57. Rounding up

Wednesday July 14 2020

So now we have a national coin shortage.

I’m not one to subscribe to conspiracy theories, but have to admit this makes my head tilt.

If you pay in cash at Kroger, you’ll receive dollars back in change, but any coin change will be added to your loyalty card. Other places are asking that you round up your purchase to the nearest dollar and donate your virtual coin change to a charity, like the Children’s Miracle Network.

We’re told that the coin shortage is a result of the commerce slow-down over the past few months. That the most official take I’ve heard. Alternatively, it’s that mysterious They who are taking the next big step to bring us to a cashless society. Because if we’re using debit and credit cards, or digital payments like Venmo, PayPal, and Google Pay, we can be fully tracked as individuals. It’s the Big Brother control we’ve been awaiting since 1982, right?

I have another idea that is based on the fact that cash is simply filthy. Completely germ-laden, no matter if dollar bills or quarters. As a teenager, I worked as a cashier in retail and witnessed cash pulled from socks and bras, which is at the threshold of culturally appropriate behavior in public. We all can imagine the available crevices where legal tender can be personally secured. But does that suggest there is someone in charge who considers a reduction in cash transactions a way to reduce the spread of an airborne virus? That doesn’t really make sense.

Seriously, it’s not reasonable to think of a governmental-driven push to eliminate cash from our commercial transactions. If that’s the They the conspiracy theorists blame for this, I think we’re giving too much credence to our collective ability to organize things of consequence.


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