Viewpoint: Think Twice About Going Cashless
Monday, June 5, 2017
Even now, after the chaos caused by India’s decision last November to eliminate nearly 90 percent of its banknotes, few people would argue with the policy’s underlying assumption: Going cashless is, if handled well, a good thing. Yet the fact is, most arguments in favor of demonetization don’t stand up to scrutiny. And those that do should raise other concerns.
Proponents of moving beyond paper money cite several rationales. They say it’ll make life harder for tax cheats, terrorists and other criminals, and speed up the flow of funds, thus reducing costs and enhancing economic efficiency. Some even suggest that it will improve hygiene, by eliminating crumpled and germ-infested bills.