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A Contactless New World.

Cashless businesses banned in New York City.

New York just passed a law to ban cashless businesses, which discriminate against the poor, the elderly, the “underbanked.”

I did the cartoon above 4 years ago, but the reality of it in 2020 has actually come to the point where people really don’t carry cash anymore — they use Apple pay, Google Pay, other NFC cards, Venmo and Credit Cards everywhere they go. Tips are added to dockets and Square apps with squiggly nothing signatures. Contactless is everywhere. A bottle of beer is rarely met with a single in most bars.

Someone told me today “I like carrying cash. It makes me feel empowered, holding something real in my hands.” Putting aside the lack of the gold standard from years past, I do understand that feeling. The idea that cash in the hand beats some widget or bit of plastic that sells your activity to marketers and advertising conglomerates.

Which brings me back to our unfortunate, homeless chap in the cartoon here. More often than not, his pleas are met with an earnest, “Sorry man, I don’t have any cash on me.” more often than not. I once heard a young man in a long-sleeved collared shirt ask a homeless woman in the tunnel between the F and the 7 at 42nd/Bryant Park “Can you break a 20?” which sparked this idea.

Anyway. Food for thought.

Possibly an antiquated thought. I feel like this is something my brain keeps noodling over and returning to every time I walk around New York or LA and see things rapidly transform from one era to another.

Brave New World and all that.

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🇦🇺 NYC Cartoonist/Writer for @NewYorker and stand-up comic. Syndicated daily in 34 countries. President of The National Cartoonists Society. #BlockedByTrump

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