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(ReadWith) MachineGatekeepers

Economy without "cash" (ie. physical money) though with electronic payments.

But what does this mean for older people, especially those who are lonely? We’ve all seen an elderly man or woman get flustered at the till when they are counting out their change to make a purchase. There’s an increasing pressure on us all not to “waste time” and to get on with it. But what if your only human interaction that day was a chat with the shopkeeper? Where does that leave you?

Beggars are losing out, as are the people rattling charity boxes. Not to mention waiters and waitresses. I spent years working in bars and restaurants, where the pay is often scandalous, and the respect you receive both from the kitchen and the customer is negligible. Cash tips are a way for customers to show their appreciation especially when numerous scandals have revealed that serving staff often never see the credit card tips that diners reasonably believe are contributing towards service. I always feel terrible when I’m caught short after a meal out but I still never get to the cashpoint.

Transcluded from OnBegging

Quora Answer : How might beggars be affected by a cashless economy?

Jul 10, 2017


Beggars get most of their money from people's spare change.

Without cash, people won't have spare change.

And that means that they won't give it to beggars.

So, some very generous people might well try to donate other things. Eg. buy a sandwich etc. But that requires a much larger commitment than just dropping a couple of coins in a cup or hat with a mumbled "good luck" as you walk past.

That requires going out of your way to talk to the beggar, to find a sandwich shop etc. etc. It will take 5 or 10 minutes of your time you may not have available. It may require you to involve yourself to a degree you don't feel comfortable doing.

People have some rosy idealism about this. How that would be so much nicer and more useful for the beggar.

The truth is that far fewer people are going to put this extra effort in. So the absolute amount of donation will go down.

And secondly, even beggars have needs other than convenience food. A beggar might be collecting money to stay in a shelter, or pay a small rent to stay on someone's floor. Or need to charge a phone card to keep in touch with a distant family member. Or need to repay a debt to someone that lent him money. Or need to buy some new socks without holes in them. Etc.

There's a rather ugly, smug, superiority complex that some people have : which makes them think "ah, I know what's important for this guy asking for help. I know if I give him money he'll only waste it on drugs or alcohol. So I will do the good thing and buy him the food directly."

You know how I know that? I used to be that guy. I'd offer someone food rather than money because I thought I knew better than the guy himself what he needed.

But, frankly, I didn't. And nor do most people.

So, yeah. A CashlessSociety is going to be a disaster for beggars.