.  Financial discipline is one of the most significant benefits of using cash is its inherent limitation on spending. When you pay with physical currency, you're forced to confront the tangible reality of your financial resources. Unlike electronic transactions, where a simple swipe or tap can disconnect you from the consequences of your purchases, cash requires a conscious decision and tangible exchange, fostering better budgeting habits and financial discipline.

Fees! Fees! Fees! Hidden fees, technology fees?!?!? Something we all eventually Lear’s is that electronic payment methods often come with hidden fees and charges, whether it's transaction fees, ATM withdrawal fees, or minimum purchase requirements. By embracing cash, individuals can sidestep these financial obstacles and retain the full value of their hard-earned money. Cash transactions eliminate the middlemen and third-party intermediaries, ensuring that every dollar spent goes directly toward its intended purpose.

Mysterious hackers invade all facets of electronic currency and are always applying cutting edge techniques in the underworld of Online theft and ID Fraud. 

In an era plagued by cyber threats and data breaches, cash transactions offer a sense of security and reliability that electronic payments struggle to match. With cash, there's no risk of identity theft, hacking, or system failures disrupting your financial transactions. Whether you're navigating a power outage or exploring remote regions with limited connectivity, cash remains a steadfast and universally accepted form of currency.

Like the story of me and my wife’s trip to Huntsville, many Americans are facing similar challenges and disadvantages by using cash. Despite its numerous advantages, cash users often find themselves marginalized and discriminated against in a society that prioritizes electronic payments. Some establishments offer discounts or incentives exclusively for electronic transactions, penalizing those who prefer to use cash. Additionally, there's a prevailing perception that cash transactions are slower, less convenient, and outdated, perpetuating social pressures to abandon traditional currency in favor of its digital counterparts. There is also the stereotypical perception that any individual that uses cash only is a “drug dealer” or is involved in some type of illicit criminal behavior. This can lead to false assumptions and un-founded government involvement. 

Tangible, physical cash remains a vital and indispensable form of currency in an increasingly digital world. Its privacy, financial discipline, avoidance of fees, security, and inclusivity make it a compelling choice for individuals seeking autonomy and control over their finances. However, the discrimination faced by cash users underscores the need for greater awareness and appreciation of the value that physical currency brings to our lives. Using electronic Transactions has its value and should be used in certain situations. But in regular retail commerce in your local town, city and county, I encourage you to use cash for all transactions. Not only that I think it is very important that we encourage the next generation to recognize the value of using physical cash.  My fellow Americans, let’s unite and make every day a cash day!!