Cashless Society May Doom Panhandlers
People are carrying less money on them in the digital age: Megan McArdle
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2014 4:54 PM CDT

(Newser) – If you're like most, you carry fewer dollar bills and coins around these days than in the past. We're edging ever closer to a cashless society, and Megan McArdle at Bloomberg observes that this trend could take a toll on a group that often doesn't get much thought: panhandlers. The op-ed piece isn't about whether it's good or bad to give, only about the inescapable fact that less money in our pockets will surely translate into less money for those seeking spare change.

Sure, the digital age can also bring more opportunities to give to those in need—as with crowdfunding campaigns like this one—but "a cashless society will cause a marked change in the streetscape of cities," writes McArdle. "Panhandling has been around as long as we’ve had cities, and neither law nor custom has ever been able to fully eradicate it. But technology just might." Click for her full column.

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Apr 12, 2014 9:31 PM CDT
the new panhandlers will have the cell phone & SQUARE CARD READER. then you cannot say i don't have any $$$. period!!!
Ezekiel 25:17
Apr 11, 2014 1:21 AM CDT
It will also make life difficult for many illegals who rely on cash for lawn care, construction, and any private job they have. If they can't provide a lockbox account number for payment of services they are screwed in Earth's future. It will also allow the IRS to go after these people who do have cash lawn care companies. Its bad enough they send billions of USD to all points south that never returns to the US treasury. It will also help with the Mexican drug cartel crisis. Remember the $250,000,000 in hundreds found stacked in a room in a Mexican town? You can't do that with electronic tranfers.
Apr 9, 2014 10:15 AM CDT
Take it as an incentive for them to get help for their situation