The 2-page handout





The reading

The advance of technology in our lives has been halted somewhat in New York City. Lawmakers have passed a bill to ban cashless businesses. With many parts of the world in a seemingly relentless drive to replace cash with plastic or digital payments, New York City officials have decided cash still has a valuable part to play in our lives. The officials have approved legislation that prohibits stores, restaurants and other retail outlets from refusing to accept cash. They want to provide the ability for people who prefer to pay via traditional means, through notes and coins. This means businesses in the city will no longer be able to insist that customers make use of cashless payments in any transactions.



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Businesses that violate the new regulation could face hefty fines of up to $1,500 for each offense. Critics of cashless businesses say they discriminate against the poorer sections of society, many of whom do not have bank accounts or credit cards. One city resident said: "I worry about the real-world discriminatory effect that cashless business can have on New Yorkers, especially in communities of color." Another said: "I think it's incredibly discriminatory not to accept cash because some people can't get credit." An opponent of the bill said it was a sign of government interference: He said: "We are inserting ourselves in the business of business in a way that we don't have the right to."

Sources:

  • https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/nyregion/nyc-cashless-ban.html
  • https://www.wsls.com/business/2020/01/23/new-york-city-council-votes-to-ban-cashless-businesses/
  • https://gothamist.com/news/city-council-passes-bill-requiring-restaurants-other-retail-businesses-accept-cash

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