Home > Uncategorized > Anti-Cash-Alliance suffers setback in their home-town New York

Anti-Cash-Alliance suffers setback in their home-town New York

from Norbert Häring

The Better Than Cash Alliance (Visa, Mastercard, Citibank, Bill Gates, USAID) coordinates the global war against cash from New York. Now, the city council of the headquarters of the Alliance has decided to oblige all brick and mortar stores and restaurants to accept cash. The justification of the regulation is a low blow for the alliance’s financial inclusion propaganda.

According to a USA-Today report, retail stores, restaurants, and bars will have to accept cash in the future. The new regulation gets in the way of a program of credit card company Visa, which is paying restaurants for going completely cashless.

Visa is one of the founding members of the Better Than Cash Alliance, which aims to eliminate cash worldwide. The alliance is based in New York. With generous donations, it obtained office space from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and now misleadingly calls itself a “UN-based organization”. 

The reasoning for the city council’s decision in favor of cash – financial inclusion – is a blow for the propaganda with which the Better Than Cash Alliance tries to justify its war against cash: they also argue with financial inclusion, pretending that taking cash away helps to integrate everybody into the financial system. “The marketplace of the future must take into account the needs of vulnerable New Yorkers,” wrote the law’s sponsor, Ritchie Torres, in a press release. Even those who do not have a bank account or do not want to pay the bank fees should be able to shop and eat everywhere. The New York City Council thus emphasizes that cash is the most inclusive means of payment because everyone can use it without special technical facilities and without extra costs. Making the use of cash harder, more expensive and more inconvenient as the Better Than Cash Alliance aims to do, is anti-inclusive, not inclusive.

The U.S. government, also a founding member of the Better Than Cash Alliance, has even corralled the G20, the 20 most powerful governments and their central banks, into a Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, which, with the Better Than Cash Alliance as a strategic partner, is aiming to push back cash.

New York is the most symbolically significant city, but not the first to prohibit the refusal of cash. New Jersey, Philadelphia and San Francisco have passed similar laws before.

In Germany, the principle of freedom of contract applies. Private businesses can freely decide how they want to be paid, at least as long as the customers have alternatives and can therefore be assumed to also have freedom of choice.

Government agencies cannot rely on freedom of contract due to the lack of voluntary interaction. With a court case against the public TV and radio broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk, which refuses to accept cash in payment of an obligatory radio fee,  I am trying to clarify that all public authorities are legally obliged to accept cash. The case is pending before the European Court of Justice. The highest German administrative court has already given a favorable opinion.  [01/26/2020]

  1. Patrick Newman
    January 27, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Cash is brilliant – leaves no trace!

  2. January 27, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    The problem with Patrick’s argument is that – while we have theft and money laundering – theft is worthwhile and thieves can’t be traced.

    I must be by now fairly well known as an advocate of a credit-card economy, but not of the profit-enhancing type sought by the Better Than Cash Alliance. Mine would be interest-free, premised on “Honest Money”, i.e. credit given because we are credit-worthy in the moral sense, not rented out to those with nominal legal ownership of valuable properties.

    With such a credit card and sufficient of us knowing and doing enough of what needs doing (so learning by work sharing), all the complications funding study, wages, pensions, insurance, mortgages, R & D, transport and recycling etc. become unnecessary. (I invite anyone who doesn’t believe this to study the logic of it, and Governments to focus on what needs doing, not on impossible monetary “sums”).

    However, credit and its repayment by work are intangible, so children and those brought up in traditional societies need tangible credit notes and household duties to learn the idea of their credit worthiness and their own responsibility for maintaining it. There is also a small role for money in informal markets, which cash machines can dispense in small amounts pre-accounted for by the credit-card system.

    If anyone wants to steal my credit card balance (i.e. debt), he’s welcome to; but with his own credit card, he would have no need to. My card, maybe; but those can be stopped and transactions on them traced pretty quickly. Art and communal ceremonial excepted, luxurious lifestyles would remain a “give-away” – if not of theft then of self-glorification or thoughtless nepotism – at a time when our credit card debts and the Earth’s depletion require to use no more than we need.

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